Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Arrogance Negates Imān and Jannah

Arrogance Negates Imān and Jannah

In the name of Allāh, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful;
All the praise and thanks is due to Allāh, the Lord of al-‘ālameen. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allāh, and that Muhammad, Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam is His Messenger.

In a narration on the authority of 'Iyad bin Himar (radiyallāhu’anhu), who said: The Messenger of Allāh (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) said, "Verily, Allāh has revealed to me that you should adopt humility. So that no one may wrong another and no one may be disdainful and haughty towards another." [This is recorded by Muslim]

This Hadith indicates anyone whom Allāh has granted wealth or authority, beauty or splendour, should take it as Allāh's Gift. He should take to adopt humility and humbleness and express his gratitude for it to Allāh. He should benefit people with the gifts bestowed upon him by Allāh and not make them a means of pride and oppression.

In another narration on the authority of Abu Hurayrah (radiyallāhu’anhu), who said: The Messenger of Allāh (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) said, “When a person says: 'People have been ruined, he is the one to be ruined the most’.”  [This is recorded by Muslim]

In another version: "He himself is the most ruined among them."

This Hadith prohibits a Muslim from saying the statement or something similar in the Hadith out of arrogance and pride. There is no harm, however, if one says it in view of the bad state of affairs to which Muslims have been reduced as a result of, for example, neglecting the teachings of Islām. The scholars, who hold this view, are Imām Mālik bin Anas, Imām Al-Khattabi, Al-Humaidi and others. This point has been made clear in Imām An-Nawawi's Al-Adhkār.

Allāh Almighty Says: 

“And your Lord said: "Invoke Me, [i.e. believe in My Oneness (Islamic Monotheism)] (and ask Me for anything) I will respond to your (invocation). Verily! Those who contempt (Yastakbirūn – existence of Kibr) My worship [i.e. do not invoke Me, and do not believe in My Oneness, (Islāmic Monotheism)] they will surely enter Hell in humiliation!"  [Surah Ghafir, 40:60]

Those who avoid the major sins and immoralities, only [commits] slight ones. Indeed, your Lord is vast in forgiveness. He was most knowing of you when He produced you from the earth and when you were fetuses in the wombs of your mothers. So do not claim yourselves to be pure; He is most knowing of who fears Him [i.e., those who are Al-Muttaqun (the pious)]”. [Al-Najm, 53:32]

"The way (of blame) is only against those who oppress men and wrongly rebel in the earth without justification; for such there will be a painful torment." [Ash-Shura, 42:42]

Ibn Taimiyyah (rahimahullāh) was once asked regarding the Hadith: One who possesses an iota of Kibr in his (spiritual) heart (intention, consciousness) shall not enter al-Jannah” Is this Hadith specific only to the believers (Mu‘minin) or (is it specific only to the) unbelievers (Kufar)? If we were to say that it is specific for the Believers then (is not) our statement trivial considering (the fact that) the believers shall enter al-Jannah (Paradise) due to their Imān. If, on the other hand, we were to say that the hadīth is specific for the unbelievers then what is the relevance of the statement (since it is already known that the unbelievers shall not gain admission to al-Jannah)?

Ibn Taimiyyah (rahimahullāh) answered:

(In another) authentically narration on the authority of ‘Abdullāh ibn Mas‘ūd, the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) said:“The one who possesses half of mustard seed of Kibr in his heart shall not be granted admission to Jannah; and the one who possesses half of a mustard seed of Imān shall not enter the (Eternal) Fire.” [This is recorded by Imām Muslim, Abu Dawūd, At-Tirmidzi. ]

This hadith indicates “Al-Kibr  openly  opposes and negates Imān” and “it will results in the exclusion of its holder from entering al-Jannah” as is establish in Al-Qur’ān.

Allāh Says:“And your Lord said: "Invoke Me, [i.e. believe in My Oneness (Islamic Monotheism)] (and ask Me for anything) I will respond to your (invocation). Verily! Those who contempt (Yastakbirūn – existence of Kibr) My worship [i.e. do not invoke Me, and do not believe in My Oneness, (Islāmic Monotheism)] they will surely enter Hell in humiliation!" [Surah Ghafir, 40:60]

This is in particular the Kibr of Iblis (the Devil), Pharaoh and all the others who possessed Kibr that invalidated the Imān. This is also the Kibr that the Jews possess and those whom Allāh has described to us by saying:

“Is it that whenever there came to you a Messenger with what you yourselves desired not, you grew arrogant? Some, you disbelieved and some, you killed.”

