Spending Your Wealth In The Way Of Islam
All praise is for Allah, the Lord and Cherisher of the Universe. May Allah’s peace and blessings be upon the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), his household, his companions and his followers of right guidance until the Day of Judgment.
Alhamdulillah for all of the blessings that Allah, Subhanahu wa Ta’ala, has given us, for healthy sustenance, our children, property, livelihood, wealth and the enjoyment given to us. Rightly, we are always grateful for any gift from Allah, Subhanahu wa Ta’ala. One form of showing our gratitude to Allah, Subhanahu wa Ta’ala, is to spend our wealth in the way of Islam. Wealth is a pleasure of life and one can be distracted by this pleasure. That’s why Muslims are warned in Al-Qur’an not to hoard their wealth and to be aware of greed.
Muslims’ wealth must be earned in a lawful, or halal, way. It is not to be earned by selling or buying things that Allah, Subhanahu wa Ta’ala, forbids a Muslim to enjoin , such as alcohol, pork, etc. Allah, Subhanahu wa Ta’ala, advises us in Al-Qur’an:
“O you who have believed, do not consume one another’s wealth unjustly but only [in lawful] business by mutual consent.” [Quran 4:29]
Islam teaches us to be hard working, to seek wealth through righteous means and to spend on our wives, children, parents, relatives, and to give in charity; this is an obligation on us and we will be rewarded for doing it. Greediness is discouraged and we should spend our wealth in charity as often as we are able to (after family expenses, home, bills, debts and other expenses have been met). Spending on those in need is a highly commendable form of Ibadah or worship.
Islam teaches that the wealth a Muslim spends in charity will never decrease.
“The example of those who spend their wealth in the way of God is like a seed [of grain] which grows seven spikes; in each spike is a hundred grains. And God multiplies [His reward] for whom He wills. And God is all-Encompassing and Knowing.” [Quran 2:261]
When one spends his wealth in the way of Allah, Subhanahu wa Ta’ala, there is no decrease in wealth. Our wealth actually increase as we give and Allah, Subhanahu wa Ta’ala, replaces it with something better and greater.
One of the five pillars of Islam is giving wealth to charity, or Zakat. In fact, in the Qur’an, charity is often mentioned with prayer. One example of that is:
“[True] righteousness is [in] one who believes in God, the Last Day, the Angels, the Book, the Prophets and gives of their wealth, in spite of love for it, to relatives, orphans, the needy, the traveler, those who ask [for help], and for freeing slaves; [and who] establishes Prayer and practices regular charity…” [Quran 2:177]
It is the duty of the rich to take care of the poor. Shadaqah or charity, of course, is not compulsory. What is obligatory, however, is Zakat, a fixed percentage of your halal or lawful savings which is meant to purify your wealth by recognising that the needy has a right over a portion of it. Indeed, the very meaning of the term Zakat signifies purification. Allah, Subhanahu wa Ta’ala, says:
Of their wealth take alms to purify and sanctify them. [at-Tawba 9:103.]
He that spends his possessions [on others] so that he might grow in purity. [al-Layl 92: 18).
This is to remove greediness from our hearts, to purify our hearts and properties, and to foster good relationships and kindness among us.
“They ask thee (Muhammad) what they should spend (in charity). Say: Whatever you spend that is good is for parents and kindred and orphans and those in want and for wayfarers. And whatever you do that is good Allah knows it well.”( Q2:215.)
A Muslim should use wealth in life to in a way that is balanced between being frugal with his wealth and being generous to people in need. This brings us to our next characteristic of the Servants of the Merciful. Almighty God says:
(67). وَالَّذِينَ إِذَا أَنْفَقُوا لَمْ يُسْرِفُوا وَلَمْ يَقْتُرُوا وَكَانَ بَيْنَ ذَٰلِكَ قَوَامًا
“When they spend, do so not excessively or sparingly but are ever, between that, justly moderate.” (Qur’an, 25:67)
Whatever you give or spend your wealth in the way of Allah, Subhanahu wa Ta’ala, will be returned to you in manifold increase. Allah, the most Bountiful and the most Loving, says:
Lend unto God a goodly loan. Whatever good you shall forward on your behalf you shall find it with God, as better and richer in reward. [al-Muzzammil 73: 20.]
We have to be generous, therefore, whatever you spend on yourself is only for your temporary sustenance while whatever you spend in the way of Allah, Subhanahu wa Ta’ala, is an investment in your future which will provide everlasting sustenance. Seek to invest in others for your own benefit with whatever Allah, Subhanahu wa Ta’ala, has endowed you with.
The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said:
A generous person is close to Allah, close to Paradise, close to people, and far from Hell. However, a miserly person is far from Allah, far from Paradise, far from people, but close to Hell. Allah loves more an ignorant man who is generous than a worshipper who is miserly. (Narrated by: Tirmidhi.)
There are also two important things that we must take care to avoid when giving to those in need. One is that of kibr or pride and the other is riya’ or show. Giving with pride in your heart and actions will only consume your good deeds, while spending to seek the attention of others will corrupt your pure intentions and make your actions worthless in the eyes of Allah, Subhanahu wa Ta’ala.
May Allah always guide us in using the wealth that Allah has given to us. Allahumma Aamiin.