In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
Surah Al-Baqarah contains many commands regarding the acts of worship and interactions with people. These are the instructions that people find burdensome, especially when told to “spend in the way of Allah”.
The love for life of this world and the love for worldly possessions have been identified as the root causes of sins, therefore in this ayah Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala reminds people to spend in His way.
He commands His servants to spend for His sake, in the path of righteousness, from what He has granted them so that they acquire and keep the reward of this righteous deed with their Lord and King. Let them rush to perform this deed in this life, “before there comes a Day in which there is no exchange and no friendship and no intercession.” The Day refers to the Day of Resurrection.
Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala reminds us that the time to act and do righteous deeds is “now”. On the Day of Judgment, no one will be able to bargain on behalf of himself or ransom himself with any amount even if it was the earth’s fill of gold; nor will his friendship or relations to anyone benefit him. This is similar to what He says in Surah Al-Muminoon ayah 101,
فَإِذَا نُفِخَ فِى الصُّورِ فَلاَ أَنسَـبَ بَيْنَهُمْ يَوْمَئِذٍ وَلاَ يَتَسَآءَلُونَ
“So when the Horn is blown, no relationship will there be among them that Day, nor will they ask about one another.” (23: 101)
On the Day of Judgment, deeds will not be up for sale. They cannot be borrowed from a friend either. Once caught by the punishment, one cannot be released on someone’s intercession, unless Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala wills to forgive the person. Therefore, the time to act is now.
-Why does Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala keep encouraging us to spend in His cause? One reason, as stated in the beginning, is that it washes away the sins that people have committed. And the second reason is that unless a person spends money on something they do not consider it valuable. Since most of us inherited religion from our parents and did not have to study or strive for it, we do not know the value of being a Muslim. We spend tons of money on whims and worldly possessions but when it comes to spending in the way of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala we count our pennies and can come up with several excuses for not spending in His way.
-Do a little test – when you receive pay raise or get money from somewhere, what is the first thing that comes to your mind? Generally, it is something of the dunya: Buy new clothes, a new car, throw a dinner, invite people, go on a vacation, etc. Why does spending in the way of Allah doesn’t come to our mind first? We can drive to shopping mall, restaurant or a friend’s place but driving to masjid or an Islamic class is an expense?
-How can Islam spread if people are not investing time and money on it?
-People who spend their money in good causes (for the promotion of Islam) that money will benefit them even after their death. Aren’t all of us in need of continuous good deeds?
-Make a commitment to regularly spend in the way of Allah not just your spare change but an amount that will make you proud in the Hereafter and raise your scales with Allah. Word of caution: Do not advertise your charity. Let it be a secret between you and Allah.
DOWNLOAD PDF: Tafseer Al-Baqarah Ayah 254