Friday, October 27, 2006

Mother, what can I give you?

After having reached the height of his career a man felt a duty to repay his mother back for all that she had done for him.

He asked, "Mother, what can I give you? What can I do for you? I sincerely wish to repay you for the sacrifices you made for me and for all the love you have showered upon me."

Mother looked surprised and said, "Why do you think about it? It was my duty so I did it, you don't have to repay me. Even if you want to, there is no way a man can ever repay his mother."

Despite her continuous refusal to ask for anything, the son persisted. To put an end to the discussion, she said, "All right. If you must, then tonight you sleep on my bed, with me, just as you used to when you were a baby."

He said, "That's a strange thing to ask for, but if it pleases you, I will."

As soon as he fell asleep, the mother got up and brought a bucket of water. She poured a mug full of water on his side. Feeling disturbed by the wetness under him, in his sleep he moved away to the other side of the bed. As he settled down, his mother poured another mug of water on the other side. In his slumber he tried to find space towards the foot post of the bed.

Sometime later he woke up feeling that this part of the bed too was damp. He got up and saw his mother, with the mug in her hand. He asked angrily, "What are you doing mother? Why don't you let me sleep? How do you expect me to sleep on a wet bed?"

Mother said, "I slept with you, when you wet the bed in the night. I would change your nappy and move you to the dry part of the bed, while I slept on the wet side. You wanted to repay me. Can you sleep here even for one night with me on a damp bed? If you can, I'll take it that you have repaid me."

How eloquently the story above demonstrates that we can't even begin to repay the care, love and attention a mother showers her child throughout the course of life. May Allah Almighty enable us to be of service and comfort to both our parents when we can and may He grant us sabr to serve them during their old age, ameen.

وَوَصَّيْنَا ٱلإِنْسَانَ بِوَالِدَيْهِ حُسْناً
And We have enjoined on man kindness to his parents [Qur'an 29:8]

Abdullah ibn 'Umar said, "The pleasure of the Lord lies in the pleasure of the parent. The anger of the Lord lies in the anger of the parent." [Al-Adab al-Mufrad by Imam Bukhari]

See also:
No Charge
Mum & Dad poem

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Sadaqat al-fitr

صَوْمُ شَهْرِ رَمَََضَانَ مُعَلَّقٌ بَيْنَ السَّمَآءِ وَاْلَرَضِ وَلاَ يُرْفَعُ اِلاَّ بِزَكَاةِ الْفِطْرِ

Sayyidina Jarir رضى الله تعالى عنه narrates that the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said:
"The fasts of the month of Ramadaan remain suspended between heaven and earth and only through Sadaqat al-fitr they are raised to heaven." (That is, they are accepted only after Sadaqat al-fitr is paid.) [Abu Hafs, Targheeb]

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Virtues of Charity

By Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi (r.a)

1. It is mentioned in a Hadith that generosity is a great attribute of Allah Ta'ala. In other words, Allah Ta'ala is extremely generous.

2. It is mentioned in a Hadith that the servant of Allah gives a small piece of bread as charity. In the sight of Allah Ta'ala that small piece increases to such an extent that it equals the size of Mt. Uhud. In other words, Allah Ta'ala increases the reward that one would have received for the small piece of bread to such an extent that he receives the reward equal to Mt. Uhud. We should therefore not concern ourselves with how much we give. Instead, we should give in charity whatever we are capable of giving.

3. It is mentioned in a Hadith that you should save yourself from hell even if it means giving a few dry dates in charity. That is, even if you have very little, give it in charity. Do not be under the misconception that how will such a meagre amount be of any benefit. This meagre amount will also be a means of deliverance from hell.

4. It is mentioned in a Hadith that you should seek sustenance from Allah Ta'ala by spending in His path. In other words, by your giving charity, Allah Ta'ala will grant you barakah in your sustenance.

5. It is mentioned in a Hadith that charitable deeds save one from calamities, discreet and undisclosed charity cools the anger of Allah Ta'ala, and having good relations with one's relatives and family members increases one's lifespan.

If a person feels that by doing good deeds openly and publicly, others will also be prompted to do the same, then in such a case it will be preferable for him to do such deeds publicly. But if this is not the case, then it will be preferable for him to do them secretly. In both cases, the pre-condition is that there must be no other reason for carrying them out publicly or privately.

6. It is mentioned in a Hadith that the beggar has a right over the person whom he asks even if he comes begging on a horse. In other words, if a beggar comes begging on a horse, even then he should be given something because it is apparent that he is most probably in some dire need for him to come begging. In such circumstances one should not think that how can this beggar be really in need if he can afford to come on a horse. However, if it has been established through some means that this person is not in need and that he has made begging his occupation, then it will be haraam to give anything to such a person. It is also haraam for such a person to go around begging. Understand this well.

