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  • Najeeha from ELEVEN

Charity: A Blessing as a Receiver and a Giver

In Western Philosophy, a common topic for debate is with regards to whether donating is considered a duty that we humans have to others or not. Peter Singers is a utilitarian who claims that donating is a morally obligatory act, and not merely something supererogatory. This has made me reflect and realise, how blessed I am to be able to give and receive charity, and how charity is conceptualised in Islam.

Photo by Muhsin ck on Unsplash

Charity or sadaqah is a very significant part of Islam, because of the many rewards and blessings we gain from it. When we normally think of the word sadaqah, perhaps one of the things that pops into our minds is the act of zakat or monetary donation. Zakat is one of the five pillars of Islam, obligatory for every Muslim. It unites the Ummah, fostering care and brotherhood in one another. Zakat purifies our wealth, by giving to the less fortunate, whilst allowing us to remain humble. The Islamic scope of charity goes beyond money in the name of zakat.

Smiling at someone, giving the salam, or treating your neighbours well, are just some of the actions that we Muslims can do, to follow in the footsteps of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Sadaqah Jariyah (ongoing charity) is a voluntary and continuous form of sadaqah that encompasses various acts of kindness. Whether it involves offering advice or donating the Quran to your nearby mosques, Sadaqah Jariyah allows us to gain rewards, even beyond our time in this Dunya. Isn’t that just beautiful? MasyaAllah.

Islam’s concept of charity goes beyond a focus on receiving. To receive the love and care behind charitable acts is a blessing. To give and to be compelled to give, is such a blessing. As a giver, we feel fulfilled by helping and we are rewarded for it.

Such a blessing it is in Islam, where our Creator, our Rabb, decreed it a practice and attitude, to be charitable. We rid ourselves of having to debate on the importance of charity or questioning, “What’s in it for me?” or who needs to give to charity. Charity is not supererogatory in Islam. Charity knows no limits in age, social status, wealth, etc. I feel that being charitable is something we should strive to be every day, not merely a once-in-a-while affair.

In the last 10 days of Ramadhan, and today’s state of the world, I urge my brothers and sisters, along with myself, to strive to be charitable like our Prophet (PBUH) and his companions. Helping our community, those near and far from us, InsyaAllah, will bring great benefits that we carry in this life and the hereafter.

To end, I would like to share a relevant verse:

لَن تَنَالُوا۟ ٱلْبِرَّ حَتَّىٰ تُنفِقُوا۟ مِمَّا تُحِبُّونَ ۚ وَمَا تُنفِقُوا۟ مِن شَىْءٍۢ فَإِنَّ ٱللَّهَ بِهِۦ عَلِيمٌۭ

You will never achieve righteousness until you donate some of what you cherish. And whatever you give is certainly well known to Allah.

(Al-Quran, 3:92)

May Allah accept our efforts in sadaqah, and may we be among those who give and those who receive sadaqah, in the name of Allah (SWT).

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