The Power of Shadaqa (Giving charity) in The Month of Ramadan

The annual coming of month Ramadan is always be the special moment for the believers, due the numerous amount of virtues in this month. Rewards, and forgiven of Allah spread across every single second and place during this sacred month. One who realizes how small the preparation he has to welcome the Judgement Day later on, will be very pleased to welcome Ramadan. One who acknowledges how many sins he has committed, will have no other feeling but happiness and joy in welcoming the Ramadan.

True believer, is The Generous One

One of the door that Allah has opened to His slaves to gain big rewards in the month Ramadan is through sadaqa (giving charity/alms). Islam always advise it’s followers to give plenty of charities, especially during the month Ramadan. And that supposes to be the manner of believers; generous. Allah and His messenger ordered, even gave example to the followers of Islam to be a generous and open-handed person. Know that generosity is one of the attribute of Allah the Exalted, as revealed in hadith below:

إن الله تعالى جواد يحب الجود ويحب معالي الأخلاق ويكره سفسافها

“Indeed, Allah the Exalted is the Giver, He love generosity and noble manners, He detest bad manners.” (Narrated by Al Baihaqi, classed sahih by Al Albani in ‘Shahihul Jami’, 1744)

In this hadith, we can infer that stinginess and tight-fisted are bad manners and are not the characteristic of manner of a true believer. Just as begging for alms is not the characteristic of a believer. But a believer is the open handed person, a lavish giver.

The messenger of Allah -peace and prayer of Allah be upon him- said,

اليد العليا خير من اليد السفلى واليد العليا هي المنفقة واليد السفلى هي السائلة

“Upper hand is better than the lower hand. The upper hand is the hand of a giver, and the lower hand is the hand of a beggar.” (Narrated by Bukhari in hadith no. 1429, Muslim in hadith no. 1033)

Besides that, if a generous character is supported by a deep understanding in religious knowledge, thus the owner has joined between two characters; knowledgeable, and generous, that will be the highest position ever possessed by the slave of Allah. The messenger of Allah -peace and prayer of Allah be upon him- said:

إنَّما الدنيا لأربعة نفر: عبد رزقه الله مالاً وعلماً فهو يتقي فيه ربه ويصل فيه رحمه، ويعلم لله فيه حقاً فهذا بأفضل المنازل

“The world is only for four persons: A slave whom Allah provides with wealth and knowledge, so he has Taqwa of his Lord with it, nurtures the ties of kinship with it, and he knows that Allah has a right in it. So this is the most virtuous rank.” (Narrated by Tirmidhi, no.2325, he said: “Hasan sahih”)

The Excellence of Alms Giving

Allah the Glorified and Exalted highly praise those who spend their money in charity and giving alms. He promise abundant of virtues and magnificent rewards for them. There are hundreds of indications that tell about the luck, virtue, and noble position of the alms giver. Ibn Hajar Al Haitami had collected hundreds of hadith about the virtues of giving alms in a book titled ‘Al Inaafah Fimaa Ja’a Fis Shadaqah Wad Dhiyaafah’, although some of the hadith need to be checked for it’s authenticity. The virtues seem to be gathered altogether in this one deed: giving alms. Thus, it is very awkward for those who already knew about those indications but their hearts are still unmoved and their hands are still away from increasing their alms.

Among the virtues of giving alms are:

1. Giving alms can erase one’s sins

The messenger of Allah -peace and prayer of Allah be upon him- said:

والصدقة تطفىء الخطيئة كما تطفىء الماء النار

“Giving alms can erase sins just like water ceases fire.” (Narrated by Tirmidhi, classed sahih by Al Albani in Shahih At Tirmidzi, in hadith no. 614)

The already forgiven sins should be followed immediately by repentance from the previous sins. And it is not as those who commit corruption, usury, stealing, skewing, taking the wealth of the orphans, and before they do it, they have planned to give alms after it, so that their sins will be erased. This act is forbidden, because the doer will feel they’re safe from the assault of Allah, which is a big sin.

