By Umm Ibrahim
Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem
“We are collecting money for a poor boy who has cancer. Can you contribute towards his treatment?”
“We want to hold a Qur’an class in a slum area. We need some money for various expenses. Can you help?”
These and so many other causes invite our attention every month. We want to help and give sadaqah (voluntary charity) in line with Allah’s command:
“Those who spend their wealth [in Allah’s way] by night and by day, secretly and publicly—they will have their reward with their Lord. And no fear will there be concerning them, nor will they grieve.” (al-Baqarah 2:274)
However, our tight hand-to-mouth budget may not allow us to do so easily. What should we do in such a situation?
Here are some handy tips:
1. Remember: sadaqah does not decrease wealth; it’s the opposite
Several verses and hadiths remind us that sadaqah doesn’t decrease wealth; on the contrary, it is a source of numerous blessings from Allah. Allah mentions:
“The example of those who spend their wealth in the way of Allah is like a seed [of grain] which grows seven spikes; in each spike is a hundred grains. And Allah multiplies [His reward] for whom He wills. And Allah is all-encompassing and knowing.” (al-Baqarah 2:261)
Abu Hurayrah reported that Allah’s Messenger (sa) said:
“Charity does not in any way decrease wealth…” (Muslim)
The Prophet (sa) also said:
“The wealth of a slave (of Allah) shall not be decreased by charity.” (at-Tirmidhi; authentic)
Train your mind and truly believe that giving sadaqah will not tighten the budget. With this belief, sparing some amount becomes easier.
2. Right intention and supplication
Purify your intention that you want to give sadaqah to earn Allah’s pleasure and His blessings. With this, supplicate to Him to increase barakah in your monthly earnings. Then consider your expenses to see how much you can spare in that particular month.
3. Take out sadaqah at the beginning of the month
As soon as the monthly salary or payment comes in, set aside a certain amount for sadaqah. You can either disburse it right away or keep it with you in case you want to contribute throughout the month. I’ve found the former easier—once a specific amount is allocated to sadaqah in your budget, it becomes a part of the budget and is given away immediately.
4. Don’t belittle the amount of sadaqah
You may not be able to give a hefty amount, but at the end of the day your intention and contribution does contribute towards your scale of good deeds. Take out as much as you can and, inshallah, Allah will accept it. There is no such thing as a ‘petty amount’ when it comes to sadaqah.
5. Give other forms of sadaqah
If you have no source of income at the present and are absolutely unable to help anyone out financially, give sadaqah through some other means specified by the Prophet (sa) in numerous hadiths. For instance:
Abu Dharr narrated that the Messenger of Allah (sa) said:
“Smiling in the face of your brother is charity; commanding good and forbidding evil is charity; giving directions to a man who is lost is charity; guiding a man with bad eyesight is a charity; removal of a rock, a thorn, or a bone from the road is charity; pouring what remains from your bucket into the bucket of your brother is charity.” (at-Tirmidhi; reliable but odd)
May Allah (swt) enable us to increase our faith and earn numerous rewards through our charity. Ameen.
Umm Ibrahim is a stay-at-home mom, and a freelance writer and editor.
© IIPH 2016