In the name of Allah
The All Compassionate, the All Merciful
4th Dhil-Hajja 1444 (23rd June 2023)
Islamic Universal Association
20 Penzance Place, Holland Park
London, W11 4 PG
Jihad An-Nafs – Part 137
Purification of the heart-Part 79
I hereby reiterate that one is not a true Muslim or believer in Allah (s.w.t.) if he fails to give charity and show mercy to someone who is less fortunate than him. The Holy Prophet (s.a.) has said: “A man is not a believer who fills his stomach while his neighbor is hungry.” By giving charity one is showing that his intentions are pure and sincere and that he cares about others besides himself. According to the Ayahs from Surah Al-Baqarah, which I had quoted last week, there are certain conditions for giving charity.
- Charity should be given for the sake of Allah (s.w.t.). In fact, the best transaction we can enter, is to strive for the sake of Allah (s.w.t.) with our wealth and if we do what is right and demonstrate morality, humility and generosity, Allah (s.w.t.) will surely reward us. Charity is like giving a loan to Allah (s.w.t.) Who will return it with ‘interest’ in the form of reward, without any set quantity, cap or limit, in this world and in the hereafter.
- There are certain etiquettes to observe when giving charity. If one helps someone in need, he should avoid reminding him of the favor he has done for him, as it can cause him to feel hurt and embarrassed nor should he go around boasting to others about it. It is better to be kind and gracefully decline an opportunity for charity rather than to give it but later hold it over him and inflate one’s ego.
- The left hand should not know what the right hand gives in charity. There is wisdom in this advice. It is meant to encourage people to show discretion when performing a good deed such as charity. In Islam, the act of charity is highly encouraged. There are however two very different ways to go about it; one can either give charity publicly or discretely. The latter carries more rewards, though, in some situations, public display of charitable donations is preferred because it encourages others to follow suit.
It has been reported that a man from the Ansars (people of Medina) came to Imam Husain (a.s.) and asked him for help as his creditor was demanding repayment of his debt and he did not have the means to do so. He asked the Imam to send a letter to his creditor requesting him to extend the time for repayment. The Imam complied with his request and also gave him 1000 dinars; 500 dinars towards his expenses and 500 dinars towards the loan and advised him to ask for help from believers, the generous and people from good lineage as they are more likely to help him. (Nahjal As-Shahada P: 304)
Anniversary of the Martyrdom Imam Baqir (a,s.)
According to a famous tradition, the 7th of Dhil-Hajja is the martyrdom anniversary of our fifth Imam, Mohammad Baqir (a.s.), and I hereby offer my condolences to Imam Mahdi (a.j.f.) and to the followers of the Ahlul Bait.
The Imam was born during the month of Rajab, 57 Hijri in Medina and in 114 Hijri, when he was 57 years old, he was martyred by poisoning by Ibrahim ibne Walid, under the instruction of Hisham ibne Abdul-Malik, the Umayyad ruler. He was buried in Jannatul Baqi cemetery alongside the graves of Imam Hassan (a.s.) and his father, Imam Zainul Abedin (a.s.).
His father was Ali ibne Al-Hussain (a.s.) and his mother, Fatima, was the daughter of Imam Hassan (a.s.). He was the only Imam who was the direct descendant of the Holy Prophet (s.a.) from both his maternal and paternal side. He was present during the massacre in Karbala and was 4 years old at the time. He grew up under the enlightening care of his father for 35 years and in 95 Hijri, after his father’s martyrdom, he took over the reins of Imamate, which lasted for 19 years. His Imamate coincided with reigns of Walid ibne Abdul-Malik, Sulaiman ibne Abdul-Malik, Umar ibne Abdul-Aziz, Yazid ibne Abdul-Malik, and Hisham ibne Abdul-Malik who ruled with terror and oppression and his policy of persecution and torment led to many revolts. He also persecuted the students of the Imam, but those unjust measures did not prevent Islamic awakening and religious awareness among people at the time.
According to an authentic hadith the Holy Prophet (s.a.) advised his companion, Jabir ibne Abdullah Ansari: “O Jabir, you will have a long life, and you will meet the fifth in line of my descendants, whose name will be the same as mine. He will walk like me and he will be the fifth Imam of the time. When you meet him, convey my greetings to him.” As predicted by the Holy Prophet (s.a.), Jabir had a long life and had become blind in his old age, but he devoutly waited to meet the fifth Imam. Every morning he would come out of his house, sit by the roadside and wait for the sound of his footsteps. One day while he was waiting in the street, he heard someone walking towards him; the sound of his footsteps reminded him of the Holy Prophet (s.a.). Jabir stood up, stopped the man and asked his name. The Imam told him that his name was Mohammad and that he was the son of Ali ibne Al-Hussain (a.s.). Jabir immediately realized that he was the fifth Imam and kissed his hand and conveyed the message of the Holy Prophet (s.a.). The Imam prayed for Allah (s.w.t.)’s blessings to be eternally bestowed upon his great grandfather and on Jabir as well. (Manaqib V: 4 P: 206)