Allah the Exalted decreed:

أَفَأَمِنُوا مَكْرَ اللَّهِ فَلَا يَأْمَنُ مَكْرَ اللَّهِ إِلَّا الْقَوْمُ الْخَاسِرُونَ

“Do they feel secure against Allah’s design? None can feel secure against Allah’s design except the utter losers.” (QS. Al A’raf: 99)

2. One who gives alms will be rewarded a shade in the Last Day

The messenger of Allah -peace and prayer of Allah be upon him- told about the 7 groups of people who will get shade on the day where there are no shade but from Allah, that is the Last Day. One of the groups is:

رجل تصدق بصدقة فأخفاها، حتى لا تعلم شماله ما تنفق يمينه

“a man who gives charitable gifts so secretly that his left hand does not know what his right hand has given.” (Narrated by. Bukhari in hadith no. 1421)

3. Giving alms gives bless to one’s wealth

The messenger of Allah -peace and prayer of Allah be upon him- said:

ما نقصت صدقة من مال وما زاد الله عبدا بعفو إلا عزا

“Wealth will not be decreased by giving by giving charity. And a forgiving slave must be rewarded by Allah with authority.” (Narrated by Muslim, no. 2588)

What is the meaning of not decreasing in wealth? Imam An Nawawee explained in his work ‘Syarh Shahih Muslim,’ that: “The scholars mentioned that it means two things: First, the wealth will be blessed and protected from dangers. Thus the decrease will be covered with this abstract bless. It can be felt by senses, and habits. Second, if in fact the wealth looks decreased, this decreasing will be covered by the rewards of giving alms, and the rewards indeed will be double-folded to many times.”

4. Allah will double fold the reward of the alms giver

Allah the Exalted decreed,

إِنَّ الْمُصَّدِّقِينَ وَالْمُصَّدِّقَاتِ وَأَقْرَضُوا اللَّهَ قَرْضًا حَسَنًا يُضَاعَفُ لَهُمْ وَلَهُمْ أَجْرٌ كَرِيمٌ

“Verily those who give alms – be they men or women, -and give Allah a beautiful loan shall be repaid after increasing it many times; and theirs shall be a generous reward.” (Qs. Al Hadid/The Iron: 18)

5. There is a door of Paradise that’ll only be entered by the alms giver

من أنفق زوجين في سبيل الله، نودي في الجنة يا عبد الله، هذا خير: فمن كان من أهل الصلاة دُعي من باب الصلاة، ومن كان من أهل الجهاد دُعي من باب الجهاد، ومن كان من أهل الصدقة دُعي من باب الصدقة

“Whoever gives two kinds (of things or property) in charity for Allah’s Cause, will be called from the gates of Paradise and will be addressed, ‘O slaves of Allah! Here is prosperity.’ So, whoever was amongst the people who used to offer their Salat (prayers), will be called from the gate of the salat ; and whoever was amongst the people who used to participate in Jihad, will be called from the gate of Jihad ; and whoever was amongst those who used to observe fasts, will be called from the gate of Ar-Raiyan ; whoever was amongst those who used to give As-Sadaqa (charity), will be called from the gate of As-Sadaqa.” (Narrated by Bukhari in hadith no. 3666, Muslim no. 1027)

6. Giving alms is the proof of faith

The messenger of Allah -peace and prayer of Allah be upon him- said:

والصدقة برهان

“Alms is a proof.” (Narrated by Muslim in hadith no. 223)

An Nawawee explained that: “It means the proof or evidence of the true faith the giver possesses. Hence alms (sadaqa) is termed likewise, because it is the proof of the truth of his faith (Shidqu Imanihi)”

7. Giving alms can save the giver from the torments inside the grave

The messenger of Allah -peace and prayer of Allah be upon him- said:

إن الصدقة لتطفىء عن أهلها حر القبور

“An alms will quench the fire of torment inside the grave.” (Narrated by Thabrani, classed sahih by Al Albani in his work “Shahih At Targhib”, no. 873)

8. Giving alms can prevent a merchant from doing wickedness in his trade

The messenger of Allah -peace and prayer of Allah be upon him- said:

يا معشر التجار ! إن الشيطان والإثم يحضران البيع . فشوبوا بيعكم بالصدقة

“O people of trade! Indeed the Shaitan and sin are present in the sale, so mix your sales with charity.” (Narrated by Tirmidzi no. 1208, he commented: “Hasan sahih”)

9. One who gives alms will be peaceful and happy in his heart

The messenger of Allah -peace and prayer of Allah be upon him- set a good example about a generous man and a miser as follows:

