Ramadan Note 4

They who spend their wealth for the sake of God and do not thereafter mar their spending by stressing their own benevolence and hurting (the feelings of the needy) shall have their reward with their Sustainer, and no fear need they have, and neither shall they grieve.

(Qur’an 2:262)

Here is the definition of real charity in Islam; it must be given solely for the sake of God. It is easy to find persons in all societies engaged in works of charity. They may do it to feel good, to advertise their generosity, to show their superiority over the receivers of their help, or just enjoy the praise it will bring. What is difficult is to give in charity to please the Almighty Creator alone without any of these incentives. The Qur’ān is emphatic that such tainted charity will bring not reward but punishment in the Hereafter. The Prophet reminds that charity is not limited to the spending of money.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) has said:

“To smile in the company of your brother is charity. To command to do good deeds and to prevent others from doing evil is charity. To guide a person in a place where he cannot get astray is charity. To remove troublesome things like thorns and bones from the road is charity. To pour water from your jug into the jug of your brother is charity. To guide a person with defective vision is charity for you.”

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