7. It is mentioned in a Hadith that Allah Ta'ala is noble and He loves nobility. He loves good character and good manners, and dislikes evil character and evil mannerisms. In other words, He loves the person who shows lofty character in doing good deeds (such as spending in charity, saving himself from degradation, enduring difficulties on account of others, etc.) and He dislikes despicable ethics and habits (such as lack of vigour and courage in matters of the Deen.)

8. It is mentioned in a Hadith that charity cools the heat of the grave and that the person who gives in charity will be granted shade on the day of judgement. In other words, through the barakah of charity, the heat of the grave will become cool and the person will be granted some shade on the day of judgement.

9. It is mentioned in a Hadith that Allah Ta'ala has chosen special servants of His in order to fulfil the needs of other people. People are dependent on such special servants for the fulfilment of their needs. In other words, these people are in such dire need, that they are forced to go to these special servants and Allah Ta'ala has chosen them for this purpose. These special servants who fulfil the needs of poor people will be saved from the punishment of Allah Ta'ala.

10. It is mentioned in a Hadith that Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wa sallam addressed Hadrat Bilaal radiallahu anhu saying : "Spend O Bilal, and don't ever have any fear of any decrease from the Master (Owner) of the arsh." That is, spend freely on appropriate occasions and do not fear poverty from Allah Ta'ala. In the above Hadith, the arsh is attributed to the ownership of Allah despite His being the sole owner of everything else as well. The arsh has been specifically mentioned because it is one of the great creations of Allah Ta'ala and to illustrate to us that if such a great creation is under His control, we should not fear poverty and difficulty from Him.
Can anyone ever imagine that such a powerful king as He will deny us even two pieces of bread? Such type of thinking is preposterous.

The above Hadith in no way means that a person should spend so lavishly that he is left bankrupt and in financial problems. The focus of this Hadith is that those who are strong-hearted and have the strength to exercise patience should spend as much as they wish in noble deeds. Such people are not troubled by difficulties. They understand very well that they will receive whatever has been written down for them. By their spending in charity they will not experience any decrease, instead they will experience barakah in their sustenance. Persons who are endowed with such fervour and zeal are permitted to spend as much as they wish in charity and other noble deeds on condition that they do not usurp the rights of anyone in doing so. However, those who are weak-hearted and do not have the strength to exercise patience and fear problems in the future and feel that their intention will be corrupted, such people should only spend on necessary occasions such as zakaat, sadaqatul fitr, and on humanitarian grounds.

Once Hadrat Abu Bakr radiallahu anhu presented his entire wealth to Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wa sallam so that it could be utilised in the path of Allah. Upon seeing all this wealth Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wa sallam asked him if he left anything behind at home or not. Hadrat Abu Bakr radiallahu anhu replied that he left behind Allah and His Rasul sallallahu alayhi wa sallam and nothing else. Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wa sallam accepted all this wealth because he knew that Hadrat Abu Bakr radiallahu anhu was strong-hearted, full of fervour, and extremely desirous of spending in the path of Allah Ta'ala. He did not fear any evil consequences. On the other hand, Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wa sallam refused to accept a small amount of gold that was brought by another Sahabi radiallahu anhu because he knew that the latter was not as strong-hearted as Hadrat Abu Bakr radiallahu anhu.

11. It is mentioned in a Hadith that a beggar came begging to a woman. At that moment the woman only had a morsel of food which was already in her mouth. She took that morsel out of her mouth and gave it to the beggar. After some time, a child was born to this woman. When the child grew a little older, a wolf came and snatched the child away. The woman came out of her house running behind the wolf and at the same time shouting for help. Allah Ta'ala sent an angel and ordered him to free the child from the wolf's mouth. Allah Ta'ala added : "Also convey My salaams to that woman and inform her that I did this in return for the morsel of food which she had given to that beggar."

This is the barakah of charity that the child's life was saved and the woman was also rewarded. We should give charity abundantly so that we may live in this world and in the hereafter in peace and comfort.

12. It is mentioned in a Hadith that the person who directs someone towards a good deed will also receive the same reward as the person who carries out that good deed. In other words, if a person cannot be of assistance himself, but directs the needy person towards someone who could be of some help to him, then this person will also receive the same reward as those who helped that poor person.

13. It is mentioned in a Hadith that there were three persons. One of them had 10 dinars out of which he gave one dinar in charity. The second person had 10 awqiyahs out of which he gave one awqiyah in charity. The third person had 100 awqiyahs out of which he gave 10 awqiyahs in charity. All three will receive the same reward because each one of them gave 10% of whatever he possessed. In other words, although some of them apparently gave more than the others, Allah Ta'ala will reward them according to their intentions. Since each one of them gave 10% of his wealth, they will all be rewarded equally.

