Charity in the Qur’an
By Dr. Abidullah Ghazi
IQRA’ International Educational Foundation
The Qu’ran, Islam’s Holy Book, places great emphasis on charity. Shaikh Abdullah Ahrar Ansari (d.398 ah), a prominent Sufi saint, says that Allah swt describes the importance of Charity) in seven unique ways to show its importance and convince the believers always be generous and give charity. Following are the seven ways in which the Qur’an asks us to give:
Allah enjoins upon all the believers to give charity, Zakat and Gifts... While Zakat is obligatory (fard) and is a pillar of Islam charity in every form and at every time is encouraged. In this respect his commandment to give is repeated several times and is emphatic and clear:
O you who believe! Spend out of (the bounties); We have provided for you before the day comes when no bargaining (will avail) nor friendship nor intercession.
Those who reject faith they are the wrong-doers.
2. As Mercy (Lutf):
Charity is an act which Allah loves. Through charity we help the needy, poor and destitute and support community building efforts. Allah swt asks us to give out of what He has bestowed upon us but He prefers to call it a goodly loan that He promises to return with abundant rewards:
Who is he that will loan to Allah a beautiful loan which Allah will double unto his credit and multiply many times? It is Allah that gives (you) want or plenty and
to Him shall be your return.
3. As a Promise (Wa’dah):
Allah swt promises abundant rewards for our charity. His rewards we cannot measure or even understand but for our limited knowledge and capability of calculating of His blessings he puts that in numbers:
The parable of those who spend their substance in the way of Allah is that of a grain of corn: it grows seven ears and each ear has a hundred grains. Allah gives manifold increase to which He pleases; and Allah cares for all and He knows all things.
4. As Emphasis (Wa`iid)
Giving in charity is an act of goodness; however, it also is an instrument to reach goodness. Our objective in life is to attain what is good for us, for our family, community or humanity. However, without infaq there is no acceptance of any act of goodness:
By no means shall you attain righteousness unless you give (freely) of that
which you love; and whatever you give, of a truth Allah knows it well.
Al ‘Imran 3:92.
5. As Good Advice (Nasihat)
Allah swt in His kindness advises us about the pitfalls that would stop us form giving. He warns us about the Satan who as our enemy does not want us to spend in good causes:
The Evil Satan, threatens you with poverty and bids you to do unseemly acts.
Allah promises you His forgiveness and bounties and Allah cares for all….
Al Imran 2:268.
6. As Warning (Tahdid)
While charity brings immeasurable benefits to the giver, not giving results in Divine anger and punishment. His anger would lead to our spiritual, moral and financial destruction, for which we ourselves would be responsible:
And spend of your substance in the cause of Allah and make not your own hands contribute to your destruction but do good; for Allah loves those who do good.
7. As Reality (Tahqiq)
When we give, we may think that we are doing a favor to Allah. Allah swt reminds us about the reality that He is Al-Ghani (Not in need). It is for own good that we give; and we must do so humbly and sincerely:
Behold, you are those invited to spend (of your substance) in the way of Allah: but among you are some that are miserly. But any who is miserly is so at the expense of their own souls. But Allah is free of all wants, and it is you that are needy.