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#1 [Permalink] Posted on 25th May 2010 09:53
Generosity

Description: The definition and value of generosity in Islam.



As humans, we have an innate sense of morality. No matter what religion, race or colour we are, certain qualities serve as the moral standard. We admire justice, bravery, honesty and compassion. We abhor those who demonstrate treachery, cruelty or corruption. Moral standards are universal, and one of the most important aspects of Islam is adherence to high moral standards and good manners. Prophet Muhammad. May the mercy and blessings of God be upon him, taught Muslims to have the best manners and personal characteristics. The Prophet's own high standard of morals and manners made him the best example for Muslims to follow. God said in the Quran:

"And verily you, O Muhammad, are on an exalted standard of character." (Quran 68:4)

Generosity was among the countless good qualities of the Prophet Muhammad. He was the most generous of people and he used to be most generous in Ramadan.[1]

One day the Prophet Muhammad offered the prayer in the mosque and then hurriedly went to his house and returned immediately. A companion asked why he left and he replied,

"I left a piece of gold at home which was given for charity and I disliked letting it remain a night in my house, so I bought it to the mosque to distribute." (Saheeh Al-Bukhari)

Our worldly possessions are bounties from God, who is Al Kareem, the Most Generous. Muslims believe that everything originates from God and everything will return to Him, thus, it is logical to behave as if that which we possess is merely a loan, something we are obligated to preserve, protect and ultimately share.

Whenever Prophet Muhammad met a miserly person, he advised him to be more generous and charitable. Ibn `Abbas said that he heard Prophet Muhammad say, "The believer is not the one who eats when his neighbour beside him is hungry," another companion heard the Prophet say, "The believer is simple and generous, but the wicked person is deceitful and ignoble."

Generosity Defined
Princeton University wordnet defines generosity as the willingness to give freely. Islam encourages this concept of generosity so much so that it is embedded in one of the five pillars of Islam, the obligatory charity known as Zakaat. In Arabic, the term zakaat literally means purification of the heart however; it is also the payment, from surplus money, of an obligatory charity designed by God to provide for all the needy members of the community. It is a fixed calculable amount.

There is also another form of generosity in Islam called sadaqa. Linguistically, sadaqa means truthfulness, and some scholars have described it as the heart being truthful to its Creator. Anything given generously - freely to others - with the intention of pleasing God is sadaqa. Sadaqa can be as simple as a smile, helping an elderly person with their groceries or removing objects from the road or path.

Generosity can be viewed as a wise investment in the future. Generosity or sadaqa may pave the way to Paradise because with every generous act comes great reward from God. However, being generous does not only mean giving freely from what you have in abundance. Generosity does not lie in giving away something that is no longer useful but in giving freely from the things we love or need.

Aisha (the wife of the Prophet) said, "A lady, along with her two daughters came to me asking for some alms, but she found nothing with me except one date which I gave to her and she divided it between her two daughters." (Saheeh Al-Bukhari)

God tells us in the Quran that whatever we give away generously, with the intention of pleasing Him, He will replace it. God knows what is in the hearts of men.

Say: "Truly, my Lord enlarges the provision for whom He wills of His slaves, and also restricts it) for him, and whatsoever you spend of anything (in God's Cause), He will replace it. And He is the Best of providers." (Quran 34:39)

The Value of Generosity
The companions of Prophet Muhammad understood the value of being generous. Abdullah ibn Omar was seen in the market buying fodder for his camel on credit. One of the men queried this knowing that Abdullah had received 4000 dirhams and a blanket the previous day. It was explained that before nightfall Abdullah had distributed the money amongst the needy. He then took the blanket, threw it over his shoulder and headed home, but by the time he arrived even the blanket was gone, he had given it to a needy person.

After the death of the Prophet, the people faced great hardship due to drought. They came to Abu Bakr asking him to provide them with enough to sustain them, but he was unable to help, the treasury was empty. Just at that time, the camel caravan belonging to Uthman arrived from Damascus. It was filled with foodstuffs and other goods. The merchants gathered at Uthman's house offering him large amounts of money for the goods; however, he turned them down saying he was prepared only to give the goods to the One from whom he would receive the greatest reward. Uthman gave all the goods to the starving people of Madinah and did not charge them. He knew that God would reward him with something far greater than money.

Even in the direst of circumstances, person who is a true believer in Almighty God is able to be generous.

The people came to the Prophet Muhammad and asked, "If someone has nothing to give, what will he do?" He said, "He should work with his hands and benefit himself and also give in charity (from what he earns)." The people further asked, "If he cannot find even that?" He replied, "He should help the needy who appeal for help." Then the people asked, "If he cannot do that?" He replied, "Then he should perform good deeds and keep away from evil deeds and this will be regarded as charitable deeds." (Saheeh Al-Bukhari)

And God says in the Quran that He will repay the generosity of a believer.

