CHARITIES APART FROM ZAKAT

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Factors  of  economic  revitalization,  in  Islam,  are  not  reserved just to zakat.  In fact,  the sadaqa al-fitr (charity of fast breaking), sacrifice, aqiqa (sacrifice offered in celebration and gratitude  of  a  newborn  child), walima  (the  wedding  feast), eid  (religious  festival), nazr (votive  offering), wasiyya  (will), and waqf  (a  charity  foundation),  while  enumerated  among economic  activities  are  also  acts  that  acquire  a  spiritual  proximity  with God.  Among  other additional points worth noticing are the compensations and fines imposed on those who, as part of human nature, commit the occasional discrepancies, including the fines for the arbitrary annulment of fasting, for violated vows, and for the illegalities pertaining to pilgrimage—not to mention  the hefty compensation  for mistakenly killing someone. In  addition, when  the supererogatory charities avidly encouraged by the Qur’an and Sunna, regardless of time and place, are brought to mind, the absolute breadth and depth of Islamic tenets aimed at solving the problem of destitution, while upholding the essential dignity of the poor, become crystal clear.

The generalization of Qur’anic declarations that encourage sadaqa accentuates the fact that it carries no limitations whatsoever.

Say: “Indeed my Lord enlarges the provision for whom He wills of His servants, and narrows it (for whom He wills). And whatsoever you spend for good He replaces it. And He is the Best of Providers.” (Saba 34:39)

Whatever good thing you spend, it is for your own soul and you shall do so only for God’s sake. And whatever good you spend, it will be repaid to you in full and you will not be wronged.” (Baqara 2:272)

And whatever good things you spend, surely God knows them well. (Baqara 2:273)

Yet these are just a few corroborative verses that immediately spring to mind.

The Noble Messenger has also drawn attention to the broad extent of the term by the recommendation mentioned earlier, “Save yourselves from hellfire, even if it be with half  a date.”1 Furthermore, the glad tidings of the Messenger (upon whom be peace), to the effect that angels hasten their dua or well-wishes for those who offer supererogatory sadaqa or charity, in addition to the encompassing of God’s blessing on their wealth, are all magnificent pretexts for becoming an active part of such a glorious act. This fact will become even more evident if each of these potential sources of power is scrutinized.

 

Senturk, Omer Faruk. “Charity in Islam” Tughra Books Press. January 2007.