The concept of charity is deeply entrenched in Islam and Muslims all around the world make it a point to selflessly give away what they have as well as do voluntary good deeds to positively impact others. But why is this the case? Why do Muslims have to give? In this blog, we will answer these very questions and take a look at the different types of charity in Islam as well. Let’s start with the latter.
Charity in Islam consists of Zakat, Zakat-ul-Fitr, and Sadqah. All three are similar in the sense that they promote social welfare but different in terms of their nature, and what as well as when one has to give.
A mandatory form of charity (for those who qualify) that’s also one of the five pillars of Islam, Zakat is based on one’s personal wealth that’s above a threshold called Nisab. It is a method of purifying one’s wealth. Note that the Zakat Appeal of only those who are needy and destitute needs to be answered and it must be paid once a year.
Another compulsory form of Charity that needs to be paid in the month of Ramadan (before the Eid Prayer) is Zakat-ul-Fitr. Note that it can be given by the head of the family for all members and doesn’t have to be given individually. Plus, it’s applicable to all those who have basic necessities such as food in excess of their needs. Generally, it amounts to just £5/US$7.
The most diverse of all the three charities, Sadqah refers to all those voluntary acts of goodness. From simple acts such as planting a tree in order to provide shade, sharing water with someone thirsty, and guiding someone on the right path to donating vast sums of money to the underprivileged, educating orphans, training widows, and feeding people, Sadqah helps make a positive difference in the world.
Why is Charity important?
Muslims have been instructed in the Quran to give Charity. It is act of giving that Allah really values and hence, generously rewards for as well. Plus, it renews spiritual connection of Muslims with Allah, helps them attain His blessing as well as mercy. What can be better that that? Moreover, the act of giving charity helps Muslims realize and submit to the fact that they are in this world for only a brief period of time and instead of accumulating materialistic possessions, they should do good deeds, stay on the right track, atone for their sins, and seek refuge from the hellfire in the afterlife that truly matters.
Plus, it goes without saying that even selflessly giving charity provides one immense satisfaction. Extending a helping hand to those that are in dire circumstances can help one gain contentment, which has become a rarity in this day and age. Finally, charity ensures social welfare, equality, and equity. These are all crucial for the overall progress of any society.
Given that there are millions of people around the globe do not have access to food, water, shelter, education, healthcare, and security means that the need to give charity is more than ever.
Consider the case of Syria for instance. People there are being oppressed and that’s due to no fault of their own. They lack the basic necessities of life that all of us take for granted. If Allah has given to you in abundance then you need to share it with others and not hoard it. Sharing will not only multiply your wealth but help you gain blessings. So, if you afford to help those in need then go ahead and answer Syria Urgent Appeal to make the world a better place. You don’t have to simply give money, you can do whatever you think is right and whatever can positively impact others, albeit in a small way. This is because no good deed will go unnoticed by Allah and He – the most beneficent and magnificent – will reward all those who give charity.