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The Seventh Hadith (The Affluent Have Made off with the Rewards…)

Under category : Ponder on a Hadith
168 2020/12/30 2021/10/25
Article translated to : العربية

On the authority of Abu Dharr (may Allah be pleased with him):

Some people from amongst the Companions of the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said to the Prophet (PBUH), "O Messenger of Allah, the affluent have made off with the rewards; they pray as we pray, they fast as we fast, and they give [much] in charity by virtue of their wealth." Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) said, "Has not Allah made things for you to give in charity? Truly every tasbeehah [saying: 'subhan-Allah'] is a charity, and every takbeerah [saying: 'Allahu akbar'] is a charity, and every tahmeedah [saying: 'al-hamdu lillah'] is a charity, and every tahleelah [saying: 'laa ilaha illAllah'] is a charity. And commanding the good is a charity, and forbidding an evil is a charity, and in the bud`i [sexual act] of each one of you there is a charity." They said, "O Messenger of Allah, when one of us fulfills his carnal desire will he have some reward for that?" He (PBUH) said, "Do you not see that if he were to act upon it [his desire] in an unlawful manner then he would be deserving of punishment? Likewise, if he were to act upon it in a lawful manner then he will be deserving of a reward." [Narrated by Muslim]

Values (32)

Values in the meaning of Sadaqah (charity):

The meaning of Sadaqah is vast, it is much more than giving financial aid and spending money on the needy. There are other aspects of Sadaqah such as the remembrance of Allah, praying two rakaat of Dhuha and other acts of worship, good manners and also abandoning any act of evil. In the hadith narrated by Abu Dharr, he asked the Prophet (peace be upon him): Messenger of Allah, which of the deeds is the best? He (peace be upon him) replied: Belief in Allah and Jihad in His cause. I again asked: Who is the slave whose emancipation is the best? He (PBUH) replied: One who is valuable for his master and whose price is high. I said: If I can't afford to do it? The Prophet (PBUH) replied: Help an artisan or make anything for the unskilled (laborer). I (Abu Dharr) said: Messenger of Allah, you see that I am helpless in doing some of these deeds. He (PBUH) replied: Desist from doing mischief to the people. That is the charity of your person on your behalf.

Allah’s mercy is manifested in making charity or giving alms available for every Muslim, whether rich or poor. The Muslim should give what is more than his need and the need of whom he supports such as the wife and children. He should not give Sadaqah from his needs, and then leave his family poor holding out their hands to people.

Sadaqh is one of the widest doors of worship, its degree is measured according to different criteria such as:

- The best of Sadaqah should be from the things you love. Almighty Allah says: “Never will you attain the good [reward] until you spend [in the way of Allah] from that which you love.” (Surah: 3: 22)

- The best of Sadaqah is that which you give when you are healthy, and fearful of poverty. Allah’s Messenger was asked which charity is the best, so He (PBUH) said: “That you should give charity (in a state when you are) healthy and close-fisted, one haunted by the fear of poverty, hoping to become rich (charity in such a state of health and mind is the best)…”

- The best of Sadaqah is that which is given out of surplus. Allah’s Messenger said: “…the best Sadaqah is that, which is given by a wealthy person (from the money which is left over after his expenses.)”

- The best of Sadaqah is that which is given from small property. It was asked which charity is best, Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) said: “The alms given by a man possessing small property acquired by his labor…”

- The best of Sadaqah is that which extends after death. Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) said: "When a man dies all his good deeds come to an end except three: Ongoing charity (Sadaqah Jariyah), beneficial knowledge and a righteous son who prays for him."

- The best of Sadaqah is that which benefits others “…and commanding the good is a charity, and forbidding an evil is a charity…”

If you value money, comfort, knowledge, food, time or any sort of material or spiritual things, your spending from that which you love, and that which you have not much, is actually the best of charity. This is the kind of charity that takes you to the level of piety and virtue, by the Will of Allah.

Hence, we cannot say that certain kind of charity is absolutely the best of all, a word of knowledge and advice may exceed and outweigh thousands in cash, helping a tired sick person to cross the road might outweigh a lot of educational lectures and knowledge series, a moment of playing and kindness with a child during your tight schedule or time, and you are in a state of tiredness, this moment can outweigh the striving of someone, or the spending of another.

Things are valued and rewarded by The Almighty, not according to people. Allah knows best!

Generic Values:

1. The virtue of tasbeeh [saying: 'subhan-Allah'], tahmeed [saying: 'al-hamdu lillah'], takbeer [saying: 'Allahu akbar'], and tahleel [saying: 'laa ilaha illAllah'] is immense. They are the lasting good deeds as mentioned in a hadith.

