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  Charity – (Khairaat)

Liberality to the poor is an institution which has prominent place in every religion. Islam proclaimed its universality and made it an article of faith to apportion a share in a person’s wealth or income, in the form of Zakat, Khums, Fitra and Sadaqaat etc. for the maintenance of poor persons. It also imposed obligation upon a person to support his aged and needy parents, relatives and kindred. In many non-Islamic societies whilst parents have obligation to maintain and educate their children, no duty is imposed upon the children to look after parents in their old age; and cases are known of millionaires spending their wealth in casinos and night clubs whilst their aged parents have to live in poor-houses or to be supported by “doles”.

The Holy Quran has clearly laid down priorities in the matter of charities – “They ask thee (O Mohammed) what they shall spend; say: That which you spend for good (must go) to parents and near kindred and the wayfarer. And whatever good ye do, Allah is aware of it.” (Ch. 2. V 215)

Money spent in charity is compared by the Holy Quran to a seed sown in fertile land which produces seven-hundred fold or more in this life or in the hereafter. He is not a true Muslim – who does not identify himself with the interests of his brethren in faith. He should be happy in their happiness and miserable in their miseries. The reward for charity depends on the sincerity of the faith in which it is given. A poor man’s one rupee may have greater effect than a large sum of money spent by another.

But the effect of charity is destroyed if it is accompanied with laying of obligation on the recipient of the charity or by making the recipient humiliated by reproach. Imam Husain (a.s.) used to give charity by standing behind the door so that the recipient should not feel ashamed of receiving the charity. Imam Zainul Abideen (a.s.) used to kiss the hand of the man to whom he gave charity by saying that it represented the hand of Allah as stated in Ch. 9 V. 104. “Know they not that Allah dost accept repentance from his votaries and receives their gifts of charity.”

The Quran strongly denounces the charity which is given just to be seen by men. The giving of such charity, according to Ch. 2, V. 264, amounts to disbelief in God and the Last Day. But if t he intention of giving openly is to influence or induce others also to subscribe to the charity, the act would be commendable as Allah judges all acts according to the intention of the person doing the act.

We shall now proceed to peruse the relevant verses on the subject

“Speak to My servants who have believed, that they should establish regular prayers, and spend (in charity) out of the sustenance We have given them, secretly and openly, before the coming of a Day in which there will be neither mutual bargaining nor befriending.” (Ch. 14. V. 31)

The parable of those who spend their substance in the way of God is that of a grain of corn: it groweth seven ears, and each ear hath a hundred grains. God giveth manifold increase to whom He pleaseth; and God careth for all and He knoweth all things.

Those who spend their substance in the cause of God, and follow not up their gifts with reminders of their generosity or with injury, for them their reward is with their Lord: On them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve.

Kind words and the covering of faults are better than charity followed by injury. God is free of all wants and he is most Forbearing.

O ye who believe! Cancel not your charity by reminders of your generosity or by injury, like those who spend their substance to be seen of men, but believe neither in God nor in the Last Day. They are in arable like a hard, barren rock, on which is a little soil: on it falls a heavy rain, which leaves it (just) a bare stone. They will be able to do nothing with naught they have earned. And God guideth not those who reject faith. (Ch. 2 Vs. 261-264)

O Ye who believe! Give of the good things which ye have (honorable) earned, and of the fruits of the earth which We have produced for you, and do not even aim at getting anything which is bad, in order that out of it ye may give away something, when ye yourselves would not receive it except with closed eyes. And know that God is free of all wants, and worthy of all praise. (Ch. 2, V. 267)

Charity removes Evil, disasters, sickness and unfortunate incidences!   The Holy Prophet Mohammed (SAW) has said that “ An act of charity shields seventy dead people from ill fate”  Also, he said that “ The angel of death is told to remove the soul of a person, but if during that time charity is given then the order to remove the soul is cancelled”.

Imam Jaffer Sadiq (A.S.) says that “ An act of charity given openly prevents seventy types of mishaps, and secretly given charity cools the anger of our Lord Allah (SWT) “

It has been related in the same book that the Holy Prophet (SAW) said that “ Allah says that when the angel of death is asked to remove the soul of a person, and if he or she gives Sadaqah, Allah orders the angel of death to stop”.

Designed and Developed by Brother Mohammed Ali Banatwala in Co-ordination with Brother Abbas Ali Lalani