"And whatever you spend in good, it will be repaid to you in full, and you shall not be wronged." (Quran 2:272)

God is the One who provides for us and He expects us to share generously. We are encouraged to be benevolent and unselfish with our possessions, with our time and with our exemplary behaviour towards others.
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#2 [Permalink] Posted on 1st December 2019 13:58
Allah, The Most Exalted, says:

“By no means shall you attain the reality of true piety and righteousness, unless you spend (in Allah's cause) that which you love “ (Quran-Ale-'Imran 3: 92)


Jabir ibn 'Abdullah Radiyallahu 'anhuma narrates:

“Whenever Rasullullah Sallaliahu 'alaihi wasallam was asked for anything, he never said 'No'.”

(Hadith-Muslim)

Note: It means that The Messenger of Allah (Sallaliahu 'alaihi wasallam) never used the plain word 'no' before anyone who asked for something. If he had something with him, he would give it then and there; if not, he would either promise him, or remain quiet, or excuse himself with some suitable words, or say words of supplication.
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#3 [Permalink] Posted on 1st December 2019 14:05
There is a story related by Mufti Taqi Uthmani Sahib regarding his father, Mufti Shafi’ (رحمه الله) the author of Ma’ariful Qur’an. He says he noticed that his father always gave to beggars whatever he had so he mentioned that there was no need for that as many of them were not deserving of it and they were often professional beggars. Mufti Shafi’(رحمه الله) replied that he knew that however he felt that if he started giving to only those who were deserving, what would happen if Allah ta’ala also started doing that? He meant that Allah ta’ala gave so much despite us not deserving it. What would happen if He only gave to those who were deserving of it?

Source

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#4 [Permalink] Posted on 1st December 2019 14:12
Abu Huraira reported: The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said,

“Generosity is near to Allah, near to Paradise, near to the people, and far from the Hellfire. Miserliness is far from Allah, far from Paradise, far from the people, and near to the Hellfire. An ignorant generous person is more beloved to Allah Almighty than a stingy scholar.”

Source: Sunan al-Tirmidhī 1961

Grade: Sahih (authentic) according to Al-Suyuti

عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ عَنْ النَّبِيِّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ قَالَ السَّخِيُّ قَرِيبٌ مِنْ اللَّهِ قَرِيبٌ مِنْ الْجَنَّةِ قَرِيبٌ مِنْ النَّاسِ بَعِيدٌ مِنْ النَّارِ وَالْبَخِيلُ بَعِيدٌ مِنْ اللَّهِ بَعِيدٌ مِنْ الْجَنَّةِ بَعِيدٌ مِنْ النَّاسِ قَرِيبٌ مِنْ النَّارِ وَلَجَاهِلٌ سَخِيٌّ أَحَبُّ إِلَى اللَّهِ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ مِنْ عَالِمٍ بَخِيلٍ

1961 سنن الترمذي كتاب البر والصلة باب ما جاء في السخاء

4788 المحدث السيوطي خلاصة حكم المحدث صحيح في الجامع الصغير
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#5 [Permalink] Posted on 26th November 2020 10:41
Generosity

Although sakhaawat (generosity) is not Fardh, it is the remedy for hubb-e-maal (love for wealth). It prevents many corruptions spawned by love of wealth, thus it gives rise to numerous virtues. Sometimes a dua acquired from someone in lieu of an act of generosity is adequate for one’s forgiveness.

After a man had died he appeared in the dream of one of his friends. He said that he was forgiven merely because a pious man had once rested in the shade of the grape tree which was growing in front of his house.

-Hakeemul Ummah (رحمه الله)
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#6 [Permalink] Posted on 3rd December 2020 05:37
Salaam.

Here in UK we have street beggars. Many of them are alcoholics or drug addicts and beg to fund their addictions. Some are genuinely homeless and destitute due to various reasons. Some are professional beggars. They tend to target the muslim areas.

Before covid I would never give them money, but offer to buy them food or give them warm clothing. But due to Covid I can no longer do that so on some occasions I have given them money. However, I question myself when doing so as the money could end up being used for drugs or alcohol.

What should I do? Is it ok to give money even if there is a high chance it will go towards feeding their addiction?
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#7 [Permalink] Posted on 3rd December 2020 08:08
xs11ax wrote:
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I very rarely give them money as I see them doing the same thing day in day out. They wear clothing and footwear more expensive than an average person would wear. However, I have bought them things to eat or drink, and when I have, I don't see them again.

I assume they were genuine afterwards.

The Masjid's they sit outside warn us not to give them money as it encourages them to come more often. Most of them are wealthy.
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#8 [Permalink] Posted on 3rd December 2020 08:57
xs11ax wrote:
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Walaikumus Salam

You will have to gauge for yourself. If you know they will use it for their addiction then do not give them money, just apologise to them and you won't be sinful. But some of them are genuine and if a person looks needy from his outward appearance and you give him money and later on it turns out that he was not in need, you will still get your rewards.
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#9 [Permalink] Posted on 3rd December 2020 09:06
Answered by Shaykh Amjad Rasheed
Translated by Wajihah Gregor

Question:

It is permissible to give beggars in the Western countries money if it is obvious that they are genuinely invalid, while it appears that others are capable of working and only beg for the purpose of purchasing cigarettes, alcohol, and drugs? How must a Muslim handle these situations, knowing that giving them money only discourages them from improving their situation by finding a job?

