Narrated Abu Masud that when the verses on charity were revealed, we used to work as porters. A man came and distributed objects of charity in abundance. And they (the people) said, ‘He is showing off’. And another man came and gave a sa (small measure of food grains). They said, ‘Allah is not in need of this small amount of charity’. And then the Divine inspiration came. ’They who taunt those of the faithful who give their alms freely, and those who give to the extent of their earnings and scoff at them, Allah will pay them back their scoffing and they shall have a painful chastisement’. (TMQ-9:79)
This hadith is the background of the Quranic verse 9:79. This verse reveals another detestable trait of the munafiqeen (the hypocrites who pretended to be believers but were not). Prophet Mohammad (saw) used to collect charity from the Muslims at the time of war or other emergencies. The Muslims would respond to the Prophet’s command by saying ‘Labbaik’ (which means I am ready to obey your Commands, O Allah (swt)’. They would make contributions according to their financial condition. Hence, if a Muslim was well-off then he would make a substantial donation. On the other hand, even though some of the Muslim brethren were not wealthy yet they would give away some amount as charity out of their hard-earned money for Allah’s Goodwill. The munafiqeen or hypocrites used to taunt both the types of donors. They would say that the one’s who give huge charity are doing so just to show-off their wealth in front of the people. On the other hand they would taunt the ones who could not afford to make a huge contribution by saying that Allah (swt) does not require their meager charity. In this way the hypocrites used to make fun of the pious Muslims. Hence, this verse was revealed in which Allah (swt) has said that He will severely punish those hypocrites who mock the Muslims.
Narrated Hazrat Asma (ra) that Prophet said to her that, ‘Do not withhold your money (for if you do so) Allah will withhold His Mercy from you’.
If we take a lesson from this hadith we will refrain from behaving in a stingy way when it comes to paying zakaat, sadqa etc. By behaving generously we will not only become entitled to receive Mercy from Allah (swt) but we will also be thwarting the plan of Satan of creating hatred amongst the people by discouraging them from giving charity. Verse 2:268 of the Holy Quran says, ‘Satan threatens you with poverty and orders you to immorality while Allah promises you forgiveness from Him and Bounty and Allah is All-Encompassing and All-Knowing’.
Therefore, it is the duty of each Muslim to thwart the plan of Satan by focusing on the noble act of charity and ignoring the Satanic whispers.
Allah (swt) says in the Holy Quran:
“The example of those who spread in the Way of Allah is like a seed (of grain) which grows seven spikes’ in each spike in a hundred grains. And Allah multiples (His reward) for whom He wills. And Allah is All-Encompassing and Knowing. (TMQ-2:261).
So while giving charity we should not fear getting struck by poverty like the Satan desires. Instead, we should remember how much our charity is going to be multiplied by Allah (swt), in terms of its rewards.
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