The Deen of Islam is adorned with exceptional values. Each of these values emerge as mountains pegged together, lending tremendous support to the believer. Sadaqah (charity) is one such value that immensely contributes to building a Mu’min’s life.
Sadaqah is broadly defined as “offering something good”. Anything that contributes to the welfare and well-being of others, especially towards Muslims, yields great rewards – this is termed as sadaqah. Obviously, in order for the sadaqah to be accepted by Allah Ta’ala, one’s intention (niyyah) must be for the pleasure of the Almighty Allah.
Many people understand sadaqah to be a monetary disbursement; however this is not so. In the understanding of the hadith, Nabi (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) referred to sadaqah in a variety of options, for example, offering a smile, or removing some harmful thing from the pathway of people. These acts are generally regarded as small and simple, but with the correct intention, carry lofty rewards.
We quote a few Ahadith in this regard:
Abdullah ibn Abbas (RA) reports that he heard Nabi (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) saying, “Whomsoever clothes a Muslim, then most certainly he will be in the protection of Allah as long as the clothing is worn on the person’s body.”
Anas (RA) reports that Nabi (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said, “That Muslim who plants a tree or plantation and it bears fruit / vegetation which is then eaten by any person, bird or animal, then for that person it is recorded as sadaqah (reward).” [Muslim]
Abu Hurairah (RA) narrated, “Nabi (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) informed us that a person was walking on a pathway and was confronted by the branch of a tree (obstructing the people’s path). This person thought to himself that, by removing this branch, people will not be inconvenienced (and he did that). So, by this act of his, he earned entry into Jannah. [Bukhari]
Murshid ibn Abdillah Taabi’ee (RA) explains that some companions of Nabi (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) are reported to have heard Nabi (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) saying, that on the Day of Qiyamah a person’s sadaqah will become his shade. [Musnad Ahmad]
SPENDING ON THE FAMILY
The famous saying, “Charity begins at home”, speaks for itself. This concept is fundamentally embedded in Islam. Essentially, a Muslim is required to spend on his wife and children according to their needs.
Islam profusely advocates generosity, especially on the poor and needy. Having said that, it is equally important to first attend to one’s family needs. It is indeed unfortunate that some people spend / contribute even large sums of money and hence neglect their dear ones. Nabi (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) invariably encouraged spending on one’s family. In one hadith, Abu Hurairah (RA) reports that he once asked Nabi (sallallahu alayhi wasallam), “Oh Prophet of Allah! Which kind of sadaqah is the best?” Nabi (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) replied, “The best of sadaqah is of that poor person who earns a living and spends firstly on whom he shoulders responsibility. (i.e. wife and children)” [Abu Dawood]
Based on the individual’s intention, he will be rewarded accordingly. Nabi (sallallahu alayhi wasallam), on the authority of Abu Mas’ood Ansari (RA), said, “A Muslim person who spends on his family with the intention of acquiring rewards, then this will be recorded as sadaqah on his behalf and Allah will reward him accordingly.” [Abu Dawood]
Spending on one’s wife and children is an important social responsibility. The care, comfort, love and interaction are but some of the contributing factors in building a healthier family unit. Probably the most simple and regular form of sadaqah is to offer a smile to the wife and children. Indeed, a small but very rewarding deed. It is deeds like these that immensely contribute to a strong and powerful family structure.
In conclusion, the Ahadith are replete, expressing great emphasis on spending on one’s wife and children, monetarily as well as offering sadaqah in every way possible as explained earlier – even with a smile.
Daughters – What they Mean
Some communities in this age and time still regard the birth of females as a liability. Pagan Makkans resorted to some of the most heinous crimes, for example, burying their daughters alive, since a female was regarded to be a total liability as opposed to a male or a son.
Islam invariably corrected this uncivilized behaviour and once again gave honour and dignity to the females. In the Court of Allah Ta’ala, there is no superiority in so far as rewards and good deeds are concerned, because each would have to earn them in this life. The Noble Qur’aan makes no distinction between the male and female, saying, “Indeed the most honoured among you by Allah, is the one who has most taqwa.” So many women in the books of history have excelled as leading personalities because of their piety and closeness to Allah Ta’ala.
Our Nabi (sallallahu alayhi wasallam), who was “Rahmatul lil Aalameen” (mercy to mankind), truly demonstrated, as a role model, compassion, kindness, honour, love and respect for the female gender. There is no distinction in class and stature; however, the differences in strength, responsibilities, looks, etc. are obvious. For example, it is the man’s responsibility to take care of the family. Equally, the woman has the household responsibility of taking care of the children, etc.