Answer:

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

(1) Our Imam have explicitly said that it is permissible for a Muslim to give charity to people whether they are rich or poor, Muslim or non-Muslim. However, it is impermissible for someone wealthy or able to work to ask people for money.

(2) If the one giving charity knows or deems it most probable that the beggar will use the charity for impermissible things, it is impermissible for him to give it to him.

الجواب : يجوز للمسلم إعطاء صدقته للغني والفقير مسلماً كان أو كافراً كما صرح به أئمتنا، لكن يحرم على الغني أو القادر على الكسب أن يسأل الناس المال. وإذا علم المتصدقُ أو غلب على ظنه أن السائل يصرف مالَ الصدقة في محرَّم حَرُمَ عليه إعطاؤه.

islamqa.org/shafii/qibla-shafii/34218
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#10 [Permalink] Posted on 4th December 2020 10:52
Where I live I see a lot of homeless/poor people outside small supermarkets such as Tesco, co-op etc. When they ask for money I will say look I will buy you a tuna sandwich, or something to eat. I won't ask them what they want incase they say something haram and it creates an awkward conversation!
Some of the beggars say it's alright they have food, though I may still get something and they appreciate it.
It's possible the out of date sandwiches/bakery and fruits are given at the end of the day to them.
When you take a step back and look at the bigger picture there is plenty of food to go round.

I've copied and pasted some information from a website below. Best to click on the link at the bottom to see the figures and tables as I could not copy the charts over.

Food waste and hunger in the UK
Hundreds of thousands of tonnes of good food is wasted by the UK food industry every year. At the same time, millions of people are struggling to afford to eat. Our work addresses these two issues by redistributing food industry surplus, which would otherwise go to waste, to the people who need it most. Find facts and figures on food waste and hunger in the UK below.



8.4 million people in the UK are struggling to afford to eat
This is equivalent to the entire population of London

Hunger in the UK
4.7 million of these people live in severely food insecure homes. This means that their food intake is greatly reduced and children regularly experience physical sensations of hunger.

UN figures also show that 5.6% of people aged 15 or over struggle to get enough food. A further 4.5% report that they have been a full day without anything to eat.

Our own research shows that 46% of people accessing the services of our charity partners have gone a whole day without a proper meal in the last month.

Figures from FAO UN, Voices of the Hungry, 2016



1.9 million tonnes of food is wasted by the food industry every year in the UK
Food waste in the food industry
By “food industry” we mean all businesses involved in the supply of food. It includes everyone from farmers and growers to manufacturers and processors to wholesalers, retailers and food service companies.

Figures from WRAP, Quantification of food surplus, 2016



250,000 tonnes of the food that goes to waste each year is still edible
That’s enough for 650 million meals

Surplus food in the supply chain
We call food that isn’t going to be sold, but which is still edible, surplus food. Food becomes surplus for simple reasons such as over-production, labelling errors or short shelf-life. Surplus food occurs everywhere in the supply chain from field through to fork. Here’s a breakdown of where it occurs and how much:

Farms: 100,000-500,000 tonnes
Processing and manufacturing: 52,000-160,000 tonnes
Wholesale and distribution: 80,000-120,000 tonnes
Retail: 47,000-110,000 tonnes
Figures from WRAP, Surplus food redistribution in the UK 2015-2017, 2018



The waste hierarchy calls for food to feed people first
It is a legal requirement for UK companies to operate according to these principles

Feed people first
The waste hierarchy sets out five steps for dealing with waste, ranked according to their environmental impact. It states that surplus food should be used to feed people first before it is sent to animal feed or energy.


fareshare.org.uk/what-we-do/hunger-food-waste/

The same is with wealth. There is plenty in the world but it's not distributed FAIRLY.

If all paid taxes equally without all the loopholes and Muslims paid their zakah I feel the situation would be better.
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#11 [Permalink] Posted on 9th December 2020 03:18
xs11ax wrote:
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You find them in the muslim areas of Birmingham as well these days. Also seen them in Coventry. Was a time you mostly saw this in London.

Having spoken to some of them they are mainly addicts, they live in shared hostel type accomodation and also receive benefits. Of some sort. Best thing to do is jot down the names of charities and phone numbers that help people who are homeless or have addiction issues. Hand that to them you will find most them will refuse. (a) Because very few are actually homeless as in living in the streets. (b) They are not ready to give up their addiction.


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#12 [Permalink] Posted on 1st January 2021 14:25
"Real generosity is doing something nice for someone who will never find out."
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#13 [Permalink] Posted on 1st January 2021 14:44
Allaah is generous & loves generosity. Love what Allaah loves.

Anas Ibn Malik (radiallahu anhu) said: "A man asked of the Messenger of Allaah ﷺ, so he gave him a flock of sheep filling a valley between two mountains. The man returned to his people saying: "O people, embrace Islam. By Allaah, Muhammad gives like the one who fears no poverty."
[Muslim 3312]

[Interactions of the Greatest Leader p.35 by Shaykh Saalih Al-Munajid]
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