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The Power of Generosity in Islam

As humans, we have an innate sense of morality. No matter what religion, race or colour we are, certain qualities serve as the moral standard.  We admire justice, bravery, honesty and compassion. We abhor those who demonstrate treachery, cruelty or corruption. Moral standards are universal, and one of the most important aspects of Islam is adherence to high moral standards and good manners. Allah says:

الَّذِينَ يُنفِقُونَ أَمْوَالَهُم بِاللَّيْلِ وَالنَّهَارِ سِرًّا وَعَلَانِيَةً فَلَهُمْ أَجْرُهُمْ عِندَ رَبِّهِمْ وَلَا خَوْفٌ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلَا هُمْ يَحْزَنُونَ

“Those who give their wealth by night and day, secretly and openly, they shall have their reward near their Lord, and they will have no fear, nor will they grieve.” (Surah Al-Baqarah: 2:274)

God is the one who provides for us and He expects us to share generously. We are encouraged to be benevolent and unselfish with our possessions, with our time and with our exemplary behaviour towards others. Despite the religion, colour, or race, as humans, we innate sense of morality. We all admire bravery, justice, honesty, compassion, and generosity. Generosity is a universal moral standard which every religion mostly suggests its believer do so. In Islam, generosity is an important aspect of adherence to good manners and high moral standards. Allah says:

لَّيْسَ عَلَيْكَ هُدَاهُمْ وَلَٰكِنَّ اللَّهَ يَهْدِي مَن يَشَاءُ وَمَا تُنفِقُوا مِنْ خَيْرٍ فَلِأَنفُسِكُمْ وَمَا تُنفِقُونَ إِلَّا ابْتِغَاءَ وَجْهِ اللَّهِ وَمَا تُنفِقُوا مِنْ خَيْرٍ يُوَفَّ إِلَيْكُمْ وَأَنتُمْ لَا تُظْلَمُونَ

“Not on you (is) their guidance [and] but Allah guides whom He wills. And whatever you spend of good then it is for yourself, and not you spend except seeking (the) face (of) Allah. And whatever you spend of good, will be repaid in full to you and you (will) not be wronged.” (Surah Al-Baqarah 2: 272)

Islam teaches generosity to its believer as it is a big-heartedness. A generous person spends his wealth, time, and energy in the way of Allah and helps the poor and needy people. Sometimes, generous people sacrifice their own needs in order to provide for others. Generosity stands for offering food, money, and other forms of lawful gaining from one’s free will. Generosity may mean giving out some of our wealth or money. However, it does not always have to be in the form of money. It can be in the form of speak kindly, good actions, time, energy, and also kindness with other people. Allah says:

لَن تَنَالُوا الْبِرَّ حَتَّىٰ تُنفِقُوا مِمَّا تُحِبُّونَ وَمَا تُنفِقُوا مِن شَيْءٍ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ بِهِ عَلِيمٌ

“Never will you attain [the] righteousness until you spend from what you love. And whatever you spend of a thing then indeed, Allah of it (is) All-Knowing.” (Surah Al-Imran 3:92)

Although money is important in this world to continue our life, it doesn’t mean that all generosity must be done by money, as well as wealth. It is important for us to give our feeling of generosity to our Moslem siblings. As an example, giving out places to stay for the traveller who needs a place to rest, or giving out our old clothes which are unused to people who needed cloth. However, please take care of the clothes. It will be good if the clothes are still wearable. Allah says:

قُلْ إِنَّ رَبِّي يَبْسُطُ الرِّزْقَ لِمَن يَشَاءُ مِنْ عِبَادِهِ وَيَقْدِرُ لَهُ وَمَا أَنفَقْتُم مِّن شَيْءٍ فَهُوَ يُخْلِفُهُ وَهُوَ خَيْرُ الرَّازِقِينَ

“Say: Truly, my Lord enlarges the provision for whom He wills of His slaves, and also restricts it) for him, and whatsoever you spend of anything (in God’s Cause), He will replace it. And He is the Best of providers.” (Surah Saba` 34:39)

Generosity can be viewed as a wise investment in the future. Generosity or sadaqah may pave the way to Paradise because with every generous act comes great reward from God. We all want to live in prosperity and even wealthy. However, many people think that being stingy will bring them prosperous but it actually only make them closer to poverty. Allah says:

