Giving alms can erase one’s sins


Charity is one of the five pillars of Islam and an important part of worship for Muslims. Materialistically, we could own everything we could ever want in this world, but this wouldn’t necessarily guarantee us any real happiness or satisfaction. Charity, is the third pillar of Islam, major teaching. Being charitable and providing for the needy are important components of the Muslim character. Allah says:

يَمْحَقُ اللَّهُ الرِّبَا وَيُرْبِي الصَّدَقَاتِ وَاللَّهُ لَا يُحِبُّ كُلَّ كَفَّارٍ أَثِيمٍ

“Allah will destroy Riba (usury) and will give increase for Sadaqat (deeds of charity, alms, etc.).” (Surah Al-Baqarah 2:276)

Charity is a central tenet of Islam: everything one has belonged to God and therefore a Muslim is obliged to share the wealth with those less fortunate. Being caring and compassionate for one’s fellow human beings is a central part of Islam. When reading the Qur’an, one cannot help being struck by the number of times charity is mentioned. Feeding the poor and needy, supporting orphans, relatives and travellers, spending in the way of Allah. Allah says:

مَّثَلُ الَّذِينَ يُنفِقُونَ أَمْوَالَهُمْ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ كَمَثَلِ حَبَّةٍ أَنبَتَتْ سَبْعَ سَنَابِلَ فِي كُلِّ سُنبُلَةٍ مِّائَةُ حَبَّةٍ ۗ وَاللَّهُ يُضَاعِفُ لِمَن يَشَاءُ ۗ وَاللَّهُ وَاسِعٌ عَلِيمٌ

“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 (grains of corn), and each ear has a hundred grains. Allah gives manifold increase to whom He pleases. And Allah is All-Sufficient for His creatures’ needs, All-Knower.” (Surah Al-Baqarah 2:261)

Charity is an act through which a Muslim shows his good feelings and compassion for other Muslims and it is the real identity of a true Muslim who puts his trust in his Supreme Lord. If a Muslim feels the pain of his Muslim brother and likes the same comfortable and good life for others which he likes for his own self then it is a natural reaction to give in charity and ease others’ sufferings and difficulties. Allah says:

وَأَنفِقُوا مِن مَّا رَزَقْنَاكُم مِّن قَبْلِ أَن يَأْتِيَ أَحَدَكُمُ الْمَوْتُ فَيَقُولَ رَبِّ لَوْلَا أَخَّرْتَنِي إِلَىٰ أَجَلٍ قَرِيبٍ فَأَصَّدَّقَ وَأَكُن مِّنَ الصَّالِحِينَ

“Spend (in charity) out of the sustenance that We have bestowed on you before that time when death will come to someone, and he shall say: “O my Lord! If only you would grant me a reprieve for a little while, then I would give in charity, and be among the righteous.” (Surah Al-Munafiqun 63:10)

Remember, charity does not only consist of monetary giving but also in the volunteering of one’s time to support a good cause. Nothing can beat the feeling of contentment you get when you know you have made a positive change in someone’s world. Islam teaches us to be mindful of each other’s duties and rights; this includes all of Allah SWT’s creation – including children.

Charity is mentioned dozens of times in the Quran:

  • “If the debtor is in a difficulty, grant him time until it is easy for him to repay. But if you remit it by way of charity, that is best for you if you only knew.” (Quran, 2:280)
  • “Charity is for those in need, who, in Allah’s cause are restricted (from travel), and cannot move about in the land, seeking (For trade or work).” (Quran, 2:273)
  • “Allah will deprive usury of all blessing but will give increase for deeds of charity. He loves not creatures ungrateful and wicked.” (Quran, 2:276)
  • “Kind words and the covering of faults are better than charity followed by injury. Allah is free of all wants, and He is Most-Forbearing.” (Quran, 2:263)
  • “They ask thee what they should spend on charity. Say: Whatever you spend that is good, is for parents and kindred and orphans and those in want and for wayfarers. And whatever you do that is good, Allah knows it well.” (Quran, 2:215)
  • “Be steadfast in prayer, practise regular charity, and bow down your heads with those who bow down (in worship).” (Quran, 2:43)
  • “Worship none but Allah. treat with kindness your parents and kindred, and orphans and those in need; speak fair to the people; be steadfast in prayer, and practice regular charity.” (Quran, 2:83)
  • “Those who in charity spend of their goods by night and by day, in secret and in public, have their reward with their Lord: on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve.” (Quran, 2:274)

The existence of countless starving, poor, hungry and destitute Muslims and non-Muslims in the world points to the need for this essential teaching to be put into practice. Affluent Muslims may not realize how their wealth could strengthen whole communities. Giving charity correctly is crucial to both the well-being of the needy as well as the ultimate happiness of the wealthy. The Prophet emphasized this principle repeatedly. Allah says:

يَسْأَلُونَكَ مَاذَا يُنفِقُونَ قُلْ مَا أَنفَقْتُم مِّنْ خَيْرٍ فَلِلْوَالِدَيْنِ وَالْأَقْرَبِينَ وَالْيَتَامَىٰ وَالْمَسَاكِينِ وَابْنِ السَّبِيلِ وَمَا تَفْعَلُوا مِنْ خَيْرٍ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ بِهِ عَلِيمٌ

“Whatever you spend with a good heart, give it to parents, relatives, orphans, the helpless, and travellers in need. Whatever good you do, Allah is aware of it.” (Surah Al-Baqarah 2:215 )

Islam calls upon its followers to reach out with open hands, and give in charity as a way of life. In the Quran, charity is often mentioned along with prayer, as one of the factors that identify true believers.

The benefits of giving in Allah’s way:

  1. Charity is prevention from the unfavourable conditions
  2. Charity does not let people die of thirst and hunger
  3. Charity saves someone from the embarrassment
  4. Charity saves someone from asking for money
  5. Charity spreads humanity to the non-Muslims
  6. Charity is giving alms can erase one’s sins
  7. Charity gives bless to one’s wealth
  8. Charity protects you from Hell-fire
  9. Charity is giving alms proof of faith
  10. A true believer is the generous one
  11. Angles pray for those who give in charity
  12. Be charitable, your money will never be wasted
  13. Allah will double fold the reward of the almsgiver
  14. Give from lawful sources and receive a countless reward
  15. One who gives alms will be peaceful and happy in his heart
  16. Giving alms can save the giver from the torments inside the grave
  17. There is a door of Paradise that’ll only be entered by the almsgiver
  18. Giving alms can prevent a merchant from doing wickedness in his trade
  19. It expiates sins: “The charity extinguishes sins like water extinguishes the fire.” (At-Tirmidhi 2616)
  20. “Allah will deprive usury of all blessing but will give increase for deeds of charity: for He loves not creatures ungrateful and sinner.” (Al Baqarah, 2: 276)

Spending in Allah’s Cause is a sign of one’s true and sincere faith, the strength of trust in his Lord and hope for great rewards both in this worldly life and in the Hereafter. Besides the above-mentioned benefits and virtues, it has many other benefits, which a Muslim long for. One should not be afraid of poverty. He must spend for sake of Allah. It is Satan that frightens us with poverty and beautifies for us miserliness and stinginess. 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 All-Knowing.” (Surah Al-Baqarah 2:268)

Finally and foremost, the truest benefit of giving to others is the promise of our reward in the Hereafter, which will far outweigh what we may have given in this world. Allah blesses acts of almsgiving and charity and makes them the cause of the increase in wealth rather than a decrease in it.