[Surah Al-Baqārah, 2: 87]

Al-Kibr, in its entirety, openly opposes the essentials of al-Imān. As such he who has an iota of Kibr in his heart shall not act upon that which Allāh has prescribed, nor shall he abstain from that which Allāh has prohibited. Instead his Kibr shall result in his denial and rejection of the Haqq (Truth) and instill in him the contempt of others.

The explanatory definition of al-Kibr is provided in the Hadīth of ‘Abdullāh Ibn Mas’ud (radiyallāhu’anhu) who narrated that the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) said:

“The one who possesses an iota of Kibr in his heart shall not be granted admission to Jannah.”

A companion (amongst his hearers) then asked: “[But] O Messenger of Allāh! A man likes to have fine clothing and footwear. Is this included in Kibr?”  

The Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) replied: “No. Allāh is Beauty and loves Beauty. Kibr is the rejection of Truth (Battrul-Haqq) and condescension of others (wā ‘ghāmttun-Nās).”

[This is recorded by Muslim (0164), Ibn Khuzaimah, Abu Dawūd, At-Tirmidzi, Ibn Sa’ad on the authority of Ibn Mas’ud. At-Tabarāni reports it on the authority of ‘Abdullah bin Salām]

The statement ‘Battarul-Haqq’ denotes denial and rejection of the Truth, while ‘wā ghāmttun-nās’ implies contempt (disapproval) and condescension (arrogance) of others from amongst mankind. Therefore the one who possesses half of a mustard seed of it (kibr) rejects the Truth that he was ordered to accept and act upon. At the same time, the kibr instills in him a sense of condescension that inculcates in the individual an oppressive demeanor producing transgression over the rights of others.

The one who neglects his obligations (due to his rejection of them) and is oppressive to others from amongst the creation is not to be amongst the people of Jannah (while in this state), or deserving of it. On the contrary, such an individual is to be counted amongst the people who are threatened with punishment (Ahlul Wā‘īd)!

Ibn Taimiyyah (rahimalāh) emphasised: The one who possesses an iota of Kibr in his heart shall not be granted admission to Jannah,” implies that the individual is not from its (Jannah) people and is not deserving of it. But if he repents, or he possesses Hasānāt (righteous deeds) that expiate his sins, or Allāh has given him Ibtillah (trials and tests) in the form of calamities that have expunged his sins, or similar things; then for that individual the recompense of Kibr – which originally was a barrier for him to enter Jannah – is eliminated and he gains admission (to the Jannah). Similarly Allāh, due to His Divine Grace, may forgive the individual (the sin of) Kibr.

Allāh says:

“Verily, Allāh forgives not that partners should be set up with him in worship, but He forgives except that (anything else) to whom He pleases, and whoever sets up partners with Allāh in worship, he has indeed invented a tremendous sin.”

[Surah an-Nisā’ (4:48)]

None shall gain admission (to Jannah) while possessing an iota of Kibr. As a result, those (scholars) discussing this Hadīth, and other Hadīth that have a similar theme, have stated:

“Unconditional admission (to the Jannah) – that is not in conjunction with punishment (for the sin of Kibr) – is what is being negated in this Hadīth; not the admission to Jannah that is granted to those who enter the Fire (to be purified and cleansed) and then are allowed admission to Paradise thereafter. (On the other hand) if a Hadīth explicitly declares that a particular person is in Jannah or that a particular person is from the People of Jannah, it would then be understood that he would enter the Jannah and not enter the fire (beforehand).”

After this clarification we come to understand the true meaning of these narrations as being that the one who possesses an iota of Kibr in his heart is not from the people of Paradise (up to that point) and shall not gain admission into it without prior punishment (for his sin). Surely he deserves punishment – due to the enormity of the sin – similar to those who perform the Major (Kabā’ir) sins. Allāh may punish him in the Fire as long as He wishes, but none from amongst the people of Tawhīd shall remain in the Fire eternally.

This is to be the way we understand all the Hadīth that have a similar meaning. This understanding is to be used when seeking the meaning of his statement: “The one who severs the ties of the womb shall not enter Jannah". [This is recorded by Al-Imām Muslim (1765 – Mukhtasar) , al-Hākim, Al-Bayhaqi, Abu Dawūd, and at-Tirmidzi on the authority of Jubāyr bin Mut‘ām.]

