Generosity & Giving Are Attributes That Allah Likes For Muslims To Have.
Definition of the Poor and Needy in Qur’an and Sunnah
In the Qur’an, Allah mentions the poor (fuqara) and then the needy (masakeen) when He details the deserving recipients of the Obligatory Charity, Zakah:
“Zakah expenditures are only for the poor and for the needy and for those employed to collect [zakah]. and for bringing hearts together [for Islam]. and for freeing captives [or slaves] and for those in debt and for the cause of Allah and for the [stranded] traveler. an obligation [imposed] by Allah . And Allah is Knowing and Wise.” [Surah At-Tawbah 9:60]
Here are some ideas of what you can do this month to help those around you including donating charity to needy and poor.
Reach Out to Those Around You
Is there a family in your neighborhood that you haven’t seen in a while? A student in a strange new city? A new Muslim who is fasting for the first time? An elderly couple who can’t get to the mosque? Why not take a few minutes to make a phone call, drop in for a visit, or invite someone to Iftar (dinner to break the daily fast). Even the smallest gesture of kindness can make a huge difference in someone’s life.
Help Those in Need
All around the world, and even in your own backyard. there are people who are suffering from illness, hunger, or desperation.
“Those who spend their wealth [in Allah ‘s way] by night and by day, secretly and publicly.they will have their reward with their Lord. And no fear will there be concerning them, nor will they grieve” [Surah Al-Baqarah 2:274]
“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.” [Surah Al-Imran 3:92]
Donate Charity- Zakah: Best Way For Investing in
It is highly praiseworthy to give Zakah (Obligatory Charity) money to someone who is not getting by, and living hand-to-mouth on an insufficient income. Many a time, our family has personally handed over wads of Zakah money to extremely needy people on the streets. and has felt the true joy of giving: witnessing their faces and eyes lighting up with almost euphoric glee upon unexpectedly receiving the money.
Means of Livelihood for the Poor
However, the wisdom from the Prophet’s Sunnah dictates more prudence. After all, We do not know if the poor person will dispense the money wisely or foolishly. It is therefore, more advisable to help the needy by providing them with a permanent and easy means of livelihood. than to just hand over some cash that will alleviate their poverty in the short term.
Anas ibn Malik narrated:
A man from the helpers came to ask Prophet Muhammad for charity. The Prophet asked about what he has at home, and the man said that he has some fabric which they use to wear sometimes and other times to sit on. He instructed him to bring it over. Then he asked if any of his companions would like to purchase the fabric.
A man offered to buy it for one coin. He asked for a higher price, until a man offered two coins for it. The Prophet took the money and gave it to the poor man. He told him to buy food for his family with one coin and to use the other to buy an axe-head and bring it back to him. The Prophet then tied a hand to the axe-head and asked the man to use it in cutting wood, then selling it. And so the man went to cut wood and began to sell it. He collected ten coins which he used for food and clothes.
The Prophet said to the man:
“This is better than asking for charity, which you will be asked about on the Day of Judgment. Asking for charity is permissible for only three cases: extreme poverty, paying off a large fine, or for paying blood-money in case of killing someone by mistake.” [Abu Dawud]