14. It is mentioned in a Hadith that the reward for giving one dirham has exceeded the reward for giving 100 000 dirhams. An explanation of this is that a person had two dirhams out of which he gave one dirham in charity. On the other hand, there was another person who had a lot of wealth. From all this wealth of his, he gave 100 000 dirhams. The difference in reward between these two persons is that despite the first person possessing only two dirhams, he gave half of all his wealth in charity, i.e. one dirham. As for the second person, despite his giving 100 000 dirhams in charity, he received a lesser reward because this 100 000 dirhams which he gave were less than half his entire wealth. How merciful Allah Ta'ala is! We should value this mercy of His at all times. Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wa sallam never ever refused a beggar. When he had anything to give, he would give it without hesitation. If he did not have anything, he promised the person that he will give him when he receives something. He and his family never ate bread made of wheat for two days consecutively. How merciless we are that despite having the means we do not help our fellow Muslim brothers. Instead, we are prepared to horde for ourselves.

15. It is mentioned in a Hadith that a beggar at the door of a Mumin (believer) is actually a gift from Allah Ta'ala. It is obvious that a gift has to be gladly accepted especially if that gift is from Allah Ta'ala. Therefore, we should help the beggar as much as we can.

16. It is mentioned in a Hadith that you should give in charity and cure your sick through charity because charity repels sicknesses and diseases and it increases your life and your good deeds.

17. It is mentioned in a Hadith that no wali (close friend) of Allah Ta'ala was born except through generosity and good habits. In other words, generosity and good habits are most definitely found in the auliyaa', i.e. the close friends of Allah Ta'ala.


Tuesday, October 10, 2006

The Needy One

Prepared by Muhammad Alshareef

Shaykh Sa'eed ibn Musfir tells the following account...

I was walking out of the Haram (the Ka'bah in Makkah) when I saw a man begging from everyone that passed by him. Just then a man who had parked his tinted Mercedes excessively close to the Haram in a designated VIP parking walked passed the beggar on his way to his car. As he pulled the keys out and the alarm did the 'whup whup', the beggar raised his finger to the sky and said, "Please, for the sake of Allah!"

Trying to end the moment and avoid a dip into the pocket, the Mercedes man said back, "Allah will provide!" The beggar said back, "What! Did you at any moment think that I thought YOU were my provider! I'm not asking for your provision, I KNOW Allah will provide for me."

Shaykh Misfir continues. The two stood there staring at one another for a moment and then the Mercedes tinted windows came up and the man drove away. A needy African sister who was sitting nearby on the street selling textiles was moved by the incident. She did not have much, but from what she did have, she pulled out 1 riyal and placed it in the hands of that beggar. He smiled and went on his way.

Meanwhile the Mercedes man could not drive on with the choke of guilt. He turned the car around and made his way through the crowd to the place where the incident had happened. Shaykh Misfir says...I saw with my own eyes as he pulled out a 10 riyal bill from his briefcase to give to the beggar. But he looked left and right and could not find him. What was he to do? He had already pulled out the bill to give for the sake of Allah and was not going to put it back. So he found the nearest person he thought was worthy of the bill, placed it in her lap and went on his way.

The 10 riyals sat in the lap of the sister that had given the beggar!

Hazrat Abu Hurairah(R.A.) reported that Rasulullah (sallallaahu alaiyhi wassallam) has said that Allah's injunction is:
"O my servants ! Spend and you will be given." [Bukhari, Muslim]

Hazrat Abdullah bin Abbas(R.A.) reported that Rasulullah(sallallaahu alaiyhi wassallam) has said that
"Charity does not diminish wealth." [Tibrani]

Source: Al-Islaah publications

Related posts:
Subscriptions Fisabilillah
A Pond Full of Milk

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Faster than the wind

Abdullah Bin Abbas narrates that the Apostle of God (sallallaho alaihi wa sallam) was superior to all men in generosity and the doing of good to the people in general, but in the month of Ramadhan his benevolence knew no bounds. In Ramadhan, (Angel) Gabriel came to him every night and the Prophet (sallahu alaihi wa sallam) recited the Qur’an to him. During Ramadhan the Prophet (sallaho alaihi wa sallam) appeared to be faster than the wind in generosity and benevolence. [Bukhari and Muslim]

Source: Virtues of Ramadan

Sunday, October 01, 2006


Zakat is one of the five pillars of Islam. It has been mentioned, along with daily Prayers (Salaat), over seventy times in the Qur'an. From this we can conclude that after Salaat, Zakat is the most important act in Islam.

