Friday, 25 March 2016

How much is enough?

"No one has ever become poor by giving.” - Anne Frank

I believe that God is the best Planner. He plans our schedules and meetings according to what is best for us. We may not understand it or even liked it at that time but He has a good reason for everything.

“And it may be that you dislike a thing which is good for you and that you like a thing which is bad for you. Allah knows but you do not know.” 
(AI-Baqarah, 2:216)

Yesterday, I met up with two very young but very aspiring couple. I admire their dedication and hardwork towards Islam even at a young age. When I was their age, (which was eons ago and I'm beginning to feel like a dinosaur fossil with my bones rattling everywhere), Islam was farthest on my mind. I was too busy chasing the world.

Anyway, this young brother said something that has been plaguing me for months. He said that he feels he hasn't done enough charity. Without him knowing, he echoed my own distress.

The question is, how much is enough and when do you know it's enough? If only we have a visible quota ruler complete with neon lights and warning buzzer that can indicate our acts of charities and warn us if we fall short.

So, what do we do? Well......I find that if you set a target for yourself to try to do a charitable act, at least once a day, perhaps the guilt feeling won't hunt you. For me, I admit that I got distracted and have been slacking for the last few months. This young couple was sent to me as a reminder...

Many think that you need to have money in order to give in charity. Wrong!! An act of kindness is also an act of charity. The easist one is to smile to others and be nice. Leave your grumpy moods and bad-hair day drama in the toilet. If possible, flush it down.

The Prophet also said: "Every act of goodness is charity." - Sahih Muslim, Hadith 496

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: "Charity is prescribed for each descendant of Adam every day the sun rises." He was then asked: "From what do we give charity every day?" The Prophet answered: "The doors of goodness are many...enjoining good, forbidding evil, removing harm from the road, listening to the deaf, leading the blind, guiding one to the object of his need, hurrying with the strength of one's legs to one in sorrow who is asking for help, and supporting the feeble with the strength of one's arms--all of these are charity prescribed for you." He also said: "Your smile for your brother is charity." - Fiqh-us-Sunnah, Volume 3, Number 98 

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: "Every Muslim has to give in charity." The people then asked: "(But what) if someone has nothing to give, what should he do?" The Prophet replied: "He should work with his hands and benefit himself and also give in charity (from what he earns)." The people further asked: "If he cannot find even that?" He replied: "He should help the needy who appeal for help." Then the people asked: "If he cannot do (even) that?" The Prophet said finally: "Then he should perform good deeds and keep away from evil deeds, and that will be regarded as charitable deeds." - Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 2, Hadith 524 

Committing an act of charity is actually food for the soul. When you feel the twitches in your heart or the guilt, that means your soul is starving. If you don't believe me, try it for yourself. Feed a person. See how your heart reacts to it. How it's rejuvenated. You'll feel as if a flower had bloomed in your chest.

Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said, “Protect yourself from hell-fire even by giving a piece of date as charity.”
(Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

How do we know when it's enough? Hhmm....that's quite subjective actually. I suppose we need to listen carefully to the whispering of our hearts and also, I believe that if you find contentment and peace in your heart even in this chaotic world, then perhaps you've fulfilled your 'quota'. Wallahualam....

“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 Al Baqara 2:245)

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