Fruits for the Week

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The true, generous Muslim gives charity especially to those who deserve help. He seeks out those among the poor and destitute who are too proud to ask people for anything so that most people think that they are free from want. He goes to them, knocks at their doors, and gives them whatever will meet their needs and preserve their honor. This is because those poor but proud people are the first ones who should be helped.

These are the ones to whom the Prophet (saw) referred when he said: “The poor man is not the one who takes a date or two, or a mouthful or two, then turns away. The poor man is the one who is too proud to ask for anything.” (Bukhari and Muslim)

According to a report quoted by Bukhari and Muslim, he (saw) said: “The poor man is not the one who goes around to people and turns back after receiving a mouthful or two, or a date or two. The poor man is the one who does not have enough to make him free from want, but he is not so noticeable that charity is given to him, nor does he stand up and ask the people for charity.

The true, generous Muslim gives charity, especially to the orphan. He sponsors him to the best of his ability, by spending on him and taking care of his affairs, whether the orphan is related to him or not. He does so hoping to receive the reward that Allah has prepared for the one who sponsors an orphan, which is a status so high that people would sacrifice their lives to attain it, and besides which other hopes and ambitions pale into insignificance, for it is nothing less than being in the vicinity of the Prophet (saw) in Paradise.

Sahl ibn Sa’d (ra) said that the Messenger of Allah (saw) said: “I and the one who sponsors an orphan will be like this in Paradise, and he held up his index and middle fingers and held them apart.” (Bukhari and Muslim)

The true Muslim strives to help the widow and the poor, following the guidance of his religion, seeking the pleasure of his Lord, and hoping for the reward promised by Allah for his deed.

The reward for helping widows and the poor is even greater than that for fasting and standing at night in prayer, or fighting in jihad for the sake of Allah, as the Prophet (saw) said: “The one who strives to help the widow and the poor is like the one who fights in jihad for the sake of Allah. And I (the narrator) believe he also said, and like the one stands at night in prayer without rest and fasts continually without breaking his fast.” (Bukhari and Muslim)

These are the ways in which the generous Muslim may spend his wealth in hopes of earning the pleasure and reward of Allah. These are righteous deeds that will bring the servant closer to his Lord. This does not include the feasts on which rich people spend huge amounts of money for the purpose of fame, glory, and some transient benefit.

The Prophet (saw) condemned such feasts because they are not done for the sake of Allah: “How bad is the food of a feast to which the rich are invited and from which the poor are excluded.” (Bukhari and Muslim)

Striving to help widows and the poor, and sponsoring and taking care of orphans, not only bring a great reward; these deeds also purify the soul of the giver, enhance his humanity, soften his heart, make him enjoy the sweetness of giving and compassion and make him happy to do good deeds. So the Prophet (saw) used to teach hard-hearted people to do good so that their hearts would be softened and filled with compassion.

Abu Hurayrah (ra) reported that a man complained of his hard-heartedness to the Prophet (saw), so he told him: “Pat the head of the orphan, and feed the poor.” (Ahmad)


by Muhammad Ali Al-Hashimi