By nature, women are much more tender and weaker emotionally, as well as in general. Daughters need more attention and a more caring hand in comparison to sons. It is therefore a far greater task to care for daughters; hence, the rewards of caring for them are also greater. In a hadith reported by Anas (RA), Nabi (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said about that person who has two daughters and nurtures them until adulthood (provided the necessities, marriage, etc.), on the Day of Qiyamah, Nabi (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) and that person will be this close – Nabi (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) placed two fingers together to practically show by way of example. [Mishkaat]
Fortunate are those fathers who have succeeded in bringing up their daughters with the correct Islamic ethos and understanding. The reality of a daughter usually dawns upon the parents once they leave home. Their absence is felt most at that point, and possibly then would one appreciate the real value of the daughter.
To worship and obey the commandments of Allah Ta’ala is Noor and to disobey Him and commit sin constitutes darkness. Hence, should a person wish that his heart conceives contentment and his face manifests beauty and noor, then together with good deeds he needs to stay away from minor and major sins. In order to retain a refreshing composure of glowing light on the face, one needs to abstain from sin.
In many instances people tend to urge forward in doing optional Ibadat disregarding the abstinence of sins. This results in the loss of spiritual strength. Those who persist in continuously committing sins will not obtain the friendship and nearness to Allah. It is always the desire and urge of a Mu’min to acquire Taqwa through the obedience of Allah Ta’ala and following the Mubarak Sunnah of Nabi [Sallallahu Alaiyhi Wa Sallam]. Good deeds [A’amal – e – Saalihah] are the most powerful conductors in attaining the bond of Taqwa.
“Oh you who believe! Intoxicants and gambling and Al Ansaab (animals sacrificed for idols) and Al Azlaam (arrows for seeking luck) are an abomination of Shaytaan’s handiwork, so avoid that in order that you may be successful.”
“Shaytaan wants only to excite enmity and hatred between you with intoxicants and gambling, and hinder you from the remembrance of Allah and from salaah. So will you not then abstain?” [Surah Al Maa’idah, 90/91]
From all the creations of Allah Ta’ala, human beings are a distinctive and selected creation. In addition, humans have been given the gift of an exceptional quality of intelligence and understanding which no other creation possesses. Through this intelligence, man is able to fly an aeroplane, design space shuttles, reach the moon, invent technologies that are mind-boggling and so on; all of which no other creation can even attempt.
While this intelligence has achieved so much and reached such great heights, on the other hand, the drinking of alcohol befuddles the mind and the intellectual senses become intoxicated. As a result, an intoxicated person is tempted to do anything, to the extent of sleeping with his own mother (may Allah protect us)! Alcohol devours the mind and influences a person to behave in a manner lower than an animal. When the senses become uncontrollable, then there is no distinction as to who is his father, mother, wife or children and he becomes a shameless and disgraceful person.
Shaytaan is the most avid enemy of man, and has enough capabilities and powerful ammunition to fight mankind. His shrewdness to use alcohol as a means of destroying man is very clever, because he knows that in order to cause someone to sin, alcohol has probably the strongest potential, since the mind goes blank and becomes receptive to any evil.
The Noble Qur’an and Ahadith have severely condemned the consumption of alcohol. Nabi (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) has declared it as “Ummul Khabaais”, literally translated as “Mother of Evils”. The evil of other sins has not been spoken about as vigorously as of alcohol, in terms of the number of times it has been mentioned in the Ahadith. In citing one example, while to drink urine is haraam, it would not intoxicate and disorientate the mind, unlike in the case of alcohol. Alcohol causes the aql (intelligence) to cease to operate in a human and to think in a sensible fashion; in fact it clouds the mind from thinking correctly and therefore opens the doors of evil and sin.
Among a whole list of sins, alcohol is regarded as the worst. The hadith refers to it as “Ummul Fawaahish” – “Mother of all Shame”. It is a root cause of zina and shamelessness. A person in such a state cannot really differentiate between right and wrong.
In one narration, Ibn Abbas (RA) reports to have heard Nabi (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) saying that alcohol is Ummul Fawaahish and Akbarul Kabaair (biggest sin), and whoever drinks it is liable to commit sin with his mother, his mother’s sister and his father’s sister. [Targheeb]
EFFECTS LASTING FORTY DAYS
Alcohol is contaminated with filth and haraam. It is a lethal drink for the mu’min that has a direct bearing on a person’s spiritual life. It is estimated that for forty days the effect remains in the body and as a result, for that many days his tauba will not be accepted, nor will any good deed be accepted. As long as the effects and traces remain in the body, his condition will remain the same. And should his condition not change from the traces and he dies before that, then (Allah forbid), it will be considered as dying in the days of Jahiliyyah.