مثل البخيل والمنفق ، كمثل رجلين ، عليهما جبتان من حديد ، من ثديهما إلى تراقيهما ، فأما المنفق : فلا ينفق إلا سبغت ، أو وفرت على جلده ، حتى تخفي بنانه ، وتعفو أثره . وأما البخيل : فلا يريد أن ينفق شيئا إلا لزقت كل حلقة مكانها ، فهو يوسعها ولا تتسع

“The example of a miser and an alms-giver is like the example of two persons wearing two iron cloaks from their breasts to their collar bones; and when the alms-giver gives in charity, the cloak becomes capacious till it covers his whole body to such an extent that it hides his fingertips and covers his footprints (obliterates his tracks).And when the miser wants to spend, it (the iron cloak) sticks and (its) every ring gets stuck to its place, he tries to widen it, but it does not become wide.” (Narrated by Bukhari in hadith no. 1443)

And in fact, this condition can be proven by ourselves, when we feel happy, proud, and peace after giving alms to the needy.

And there are still many of indications that tell about the benefits of alms and the virtues of giving alms. Don’t we feel moved by it?

Generosity of the Messenger of Allah in the month Ramadan

Our apostle, peace and prayer of Allah be upon him- the best role model for us, is the most generous person, and his generosity was incredibly increased during the month Ramadan. This fact was told by Ibn ‘Abbas -may Allah be pleased with them both- as follows:

كان رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم أجود الناس ، وكان أجود ما يكون في رمضان حين يلقاه جبريل ، وكان يلقاه في كل ليلة من رمضان فيُدارسه القرآن ، فالرسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم أجودُ بالخير من الريح المرسَلة

“Allah’s Messenger was the most generous of all the people, and he used to reach the peak in generosity in the month of Ramadan when Jibril (Gabriel) met him. Jibril used to meet him every night of Ramadan to teach him the Qur’an.Allah’s Messenger was the most generous person, even more generous than the fair winds.” (Narrated by Bukhari, no. 6)

From the previous hadith it is evident that the messenger of Allah -peace and prayer of Allah be upon him- basically is a very generous person. This fact was also strengthen by Anas Ibn Malik -may Allah be pleased with him-:

كان النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم أشجع الناس وأجود الناس

“The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم was, the bravest and the most generous of all the people.” (Narrated by Bukhari no.1033, Muslim no. 2307)

But the month Ramadan is a special moment thus he was even more generous that usual. His generosity was resembling the fair winds, due to his quickness and hastiness in giving alms, without thinking a lot, just as a swift, blowing wind. In that hadith, the wind is also attributed as ‘mursalah’ (blowing), indicating that generosity of the messenger of Allah -peace and prayer of Allah be upon him- possessed a great beneficial values, not merely giving, and it was continually done just as a fine and useful wind is the wind that continually blows. This explanation was delivered by Ibn Hajar Al Asqalani in ‘Fathul Baari’.

Thus, people who admit themselves as his follower should have the same spirit as him, that is to give alms more often, more numerous, and more beneficial in the month Ramadan, more that the other months.

The Power of Giving Alms in The Month Ramadan

One of the reason why the messenger of Allah -peace and prayer of Allah be upon him- gave an example to be haste in giving alms during the month Ramadan is because the virtues and rewards of giving alms in this month is far better than the other months. Among the virtues of giving alms during month Ramadan are:

1. Fasting, together with giving alms and performing the night prayer means the guarantee to enter the Paradise

Fasting during the month Ramadan is a great kind of worship, and it’s reward is unlimited. Just as Allah revealed to us in a hadith qudsi:

كل عمل ابن آدم له الحسنة بعشر أمثالها إلى سبعمائة ضعف قال عز و جل : إلا الصيام فإنه لي و أنا الذي أجزي به

“Every deeds of men will be rewarded as equals, until 700 hundred folds of it. Allah the Noble and Almighty decreed: ‘But fasting, because fasting is done for Me and I am the One Who will reward it.’” (Narrated by Muslim in hadith no. 1151)

The virtues of giving alms are already known to us. And then the night prayer, is also a great kind of worship if it is performed in the month Ramadan, it can extinguish the past sins. the messenger of Allah -peace and prayer of Allah be upon him- said:

