Ramadan is the month of reflection, soul searching and refreshing our iman. It is also the month to try to save ourselves from the hellfire. One of the acts prescribed by the Prophet (SAW) for this purpose is sadaqa (charity).
According to the Prophet (SAW), “Charity extinguishes the sin just as water extinguishes the fire. The man’s prayer late at night has the same effect.”
The Prophet (SAW) said, “Every day the sun rises, charity (Sadaqa) is due on every joint of a person: you administer justice between two men is a charity; and assisting a man to mount his beast, or helping him load his luggage on it is a charity; and a good word is a charity; and every step that you take (towards the mosque) for Salat (prayer) is a charity and removing harmful things from the road is a charity.” (Bukhari and Muslim)
During Ramadan, the generosity of Prophet (SAW) knew no bounds. Narrated by Ibn ‘Abbas (May Allah be pleased with him), “The Prophet (SAW) was the most generous of people. He used to be the most generous in Ramadan when he would meet with angel Jibreel (AS) and study the Quran with him. Angel Jibreel (AS) would meet with the Prophet every night in Ramadan to teach him the Quran. The Prophet was so generous when he met with Jibreel (AS), more generous than the wind that brings rain.”
Ayesha (May Allah be pleased with her) said, “When Ramadan would start, the Prophet would release all prisoners of war and fulfill the need of every person who would ask him for something.”
Pakistani People Don’t Let their Brothers and Sisters Down
We are far from being ideal Muslims but every year, during Ramadan, the Muslim ummah becomes closer to this ideal than the rest of the year. Among all the good deeds prescribed during Ramadan, sadaqa is very important. Despite all the bad press about Pakistan, it is one of the few countries in the world, where common people like you and I are literally carrying the less privileged through their enormous generosity. For the past few years, we have been encumbered by many hardships and rising inflation is among the top issues. Corruption and financial mismanagement of our governments is continuously making the poor poorer. However, when it comes to lending a helping hand to our brothers and sisters, Pakistani people don’t let our brethren down. The generosity of our people especially shines forth in Ramadan.
Every afternoon during the month of Ramadan, you will see groups of people scurrying around busy roundabouts and on major traffic routes, setting up tables and food items. They are the volunteers working with different welfare and charitable organizations as well as common citizens preparing to offer iftar to anybody who doesn’t have the means to buy food or even the people who are just late and can’t get home in time for iftar.
The fortunate among us, who are financially stable, may not be able to truly realize the impact of the kindness and generosity extended through free iftar and other such incentives to provide provisions to people.
A recent report published on voanews.com, discussed the social impact of the initiatives taken by civilians in Pakistan to feed the less privileged.
“Asad Ullah works as a security guard and visits the free food camp every Ramadan. He hopes the money he saves will help him buy new clothes for his children. Ullah says his salary is just around 10,000 rupees ($100) a month and that eating one meal for free saves him 25 percent of his income which helps his family at the end of month meet some urgent needs.”
“Mohammad Amir, who works at a tailor shop, says he saves good money by eating for free because his income is not enough to buy food for his entire family. He says he comes to the dinner for breaking the fast, though it is personally quite embarrassing to sit in an open area and wait for the charity food”.
Like all good deeds, we must remember that our intention should only be to please Allah (SWT) and nothing else. As a final reminder of the merits of giving, let’s take another look at what Allah (SWT) and the Prophet (SAW) say about Sadaqa.
“The likeness of those who spend their wealth in the way of Allah is as the likeness of a grain (of corn); it grows seven ears, and each ear has a hundred grains. Allah gives manifold increase to whom He wills. And Allah is All-Sufficient for His creatures’ needs, All-Knower. . “(2:261
The Prophet (SAW) said, “If one gives in charity what equals one date-fruit from the honestly earned money and Allah accepts only the honestly earned money, Allah takes it in His Right (hand). And then, enlarges its reward for that person (who has given it), as anyone of you brings up his baby horse, so much so that it becomes as big as a mountain.” (Bukhari)