A narration on the authority of Abu Hurairah (radiyallahu’anhu), the Messenger of Allah, (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam), saidYou shall not enter Jannah so long as you do not affirm belief (in all those things which are the articles of faith) and you will not believe as long as you do not love one another. Shall I inform you of something that if you do you shall (truly) love each other? Spread the greetings of ‘as-Salāmu‘alaykum’ amongst yourselves.” [This is recorded by Muslim (0096)]

In another hadith on the authority of Abu Hurayrah (radiyallahu’anhu), the Messenger of Allah, (Sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam), said:

"Do not be envious of one another; do not artificially inflate prices against one another; do not hate one another; do not shun one another; and do not undercut one another in business transactions; and be as fellow-brothers and servants of Allah.

A Muslim is the brother of a Muslim. He neither oppresses him nor humiliates him nor looks down upon him. Piety is here - and he pointed to his chest three times. It is evil enough for a Muslim to hold his brother Muslim in contempt. All things of a Muslim are inviolable for another Muslim: his blood, his property and his honour."

[This is recorded by Muslim]

In another narration on the authority of Abu Hurayrah (radiyallahu’anhu),the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) said: “None of you will have faith till he wishes for his (Muslim) brother what he likes for himself.” [This is recorded by Al-Bukhari Vol.1, Book 2, No 12]

Abu Ayyub al-Ansari (radiyallāhu’anhu) said: The Prophet (sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) said: “It is not permissible for a Muslim to forsake his brother for more than three days, each of them turning away when they meet. The excellence of them is the one who gives the greeting of Salam first.” [This is recorded by al-Bukhari, 2757; Muslim, 2560].

This is the understanding that we are to have when pondering over the Hadîth that contain Wā‘īd (Threat of Punishment). In this way we understand that the hadīth is general and can be attributed to both the Kufār (unbelievers) and Muslims.

If one was to say, “All the Muslims enter Jannah due to their Islām.” The response is that not all Muslims enter Jannah without punishment. Surely the people who have been threatened (with punishment in the Hereafter due to their sins) shall enter into the Fire to remain in it for the period that Allāh so wills even though they are not Kufār. The individual who has some Imān coinciding with major sins may enter into the Fire and exit from it as a result of the Shafā‘ah (Intercession – permission from Allāh to intercede) of the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) or by other reported means as he has articulated. He said:

“My Shafā‘ah is for (shall benefit) the people of the Majors Sins (who did not commit Shirik) from amongst my Ummah.”

[This is recorded by At-Tirmidzi (Vol. 4, Pg. 45) on the authority of Anas bin Mālik and Jābir. At-Tirmidzi then states: “And this Hadīth is Hasan Sahīh Gharīb. The Hadîth is also recorded by Ibn Khuzaymah (Pg. 270), Ibn Hibban as is in the Mawrid (Pg. 640), and Al-Hākim (Vol. 1, Pg. 69)] [1]

The Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) said: “I shall bring out of the Fire the one who possesses half of a mustard seed of Imān.”  This is a segment of the famous Hadīth of Shafā‘ah collected by Al-Bukhari (Vol. 13, Pg. 472).

We understand what is in store for those whom Allāh has threatened with punishment – the murderer, fornicator or adulterer, the one who consumes intoxicants, and the one who misappropriates the wealth of the orphans, the one who witnesses falsehood and others who perform the deeds of the people of major sins. They – even if they are not unbelievers – are not deserving of the Jannah that they are promised (as Muslims) without first being (cleansed and purged through) punishment.

The various Mazhab (way and belief) of Ahl-Sunnah wal-Jamā‘ah certainly are not that of the Fūsiqun (deviant sinners) from amongst the general body of Muslims are not going to be eternally punished in the Fire as has been wrongly stated by Al-Khawārij [2] and Al-Mu’tazilāh. [3] They may perhaps be totally imperfect in their religion (Deen), Imān and obedience to Allāh [4]] but there might have Hasanāt wa Sayyi’āt that necessitate a measure of punishment and reward.

Allāh Almighty Says: 
"Verily, the Abrār (pious and righteous) will be in Delight (Jannah). And verily, the Fujjar (the wicked, disbelievers, sinners and evildoers) will be in the blazing Fire (Hell)." [Al-Infitar, 82:13, 14]

 ‘Abdullah Ibn ‘Umar (radiyallāhu’anhu) said: We counted Messenger's saying a hundred times during one single sitting: ‘Rabb ighfir li wa tubb ‘alayya innaka antat-tawwābul-raheem’ (O Allāh, forgive me and accept my repentance, for You are the Accepter of Repentance, Most Merciful). According to another report: ‘Rabb ighfir li wa tubb ‘alayya Innaka antat-tawābul-ghafūr” (O Allāh, forgive me and accept my repentance, for You are the Acceptor of Repentance, Oft-Forgiving).  [This is recorded by Abu Dawud and At-Tirmidzi].

