Allah Taala decrees in Quran:
“Never will you attain the good [reward] until you spend [in the way of Allah] from that which you love. And whatever you spend – indeed, Allah is Knowing of it.” (Ali Imran)
In this ayah, Allah Almighty decrees that we should do almsgiving (sadaqah), zakah and other charities by giving from useful and valuable things we love. He declares that only in this way we will obtain His riza (assent) and grace (lutf) and inayah (favour) and thus enter Jannah.
A believer who avows the oneness of God by reciting Kalima-i Shahadah, acknowledges that He is the only one to be worshipped and loved. This acknowledgement requires compassion. Because he who does not love Allah is not considered truly faithful. The full and complete faith requires the believer to love Him more than the world and all the things in it, and also to not set one’s heart on anything other than Him and the things he ordained. The completion of the vow in the shahadah depends on this love. Because compassion and love do not comply with rivals. The degree of the compassion is measured by things that he/she has sacrificed.
On the other hand, humans also love the possessions that connect them to the worldly life and enable them to enjoy it. They do not want to leave their possessions. For those who have an extreme love of possessions, death is a separator. It separates the person from wealth and worldly pleasures. Thus, such a person never likes death. But for those who love their Lord, death is a “uniter.” It is the place of reunion with The Lord of the Universes and with all those who love Him, the first of whom is His Beloved Prophet –alayhissalatu wassalam. Hence Mawlana Rumi –quddisa sirruh- calls death “the wedding night” and duly welcomes it.
Because of this, it becomes clear that a believer who spends for the sake of God has removed the love of possessions from his/her heart and turned towards the real Beloved. In other words, he/she has made it clear that he/she loves the one and only God more than his/her favourite possessions. He/she progresses on the path of being a true muwahhid, that is, believing in one God. Thus he/she earns the consent of Allah Taala. Even if he/she does not have many good deeds, it is hoped that Allah Almighty will lead him/her to sincerely done good deeds. Believers who give away out of the possessions that they love in every opportunity they have will reach a spiritual strength to give their lives on His path. No doubt it is harder to give one’s life than to hand out wealth.
Allah Taala says for the believers:
“Indeed, Allah has purchased from the believers their lives and their properties [in exchange] for that they will have Paradise.” (Tawbah, 111)
In another ayah, it is decreed:
“Who is it that would loan Allah a goodly loan so He may multiply it for him many times over? And it is Allah who withholds and grants abundance, and to Him you will be returned.” (Baqarah, 245)
When this ayah was revealed, Abu’d-Dahdah radiyallahu anh had come to Rasulullah sallalahu alayhi wa sallam:
– O Messenger of Allah! Does Allah ask to borrow from us?
Our beloved Prophet said:
– Yes, O Abu’d-Dahdah, Allah asks to borrow.
Then Abu’d-Dahdah said:
– O Messenger of Allah, I then give my orchard that has six hundred palms as a loan to Allah. (This estate is worth a great wealth today.)
Then he came to the entrance of the orchard’s fences and called his wife and children:
– O Ummu Dahdah! Leave the orchard! For I have loaned it to Allah.
Note the faith of his wife, since she answered thus:
– Abu’d-Dahdah, it seems you have made a very profitable trade! May Allah bless your trade.
They immediately evacuated the garden and delivered it to Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wa sallam. This pleased our beloved Prophet and he gave the good news that Abu’d-Dahdah -radiyallahu anh- will enter Jannah. (Muslim, Jana’iz, 89; Ahmad, III, 146; Shawkani, Darru’s-Sahabah, s. 422-423)
There is no doubt that giving away on the path of Allah from things we love and serving Him day and night means that the person has traded his/her possessions and life in return for Jannah. These are the deeds that crush the nafs (ego), bring forth the love of Allah and ensure being loved by Him as well.
There are immeasurable degrees between the person who gives his/her wealth and soul to Allah and the person who refrains from giving his/her possessions to The Lord of the Universes due to stinginess. Because of this, infaq (giving away, alms) and service are among the things that sufism (tasawwuf) emphasises a lot and uses as methods of nurturing people on the path of Allah (sayr u suluk.)
As it is told in the above-mentioned hadith, stinginess leads the person to destruction. (Abu Nuaym, Hilya, II, 160)
Zakah is for removing the stinginess of the nafs and weakening its love of possession. After giving the zakah, it is necessary that we force ourselves (nafs) to charity and good deeds in every opportunity we get, so that we make a habit of giving on the path of Allah.
From The Century of Bliss (Asr-i Saadah), which is the time of the beloved Prophet and his companions, Muslims built a civilisation following the pioneers by spending on the path of Allah. Because of the waqf foundations and charity businesses that stood for centuries, i.e. sadaqa-i jariyah (continuing, never ceasing alms,) their good deeds did not cease after they passed away. These charity organisations continue to protect their benefactors from Jahannam and also elevate their degree, by serving like factories that manufacture goods all the time. Because they meet the needs of the poor and needy, Allah Taala meets their needs.
As it is mentioned in the hadiths, spending for the path of Allah protects people from His wrath, and delivers them from troubles, disasters and bad death. It lengthens the life (makes it fruitful) and is a means for healing from illnesses. Most importantly, it lets us gain the consent of Allah Almighty, enter His Heaven, earn His grace and favour.
In this holy month of Ramadan, in which every good deed is multiplied by thousands, the reward of increasing the generosity is even greater. In Ramadan, Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wa sallam was like a flood in ibadahs (worshipping) and giving things away to people. Nothing could prevent him from doing so. His friends and followers are likewise. Who knows, maybe the remedy of our troubles and problems are in fact in such behaviour.
By His help and favour…