( Sadaqah removes difficulties / Power of Sadaqah / Benefits of Sadaqah )
Often when a person is afflicted with monetary problems they believe it is time to step back from practising any kind of charity. However, various teachings of Prophet Mohammad (Peace and blessings be upon him) state that a ‘financial crunch’ is the perfect time to practise it. And this is the true essence of ‘sadaqa’ (charity).
A question then arises – how can a person convince oneself to act on this teaching?
To better understand the concept of giving in times of dire need, one must face the struggle within. With every financial complication comes the worry of survival. The answer to this tribulation, though very simple is quite difficult to achieve. Patience is the key. It is only through constant patience that one can attain this state. In realising that Allah (swt) is always in control whether it be a financially stable or unstable state, one can free himself / herself from the burden of anxiety. No amount of accumulated wealth can promise a good life. For it is a result of Allah’s will and blessing. This is a heart changing realisation which allows a person to practise charity even in difficult times.
A single dirham (coin) surpasses a hundred thousand dirhams. A man asked: ‘How can this be, O Messenger of Allah?’ The Prophet, (Peace and blessings be Upon him) said: Someone of great wealth spends a hundred thousand dirhams from it in charity, while one with only two dirhams gives one of them in charity. (Nasa’i)
Another reason for practising this concept is to fulfil the human desire to help and support. Allah (swt) has placed in every human being the desire to reach out. In the face of a calamity, people come together and donate generously for the well-being of affected ones. This act proves that humans as species share a common concern towards each other. Hence, across societies, the act of charity is seen as a great gesture.
One can find countless stories across civilization where the act of giving has helped gain people what otherwise seemed impossible. Few years back, I came across the story of a lady living in a poor town of India who was thrown out on the streets to survive by her husband. She had no support from her family and had to roam the streets for shelter. As she moved about aimlessly, she came across an infant placed near a garbage bin. She picked him up and decided to raise him as her own. She had no home, no money and had decided to raise a child.
When people around her saw this lady with an infant, they started offering help. Some gave food, some money and some other basic necessities. Today, she has a home due to the generous donation made by people and it operates as an orphanage. Many infants found shelter there and survived to tell their story. In return, this lady found a new family and more than fifty children to love her. What she did was keep her problems aside and help the ones who were more needy than her. When a person is able to do that, Allah (swt) unlocks amazing possibilities.
People are often let down by their own tribulations. They keep complaining about their problems so often that they forget to thank Allah (swt) for his countless blessings. This only increases them in ungratefulness. Such people become ‘takers’ rather than ‘givers’. They expect others to fulfil every need of theirs. But if a person decides to be a ‘giver’ and manages to combat difficulties, the ones that are not in their control. If they learn to focus on the countless blessings they have, Allah (swt) will not just remove their burden but also enrich them. All this in return for what they spent on those who were in more need than them.
“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,” (Surah Baqarah, Verse 245)
Depression, sorrow and grief can be countered by becoming ‘givers’. This reward is solely for those trying to impress the creator. This is a state of heart and helps people overcome grief. One can never know whose supplication comes back in the best way possible to uplift them from the tribulations they are facing.
It is also important to remember that support and help is not limited to wealth and monetary benefits. It spreads across all aspects. Recently, I came across the story of a woman in her late 20’s who fought a deadly disease by merely staying positive, taking required measures and constantly caring for those suffering from the same. While she herself was in need for care and encouragement to get through this difficult situation, she decided to keep her suffering at bay and spoke to her hospital inmates who had lost all hope. Surprisingly, she recovered from the disease and became a true source of encouragement for others. Following her example, many around her decided to fight the disease bravely and survived it.
The Messenger of Allah (Peace and blessings be upon him) said: “To smile in the company of your brother is charity. To command to do good deeds and to prevent others from doing evil is charity. To guide a person in a place where he cannot get astray is charity. To remove troublesome things like thorns and bones from the road is charity. To pour water from your jug into the jug of your brother is charity. To guide a person with defective vision is charity for you.” (Bukhari)