In a narration Hilal bin Yāsir bin Zaid (radiyallāhu’anhu), the freed slave of the Prophet reported that his grandfather told him that Rasūlullāh (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) said: “He who says:  ‘Astaghfir ullāh-[al ‘adzeem, alladzi] lā ilāha illā, huwal-Hayyul-Qayyum, wa atūbu ilaīh (I seek the forgiveness of Allāh – [Devoid of imperfection, with whose name] There is no true god except Allāh, He, The Ever Living One The Self-Existing One, and I turn to Him in repentance), (three times); His sins will be forgiven even if he should have run away from the battlefield (while he was engaged in fighting for the Cause of Allāh)’.” [This is recorded by Abu Dawud: Hasan, At-Tirmidzi: Hasan Gharib and Al-Hakim].

Thawban bin Bjadad (radiyallāhu‘anhu) reported: Whenever Rasūlullāh (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) finished his Solāh, he would beg forgiveness three times and then he would say: "Allāhumma Antas-Salāmu, wa minkas-Salāmu, tabarakta ya Dzal-Jalali wal-Ikram. (O Allāh! You are the Bestower of security and security comes from You; Blessed are You. O Possessor of glory and honour)." Imām Al-Awza'ie (one of the subnarrators) of this Hadith was asked: "How forgiveness should be sought?" He replied: "I say: Astaghfirullāh, Astaghfirullāh, Astaghfirullāh (I seek forgiveness from Allāh!, I seek forgiveness from Allāh!, I seek forgiveness from Allāh)." [This is recorded by Muslim].

It was narrated that the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) said to a man (one of the Sahabah): “What do you say when you prayer (Du’a after the Tashahhud)?” He said: “I recite the Tashahhud, then I say:  “Allāhumma inni as alukal-Jannah wa a‘udzu bika Minan-nār” (O Allāh, I ask You for Paradise and seek refuge in You from the Fire).I cannot murmur like you and like Mu‘adz.” Rasūlullāh (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) said: “It is about them that we were murmuring.” [This is recorded by Abu Dawud, 792: sahih]; 

‘Aishah (radiyallāhu’anha) reported that she asked Allāh’s Messenger (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam), “O Messenger of Allāh! If I knew which night is Lailatul-Qadar, what should I say during it?” And he instructed her to say: “Allāhummainna ka ’a Fuw wun Tuhibbul ‘afwa Fa’fu’ anni (O Allāh! You are forgiving, and You love forgiveness. So forgive me)” [This is recorded by Ahmad, Ibn Majah, and At-Tirmidzi: sahih]

'Abdullah bin Mas'ud (radiyallāhu ‘anhu) reported that the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) used to say: "Allāhumma inni as’alukal-huda wat-tuqa wal-‘afafa wal-ghina (O Allāh! I ask You for guidance, piety, chastity and self-sufficiency)". [This is recorded by Muslim].

This Hadith contains four words, the meanings and implications of which constitute its essence. These words are guidance, piety (fear of Allāh), chastity and sufficiencyGuidance here means guidance at every turn of life and steadfastness on the path of truth. Fear of Allāh is the greatest means of piety and strongest defense against sins. Chastity is the state of being free from what is unlawful. Self-sufficiency is the antonym of poverty and here it means the self-contentment. What it implies is that one should not care for what people possess. In view of all these qualities, the do’a of the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) mentioned in this Hadith is very comprehensive and valuable.

Ibn Abi Hatim and Ibn Jarir recorded that Umm Salamah (radiyallāhu’anha), said that the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam)used to supplicate: ‘Ya muqallibal-qulubi, thabbit qalbi ‘ala deenika (O Controller of the hearts make my heart steadfast in Your religion).” Rasūlullāh (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) then recited: Rabbana la tuzia’qulubana ba’ daiz hadaitana wahab Lana min laduñ karahmah; Iñnaka an tal wahhāb. (Our Lord! Let not our hearts deviate (from the truth) after Thou have guided us, and grant us mercy from Thou. Truly, Thou are the Bestower.) (Ali-'Imran, 3:8) [This is recorded by Muslim and At-Tirmidzi]
Anas Ibn Mālik (radiyallāhu’anhu) who said: “The supplication most often recited by Rasūlullāh (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam): Rabbana-ātina-fid-dunya hasanah, Wa fil-ākhirati-hasanah, Wa-qina-‘ādzabānnār (O Lord! Bestow upon us in this world that which is good and in the Hereafter that which is good, and save us from the punishment of the Fire).’” (Al-Baqārah 2:201) [This is recorded by Al-Bukhāri, Muslim, and Tarmidzi]. Tarmidzi (rahimullāh) said: “Hasanah is very comprehensive and includes in all kinds of good and benefits of this world and of the Hereafter. Good health, wealth and satisfaction of the world and good status in Jannah, forgiveness from sins and Allāh’s bounties and favours in both worlds are included in this duā’” [ Jāmi’ At-Tarmidzi]

This is a concise dissertation regarding the issue.