وَأَقِيمُواْ ٱلصَّلاَةَ وَآتُواْ ٱلزَّكَاةَ وَٱرْكَعُواْ مَعَ ٱلرَّاكِعِينَ
Establish Salaah, pay Zakat and bow your heads with those who bow in worship [Qur’an 2:43]

Just as Salaat is the most important act of worship which has to be performed bodily, so is Zakat the main act of worship which has to be performed monetarily. Those who fulfill this duty have been promised abundant reward in this world and hereafter. Whoever evades Zakat has been sternly warned in the Qur'an and Hadith of the consequences.

Linguistically, Zakat has two meanings: purification and growth. Technically, it means to purify one's possession of wealth by distributing a prescribed amount to the poor, the indigent, the slaves or captives, and the wayfarer.

There are many major benefits of giving Zakat:
· It reminds Muslims of the fact that whatever wealth they may possess is due to the blessings of Allah and as such it is to be spent according to the His commands.
· Zakat functions as a social security for all. Those who have enough money today pay for what they have. If they need money tomorrow they will get what is necessary to help them live decently.
· Zakat payer pays his dues to Allah as an act of worship, a token of submission and an acknowledgment of gratitude. The receiver of Zakat receives it as a grant from Allah out of His bounty, a favor for which he is thankful to Allah.
· Economically, Zakat is the best check against hoarding. Those who do not invest their wealth but prefer to save or hoard it would see their wealth dwindling year after year at the rate of the payable Zakat. This helps increase production and stimulates supply because it is a redistribution of income that enhances the demand by putting more real purchasing power in the hands of poor.

Zakat is obligatory upon a person if :
· He or she is an adult, sane, free and Muslim.
· He/she must possess wealth in excess of specified minimum (Nisaab) excluding his or her personal needs (clothing, household furniture, utensils, cars etc. are termed articles of personal needs).
· It should be possessed for a complete lunar year.
· It should be of productive nature from which one can derive profit or benefit such as merchandise for business, gold, silver, livestock etc.

The amount of wealth which makes one liable for Zakat is called Nisaab. The payment of Zakaat is compulsory on the excess wealth or effects which is equal to or exceeds the value of Nisaab, and which is possessed for a full Islamic year. If such wealth decreases during the course of the year and increases again to the value of Nisaab before the end of the year, the Zakaat then must be calculated on the full amount that is possessed at the end of the year.


Allah says in the Qur'an:
"And there are those who hoard gold and silver and do not spend it in the way of Allah, announce to them a most grievous penalty (when) on the Day of Judgment heat will be produced out of that wealth in the fire of Hell. Then with it they will be branded on their forehead and their flanks and backs. (It will be said to them) This is the treasure which you hoarded for yourselves, taste then the treasure that you have been hoarding." [Tawbah 34-35]

Rasoolullah (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) has said;
  1. "The nation that does not give Zakaat, Allah will bring about a drought on them (i.e. necessities of life will become scarce)."
  2. "The person on whom Allah has bestowed wealth, and he does not give Zakaat, on the Day of Qiyaamah, his wealth will be turned into a venomous bald serpent which will wind around his neck and bite his jaws and say: "I am your wealth, I am your treasure." [Bukhari]
  3. Once Rasoolullah (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) saw gold bangles on the hands of two women. He enquired if they gave the Zakaat for the bangles. They replied "No." Rasoolullah (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) then said: 'Do you wish on the Day of Qiyaamah that you be made to dress in bangles of fire?" They replied: "No." He then said: 'Give Zakaat on them." [Tirmizi]


Allah Ta'ala says in the Qur'aan:
خُذْ مِنْ أَمْوَالِهِمْ صَدَقَةً تُطَهِّرُهُمْ وَتُزَكِّيهِمْ بِهَا
"Take from their wealth Zakat so that you may cleanse them and purify them there-with.' [Tawbah 103]

This Aayat points to the fact that Zakaat is not a governmental tax, but its main purpose is to keep those who are wealthy clean monetarily from sins.

There are two major benefits of giving Zakat:

  1. It keeps one away from sin and saves the giver from moral ills arising from the love and greed for wealth;
  2. Through Zakat the poorer class, (those who are not capable of providing for themselves) are being cared for, such as widows, orphans, the disabled, the poor and the destitute, and it is intact a vital part of the elaborate and equitable system of the distribution of wealth established by Allah for mankind.

Even if there are no widows, orphans, poor or needy persons, Zakat is still incumbent upon Muslims. This clearly shows that Zakat is not solely for giving to the destitute and the poor but has been ordained as a monetary devotion. In the same manner that Salaat and Sawm are a physical devotion, Zakat is a monetary Ibaadah. It is a special favour of Allah on this Ummah, and in this manner the wealth which is spent in the way of Allah is made lawful for use by the poor and the needy.