A THOUGHT-PROVOKING STORY
During the time of the Bani Israeel there lived a man who was always engaged in worship. He kept himself aloof from the rest of the people. A woman took a liking to this man and thought of a plan to seduce him to her place. She sent her servant inviting the man to witness some event. Innocently the man accepted, and as he entered the woman’s quarters, the door closed behind him and seated before him was a very handsome young boy and this woman. The woman then presented three options to him, asking him to choose any one:
Kill this young boy.
Fulfill the woman’s sexual desire.
Drink the glass of wine.
Should he not choose any one, then the woman warned him that she will disgrace him in public. The poor man froze to death; his mind running through the three options, thinking that murder is definitely out and committing adultery is also out. He opted for the third one, thinking that it’s the least sinful of the three. As he began drinking the alcohol, his ibaadah, taqwa and piety suddenly disappeared, and in that state of intoxication, he committed murder by killing the boy, as well as committed adultery with the woman.
This story shows the evil strength of drinking alcohol; the mind is transformed into a mindless state. It is at this point that the person cannot think, cannot differentiate between right and wrong and loses himself completely.
Safeguarding the Tongue
Translated by Moulana M. Mahomedy.
1. Do not speak without thinking. Once you have pondered over what you wish to say and you are convinced that it will not be badly received, only then should you speak.
2. It is a sin to address a person or speak of him in the following terms: "he has no Imaan", "may Allah's punishment, curse, or anger descend on him", "may he enter hell", etc. It is a sin to speak in this manner irrespective whether one is addressing a human or an animal. If the person who has been addressed in this manner does not deserve such remarks, then all these curses will actully descend on the person who uttered them.
3. If anyone addresses you in this useless manner, you have the right to reply in the same way. However, you cannot exceed what that person says. If you exceed, you will be committing a sin.
4. Do not be two-faced whereby you "play according to the tune" of one person when you are in his company, and according to the "tune" of another person when in the latter's company.
5. Don't ever back-bite. Nor should you listen to such back-biting and tale-bearing.
6. Never ever speak a lie.
7. Do not praise a person directly. Nor should you exaggerate in praising him in his absence.
8. Don't ever involve yourself in gheebah. Gheebah means speaking in the absence of a person in such a way that if he were to hear it, he would be grieved. This is irrespective of whether what you say is the truth or not. If what you say is false, it is regarded as slander or defamation. This is even more sinful.
9. Do not argue with a person. Do not try to give precedence to your opinion.
10. Do not laugh excessively as this causes the illumination of the heart (and countenance) to disappear.
11. If you have made gheebah of a person, seek his forgiveness. If you are unable to do so, make dua-e-maghfirah on his behalf. In doing this, there is a hope that you will be forgiven on the day of judgement.
12. Do not make false promises.
13. Do not laugh in such a way that the other person feels insulted or offended. (In other words, do not laugh mockingly at anyone)
14. Do not be boastful of something that you own or some quality that you possess.
15. Do not mention things that you hear from here and there because the majority of such rumours are false.
AnswerAnswer by Sanha - Many thanks for contacting our offices for religious directive pertaining to sourcing Halaal Food for your guests. We advise as follows:
A Halaal meal entails that the entire process from procurement of all raw materials, meats, preparation, ingredients, processing, handling, equipment used, etc. right through to delivery and serving should be stringently supervised by an authorised Muslim person.
In your given circumstances, we suggest that arrangements be made with one of our certified caterers who will provide the Halaal meals, snack platters etc. Kindly contact our offices and we shall put you onto a Halaal certified caterer closest to your area.
Alternatively, you may serve them with Fish seafood, vegetables, rice and/or lentils. You may use plain filleted fish but not the ready made crumbed and seasoned ones unless it is from I & J which are all Halaal.
Use plain spices and herbs in the preparation and only pure unused vegetable oil, olive oil or pure butter.
Do not prepare, handle, store or serve any meat products, alcohol etc with this Halaal meal. Ensure that new utensils are used if available or alternatively thoroughly wash, cleanse and sanitise all utensils, crockery, cutlery etc before using for preparation and serving of the Halaal meal.
You may serve tea, coffee, 100% fresh juice with the meal. Wine and all forms of alcohol is totally forbidden. Do not serve alcohol even for your non-Muslim guests on this occasion.
If any further clarity is required, please do not hesitate to contact us.
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