And Allāh Almighty Knows best.


1. Turn to the Chapter of “Shafā‘ah for the People of Major Sins” (Pg. 61-108) in the highly beneficial book of the world-renowned Muhadith ash-Shaikh Muqbil bin Hādî al-Wādi‘ī (rahimahullah) titled, “Ash-Shafā‘ah.” In the chapter the Shaikh reports seventy-six (76) hadith showing that those who perform Major sins are not excluded from the Shafā‘ah of Rasūllullāh . This particular hadīth can be found in the book on page 85 – Hadīth number 56. Shaikh Abi ‘Abdir-Rahmān Muqbil bin Hādī reports that the Hadīth is collected by At-Tirmidzi (Vol. 4, Pg. 45) on the authority of Anas bin Mālik and Jābir. He then states: “And this Hadīth is Hasan Sahīh Gharīb (Good and Authentic yet Scarce in this mode). The Hadīth is reported by Ibn Khuzaymah (Pg. 270), Ibn Hibban as is in the Mawrid (Pg. 640), and Al-Hākim (Vol. 1, Pg. 69) said – This Hadīth is Authentic and meets the requirements set by Bukhari and Muslim even though they did not narrate it.” Later on the Shaikh says, “Al-Hāfidz Ibn Kathīr said in his Tafsīr (Vol. 1, Page 487) that its chain of narration is sahīh and meets the requirements set by Al-Bukhari and Muslim.” The Shaikh then takes us step by step through the chain of narration and proves convincingly that the hadīth does not meet the requirements of l-Bukhari and Muslim due to the presence of Mu‘āmar reporting from Thābit. For further detailed analysis turn to Pg. 85-88. In Shaykh al-Albāni’s Sahīh al-Jāmi‘ he declares the hadīth sahīh on the authority of Jābir, Ibn ‘Abbas, Ibn ‘Umar, Ka‘ab bin ‘Ujrah and Anas bin Mālik.

2. Translator: Khawarij is the plural of Kharijî – They are those who declared that a Muslim becomes a disbeliever due to commiting a major sin alone.

3. Translator: Al-Mu‘tazila deem the one who does not agree with their understanding of Tawhīd (7 false principles) is deemed a Mushrik. They believe that the sinners who are Muslim shall be in a place between Jannah and the Fire. There beliefs are built on false logical deductions that led them to negate many of the Names and Attributes of Allāh. They were the deviant group who opposed Imām Ahlis-Sunnah Ahmad Ibn Hanbal by falsely claiming that the Qur’ān is created and not the Speech of Allāh.

4. Translator: The Murji’ah believes that sins, major or minor, do not effect faith and that Imān neither increases nor decreases. They claim that actions are not part of faith and that people do not vary in faith.

[Excerpted with modification fromArrogance Negates Imān”, By Ibn Taimiyyah (d. 728 AH/1328 CE) via Islā (a translation by Yahya Adel Ibrahim)]

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

What is Sadaqah?

What is Sadaqah?

By Imam Ghazali (rahimahullāh)

In the name of Allāh, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful;
All the praise and thanks is due to Allāh, the Lord of al-‘ālamīn. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allāh, and that Muhammad, Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam is His Messenger.

Sadaqah - Giving in Charity

The word SADAQAH means “giving in charity”. It is a deed designed by Allāh as an instrument to eradicate the spiritual malady of miserliness. Since the heart of the giver is not immune from showing and insincerity, it has been emphasized that Sadaqah should always be done secretly. Certainly, Riyā’ (show) and miserliness are both very destructive diseases and Sadaqah that is rendered secretly is a powerful remedy to them.

In the grave, Riyā’ assumes the form of a snake and miserliness takes the appearance of a scorpion and both are set on the sinner to inflict torture and pain. Thus, one who desists from spending in the Path of Allāh out of miserliness has, in reality, incurred the punishment of scorpions and one who spends, but with insincerity, has, in fact opted for the punishment of snakes.