2. Competing for the rewards of the Hereafter despite poverty.

3. Regardless of the condition of the Muslim in this worldly life, whether rich and affluent or poor and needy, and regardless of plights or tests he might be going through, he should focus on the afterlife. He should put in mind that this life is a test, it is temporary no matter how long he lives.

4. The Muslim should not be preoccupied by the unnecessary details, he should ask about things that are not essential for his religion or world. Abu Dharr mentioned that some people asked the Prophet, peace be upon him, but he did not say their names to the narrator of the hadith.

5. In Allah’s Messenger saying: “…and in the budhi [sexual act] of each one of you there is a charity…” there is a guidance to the entire Ummah, all Muslims, whether rich, poor or needy, to try to get married. Whoever got married should have the intention to get the reward, and the one who has not yet should seek the means to get married to have the reward.

6. Each organ of the human body used in lawful acts of obedience is indeed rewarded, because the Prophetic rule says: "Do you not see that if he were to act upon it [his desire] in an unlawful manner then he would be deserving of punishment? Likewise, if he were to act upon it in a lawful manner then he will be deserving of a reward."

7. The reward is given for any lawful act, even if the person does not have the intention of worship at the beginning of each act. It is enough to have the general intention of doing goodness and following the commands of Allah by abiding to the lawful good deeds.

8. Making sure to have a good valid intention even while doing good acts and all sorts of daily activities.

9. Almighty Allah is Just with His servants, if a Muslim fulfills his sexual desire in an unlawful act, other than the way that Allah decrees, he would be sinful, and if he fulfills his desire in a lawful act, as decreed by Allah, i.e. marriage, then the person shall be rewarded.

10. ‘Ibadah (Worship) is a comprehensive word which includes every word or deed that Allah loves and is pleased with, both outward and inward, even if it involved fulfilling a sexual desire lawfully to keep himself and his spouse chaste, i.e. away from committing any unlawful sexual act.

11. The spirits of the poor Sahabah were peaceful, content and pure towards their rich brothers, as they know that the afterlife is the true field of competition.

12. It is permissible to gain money beyond our actual need, i.e. being wealthy.

13. The church’s inferior view of sexuality is rejected, fulfilling the sexual desire in marriage is mentioned among the good deeds such as doing Dhikr (remembrance of Allah), giving charity and praying. This pure humane realistic look to sex helps the person to accept his need, not to fight his nature and not to be shameful. This balance makes a person fulfill his desire with a feeling of pride and dignity, not shame.

14. The simple explanation of good aspects of Shariah, and making it easier and accessible to our minds in the clearest terms.

15. There are many ways through which a servant may become nearer to Allah, if he is incapable of one way, Allah facilitates another for him.

16. Politeness in not uttering the explicit words of the intimate relationship (and in the bud`i…) or the private parts, the believer should always abstain from uttering any foul language, unless there is a necessity for that.

17. The Shariah of Islam combines all aspects of life, it guides all humanity to what is beneficial for them, even the smallest and most delicate private matters such as the marital intimate relationship, answering the call of nature etc.

18. The virtue of the grateful rich person.

19. Doing good deeds is easy, there is no hardship involved.

20. Facilitating the path to Paradise by offering many ways to reach it, according to the capacity of each human.

21. Consoling those who cannot afford giving charity: The Prophet (peace be upon him) reassured them and gave them hope in doing other acts of worship.

22. In this hadith, there is affirmation and practical application of the meaning of “Ghibtah” (generally known as jealously or good envy) which should only happen in two cases of having wealth and knowledge. Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) said: “Envy is not justified but in case of two persons only: one who, having been given (knowledge of) the Qur'an by Allah, recites it during the night and day (and also acts upon it) and a man who, having been given wealth by God, spends it during the night and the day (for the welfare of others, seeking the pleasure of the Lord).” 

Values related to Principles of Jurisprudence:

This is a proof of using Qayyas as legal shariah evidence.

The legality of explaining the Islamic rulings and analyzing them, this is the foundation of the objectives of Shariah (objectives of Islamic rulings).

Educational Values:

Opening the door for discussion and not to reject the questions of students, even if it was an odd question…

Encouraging the listeners to think by asking questions, helping them to answer and guiding them to put their experience in use…

Linguistic Values:

“Bed`i” is used with counted things, Almighty Allah says (…within three to nine years), and “Bud’i” is the sexual intercourse, or it means the reproductive organ itself, which what was mentioned in the hadith. While the word “Bad’a” means a part, and it came in the hadith: "Fatima is “Bad’a” (a part) of me, and he who makes her angry, makes me angry."

The interrogative particle in Arabic, the hamza, is used in the sentence negated with “lays” to affirm and emphasize what comes after the negation.

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