بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
I think that the following story summarises this entire issue:
إن ثلاثة في بني إسرائيل . أبرص وأقرع وأعمى . فأراد الله أن يبتليهم . فبعث إليهم ملكا . فأتى الأبرص فقال : أي شيء أحب إليك ؟ قال : لون حسن وجلد حسن ويذهب عني الذي قد قذرني الناس . قال فمسحه فذهب عنه قذره . وأعطي لونا حسنا وجلدا حسنا . قال : فأي المال أحب إليك ؟ قال : الإبل ( أو قال البقر . شك إسحاق ) – إلا أن الأبرص أو الأقرع قال أحدهما : الإبل . وقال الآخر البقر – قال فأعطى ناقة عشراء . فقال : بارك الله لك فيها . قال فأتى الأقرع فقال : أي شيء أحب إليك ؟ قال : شعر حسن ويذهب عني هذا الذي قذرني الناس . قال فمسحه فذهب عنه . وأعطي شعرا حسنا . قال : فأي المال أحب إليك ؟ قال : البقر . فأعطي بقرة حاملا . فقال : بارك الله لك فيها . قال فأتى الأعمى فقال : أي شيء أحب إليك ؟ قال : أن يرد الله إلي بصري فأبصر به الناس . قال فمسحه فرد الله إليه بصره . قال : فأي المال أحب إليك ؟ قال : الغنم . فأعطي شاة والدا . فأنتج هذان وولد هذا . قال : فكان لهذا واد من الإبل . ولهذا واد من البقر . ولهذا واد من الغنم . قال ثم إنه أتى الأبرص في صورته وهيئته فقال : رجل مسكين . قد انقطعت بي الحبال في سفري . فلا بلاغ لي اليوم إلا بالله ثم بك . أسألك ، بالذي أعطاك اللون الحسن والجلد الحسن والمال ، بعيرا أتبلغ عليه في سفري . فقال : الحقوق كثيرة . فقال له : كأني أعرفك . ألم تكن أبرص يقذرك الناس ؟ فقيرا فأعطاك الله ؟ فقال : إنما ورثت هذا المال كابرا عن كابر . فقال : إن كنت كاذبا ، فصيرك الله إلى ما كنت . قال وأتى الأقرع في صورته فقال له مثل ما قال لهذا . ورد عليه مثل ما رد على هذا . فقال : إن كنت كاذبا فصيرك الله إلى ما كنت . قال وأتى الأعمى في صورته وهيئته فقال : رجل مسكين وابن سبيل . انقطعت بي الحبال في سفري . فلا بلاغ لي اليوم إلا بالله ثم بك . أسألك ، بالذي رد عليك بصرك ، شاة أتبلغ بها في سفري . فقال : قد كنت أعمى فرد الله إلي بصري . فخذ ما شئت . ودع ما شئت . فوالله ! لا أجهدك اليوم شيئا أخذته لله . فقال : أمسك مالك . فإنما ابتليتم . فقد رضي عنك وسخط على صاحبيك
Abu Hurairah (radiallahu anahu) narrated that he heard Allah’s Messenger (salallahu alaihi wasallam) as saying: “There were three people in Bani Israil, one suffering from leprosy, the other bald-headed and the third one blind. Allah decided to test them.
So He sent an angel who came to one who was suffering from leprosy and said: Which thing do you like most? He said: Beautiful colour and fine skin and removal of that which makes me detestable in the eye of people. He wiped him and his illness was no more and he was conferred upon beautiful colour and beautiful skin. He (the angel) again said: Which property do you like most? He said: Camels, or he said: The cow. The narrator is, however, doubtful about it, but (out of the persons) suffering from leprosy or baldness one of them definitely said: The camel]. And the other one said: Cow. And he (one who demanded came]) was bestowed upon a she-camel, in an advanced stage of pregnancy, and while giving he said: May Allah bless you in this.