الشَّيْطَانُ يَعِدُكُمُ الْفَقْرَ وَيَأْمُرُكُم بِالْفَحْشَاءِ وَاللَّهُ يَعِدُكُم مَّغْفِرَةً مِّنْهُ وَفَضْلًا وَاللَّهُ وَاسِعٌ عَلِيمٌ

“Satan threatens you with poverty and orders you to immorality, while Allah promises you forgiveness from Him and bounty. And Allah is all-Encompassing and knowing.” (Surah Al-Baqarah: 2:268)

Generous people have specific places in Islam. It is as a pave way to paradise. The more generous a person, the closer he gets to Allah and His paradise. In Islam, generosity can be a protection against hellfire. Generous people will receive an endless blessing from Allah. Allah makes life easier for those who follow the path of obedience and generous. Allah will remove the obstacle in life as a way to reward generous people. Allah says:

وَإِذَا تَوَلَّىٰ سَعَىٰ فِي الْأَرْضِ لِيُفْسِدَ فِيهَا وَيُهْلِكَ الْحَرْثَ وَالنَّسْلَ وَاللَّهُ لَا يُحِبُّ الْفَسَادَ

“And when he turns away he strives in the earth to spread corruption [in it], and destroys the crops and progeny. And Allah (does) not love [the] corruption.” (Surah Al-Baqarah 2:205 )

Generosity makes a person close to Allah and humanity. He gives only good for the people around him. In reverse, stinginess makes a person far from Allah and close to hellfire. Islam highlights the importance of generosity because it has a huge impact on humanity. Worship is important but without generosity, worship becomes less appreciated.

The benefits of generosity are tremendous as the following:
  1. Physically and mentally healthy
  2. Keep the “goodness” cycle
  3. Good deed for the society
  4. Remove obstacles in life
  5. Investment in the future
  6. Avoid Allah SWT’s irate
  7. Immense of reward
  8. Combat poverty
  9. Sharing is caring
  10. Wipe of sins
  11. Achieve Allah SWT’s blessing
  12. It does not have to be money or wealth
  13. Increase in God’s provision and sustenance
  14. Close to Allah and humanity but far from hell-fire
  15. Allah SWT promises Paradise for generous people

Generosity can serve as a wise investment in the future in terms of reward. This is because every generous act comes with a reward from God. Generosity is one of many ways to earn reward from Allah. Those who spend their wealth and time for charity and generosity will receive an immense reward. Immeasurable and unlimited blessing and mercy of Allah will only go to generous people. Allah says:

الَّذِينَ يُنفِقُونَ أَمْوَالَهُمْ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ ثُمَّ لَا يُتْبِعُونَ مَا أَنفَقُوا مَنًّا وَلَا أَذًى لَّهُمْ أَجْرُهُمْ عِندَ رَبِّهِمْ وَلَا خَوْفٌ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلَا هُمْ يَحْزَنُونَ

” Those who spend their wealth in the way of Allah and then do not follow up what they have spent with reproaches and affronts, they shall have their reward near their Lord, and they will have no fear, nor will they grieve.” (Surah Al-Baqarah 2:262)

A generous person will share what he has as well as think others as he thinks of himself. He enjoys helping other people in need without worrying about what he will get in return. These people will receive an immense blessing from Allah for everything that they intend to do. Lots of people struggle with poverty. Generosity can be a good way to combat poverty. Muslims are encouraged to be unselfish and benevolent with our possession, time, and also exemplary behaviour. With generosity, we can make the world a better place for those who are in poverty. Allah says:

“The believer is not the one who eats when his neighbour beside him is hungry.”  (Al-Bayhaqi)

Never afraid to go broke when being generous. No generous man will ever go broke or bankrupt because he helps other people. In fact, Allah guarantees to multiply the reward as a replacement for the generosity and donation in the world and hereafter. Allah says:

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يَتْلُونَ كِتَابَ اللَّهِ وَأَقَامُوا الصَّلَاةَ وَأَنفَقُوا مِمَّا رَزَقْنَاهُمْ سِرًّا وَعَلَانِيَةً يَرْجُونَ تِجَارَةً لَّن تَبُورَ

“Indeed, those who recite (the) Book (of) Allah, and establish the prayer and spend out of what We have provided them, secretly and openly, hope (for) a commerce – never it will perish.” (Surah Fatir 35:29)

God is the one who gives and provides us with everything that we need. He expects us to share it generously with other people. This is because Islam teaches its believer to always be constructive and become beneficial members of society by helping those who are in needs. Being generous is not only in the form of wealth, but every good deed can also describe an act of charity.