Ramadan is the month of benevolence and alms giving in which the generosity of the Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam knew no bounds. ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas radhiAllahu ‘anhu narrated that the Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was the most generous among the people, and he used to be more so in the month of Ramadan when Jibreel ‘alayhi salaam visited him, and Jibreel ‘alayhi salaam used to meet him on every night of Ramadan till the end of the month. The Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam used to recite the Qur’an to Jibreel ‘alayhi salaam, and when Jibreel ‘alayhi salaam met him he used to be more generous than the fast wind. [Bukhari: 1902]
It is evident from this narration that the Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam used to give more in charity to the poor and needy during Ramadan as compared to some other time of the year. His generosity touched and benefitted everyone just like the wind that reaches everywhere. Similarly, we should also try to spend more in Ramadan and remember that giving alms does not diminish wealth, but rather its reward is increased many folds by Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala.
Apart from spending on family members, relatives, the poor and the needy, we should engage in welfare projects that benefit the community, such as constructing and renovating mosques and rest areas for travelers, digging wells, building and improving water-works to provide clean drinking water, etc.
Spending on the propagation and learning of religious knowledge and meeting the expenses of students who have set out on this path is the best act of continuous charity. This is because spending in the cause of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala while seeking His pleasure is considered by Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala a loan upon Him, and He takes the responsibility of returning it. SubhanAllah! What glad tidings for all the Muslims!
Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala says,
مَّن ذَا الَّذِي يُقْرِضُ اللَّهَ قَرْضًا حَسَنًا فَيُضَاعِفَهُ لَهُ أَضْعَافًا كَثِيرَةً ۚ وَاللَّهُ يَقْبِضُ وَيَبْسُطُ وَإِلَيْهِ تُرْجَعُونَ
“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.” [al-Baqarah 2: 245]
Spending on the fast-breaking meal [iftaar] or contributing to it in any way is also a recommended practice that brings rewards. In one narration, the Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “He who gives food to a fasting person to break his fast will receive the same reward as him while nothing will be reduced from the fasting persons reward.” [at-Tirmidhi: 807]
In another narration, the Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “Whoever helps in breaking the fast of another person or helps in the preparation of another person who leaves to fight in the way of Allah, will get a reward equal to that of the person who is helped.” [Sunan al-Kubra al-Baihaqi: 8140]
Things to Do:
– Open your heart and spend as much as you can in the way of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala during Ramadan
– Spend on your wife, children, parents, and other kith and kin in the prescribed manner
– Arrange for the fast-breaking meal (iftaar) for the maximum number of people possible, especially including the poor, the needy, and the destitute
– Help all needy people of the community
– Earn the reward of continuous charity by spending on students seeking religious education
– Contribute to social and welfare projects like the construction or renovation of mosques, hospitals, and other community works
– Also, spend on the learning and propagation of religious knowledge (da’wah efforts)
– If it is due, pay the Zakah before any other voluntary act of charity
– Even smiling and saying a good word to others are acts of charity so keep smiling