Then he came to the bald-headed person and said: Which thing do you like most? He said: Beautiful hair and that (this baldness) may be removed from me because of which people hate me. He wiped his body and his illness was removed and he was bestowed upon beautiful hair, and the angel said: Which wealth do you like most? He said: The cow. And he was given a pregnant cow and while handing it over to him he (the angel) said: May Allah bless you in this.
Then he came to the blind man and he said: Which thing do you like most? He said: Allah should restore my eyesight so that I should be able to see people with the help of that. He wiped his body and Allah restored to him his eyesight, and he (the angel) also said: Which wealth do you like most? He said. The flock of sheep. And he was given a pregnant goat and that gave birth to young ones and it so happened that one valley abounded in camels and the other one in goats and the third one in sheep.
He then came to one suffering from leprosy in his (old) form and shape and he said: I am a poor person and my provision has run short in my journey and there is none to take me to my destination except with the help of Allah and your favour. I beg of you in His name Who gave you fine colour and fine skin, and the camel in the shape of wealth (to confer upon me) a camel which should carry me in my journey. He said: I have many responsibilities to discharge. Thereupon he said: I perceive as if I recognise you. Were you not suffering from leprosy whom people hated and you were a destitute and Allah conferred upon you (wealth) He said: I have inherited this property from my forefathers. Thereupon he said: If you are a liar may Allah change you to that very position in which you had been.
He then came to the one who was bald-headed in his (old) form and said to him the same what he had said to him (one suffering from leprosy) and he gave him the same reply as he had given him and he said: If you are a liar, may Allah turn you to your previous position in which you had been.
And then he came to the blind man in his (old) form and shape and he said: I am a destitute person and a wayfarer. My provision have ran short and today there is no way to reach the destination but with the help of Allah and then with your help and I beg of you in the (name) of One Who restored your eyesight and gave you the flock of sheep to give me a sheep by which I should be able to make my provisions for the journey. He said: I was blind and Allah restored to me my eyesight; you take whatever you like and leave whatever you like. By Allah. I shall not stand in your way today for what you take in the name of Allah. Thereupon, he said: You keep with you what you have (in your possession). The fact is that you three were put to test and Allah is well pleased with you and He is angry with your companions.”
[Sahih Muslim, Hadeeth No. 7071]
وَإِذْ تَأَذَّنَ رَبُّكُمْ لَئِن شَكَرْتُمْ لَأَزِيدَنَّكُمْ ۖ وَلَئِن كَفَرْتُمْ إِنَّ عَذَابِي لَشَدِيدٌ
“And (remember) when your Lord proclaimed: “If you give thanks (by accepting Faith and worshipping none but Allah), I will give you more (of My Blessings), but if you are thankless (i.e. disbelievers), verily! My Punishment is indeed severe.”” [Surah Ibrahim (14) : 7]
So, we need to choose to:
a) Be ungrateful like the bald man and the leper or
b) Be grateful like the blind man.
…. your own life and start helping out others.
It’s strange. We’re all so miserable because we have so many problems (supposedly). This causes us to get immersed in our own lives. This in turn causes us to be even more miserable.
And of course, after all this, we point fingers at other people for being too immersed in their own lives!
So, let’s go out there and help somebody!
Remember: Be constructive and don’t be destructive.
[By the way, this is one of the things that make Ramadan what it is. That is the only month where everybody seems dedicated to helping others out.]
PS. Is everybody busy? Or did you all migrate to Mars? Or did the blog start to bore you to tears? I can’t see anybody around these days…
Let’s declare a moratorium on the perpetually sad faces, shall we?
If we smile, we feel better, get to cheer up others and perform an act of charity to boot.
So, smile away!
That’s everybody’s question, isn’t it?
The short answer to the question: We won’t find out until the Day of Judgment.
So, is that it?
Well, no. There are some signs that a deed may have been accepted.
[Note: Being certain that your deed has been accepted is a sign of WEAKNESS of iman. I’ll talk about this in a future post, insha-Allah.]
