Hadith 25. Charity


On the authority of Abu Dharr (may Allah be pleased with him): “Some people from amongst the Companions of the Messenger of Allah (SallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasallam) said to the Prophet (SallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasallam), “O Messenger of Allah, the affluent have made off with the rewards; they pray as we pray, they fast as we fast, and they give [much] in charity from their surplus wealth.” He (SallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasallam) said, “Has not Allah made things for you to give in charity? Truly every tasbeehah [saying: ‘subhanAllah’] is a charity, and every takbeerah [saying: ‘Allahu akbar’] is a charity, and every tahmeedah [saying: ‘al-hamdu lillah’] is a charity, and every tahleelah [saying: ‘laa ilaha illaAllah’] is a charity. And commanding the good is a charity, and forbidding an evil is a charity, and in the bud`i [sexual act] of each one of you there is a charity.” They said, “O Messenger of Allah, when one of us fulfils his carnal desire will he have some reward for that?” He (SallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasallam) said, “Do you not see that if he were to act upon it [his desire] in an unlawful manner then he would be deserving of punishment? Likewise, if he were to act upon it in a lawful manner then he will be deserving of a reward.”

Reported by Muslim

Brief Commentary:

  • Good deeds are not confined to certain actions alone, as we can see in this example of giving charity
  • It is by the grace of Allah we have many avenues for doing good deeds
  • We see the eagerness of the sahabah to gain good deeds, and their wanting to attain the good that others are able attain (the rich)
  • The sahabah are not speaking in an angry tone at the rich. They are speaking out of pity for themselves
  • The sahabah are upset when the doors of good deeds are closed in front of them unlike the hypocrites who rejoice when they are prevented from doing good
  • The hadith mentioned that the rich sahabah give much in charity from their surplus wealth, i.e. they used to take care of their own needs first
  • People can be split in to 3 categories:
    • Those who give in charity although they have a lot of people to look after, with a detrimental effect on those they look after . These people are wrong in their actions and may actually be sinning due to the charity they give as they are not fulfilling the responsibility they have been given over others
    • Those who give in charity even though they are poor, however, they have patience that suffices them. An example of this is Abu Bakr who gave his whole wealth. We do not have the same level of Iman as Abu Bakr so shouldn’t give more than a 3rd, as we do in a will in which it is stipulated that the maximum we give away is one third
    • Those who give after they see to their needs and their families’ needs. This is how the majority of the sahabah were
  • Sadaqah is derived from the root word, truthfulness. When giving sadaqah, we are parting from what we love (wealth) for what we love more (reward from Allah), so it shows the truthfulness of our Iman
  • From this hadith and other ahadith, Ibn Rajab concluded that, “Sadaqah is a word used to refer to all types of doing good and acts of kindness”
  • Ibn Rajab divided non-wealth sadaqah into 2 types:
    • One that benefits the people e.g. enjoining the good, forbidding the evil, removing harm, smiling in the face of your brother, etc
    • One that benefits yourself e.g. doing dhikr. By benefiting yourself you are also benefitting others as you are improving your personality so will be good to others
  • Some scholars said that sometimes non-wealth sadaqah can be more virtuous than wealth sadaqah e.g. someone who has wealth but needs help with manpower so you help with manpower
  • The sahabah related  worship to hardship, so were surprised to know you will be rewarded for fulfilling your desire
  • For some actions, you don’t need a good intention for you to be rewarded e.g. having sexual relations with your spouse, but to get a greater reward, you should have a conscious good intention.


Benefits and Action points:

  • Praise Allah and be grateful to Him for He has made gaining rewards very easy for us
  • When you see someone doing good, be like the sahabah and pray that you can do that good too, whilst at the same time be happy for your brother for the good they are doing
  • When giving sadaqah, give from your surplus wealth and do not put any burden on yourself or your dependants. If you really feel that you have strong Iman, then give a maximum of a third of your wealth
  • Do not restrict your sadaqah to monetary sadaqah only, and help others in any way possible
  • If you are weak, poor, and not knowledgeable, you can still give sadaqah by avoiding harming anyone
  • When enjoining the good and forbidding the evil, we should never have the intention to put down the person or have anger at them, but we should be doing so out of love for the person and wanting good for them
  • Benefits from this hadith:
    •  Sadaqah is not confined to giving wealth
    • Never belittle the rewards of remembrance of Allah
    • Eagerness of the sahabah to do good
    • The grace of Allah in rewarding us for fulfilling our desires in a halal way
    • Importance of encouraging others to do good
    • Blessing of wealth helps a person to do good deeds.

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