In the name of Allah
The All Compassionate, the All Merciful
18th Dhil-Hajja 1444 (7th July 2023)
Islamic Universal Association
20 Penzance Place, Holland Park
London, W11 4 PG
Jihad An-Nafs – Part 139
Purification of the heart-Part 81
The following verses highlight various benefits and virtues of charity in the Holy Quran; some of which I had quoted earlier:
- The miraculous words of Prophet Jesus as provided in Ayah 31 of Surah Maryam: “And He has made me blessed wherever I may be and He has enjoined upon me prayer and zakah for as long as I remain alive.” These words were among the first words spoken by Jesus after he was born. A newborn speaking is clearly a miracle, but the message conveyed needs the most attention. We learn that two elements that brings blessings and favours of Allah (s.w.t) are prayer and zakat. Zakat includes all forms of charity and donations.
- According to Ayah 254 of Surah Al-Baqarah,“O you who believe spend out of what We have provided you with before a Day comes when there shall be no bargaining, nor friendship, nor intercession..…” This Ayah teaches us that whatever we own comes from Allah (s.w.t). It is purely His favour and grace. By giving charity in His cause, we are inviting His blessings even more.
- The wealth that we have should never be a cause for boasting or looking down on others. Ayah 264 of Surah Al-Baqarah has strongly advised: “do not to make your charities worthless by your obligation and injury…” To be charitable is to be Muslim. It is a way of spreading love and peace. Those who help others, Allah (s.w.t) will help them. This is not only a saying, it is His promise!
- Ayah 274 of Surah Al-Baqarah provides:“For those who spend their wealth (in the way of God) by night and day, secretly or openly, a reward shall be with their Lord. On them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve.” This is by far one of the most empowering verses about sadaqah. What this verse tells us is that those who give abundance in sadaqah will have no fear or grieve after death. We are being guaranteed a safe passage into the next life if we are generous and prefer others over ourselves in this life. In the commentary book of Majma-Al-Bayan, Ibne Abbas, the great commentator of the Quran has said that this Ayah was revealed to describe the generosity of Imam Ali (a.s.) because when he had 4 Dirhams, he gave them to the poor at different times during the day and night, secretly and openly. This has been confirmed by both Imam Baqer and Imam Sadeq (a.s.).
- According to Ayah 261of Surah Al-Baqarah: “The similitude of those who spend their wealth in the path of God is like a grain of corn that grows seven ears, in each ear a hundred grain grows..…” Hence, whatever we donate has the potential to increase seven hundred times.
- Ayah 92 of Surah Aale Imran provides: “You shall never attain righteousness unless you give freely of what you love, and whatever you give, verily God knows it.” This verse highlights a very essential principle that we cannot attain true righteousness unless we prefer others over ourselves. The most powerful method of preferring others is by giving our wealth to those who are less fortunate.
- Charityexpiates our sins as provided in Ayah 133 of Surah Aale-Imran:“And hasten to forgiveness from your Lord, and to paradise, vast as the heavens and the earth, prepared for the pious.”
The 18th of Dhil-Hajjah is the celebrated day of Ghadir; the day when Ali ibne Abi Talib (a.s.) was nominated as the successor of the Holy Prophet (s.a.). I would like to congratulate Imam Mahdi (a.t.f.), and the followers of the Ahlul Bait on this auspicious event. I also take this opportunity to congratulate the pilgrims who have performed Hajj and I earnestly hope and pray that Allah (s.w.t.) has accepted their amaals and bestowed His blessings upon them.
Eid Al-Ghadir is celebrated with great fervour and rejoicing amongst the Shiites, as they remember the Holy Prophet (s.a.)’s last instructions to the believers when he declared Ali (a.s) as his successor at Ghadir Khum. Forat Ibne Al-Naif has reported as follows: “I asked Imam Jafar Sadeq whether there is any Eid better than the Day of Jumah, Eid Al-Fitr, Eid Al-Adha and the Day of Arafah. The Imam replied: “Yes, the best day in the Islamic calendar is when the Holy Prophet, the Messenger of Allah, appointed Amirul Momineen as the leader of the Muslim Ummah after him. That was the day when the religion of Islam was perfected and Ayah 3 of Surah Al-Ma’ida was revealed:“…This day I have perfected your religion for you, completed My favour upon you, and chosen Islam as your religion.” (Safinatul Bihar V:2 P: 286).
Some traditions and important points relating to this event are provided hereunder:
- The Holy Prophet (s.a.) in Ayah 67 of Surah Ma’ida was commanded by Allah (s.w.t.) to convey the life and soul of his mission to the people. It reads as follows: “O Apostle! Deliver what has been revealed to you from your Lord; and if you do not do so, then you would not have fulfilled and delivered His Mission at all. And God will surely protect you from (mischievous) people; verily God does not guide those who reject faith.”
Commentators of the Holy Quran have held different views on Ayah 67, but most of them believe that it refers to the divine guardianship of Imam Ali (a.s.). The assurance of Allah (s.w.t.) to his messenger against the mischievous people makes the entire situation quite clear. The Holy Prophet (s.a.) was evidently apprehensive to declare Ali (a.s.) as his successor as it would not have been accepted by a group of hypocrites, who were powerful elements. Moreover, the matter of successorship was so important that without it Islam would not have been complete and all that the Holy Prophet (s.a.) had done would have been of no effect or of any avail at all.
- After the Holy Prophet (s.a.) made his official and divinely ordained declaration of appointing Ali (a.s.) as his successor, when he was returning from his last Hajj, Allah (s.w.t) showed His approval by revealing the following from Ayah 3 of Surah Al-Ma’ida: “….This day I have perfected your religion for you, completed My favour upon you, and chosen Islam as your religion…” (Tafsir Majma Al-Bayan V: 3 P:159).
- According to several traditions which have been narrated from Imam Baqer and Imam Sadeq (a.s.), Allah (s.w.t.) had ordered the Holy Prophet (s.a.) to announce to the people that Ali (a.s.) would be his successor after him when he was returning from his last Hajj from Mecca known in history, as ‘Hajjatul Wida’. (Majma Al-Bayan V: 3 P: 223).
- This event at Ghadir is so unique that many narrators have reported it and there are several books written on it by great scholars, and thousands of pilgrims have witnessed this divine event. (Safinatul-Al-Bihar 2 P: 307)
- Ibne Abi Al-Hadid, in his book, Shar V:9 P:242 has referred to Sermon 162 in the Nahjul Balagha wherein Imam Ali (a.s.) has explained the reason why people had deprived him of successorship despite the Holy Prophet (s.a.)’s declaration at Ghadir.