من قام رمضان إيماناً واحتساباً غفر له ما تقدم من ذنبه

“Whoever established Salat (prayer) on the night of Qadr with sincere faith and hoping for a reward from Allah, then all his previous sins will be forgiven.” (Narrated by Bukhari no.37, 2009, Muslim, no. 759)

These three noble deeds are gathered in the month Ramadan and if all three were performed, there are no reward for it but the guarantee to enter Paradise. the messenger of Allah -peace and prayer of Allah be upon him- said:

إن في الجنة غرفا يرى ظاهرها من باطنها وباطنها من ظاهرها أعدها الله لمن ألان الكلام وأطعم الطعام وتابع الصيام وصلى بالليل والناس نيام

“Indeed in Paradise there are chambers, whose outside can be seen from their inside, and their inside can be seen from their outside. Allah has prepared it For those who speak well, feed others, fast regularly, and perform Salat [for Allah] during the night while the people sleep.” (Narrated by At Tirmidhi no. 1984, Ibn Hibban in ‘Al Majruhin’ 1/317, classed hasan (good) by Ibn Hajar Al Asqalani in ‘Hidayatur Ruwah’, 2/47, classd hasan by Al Albani in ‘Shahih At Targhib’, 946)

2. Obtaining the additional rewards from other people reward of fasting

We are already know how vast the reward of fasting in Ramadan is. Imagine if we can add our rewards by other people’s reward; out rewards must be increased significantly. And this could be happened by giving alms, that is giving the meals to break the fast for fasting ones (ifthor). the messenger of Allah -peace and prayer of Allah be upon him-said:

من فطر صائما كان له مثل أجره ، غير أنه لا ينقص من أجر الصائم شيئا

“Whoever provides the food for a fasting person to break his fast with, then for him is the same reward as his (the fasting person’s), without anything being diminished from the reward of the fasting person.” (Narrated by Tirmidhi no 807, he commented: “Hasan sahih”)

Whereas the food for breaking the fast is easier, it is already enough by providing 3 dates or even a glass of water, something easy and cheap to get to give to others.

كان رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يفطر على رطبات قبل أن يصلي فإن لم تكن رطبات فعلى تمرات فإن لم تكن حسا حسوات من ماء

The Messenger of Allah -peace and prayer of Allah be upon him- would break the fast with fresh dates before performing Salat. If there were no fresh dates then (he would break the fast) with dried dates, and if there were no dried dates then he would take a few sips of water.” (Narrated by At Tirmidhi, Ahmad, Abu Daud, classed sahih by Al Albani in ‘Shahih At Tirmidhi’, no. 696)

Allah the Exalted is indeed merciful and generous to His slaves, by giving them chances to get so many great rewards in this blessed month.

3. Giving alms during the month Ramadan is easier

One of the virtue of giving alms in the month Ramadan is that during this month, people will be easier to perform righteous deeds, including giving alms. It is undeniable that basically, men are easily seduced by Satan, who keeps on calling them to abandon the righteous deeds.

قَالَ فَبِمَا أَغْوَيْتَنِي لَأَقْعُدَنَّ لَهُمْ صِرَاطَكَ الْمُسْتَقِيمَ

“Satan said: ‘Since You have caused me to come to this end, I shall surely sit in ambush for them on Your Straight Path.’” (Qs. Al A’raf/The Height: 16)

Thus men become reluctant and lazy to perform righteous deeds. But during the month Ramadan, Allah make His slaves easier to perform righteous deeds, as revealed by the Messenger of Allah -peace and prayer of Allah be upon him-:

إذا جاء رمضان فتحت أبواب الجنة ، وغلقت أبواب النار ، وصفدت الشياطين

“When the month of Ramadan starts, the gates of the heaven are opened and the gates of Hell are closed and the devils are chained.” (Narrated by Bukhari no.3277, Muslim no. 1079)

In fact we can see that the condition of Ramadan is much different compared to toher months. People are haste in doing goodness that they are not get used to do in the other months. Glorified be He.

