Those Who Rule Their Property

Fatma Bayram

Friday, March 15, 2024

Those Who Rule Their Property

Ramadan is a season of complete purification. It purifies our bodies through fasting, our souls through prayer and reciting the Quran, and our possessions through zakat and alms. Sadaqah (charity) stems from the  Arabic root sidq and reveals the sincerity of our faith; by giving alms, one becomes a sincere individual.

As you may know, only the wealthy give zakat. Yet, Allah has not confined the joy of giving solely to the wealthy but has conveyed the good news that even those who are not wealthy can experience this joy by voluntarily giving alms. It is said that giving is such a profound source of happiness that the most disheartening aspect of poverty is being among those in need every day and yet not being able to assist them. Today, as researchers suggest, fostering happiness is not solely about being happy; rather, they propose that true happiness comes from making others happy. Thus, you do not make others happy merely by being happy; you will find happiness in proportion to how much happiness you bring to others (here, happiness is considered a reciprocal concept).

Our Prophet (pbuh) described those who believed otherwise—thinking they would find happiness merely by amassing wealth, and consequently, accumulating it more and more—as "miserable." He informed us that the only way to escape this wretchedness is by controlling one's possessions, spending generously, and doing so in a manner pleasing to Allah, without extravagance, trouble, wastefulness, or resorting to wrongdoing.

Ramadan provides the perfect environment for experiencing the joy of giving, as it prepares us for righteous deeds and removes barriers to such acts by binding the devils. It is well-known that our Prophet (pbuh) was exceedingly generous during Ramadan, distributing whatever he could lay his hands on. It is believed that our Prophet (pbuh), who was already generous under normal circumstances, intensified his generosity during Ramadan because he met with Gabriel daily during this month to discuss the Quran.

Can we infer from this that increased charity makes our hearts more receptive to the Quran? Or perhaps that as we curb our appetites and open our purses, the pathways of the mind and soul also open?

عن أبي هُرَيْرَةَ ـ رضى الله عنه قَالَ:
قَبَّلَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم الْحَسَنَ بْنَ عَلِيٍّ وَعِنْدَهُ الأَقْرَعُ بْنُ حَابِسٍ التَّمِيمِيُّ جَالِسًا‏.‏ فَقَالَ الأَقْرَعُ إِنَّ لِي عَشَرَةً مِنَ الْوَلَدِ مَا قَبَّلْتُ مِنْهُمْ أَحَدًا‏.‏ فَنَظَرَ إِلَيْهِ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ثُمَّ قَالَ ‏"‏ مَنْ لاَ يَرْحَمُ لاَ يُرْحَمُ ‏"‏‏
God's Messenger kissed Al-Hasan bin Ali (his grandchild) while Al-Aqra' bin Habis At-Tamim was sitting beside him. Al-Aqra said, "I have ten children and I have never kissed anyone of them", God's Messenger cast a look at him and said, "Whoever is not merciful to others will not be treated mercifully." (Bukhari, Good Manners and Form (Al-Adab), 18)

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