CHARITY IN THE QUR’AN: A SPIRITUAL APPROACH

Posted by on Feb 19, 2010 in Community Archive | 0 comments

Dr. Abidullah Ghazi
Executive Director of IQRA’ International Educational Foundation

Recently, I have been reading the Qur’anic Tafsîr by Khajah Abdullah Ansari (1006-1088 CE), the distinguished descendent of the noble Abu Ayyub al-Ansari and a prominent scholar and Sufi who wrote a voluminous Persian-language commentary entitled Kashf ul-Asrâr (Revelation of The Secrets) an spiritual reading of the sacred Word of Allah.

This work is regarded as a masterpiece of Persian literature and religious scholarship. In discussing the verses on infâq (selfless giving) in Sûrah al-Baqarah, he came up with an insight on the concept of charity and it spiritual implications. The venerable Khajah says that The Lord of Creation gives weightiness to infâq by seven unique ways to encourage believers to be ever generous. For Muslims charity is always important, but in Ramadan it becomes all the more necessary, as its reward is increased and demands from needy individuals and community related projects increase. Here I will describe Khajah Ansari’s classification of the Qur’anic presentation of the theme of charity (Infaq) and in several styles that Allah tells us of its importance.

The classifications are from Khajah Ansari’s insight, the translations of the ayât are from Yusuf Ali and comments are mine. The wisdom to be inspired, draw lessons from and act upon the commandants would be entirely yours. You can pass this message to whomever you can though personal contact, mail or internet. Jazakallah

As a commandment (Amr):

Allah enjoins all believers to give charity (infâq, sadaqah, zakat and gifts). While Zakat is obligatory (fard) and a pillar of Islam, charity in every form and at every time is promoted. In this respect his commandment to give is repeated several times and is emphatic and clear:

“O you who believe! Spend out of (the bounties) We have provided for you before the day comes when no bargaining (will avail) nor friendship nor intercession. Those who reject faith they are the wrong-doers.” (al-Baqarah 2:254)


As a Special Mercy (Lutf):

Charity is an act which Allah loves. Through charity we help the needy, poor and destitute and support community building efforts. Allah asks us to give out of what he has bestowed upon us but he prefers to call it a Qard Hasanah, Goodly Loan that He promises to return this loan with abundant rewards:

“Who is he that will loan to Allah a beautiful loan which Allah will double unto his credit and multiply many times? It is Allah that gives (you) want or plenty and to Him shall be your return.” (al-Baqarah 2:245)

As a Promise (Wa’dah):

Allah promises abundant remuneration for our charities. His rewards cannot be measured or even understand but for our limited knowledge and capability of calculating of His blessings he puts that in numbers. The numbers proliferate in the blessed month of Ramadan manifold:

“The parable of those who spend their substance in the way of Allah is that of a grain of corn: it grows seven ears and each ear has a hundred grains. Allah gives manifold increase to whom He pleases; and Allah cares for all and He knows all things.” (al-Baqarah 2:261)

As an Emphasis (Wa`id)

Giving charity is an act of Goodness (Al-Birr); however, it also is an instrument to achieve righteousness. Our objective in life is to attain what is Good, (Al-Birr) for us, for our families and loved ones, our communities and our humanity. However, without infaq there is no acceptance of any act of Goodness:

“By no means shall you attain righteousness (Al-Birr) unless you give (freely) of that which you love; and whatever you give in charity (Khair), Allah knows it well.” (Al `Imran 3:92)

As a Good Advice (Pand, Nasihah)

In His benevolence Allah swt advises us against the pitfalls that would stop us from giving. The Satan is an avowed enemy who does not want us to bother with giving:

“The Evil One threatens you with poverty and bids you to conduct unseemly acts. Allah promises you His forgiveness and bounties and Allah cares for all and He knows all things.” (Al Imran 2:268)

Leave a Reply

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This