Ramadan brings with it a lot of rewards and blessings. Along with fasting, giving charity is emphasized. Those who are blessed with wealth are encouraged to share it with the less privileged. The reward is higher in Ramadan as all deeds’ rewards become ten folds. It is food for the soul and a mean of salvation. It purifies the wealth as well. Prophet (P. B. U. H) said, “Ramadan is an Honorable and blessed month, and the rewards for generosity are multiplied in it.”
Although charity should be given throughout the year to please Allah (SWT). However, in Ramadan worship and deeds along with charity should be increased. In Quran, Allah (SWT) says, “Ramadan is the month of giving and mercy, and in it, Allah blesses the believers with forgiveness and being saved from Hellfire. Therefore, whoever is merciful and giving in Ramadan, Allah will be even more Merciful and Giving, and will give upon him countless bounties and blessings.”
Purpose of Charity
Giving charity is a selfless act, so it will improve the self-esteem and self-worth of the individuals. It will help achieve a greater sense of satisfaction and growth as it feels good to help others and provide them with all the essential resources. It is also the circulation of wealth amongst the community.
Benefits of Charity
The benefits can not be measured but some are:
- To be more thankful
- Cultivate a generous attitude
- Give back to the community
- Inspiration for others to give charity
- Sympathy and empathy for the less fortunate
- To avert calamity and ease hardships
- To increase sustenance and blessings in one’s life
- Purifies soul
- To bring balance to the society and benefits the community
Types of Charities
There are obligatory and non-obligatory charities. They are as:
- Sadaqah (Non-Obligatory)
- Zakat (Obligatory)
In Arabic, the word ‘Sadaqah’ literally means ‘righteousness’ and comes from the root word ‘sidq’, which means sincerity. It is a non-obligatory personal charity that can be given for the year. There are no specifications and limitations in terms of measurements (nisab). It is not categorized and can be non-monetary. The government is not involved in this act, rather it is personal.
It is an obligatory charity that is usually managed by the government. The zakat has been categorized into gold, silver, cash, business assets, agricultural produce, livestock, and treasure troves. It has nisab for each category. Like the zakat giver should possess 87.48 grams of gold (7 tolas), and 612.36 grams of silver (52.5 Tolas). As Allah (SWT) mentions in Surah Tauba, 7 people should be given zakat, “Zakah expenditures are only for the poor and for the needy and for those employed to collect [zakah] and for bringing hearts together [for Islam] and for freeing captives [or slaves] and for those in debt and for the cause of Allah and for the [stranded] traveler–an obligation [imposed] by Allah. And Allah is Knowing and Wise.”
May Allah SWT give us sufficient wealth so that we can give it to the less fortunate and contribute to the community as well. Keep looking around you and reap the benefits of the month of Ramadan.