Most people seem to know that the former is recommended and the latter is obligatory but that’s about it.
Here’s a detailed discussion of the differences between the two:
[Note: It says that zakaah cannot be given to a kaafir. That’s correct and there is ijmaa (consensus) on this. However, it is allowed in one case: if they are close to accepting Islam. Please read this fatwa. Sadaqah can be given to the kuffar, by the way.
It can also be obligatory. There was a statement I heard by one Sahaabah (radiallahu anhu) that if the zakaah was not enough to take of the poor, then sadaqah was obligatory. ]
Zakaah in Arabic means growth, blessing and purification.
See Lisaan al-‘Arab, 14/358;, 2/399
Sadaqah comes from the word sidq (sincerity), i.e. it is a sign of sincerity of faith on the part of the person who gives it.
See Fath al-Qadeer, 2/399
With regard to the shar’i definition:
Zakaah means worshipping Allaah by giving that which He has enjoined of different kinds of zakaah to those who are entitled to them, according to the guidelines prescribed in sharee’ah.
Sadaqah means worshipping Allaah by giving money without that being made obligatory in sharee’ah. The word sadaqah is sometimes used to refer to obligatory zakaah.
Zakaah and Ramadan seem to have become bosom buddies, so much so that some people can’t even imagine giving their zakaah outside of Ramadan.
So what’s the story anyway? Is it really better to pay zakaah in Ramadan?
The following fatwa clarifies the issue:
I heard that paying zakaah in Ramadaan is better than paying it in any other month. Is this correct? What is the evidence for that? Please note that the time when zakaah becomes due may be before or after Ramadaan.
Praise be to Allaah.
Firstly: When a full hijri year has passed and zakaah becomes due, it must be paid, unless it is the zakaah of agricultural crops, which must be paid on the day of harvesting, because Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“but pay the due thereof (their Zakaah, according to Allaah’s Orders, 1/10th or 1/20th) on the day of their harvest”
Zakaah must be paid as soon as one full hijri year has passed, because Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Race with one another in hastening towards forgiveness from your Lord (Allaah), and Paradise the width whereof is as the width of the heaven and the earth”
Ibn Battaal said:
One should hasten to do good, for things change, death could come at any time, and delaying is not good.
Ibn Hajar said: Someone else added:
It is better in order to free oneself from blame and help others, more pleasing to the Lord and more likely to erase sin.
Fath al-Baari, 3/299.
Secondly: it is not permissible to delay paying zakaah after it has become due, unless one has a valid excuse.
Thirdly: it is permissible to pay zakaah before it is due, by way of hastening it.
Hastening zakaah means paying the zakaah of two years or less, before it is due.
It was narrated from ‘Ali that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) asked al-‘Abbaas to pay zakaah two years in advance.
(Narrated by Abu ‘Ubayd al-Qaasim ibn Sallaam in al-Amwaal, 1885. Al-Albaani said in al-Irwa’ (3/346): it is hasan)
According to another report:
It was narrated from ‘Ali that al-‘Abbaas asked the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) about paying his zakaah before it was due, and he allowed him to do that. (Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 673; Abu Dawood, 1624; Ibn Maajah, 1795; classed as saheeh by Shaykh Ahmad Shaakir in Tahqeeq al-Musnad, 822).
Many people seem to pay their zakaah in Ramadan so here’s a simple book to help them with this issue: Zakaah by Shaikh Ibn Baz (rahimahullah).
Note: It is BETTER (according to the Shariah) to give your zakaah / sadaqah (charity) / zakatul fitr in the country in which you reside. Therefore, if you live here (i.e. United Arab Emirates), then please pay your zakaah/ sadaqah / zakaatul fitr to someone who lives in the United Arab Emirates. If you want to give it to poor relatives overseas, then that’s fine but if not, then the priority is helping out your own community*.
[*That means the people around you regardless of their nationality.]
And please don’t tell me that there are no poor people here because then I’ll send you a long list of poor people here who are totally suffering.