 Sadaqah Should Not Be Considered a Favour

If is quite common to feel that one is rendering a favour on which one confers a Sadaqah. This is an absolutely erroneous concept and should be dispelled. At times it is difficult to ascertain the presence of such malady in one's heart. This can be achieved by carefully observing the condition of the heart after having given Sadaqah. For instance, if you expected an expression of gratitude in return of your Sadaqah or subsequent to your Sadaqah, the recipient showed disrespect to you or maltreated you and this infuriated you, then this evidently explains that the Sadaqah had been by you as a favour.

A Cure for the Malady

A simple technique to eradicate such disease is to regard the needy as your benefactor, for he has become the cause of absolving you from your obligation and replacing the evil disease of miserliness with generosity.

Zakah and Sadaqah have been imposed to root out the undesirable problem of miserliness, the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam), considering the object of its imposition would never bring the money of such funds into personal use. He would explain that this is the dirt of (people's) wealth. Hence the Muslim who has become instrumental in washing away the dirt accumulated in your wealth has rendered you a favour and not vice versa.

Zakah and Sadaqah play a key role in fulfilling the needs of the poor and eliminating starvation from the world, this is also regarded as a pillar of Islam.

To facilitate the giving of Zakah and Sadaqah Allāh has firstly ordered the creation to love Him and then made the act of giving in charity a yardstick to measure the extent of love in the hearts of those who claim to do so. To demonstrate this love, believers are commanded to spend in the Path of Allāh and thereby distinguish themselves from the false claimants of love.

If a human can sacrifice his entire possession for the petty love of another then sacrificing a small proportion of wealth for the Creator should not be felt as a burden. In fact, a Muslim should be prepared to give away all his possessions.

Those Who Do Spend In the Path of Allāh Can Be Divided Into Three Categories.

The ones who belong to the highest are those who give away, wholeheartedly everything they possess thus proving true their claim of love.  Abu Bakar Siddiq (radiyallāhu’anhu) held this rank, which, on one occasion had brought every content of his house before the Messenger of Allāh (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam). And when asked, ‘What have you left for yourself?’ He replied, ‘Allāh and His Messenger (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam)’ On this occasion Umar Ibn Al-Khattab (radiyallāhu’anhu) had also brought his belongings and in reply to the same question said, ‘I have left as much as I brought.’ Upon hearing the answers of both, the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) said (addressing the two), 'Your ranks are evident from your replies.'

The second category consists of those who, although fail to give away their entire possession, neither spend unnecessarily on other avenues such as personal pursuits. Their spending is not unrestricted and liberal at all times like the first group; rather, they will wait for situations and needs to arise and when they do their generosity will know no bounds. They will spend as much as they are capable of spending. Much of the money they have accumulated stays with them awaiting opportunities for them to spend in the Cause of Allāh.

The lowest category comprises those Muslims who suffice on paying their annual due. They will neither decrease in that nor increase. The ranks of the above mentioned categories and the degree of their love for Allāh can easily be assessed by their conditions, i.e. how much and how frequently they spend.

You should endeavour to reach the highest of these categories. If not possible, you should at least avoid being classed amongst the lowest. To achieve this, apart from the obligatory acts, you will need to spend a little every day. This will allow you to reach the lower stages of the second category, rising above the category of the miserly ones.

Muslims who are poor and unable to spend should not be disheartened by their inability, as the achievements of the rewards of Sadaqah are not only confined to giving in charity and helping the poor. They can be attained by other deeds as well. Any good deed, no matter how small, will earn them an equivalent reward. Some of these are mentioned below:
  • To visit the sick.
  • To attend a funeral.
  • To assist someone in times of need, such as helping a labourer carry some of his weight or interceding on someone's behalf.
  • To say a good word, such as consoling the grief stricken, or encouraging a despairing one.
These are all known as acts of Sadaqah and one does not have to be wealthy to accomplish them.

The Wisdom behind Spending Secretly

It is important that when you spend, you should do so quietly and not publicly. 

Firstly, it is loved by Allāh. A Hadith in this regard states. 'To spend secretly in the Path of Allāh extinguishes the Anger of Allāh (i.e loves by Allāh).' On another occasion, it has been mentioned, 'One who spends with the right hand such that it even goes unnoticed by the left (i.e. he exercises extreme sincerity) shall be resurrected among the seven categories of people who will be under the shade of the Throne of Allāh on a day when there shall be no shade except that one.'

