In the name of Allah
The All Compassionate, the All Merciful
15th Safar 1445 (1st September 2023)
Islamic Universal Association
20 Penzance Place, Holland Park
London, W11 4 PG
Jihad An-Nafs – Part 147
Purification of the heart-Part 89
With reference to last week’s discussion on rights of charity, today I would like to analyses Ayah 215 of Surah Al-Baqarah, which I had quoted last week. “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.”
It has been reported in Majma Al-Bayan that Ayah 215 was revealed when a rich companion of the Holy Prophet (s.a.), Amr ibne Jumuh, asked him what he should spend from his wealth. According to a narration reported by Ibne Jarir, this question was not that of Ibne Jumuh’s alone, rather, it was from Muslims in general. The question has two parts, that is, what and how much should be spent in charity, and who should be its recipient.
Ayah 215 stipulates that charity should be prioritized as follows: “…whatever of good you spend, let it be for your parents and near of kin, the orphans, the needy, and the wayfarers.” With regard to the other question, that is, what we should spend, Allah (s.w.t.) has not placed any restriction on us as to what we should spend. The fact is whatever we spend in accordance with our capability will become deserving of a matching reward from Allah (s.w.t.) provided the wealth is halal and our intention is pure and for His sake. Allah (s.w.t.) has said: “and whatever good you do, God knows it”.
- Allah (s.w.t.) teaches us the value of relationships and that is why infaq or spending should be first directed to parents, including grandparents. Our parents deserve our kindness the most, because whatever we are today is due to them and the sacrifices, they have made for us.
- According to the author of Majma Al-Bayan, generosity should be prioritized in the following order: parents and grandparents, relatives, orphans, miskin (poor) and the travelers (ibnial-sabil) who need help.
- The Holy Prophet (s.a.) has also advised: “Kindness should be shown to your mother, your father, your sister, your brother and the slave whom you set free. It is a due obligation (on you), and a tie of relationship which should be joined.”
- This Ayah refers to voluntary charity and not obligatory zakat. In any event giving zakat to parents, grandparents and children is not permissible in Islam. However, zakat can be given to one’s kin, the orphans and the needy.
- Consideration should be given, while making voluntary charities, to spend only what is surplus to personal needs. Spending while hurting one’s own family, over-riding their due rights and subjecting them to straightened circumstances is no act of merit. Similarly, one who does not pay back his debt yet squander money in charities does not please Allah (s.w.t.). To be continued.
Arba’een of Imam Hussain (a.s.)
I hereby express my deepest condolence to Imam Mahdi (a.t.f.) and to the followers of the Ahlul Bait on the occasion of the anniversary of Arba’een, the fortieth day of Imam Hussain (a.s.)’s martyrdom and that of his dear relatives and companions.
The day of Arba’een marks an important turning point in the movement of Karbala; it is as important as the day of Ashura for many reasons. The prime being that the surviving Ahlul Bait reached Karbala on that day and visited the grave of Imam Hussain (a.s.) and the loyal members of his family and friends who gave their lives for the cause of Islam. The occasion of Arba’een reminds the faithful of the core message behind Hussain (a.s.)’s martyrdom, that is, to establish justice and fight injustice, no matter what; a message that strongly influenced subsequent Shiite uprisings against the tyranny of the Umayyad and the Abbasid rule. As we complete the forty days of the remembrance of our dear Imam, we must re-assert our pledge of obedience and loyalty to him. According to Imam Hasan Al-Askari (a.s.) a true Shiite conducts the following acts: 1.Performs daily 51 rakat prayers (17 wajib rakats and 34 mustahab rakats) 2. Recites Ziyarat Arba’een of Imam Hussain (a.s.) on the day of Arba’een. 3. Wears a ring on his right index finger 4. Prostrates on earth (mohar) during prayers. (s.w.t.). 5. Recites loudly Bismillah Ar-Rahman Nir-Rahim during prayers.
Imam, Sadeq (a.s.) declared in a special prayer that on the day of Arba’een Imam Hussain (a.s.) and his faithful companions sacrificed their lives to initiate declarations of freedom for the people who were in search of independence and justice. I hereby invite you to pay attention to the following declaration by the Imam:
O Lord, I declare that Hussain is your friend and your friend’s son. He has been elected by You and Your friends. He was honored to die a martyr and had the privilege to defend Your religion. You have given him and his household a special elevated position and You have assigned him as successor to your messengers and as Your executor and an exemplar to Your servants on earth.
He invited people to pursue Islam in order to attain an honorable life. He gave them his advice and generously sacrificed his and his companions’ lives to save the Muslim Ummah from anguish and desolation…”
Then Imam Sadeq (a.s.) described the greatness of his great grandfather, Imam Hussain (a.s.), who was chosen by Allah (s.w.t.) to lead the people. Muslims should be inspired by his non-violent resistance to the tyranny of Yazid. Although the Umayyad’s had spread corruption and breached Islamic laws, the Imam’s firm faith was never shaken and he enjoined what is right and forbade what is prohibited.