In the name of Allah
The All Compassionate, the All Merciful
8th Safar 1445 (25th August 2023)
Islamic Universal Association
20 Penzance Place, Holland Park
London, W11 4 PG
Jihad An-Nafs – Part 146
Purification of the heart-Part 88
It is highly important to know who has a right to charity in Islam and to whom we should give charity. In this context, I quote below the following Ayahs from Surah Al-Baqarah:
Ayah 184: “It (the month of Ramadan) is for a fixed number of days, but whoso among you is sick or on a journey, then he shall fast the same number of other days. Those who find it a hardship which they cannot bear may effect a redemption by feeding a poor man, and even so whoso of his own accord performs a good deed, it is better for him, and if you fast, it is better for you if you know.”
Ayah 215: “They ask you (O our Messenger Muhammad) what they should spend. Say that whatever of good you spend, let it be for your parents and near of kin, the orphans, the needy, and the wayfarers, and whatever good you do God knows it.”
Ayahs 272 and 273: “It is not incumbent on you (O our Messenger Muhammad) to guide them, but God guides aright whomsoever He pleases. Whatever good you spend charitably shall be for your own selves. Do not give except seeking the pleasure of God, and whatever you spend of good shall be rendered back to you in full, and you shall not be wronged.
Charity is for those poor who are besieged in the path of God and thereby prevented from moving about in the land. The ignorant ones think they are rich on account of their restraint from seeking assistance. You may recognize them by their countenance; they do not beg men importunately, and whatever good things you give in charity, God fully knows it.”
- Ayah 184 addresses some important issues on fasting. Although fasting in Ramadan is obligatory, in case of hardship, including illness and travel, one can make up for the lost day by fasting on another day after Ramadan or by giving alms if one is unable to make up for the fast. Good deed in this Ayah refers to charity, but fasting is better than expiation if hardship is bearable.
- The list of charitable recipients mentioned in Ayah 215 is familiar and appears in one form or another in many places throughout the Holy Quran.
- Good refers to wealth in many Ayahs of the Holy Quran. In my forthcoming session, Inshallah, I will be discussing good (khair) as opposed to bad (sharr).
- Ayah 272 specifies that Allah (s.w.t.) does not need our good work. Whosoever works righteously, it is for his own soul.
- Ayah 273 provides that the Holy Prophet (s.a.) is not responsible for people to accept guidance. However, Allah (s.w.t.) guides whosoever He pleases.
- Moreover Ayah 273 refers to some poor and homeless Muslims who were known for their piety, devotion, and asceticism. They were not able to travel the earth either because they were too poor to do so or were vulnerable to enemies outside Medina. According to the Holy Prophet (s.a.),“An indigent person (miskin) is not one who you feed but one who restrains himself and does not ask people importunately.” To be continued
Imam Hassan (a.s.)
According to a tradition, the 7th of Safar is the martyrdom anniversary of Imam Hassan (a.s.) and I offer my condolences to Imam Mahdi (a.t.f.) and to the followers of the Ahlul Bait. However, according to an authentic tradition he was martyred on the 28th of Safar.
The Imam was born in Medina on the 15th of Ramadan, 3 Hijri. After he was born, his mother, Fatima (a.s.), wrapped the newborn in a beautiful silk shawl, brought from the heavens by Gabriel, and handed him to the Holy Prophet (s.a.) to name him. The Holy Prophet (s.a.) said that he was waiting for Allah (s.w.t.)’s instructions for naming the baby. Just then Gabriel descended with the message from Allah (s.w.t.) that the baby should be named ‘Hassan’ (Shabbar in Hebrew) which means beautiful. Shabbar was also the son of Aaron, the successor of Moses. The Holy Prophet (s.a.) recited adhan and iqamah in his right and left ears respectively and also sacrificed a ram and distributed it.
Hassan (a.s.) was blessed with the gracious patronage of his grandfather, the Holy Prophet (s.a.), during the first 7 years of his life, who gifted him with his great qualities and adorned him with divine knowledge, tolerance, intelligence and valor. After the demise of his grandfather, he devoted himself to the sacred mission of peacefully propagating Islam and its teachings for 30 years, under the guidance of his father, Ali (a.s.). The martyrdom of his father in 40 Hijri marked the inception of his Imamate, which lasted for 10 years and during that period he lived in extreme hardship and under persecution. He was finally poisoned by his wife; Judah binte Ashath, through a plan orchestrated by Muawiyah, in 50 Hijri at the age of 47 and was buried in Baqi Cemetery in Medina by the side of his grandmother, Fatima, the daughter of Asad.
It has been reported that after the assassination of Ali (a.s.), people paid allegiance to Imam Hassan (a.s.) as the Caliph much to the annoyance of the then governor of Syria, Muawiyah, who had rebelled against Ali (a.s.). Imam Hassan (a.s.) finally agreed to sign a treaty with him whereby he would surrender the Caliphate to Muawiyah on specific terms and conditions in order to avoid bloodshed; some of which were:
- Muawiyah would rule according to the Holy Quran and the Sunnah.
- He would stop harassing and terrorizing the followers of Ali (a.s.).
- He would desist from cursing Imam Ali (a.s.).
- He would not have the right to appoint a successor after him
Although Muawiyah accepted all the conditions set out in the peace treaty, he did not abide by any of them. However, after the treaty was concluded Hassan (a.s.) left for Medina and served the people as the Shiite Imam for 10 years. At that time Muawiyah was contemplating to appoint Yazid as his successor, but due to the terms of the treaty his hands were tied. Hence, he decided to get Hassan (a.s.) out of the way by killing him and communicated secretly with his wife, Judah, to poison him. He gave an undertaking to her that he would marry her to his son, Yazid, and gave her 1000 dirhams. Although she administered the poison, Muawiyah did not get her married to Yazid as promised and told her that she could not be trusted for she had killed the grandson of the Prophet (s.a.).