But that should not mean that you wait for the heart to reach that stage in order to spend, for this is clearly a deception from Shaytaan. You should continue to spend, regardless of the conditions of your heart and eventually you will reach your goal and be able to give wholeheartedly. Until then, Allāh will reward you abundantly for overcoming your desires of withholding the money.

Secondly, spend the best of your possessions in the Path of Allāh. Would it not be inappropriate to give something to Allāh which you yourself dislike? As explained earlier, such spending has been designed to gauge one's love for the Creator. Hence your selection of wealth will determine the intensity of your love for Him. 

Thirdly, you should spend wholeheartedly. With respect to this a Hadith states, '(The reward of spending) one Dirham can exceed (the reward of) one hundred thousand Dirhams;' i.e. the reward of one who spends wholeheartedly and unrestrictedly will be multiplied manifold in contrast to one who does not do so.

Fourthly, the avenues of spending should also be thoughtfully and carefully chosen. In giving Sadaqah, preference should be given to one who has noble spiritual qualities over one who does not. If all the good qualities are not found in a single person then even the possessor of a single quality will be deserving of your Sadaqah. However, piety and Deen I knowledge should be given preference above all else. For only a pious and an 'Alim (Islamic scholar) will fulfil the prime objective of the provisions gifted by Allāh.

They are the ones who live on this earth solely to make preparations for the Hereafter and consider this mortal world to be only a rest house wherefrom the souls will very soon depart. Hence such persons can surely be expected to utilize your Sadaqah in the correct avenues. The Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) has said, 'Feed the pious people.'

Qur’anic Text Regarding Sadaqah

'The believers ... are steadfast in prayers, and in whose wealth there is a right acknowledged, for the poor and the destitute. [Al-Ma’arij, 70:22-24].

“That which you give in usury for increase through the property of (other) people, will have no increase with Allāh: but that which you give for charity, seeking the Countenance of Allāh, (will increase); it is those who will get a recompense multiplied.” [Al-Rum, 30:39]

“Only those who believe in Our Signs, who when they are recited to them fall down in adoration, and celebrate the praises of their Rabb (only God and Sustainer), nor are they (ever) puffed up with pride. They forsake their beds of sleep, the while they call on their Rabb (only God and Sustainer), in Fear and Hope. And they spend (in charity) out of the sustenance which We have bestowed on them. Now no person knows what delights of the eye are kept hidden (in reserve) for them -- as a reward for their (good) Deeds. Is then the man who believes no better than the man who is rebellious and wicked? Not equal are they. For those who believe and do righteous deeds are Gardens as hospitable Homes, for their (good) deeds.” [As-Sajdah, 32:15-19]

“The likeness of those who spend for Allāh’s sake is as the likeness of a grain of corn, it grows seven ears every single ear has a hundred grains, and Allāh multiplies (increases the reward of) for whom He wills, and Allāh is sufficient for His creatures’ needs, All-Knower).” [Al-Baqarah, 2:261]

'For Muslim men and women, for believing men and women for devout men and women for true men and women, for men and women who are patient and constant, for men and women who humble themselves, for men and women who give in charity, for men and women who fast, for men and women who guard their chastity, and for men and women who engage much in Allāh’s remembrance for them has Allāh prepared forgiveness and great reward.' [Al-Ahzab, 33:35]

“Those who (in charity) spend of their goods by night and by day, in secret and in public have their reward with their Rabb (only God and Sustainer). On them shall be no fear nor shall they grieve.” [Al-Baqarah, 2:274]

Hadiths Regarding Sadaqah

Every good deed in the path of Allāh is Sadaqah. The Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) has said that even our smile for our brother is Sadaqah. Our simple effort like removal of stones, thorns or bones from the paths of people is Sadaqah. Our guidance of a person who is lost is Sadaqah. Sadaqah is a noble deeds and very rewarding. The believer's shade on the Day of Resurrection will be his Sadaqah.

The Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) has said: “To smile in the company of your brother is Sadaqah. To command to do good deeds and to prevent others from doing evil is Sadaqah. To guide a person in a place where he cannot get astray is Sadaqah. To remove troublesome things like thorns and bones from the road is Sadaqah. To pour water from your jug into the jug of your brother is Sadaqah. To guide a person with defective vision is Sadaqah.” [Bukhari]

Abu Hurairah (radiyallāhu’anhu) reported Allāh’s Messenger (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) as saying: “Charity does not in any way decrease the wealth and the servant who forgives, Allāh adds to his respect; and the one who shows humility, Allāh elevates him in the estimation (of the people).” [Muslim]