As for the beliefs of some people that every voluntary prayers during the month Ramadan will be rewarded as the reward of the obligational prayer, and the obligational prayer will be rewarded with 70 times of it’s rewards outside the month Ramadan, it is a false belief. Because the basis of this beliefs is a weak hadith, that is:

يا أيها الناس قد أظلكم شهر عظيم ، شهر فيه ليلة خير من ألف شهر ، جعل الله صيامه فريضة ، و قيام ليله تطوعا ، و من تقرب فيه بخصلة من الخير كان كمن أدى فريضة فيما سواه ، و من أدى فريضة كان كمن أدى سبعين فريضة فيما سواه ، و هو شهر الصبر و الصبر ثوابه الجنة ، و شهر المواساة ، و شهر يزاد فيه رزق المؤمن ، و من فطر فيه صائما كان مغفرة لذنوبه ، و عتق رقبته من النار ، و كان له مثل أجره من غير أن ينتقص من أجره شيء قالوا : يا رسول الله ليس كلنا يجد ما يفطر الصائم ، قال : يعطي الله هذا الثواب من فطر صائما على مذقة لبن ، أو تمرة ، أو شربة من ماء ، و من أشبع صائما سقاه الله من الحوض شربة لايظمأ حتى يدخل الجنة ، و هو شهر أوله رحمة و وسطه مغفرة و آخره عتق من النار ،

“O human, a noble and blessed month has came to you. Inside it, there is a night which value (of worship) is better than 1000 months. Allah ordain the fastinf during it’s days as an obligation, and enliven it’s nights as voluntary prayer (tathawwu’). Whoever (in that month) pull himself closer (to Allah) by performing a good deed, it will seem as performing an obligational prayer at the other month. Whoever performs an obligational deed, it will seem like performing 70 righteous deed at the other month. Ramadan is the month of patience, and the reward of patience is Paradise. It is also the month of helping each other , where inside it the sustenance if a believer is also increased. (added). Whoever (in that month ) gives food for breaking the fast to a fasting one, the deed will be the forgiven of his past sins his saver from the Hell fire, and he will get the same rewards as that fasting man without reducing his rewards.” The companions said, “O Allah’s apostle, not all of us possess food to be given to the fasting ones.” The messenger of Allah -peace and prayer of Allah be upon him- said, “Allah will give such reward to those who give food for fasting break, from a date fruit, or a sip of water or milk. Ramadan is a month which beginning is mercy, middle part is forgiveness, and last part is the liberation from Hell fire.”

This hadith is narrated by Al Baihaqi, Al Hakim, Ibnu Khuzaimah (no. 1887) and Al Ash-habani in At Targhib (178). It is classed as weak by the experts of hadith such as Al Mundziri in ‘Targhib Wat Tarhib (2/115), also by Dhiya Al Maqdisi in ‘Sunan Al Hakim (3/400), even commented as ‘munkar’ by Al Albani in ‘Silsilah Adh Dhaifah (871).

As the summary, although there is no 70 times fold of rewards in every kind of obligational prayer, basically, every righteous deed, inside or outside of the month Ramadan will be multiplied by Allah to 10 until 700 hundred folds, based on the hadith:

إن الله كتب الحسنات والسيئات ثم بين ذلك فمن هم بحسنة فلم يعملها كتبها الله له عنده حسنة كاملة فإن هو هم بها فعملها كتبها الله له عنده عشر حسنات إلى سبع مائة ضعف إلى أضعاف كثيرة

“Allah decreed good deeds and bad deeds, then He explained that. Whoever thinks of doing a good deed then does not do it, Allah will write it down as one complete good deed. If he thinks of doing a good deed and then does it, Allah [the Mighty and Sublime] will write it down between ten and seven-hundred fold, or many more. If he thinks of doing a bad deed then he does not do it, Allah will write it down as one complete good deed, and if he thinks of it then does it, Allah will write it down as one bad deed.” (Narrated by Muslim in hadith no. 1955)

Thus, one who gives alms during the month Ramadan will be multiplied inrewards to 10 until 700 folds, because giving alms is kind of righteous deeds, and then based on the chapter Al A’raf or the Height, verse number 16, that the reward of giving alms will be increased further by Allah’s wish, plus the numerous virtues of giving alms. Moreover, if the alms giver follows his alms by perform fasting and the night prayer, he will get the guarantee to enter Paradise. And if he gives alms in the form of foods for fast-breaking (ifthor) for the fasting ones, the rewards he already get from giving alms will be added further form the rewards of those who receive his alms. If they are more than one person, then the rewards will be multiplied more and more..Glorified be He.

Let’s do it now..

***

Author: Yulian Purnama
Source: www.muslim.or.id (Indonesian version)
Article of www.whatisquran.com

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