Let’s not wait until it’s too late before we give charity! In this time of uncertainty, it’s more important than ever to live as if today is our last day in this world.
5 Reasons Why Charity is Essential Worship During a Crisis
In these increasingly stressful times, many of us are focusing on our worship to seek comfort and reassurance. The Coronavirus pandemic has isolated us and threatened our loved ones, and who else can we lean on during this crisis except Allah?
“If Allah helps you, none can overcome you; and if He forsakes you, who is there after Him that can help you? And in Allah (alone) let the believers put their trust” [The Noble Qur’an, 3:160].
There are many ways to increase our worship during a crisis. The most obvious one is du’a, because we have so much to ask for during this time, and we may also aim to pray more of the voluntary prayers and read more Qur’an.
But there is one worship which we tend to neglect during times of personal hardship: charity. When we are experiencing physical or mental troubles ourselves, we don’t think of charity as something which can ease our burden or nourish our souls. Charity is not something that immediately comes to mind as an essential spiritual cornerstone of Islamic life.
But we should not be missing out on this amazing way to get closer to Allah. Here are five reasons why charity is essential worship in a crisis:
1. It is a safety net in this world
Our provision is determined by Allah. This Coronavirus pandemic and the way it has rocked economies and stock prices has made it starkly clear that our lives and our finances are ultimately in Allah’s control. Yes, we can work hard, plan well, and spend intelligently, doing our best within our own sphere of control – but Allah’s sphere of control is far greater than ours. We simply can’t factor a global crisis into our plans!
And that is where charity becomes a safety net which increases our wealth, as explained in this video:
“Whoever fulfilled the needs of his brother, Allah will fulfil his needs” [Bukhari].
Giving money away is not the obvious way to fulfill our own needs – but charity is more than “giving money away”. Charity is an expression of gratitude to Allah, a testimony that you rely only on Him for provision, and a selfless action in the aid of our brothers and sisters.
2. It will help us feel connected in these isolated times
We’ve seen viral videos of people hoarding necessities and customers walking through emptied aisles at the supermarket. But we’ve also seen and heard inspiring stories about the people in our communities who are putting their lives on the line during this pandemic. From bus drivers to NHS workers, to supermarket workers to volunteers – we’ve found ourselves humbled by stories of compassion and bravery.
The Prophet (saw) said, “Ramadan is the month of my Ummah” [Suyuti].
We can uphold this community spirit. We can be at the forefront of this selfless attitude: giving to others instead of withholding; reaching out instead of withdrawing. In the midst of our self-isolation, we can stay connected by giving hope to the most vulnerable in our communities.
Give to our Coronavirus appeal to help vulnerable families worldwide affected by lockdown, including distributing food and PPE.
3. It protects us from calamity
During a calamity, what is the first worship you turn towards? The simplest one, the one you feel, instantly and intuitively, will give you strength and hold you up?
Du’a. Even if it’s just a few words, even if you only say “Ya Allah” and don’t even ask for anything, you feel the need to call upon Allah, to invoke His name in the middle of the crisis, because you know you will need His help to get through it.
But we should not forget that giving charity is also an essential protection against calamity, as explained in this video:
4. It is our shelter and shade in the next world
The Messenger of Allah (saw) said, “Verily, charity will protect people from the heat of the graves” [Tabarani].
Not only does giving charity benefit us immensely in this world, but it also protects us from the punishment of the grave. It will also shade us on the Day of Judgement, a day when there will be no shelter or rest:
“Indeed, only the believer will be shaded on the Day of Resurrection in the shade of his charity” [Tabarani].
Moreover, the Prophet (saw) taught us that, when we give Sadaqah on behalf of the deceased, the news is brought to them in their graves:
“O Companion of the deep grave! This is a gift which your family has gifted for you so accept it. Then it [the Sadaqah] enters upon him and he is delighted by it and rejoices. His neighbours who didn’t have anything gifted to them are saddened” [Tabarani].
Such is the amazing power of Sadaqah: in this world, it will increase your wealth, fulfill your needs, and protect you from hardship; and when you are in your grave, it will continue to benefit you!
5. We will wish we gave more charity
Of all the things a person could do if they had more time on earth – praying, asking for forgiveness, spending time with their families, fasting – they will wish they could give charity. This will be their number one priority when they are about to leave this world, as explained in this video:
Let’s not wait until it’s too late before we give charity! In this time of uncertainty, it’s more important than ever to live as if today is our last day in this world. Give charity as if it’s the last chance you will ever have to give charity.
We hope this article was helpful to you, insha’Allah! Visit our website to check out Sadaqah Jariyah projects you can give to these last days of Ramadan, including lighting Masjid Al-Aqsa and building water wells.
May Allah increase your wealth, protect you and your loved ones from calamity, and put barakah in whatever you spend for His sake, ameen.