Charity is an essential part of Islam. The holy book, Quran repeatedly commands its believers to engage in charitable activities via Islamic giving. While reciting the Quran, one can easily understand the significance of charity in Islam.
In fact, several hadiths have indicated that a real Muslim by virtue is the one who feels the pain of his brother and puts in the effort to ease his pain. Muslims have been told frequently to practice compassion through fulfilling the obligation of Islamic giving.
What are the Ways of Islamic Giving?
By putting a lot of emphasis on charity, Islam has set forth various ways in the form of Islamic giving for its believers to practice. Some of these ways are made obligatory for financially able Muslims, on the other hand, some are non-obligatory and one can fulfill them however they wish.
Let’s go over a few ways of Islamic giving in order to have a better understanding of what is charity in Islam.
Zakat is the third pillar of Islam. Zakat laid the foundation of Islamic giving. Zakat has been made obligatory for all sane adult Muslims who have possessions above a certain limit known as Nisab. Muslims are supposed to pay 2.5% of that wealth and assets in Zakat once a year.
The zakat is collected by certain organizations and then it is distributed among the neediest of the society. The concept of Zakat set forth by Islam, is for sure an ideal solution to disparity and an equally ideal way of Islamic giving.
Sadaqah refers to a voluntary act of charity that one does out of pure goodwill. However, sadaqah isn’t just limited to financial aid, an act of kindness that one does for another count as sadaqah. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) once stated:
“Sadaqah extinguishes sin as water extinguishes fire.” (Tirmidhi)
Apart from this, sadaqah has countless other benefits therefore, make sure to practice as much sadaqah as you can.
Qurbani translates into sacrifice. Every year, during the holy month of Dhul Hijjah Muslims from all over the world, perform Qurbani of sacrificial animals such as goat, cow, lamb, sheep, and camel in remembrance of the great sacrifice that Prophet Abraham was prepared to make in the name of Allah (SWT).
Islam has set forth an ideal way of distributing the meat once the animal has been sacrificed. This donation of the meat of sacrificed animals is one way of Islamic giving.
Fitrana is also known as Zakat ul Fitr is a mandatory donation that every financially able Muslim needs to make before the Eid ul Fitr prayers. Fitrana is a compulsion that needs to be fulfilled by every Muslim who has food resources beyond his need. The quantity described by Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) that needs to be given in fitrana is the money required to feed a person.
Usually, the amount of fitrana is determined through the current price of staples such as rice and wheat. Abdullah B’umer once reported that:
The Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) ordered the payment of Sadaqat-ul-Fitr before people go out for prayer. (Muslim)
5. Clean Water charity
The global water crisis is not a secret. There are countless regions in the world that suffer from severe water shortages. Life becomes truly painful for those who lack the access to water hence, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) once stated:
Clean water charity is one ideal way of Islamic giving as mentioned in the hadith above. Come forward and become a part of projects such as Rohingya water, and Thar water donation with us in order to gather immense rewards against clean water charity.
6. Orphan support
Supporting and taking care of orphans is a highly admired and preached act in Islam. There are great rewards. Orphans are little vulnerable children that have been left alone in this world without a guardian hence, Allah (SWT) has promised great rewards for those who sponsor an orphan.
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) once said:
“I and the sponsor of an orphan shall be in Paradise like these two.\” And he indicated with his fingers, meaning his index and his middle finger” (Tirmidhi)
However, sponsoring an orphan comes with its own share of responsibilities and not everyone has the capability to sponsor an orphan, this is why most people donate to organizations that work for the welfare of orphans and looks after them.
Generally, on the birth of a child Muslims perform aqiqah which is among the sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Aqiqah mainly refers to the act of sacrificing a goat or a sheep. The act of aqiqah is usually conducted on the seventh day after the baby is born. However, there is no specified time to perform aqiqah and one can perform it whenever it is feasible.
Following the sacrifice, the meat is then divided among the family members and it is typically shared with those less fortunate. In this way, aqiqah has also become a type of Islamic giving.
Once Aisha narrated:
“The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) commanded us to sacrifice two sheep for a boy’s ‘Aqiqah and one sheep for a girl.” (Sunan Ibn Majah)
Frequently Asked Questions
What does Islam say about giving?
Islam greatly emphasizes on charity therefore, a Muslim is required to engage in as many charitable activities as he can. Moreover, the Holy Quran constantly reminds us to be compassionate and to practice Islamic giving.
‘’And in their wealth, there was a rightful share ˹fulfilled˺ for the beggar and the poor.’’ (51:19)
What are the 3 primary types of giving in Islam?
There are 3 primary types of giving in Islam, number one is Zakat- an obligatory Islamic donation and the rest is Sadaqah and Sadaqah jariyah which are types of voluntary charity.
Why is giving important in Islam?
Islamic giving is considered among the most important responsibilities of a Muslim. This is because Islamic giving is hugely responsible for the welfare of those in need along with leaving a long-lasting positive impact on society.
What is given to the poor in Islam?
Giving to the poor in Islam generally has 2 main types that are Zakat and Sadaqah respectively. Zakat is one of the pillars of Islam, that lays the foundation of charity in Islam. Whereas, a sadaqah is a voluntary form of charity.
The importance and significance of giving in Islam are truly undeniable. Islam has set forth several ways of Islamic giving for its followers to practice. Hence, as Muslims giving and engaging in charitable activities are among one the fundamental responsibilities bestowed upon us by our faith.
In order to enjoy the blessings and rewards that come with practicing Islamic giving, come forward, and support Ekplatebiryani through your funds in whatever capacity you can!