Presently we are passing through such times that offer great opportunities to us to earn great rewards. Truly, opportunities are immense, and so are rewards. Success touches the feet of those who make use of the opportunities. Now, one might wonder how this could be possible when we are passing through Corona times.
While there are people who do good without the desire to get a reward, many people undertake an act of charity not merely to help another person, but also to earn a reward for themselves. There is a famous quotation which states: In giving, we receive. The more you give, the more you receive. Charity does not reduce wealth. If the act of giving is restrained, the flow of income also goes down. Essentially, generosity leads to overall good, not only for charity-receiver but also for the charity-giver. It is noteworthy that the charity-givers are benefitted two-fold:not only do they receive the heart-felt duas or prayers of the charity-receiver, but they also receive Divine mercy and rewards from the Almighty. As a result, charity-givers always remain on the giving side. It is said that the upper hand is always better than the lower hand. It remains always on the higher side.
Let us see how the Corona times have become opportune time for enhanced level of charity or generosity. It has opened up opportunities on the receiving side as well on the giving side.
Opportunities for the Receiving Side
As everyone knows, we are passing through the toughest times of our life due to the corona pandemic. In this situation, vast numbers of people have been severely affected, deprived of their livelihood. Many able-bodied persons are not able to find employment, and many businesses have shutdown. All these economic woes have contributed to enormous hardship. In view of this, many people are waiting for support from the well-off sections of the society. This provides an ample opportunity to the wealthy sections of the society to provide succor to those who are poor and needy.
There are thousands of cases, where Corona has seriously impacted the health of people. In some homes, all the family members contracted the virus. This drained their savings as medical expenditures took a huge toll. The sufferings of these people serve as an opportunity to help them and provide relief.
Opportunities for the Giving Side
Giving to the needy who have been badly affected because of the pandemic is a big opportunity available to the wealthy people to earn rewards in the Hereafter. Truly, Allah will reward such people multifold for providing relief to the suffering mankind.
Another opportunity which Corona lockdown has provided is drastic reduction in the amount of expenditure on lavish weddings. In recent years, Muslim weddings had become extremely lavish, with an array of delicious dishes, fancy decorations, flashy lightings, hi-fi music, sparkles and crackers, full night celebrations for over 3-4 days, with a big number of guests attending. Thanks to the regulations imposed on large gatherings in the wake of the current pandemic, many people have understood the importance of simple marriage with attendance of just a few people, in a simple ceremony at home or mini hall without any pomp or showoff. We hope it will continue even after the disappearance of Corona. This reduction in lavish expenses provides a great opportunity to the wealthy to look at the poor and needy with open arms to help them in this time of distress. Naturally, the entire savings on account of curtailment of marriage expenses may not be given to the poor. But still, a part of it, if given out in charity, can bring about substantial relief. It is a great opportunity for the wealthy people to gain this benefit for the life of the Hereafter.
In this regard, people need to have an orientation to the virtue of generosity. It comes from imbibing the spirit of spending in the way of Allah with a high degree of sincerity and regularity. “O you who believe! Spend on others out of the good things which you may have acquired,” says the Quran (2:267). The Quran is replete with commands to the faithful to spend in God’s way.
“Who is it that would loan Allah a goodly loan so He may multiply it for him many times over? And it is Allah who withholds and grants abundance, and to Him you will be returned.” (Quran: 2:245)
This is the best time to offer a goodly ‘loan’ to Allah – Qarz-e Hasana. It means spending in charity in the name of Allah, supporting orphans and widows, the poor and needy, taking care of handicapped and destitute people. To imbibe the spirit of generosity, it is important that a sustained campaign is launched by religious leaders. They can emphasize the importance and virtue of charity in the present times.
The economic condition of our community is extremely bad. Some of our people live in shanties and slums, deprived of education. Many children and youth have adopted bad habits. In each field, our community lags. We have a concern, but we do nothing except showing concern. Why do not we open up our hearts, help an orphan child, do something practical to improve the hygiene in the localities where we live and help improve the conditions of our fellow brethren. In all our day-to-day dealings we are over-occupied in spending on ourselves or on our families, with lavish weddings, expensive clothing, branded luxuries, eating out, and so on. All these things should be drastically curtailed, and the funds so saved should be used for a greater cause, such as the cause of bring about socio-economic transformation in the lives of our fellow human beings. It could be invested in education, in improving livelihood support, establishing hospitals, building social infrastructure, taking care of widows, and physically challenged people, etc. All these projects will certainly bring significant improvement in the life of our less fortunate brethren. In this process, the charity-givers too stand to gain. Quran states: “The parable of those who spend their possessions for the sake of Allah is that of a grain out of which grow seven ears, in every ear a hundred grains: for Allah wants manifold increase unto whom He wills. And Allah is Infinite, All-knowing.” (2: 261)
The present times, therefore, provide a great opportunity to multiply our reward 700 times. The reward of spending a rupee in charity would bring forth a reward which is up to seven hundred times the original act of charity. When the rewards are enormous, why do we not make use of this opportunity?
(The author, who is a professional and based in Navi Mumbai, can be contacted on [email protected])