Assistance and Charity

Auther : Haya Muhammad Eid

Islam is a coherent system of life, not a loose, disjointed system from which one can pick and choose at leisure. Its acts of worship and rites, as well as individual and collective obligations, work together to fulfill a goal that brings prosperity to all mankind, and ensures that hearts are purified, life is ennobled, and people cooperate for the common good and progress towards a goal wherein abounds the Blessings of Allah.[1]

Assistance and charity are part of faith in the religion of Islam that enjoins a known right in property, not a voluntary charity to either be paid or not paid, but a prescribed right that must be given. This is stated among the description of the pious:

(Those in whose wealth there is a known right, for the needy who asks, and for those who are deprived.)[2]

This known right is called Zakah (obligatory charity) - the third of the five pillars upon which Islam is built. The Messenger of Allah (Pbuh)said,

“Islam is built upon five (pillars): the testimony that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, performing Salah, paying Zakah, Hajj (pilgrimage to Makkah), and fasting Ramadan.”[3]

Zakah must be paid from the purest and finest of property. Allah accepts only that which is pure and good.

(O you who believe, spend from the good things which you have earned and from that which We have produced for you from the earth. And do not aim at the bad therefrom, spending (from that) while you would not take it yourself except with closed eyes. And know that Allah is Free of need and Praiseworthy.)[4]

Lady ‘Aishah (may Allah be pleased with her) narrated, “A lizard was offered to the Messenger of Allah (Pbuh) which he (Pbuh)neither ate nor forbade. I said, ‘O Messenger of Allah, can we feed it to the poor?’ He (Pbuh)said, ‘Do not feed them from what you do not eat.’”[5]


References

  1. Sayyid Qutb, In the Shade of the Qur’an, Interpretation of Surat Al-Ma‘un [107].
  2. Translated meanings of Al-Ma‘arij 70: 24: 25.
  3. Iman, Hadith no. 7.
  4. Translated meanings of Al-Baqarah 2: 267.
  5. Musnad Ahmad, Book of Al-Ansar, Hadith no. 23593.


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