How much are you willing to spend?

Previously we talked about the companions spending their wealth in the cause of Islam, mainly to support the work of spreading Islam and helping  those in need.  We have pointed out that although the companions spent their wealth for others, it doesn’t mean that Islam forbid us from pursuing wealth.

But what inspires the companions and people of faith to give their wealth, possessions and assets to others? , the wealth that they had  worked so hard to acquire? 

Reading surah al-Hadid from beginning to end, we will discover a great secret that we ourselves may have been groping to find  before.  How to give birth to a generation that gives all their possessions in the cause of the ad-deen?

What was the great motivation from heaven that had caused them to want to help the government led by Rasulullah صلى الله عليه وسلم without the slightest feeling of loss or regret  from the  properties that were spent?

ءآمِنوا بِاللهِ وَرَسولِهِ وَأَنفِقوا مِمّا جَعَلَكُم مُّستَخلَفينَ فيهِ ۖ فَالَّذينَ ءآمَنوا مِنكُم وَأَنفَقوا لَهُم أَجرٌ كَبيرٌ    

 “Believe in Allāh and His Messenger and spend out of that in which He has made out successive inheritors. For those who have believed among you and spent, there will be a great reward.” (Al-Hadid: 57)

May we be among those who will spend in the cause  of deen.

Source:  Ustadh Syaari Ab Rahman

Islam and material wealth

We’ve always been bombarded with stories of the prophet’s companions donating all their money and material wealth.  Prophet Muhammad SAW himself is known to being poor.  Does this means Islam is against wealth and into poverty?

According to Ustadh Kamilin Jamilin, PhD, Islam is never against the ummah seeking and exploring the world for wealth as we are  actually encouraged to find wealth through ways that are  guided and permitted in Islam.  Making an effort to gather wealth would be one of the many ways to help others in need, as long as we put Allah first.  Allah Himself has instructed us to seek for His overflowing rizq.  

فَإِذَا قُضِيَتِ ٱلصَّلَوٰةُ فَٱنتَشِرُوا۟ فِى ٱلْأَرْضِ وَٱبْتَغُوا۟ مِن فَضْلِ ٱللَّهِ وَٱذْكُرُوا۟ ٱللَّهَ كَثِيرًا لَّعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ

And when the prayer is ended , then disperse in the land and seek Allah ‘ s bounty , and remember Allah much , that ye may be successful . (AlJumuah verse 10)

This is why in Islam,  we have zakat  as  one of the Five Pillar of Islam . It denotes  a duty for every Muslims who  meets the criteria of wealth to contribute back to those in need.  All wealth comes from Allah so that we would be able to share with others from what was made through us.  In our wealth, there is the rizq of others too.

نِعْمَ الْمَالُ الصَّالِحُ لِلْمَرْءِ الصَّالِحِ

“O ‘Amr! How excellent lawful wealth is in the hands of a righteous person!”

(Sahih. Ahmad and Al-Bukhari).

One of Prophet Muhammad’s companions, Umar al-Khattab initiated the Bayt al-Mal (Malay:  Baitul Mal), or House of Weatlh in 634CE, to administer the society’s  wealth distribution.  Uthman al-Affan who ruled the Islamic Caliphate after Umar even instructed the Bayt al-Mal  institution to administer savings for the future generation.  

This shows the importance of wealth in Islam and the vital instruction that  wealth is not for the greatest benefit of certain individuals and exclusive groups only.  In this light, Islam preaches equitable  distribution of wealth and abhors a socio-economic system that  breeds and condones wealth inequality between members of society.  Wealth sharing in Islam  is for the nurturing and strengthening of social solidarity, and not for social disintegration which will weaken a society.

May Allah make us among those who spend our wealth for charity.  Ameen.

Sources:  sunnah.com, https://today.salamweb.com/

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Women’s empowerment: Western vs Islamic Worldview

Given that Muslim societies generally have been slow to give women the empowerment that the Quran and the sunnah had granted them, it is not too farfetched to say that in the face of this systemic weakness it is women themselves who have to always be on the alert, to come forward, and do whatever they can to protect and defend themselves. In short, to mobilise themselves in order to restore the empowerment that is their God-given right.

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Forgive to be Forgiven

“How could you do this to me?”

“I will never forgive you.”

There must be a time when we’ve been hurt by someone. Whether it’s the words that wound the heart or the action that wound the body, it’s  part of life. Nevertheless, these wounds can leave us with lasting feelings of anger and bitterness — even vengeance.

But, wait. Those ill feelings, are they really worth it?

Calm down. Firstly, life is short. Let us not waste our energy on being angry at our adversaries and seeking revenge against them. If we can gradually minimise our spite every day, then soon we will cease to bear hatred or malice in our hearts.

Know what? There is a direct correlation between the way we treat others and how Allah treats us. We all know the Prophet’s hadith: 

Have mercy on those on the Earth, and the One in heaven will have mercy on you” [Tirmidhi].

 Of course, Allah is incomparably greater and more merciful than us. Therefore, whatever we do to and for others, Allah will multiply it for us. If we are sincere in wanting Allah to forgive us for our many mistakes and sins, we should be prepared to do the same for others.

Yes, there will be situations in life that will make you angry or rattled. But our beloved Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) taught us that true strength is when you can overcome your anger. He said,

“The strong is not the one who overcomes the people by his strength, but the strong is the one who controls himself while in anger” [Sahih al Bukhari].

Our beloved Prophet (peace be upon him) was so kind and forgiving with all, no matter if he is a believer or non-believer. We have so many inspiring examples from the Prophet (peace be upon him) about his forgiving others and showing kindness to even those who were so rude to him. Cool, right?

It is said: “To err is human and to forgive is divine.” Both parts of this statement are true. As human beings we ought to be responsible for what we have done, but we ourselves do also make mistakes and are constantly in need of forgiveness.

Here is a simple question to ask yourself. Don’t you want forgiveness from Allah? If forgiveness from Allah is what you’re looking for, let us rush into forgiving others. We only give forgiveness that is finite and what Allah can give us in exchange is infinite, as His mercy and forgiveness are infinite. What a beautiful exchange!  So, it’s your choice: either your anger weighs more or your love for forgiveness from Allah weighs more!

We cannot change the past, but we can certainly use it to empower ourselves and become a better person going forward. Let’s forgive to be forgiven!