Give and Take

25 Sep

Halaqa 10/14/12 – Surah Ma’oon and Charity

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: “The believer’s shade on the Day of Resurrection will be his charity.” – Al-Tirmidhi, Hadith 604

The concept of charity in Islam holds such importance that it is said that one cannot be a true believer without it. Charity isn’t simply giving away what one has not worked to achieve (i.e. through interest or stealing). Charity isn’t giving away the things that we have used and no longer need. It is the pure act of selflessness that allows one to give up what s/he has earned in order to genuinely help another. It is the compassion to feel for another brother or sister in Islam the way one would for a brother and sister in family. It is the generosity to give to another what s/he would want for him or herself.

The first part of Surah Ma’oon stresses this importance. It specifies the cases of taking care of orphans and feeding the needy as the “small kindnesses” which in Arabic is translates to “Ma’oon”. Ultimately, it isn’t the paper money or material wealth that makes us charitable. It is indeed the mindset of knowing in one’s heart the myriad of blessings that Allah (saw) has provided and that any act of giving simply could not compare.

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