Abu Hurairah (radiyallāhu’anhu) narrated that the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) said, 'The example of a miser and the one who gives in Sadaqah, is like the example of two men wearing iron cloaks so tightly that their arms are raised forcibly towards their collar-bones. So, whenever a charitable person wants to give in Sadaqah, his cloak spreads over his body so much so that it wipes out his traces. But whenever the miser wants to give in Sadaqah, the rings (of the iron cloak) come closer to each other and press over his body and his hands get connected to his collar-bones. Abu Hurairah (radiyallāhu’anhu) heard the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) saying, 'The miser then tries to widen it but in vain.' [Bukhari]

Qais ibn Abu Hazim (radiyallāhu’anhu) narrated that Allāh’s Messenger (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) said, “A Muslim is rewarded (in the Hereafter) for whatever he spends except for something that he spends on building.” [Bukhari]

Mu'adz bin Jabal (radiyallāhu’anhu) related from the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) “Sadaqah extinguishes sin as water extinguishes fire.” [Ahmad, Tirmidzi]

Abu Hurairah (radiyallāhu’anhu) narrated that the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) said, “Every day two angels come down from Heaven and one of them says, 'O Allāh! Compensate every person who spends in Your cause’, and the other (angel) says, 'O Allāh! Destroy every miser.’” [Bukhari]

The Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) has said: 'A Muslim does not plant, or sow anything from which a person, animal or anything eats but it is considered as Sadaqah from him.' [Bukhari]

The Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) also said: The believer's shade on the Day of Resurrection will be his Sadaqah.” [Ahmad]

Abu Dharr (radiyallāhu’anhu) narrated that Allāh’s Messenger (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) said: “Those who have much wealth (in this world) will be the least rewarded (in the Hereafter) except those who do like this and like this (i.e., spend their money in charity).” [Bukhari]

Abu Hurairah (radiyallāhu’anhu) narrated that Allāh’s Messenger (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) said: “Verily what a believer continues to receive (in the form of reward) for his action and his virtues after his death is the knowledge which he acquired and then disseminated; the pious son that he left behind him; or a copy of the Qur’an which he left as a legacy; or the mosques that he had built; or the inn that he had built for the wayfarers; or the canal that he caused to flow, or a sadaqah which he gave out of his property in the state when he was healthy and alive. (These are the acts of goodness the reward of which) reaches him even after his death.” [Tirmidzi, Ibn Majah and Baihaqi]

Abu Musa (radiyallāhu’anhu) narrated that the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) said, “Every Muslim has to give in sadaqah (charity).” The people asked, “O Allāh’s Messenger! If someone has nothing to give, what will he do?” He (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) said, “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 do even that?” He replied, “Then he should help the needy who appeal for help.” Then the people asked, “If he cannot do that?” He (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) replied, “Then he should perform all that is good and keep away from all that is evil and this will be regarded as charitable deeds.” [Bukhari]

Abu Bakr As-Siddiq (radiyallāhu’anhu) narrated that Allāh’s Messenger (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) said: “A crafty one, a miser, and one who keeps reminding people of what he has given, will not enter Paradise.” [Tirmidzi]

Abu Hurairah narrated that Abu Dharr (radiyallāhu’anhu) said to the Messenger of Allāh (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam), ‘The wealthy people have all the rewards; they pray as we pray; they fast as we fast; and they have surplus wealth which they give in charity; but we have no wealth which we may give in charity.’ Allāh’s Messenger (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) said: ‘Abu Dharr, should I not teach you phrases by which you acquire the rank of those who excel you? No one can acquire your rank except one who acts like you.’ He said, Why not, Allāh’s Messenger (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam)? The Messenger of Allāh(Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) said: ‘Glorify Him: 'Subhān Allāh' (Glory be to Allāh) thirty-three times; and praise Him say: 'Alhamdulillāh' (Praise be to Allāh) thirty-three times Exalt Allāh say: 'Allāhu Akbar' (Allāh is Most Great) after each prayer thirty-three times; and end it by saying, 'Lā ilāha illAllāhu wahdahu la sharīka lahu, lahul mulku wa lahul hamdu yuhyi wa yūmītu wa Huwa ‘ala kulli shai’iñ Qadīr.' (There is no god but Allāh alone, He has no partner, to Him belongs the Kingdom, to Him praise is due and He has power over everything.) Your sins will be forgiven, even if they are like the foam of the sea.’” [Abu Dawud]

The Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) has said: 'Sadaqah (charity) does not decrease wealth.' [Muslim]

And Allāh Almighty Knows best.