In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful; blessings and peace be upon Prophet Muhammad s.a.w.
The Declining Day (Al-'Asr)
1. By the declining day,
2. Lo! Man is in a state of loss,
3. Save those who believe and do good works, and exhort
one another to truth and exhort one another to endurance.
ALHAMDULILLAH two of my boys and a girl (I have five children) are now professionals in their own chosen fields; one aspect that touched my heart about them was each of them gave their mother and me 'some money' immediately and 'religiously' after receiving their monthly salaries.
Regarding this matter, some time ago I had heard over Radio IKIM, a renowned motivator advised parents to 'teach' their children about this fine and beautiful aspect of life.
He asked listeners to reflect back the first thing they did with their money when they received their first salary years and years ago. I remembered mine - the first thing I did was to order some trays of 'bihun goreng' (fried beehon) and jugs of 'teh tarik' for a small 'kenduri' (feast) to celebrate with my office mates.
Of course almost all the office staff knew about my first pay, then naturally it was to 'belanja' (spend on) them, but in my mind I had already put aside 'some amount' to be given to my dearest 'FAMA' (father and mother).
The motivator asked parents to inculcate this good habit to their children from young; perhaps they should teach by example such as giving the money to their father and mother and even to their in-laws in the presence of the children.
"Even if their children had enter the working world, parents 'have the right' to remind them not to forget about the good habit...the amount of money given is not important but getting the 'barakah' (blessing) of it have to 'chase upon'," he said.
The motivator cum 'ustaz' said when a person receives his/her 'gaji' (wage) the first thing he/she should allocate is the portion to his/her parents and please do not indulge in giving 'spare money' to them after paying our other requirements.
Other than allocating money to parents first, a person too should allocate some amount (a little would do) for charity. Perhaps for a 'beginner' he/she could give the money to his/her school-going siblings, nieces or poor children in his area. Well, RM5, RM2 or R1 would do!
Not long ago, I had read a book about 'the magic and miracle of 'sadaqa' (giving alms or charity). When one gives charity or 'sadaqa' in the way of Allah for Allah’s Pleasure Alone, hoping to get His reward from Allah in the Hereafter, he is confirming with this action of his that Allah and the coming of the Last Day are ‘haqq’ and the truth.
He believes with certainty in Allah and the Last Day, otherwise he would never give away his wealth, which he loves for nothing in return. By doing this he is confirming the truth. What he has said with his mouth, he has confirmed with his actions, and that is why Allah has promised to honor the person who gives 'sadaqa' in His Way, in this World and the Hereafter.
Even the renowned professional speaker on motivation nowadays, Prof Dr Muhaya Muhammad often stressed this point - what you give is what you get. Alhamdulillah, dear readers...I am now seeing and experiencing this 'beautiful' aspect of life - if I 'religiously' gave the first portion of my 'gaji' to my 'FAMA', then 'insya-Allah' and 'barakah-Allah' (with Allah's blessing) my children would do the same to me. Again, alhamdulillah, the amount each of them gave to me was many times to what I gave to my parents!
Allah says in the Glorious Quran, Chapter 2, Surah Baqarah, verse 261: The charity of those who expend their wealth in the way of Allah may be likened to a grain of corn, which produces seven ears and each ear yields a hundred grains. Likewise Allah develops manifold the charity of anyone He pleases, for He is All-Embracing, All-Wise.
A preacher noted that Allah provides the formula for the minimum reward for the charity of a believer. If you spend RM1.00 in the way of Allah, has promised return is 7x100 = 700 times; ie. RM700.00 for a RM1.00 investment! For those of you who are accountants and businessmen, can you even imagine a 700% guaranteed return on investment and maybe even more! Allah is Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
Imam Ali Abi Thalib noted that the reward of charity is increased 10 times. So dear readers when you received your 'gaji' at the end of the month, why not allocate a small part of it for charity. Say your 'gaji' is RM2,000; after receiving the money why not immediately part away RM100 for 'sadaqa'.
Do simple thing; such as why not slot RM1 inside the 'Tabung Masjid' (Masjid Fund) every time you go to the masjid for 'subuh' (dawn) prayers? Remember there are angels praying for goodness upon those who give charity in the early mornings!
If you do this things constantly (istiqamah); then you would realize that there would always be a 'helping hand' when you 'enter' your dry days. But the help is not always in the form of money or material gains but by other ways that you do not expect. In the Qur'an, Allah SWT promises: "And whoever fears Allah – He will make for him a way out. And will provide for him (his needs) from where he does not expect.” (At-Talaq, 65: 2,3)
One very important reward that Allah SWT bestowes to those who do charity sincerely is the understanding of religion (knowledge). Regarding 'the have not situation' such as finishing our money at the middle of the month; if we have knowledge, we could feel that situation was nothing compared to what Allah SWT has in store for us whether in this world or Hereafter.
You would realize that a good Muslim does not really need to toil to grab all worldly pleasures (ignoring its halal and haram status) including food because there are many verses of Allah and His prophet states so. For example; in a hadith from Abu Hurairah - Radi Allaahu anhu– who said the Messenger of Allaah -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam- said: "A Muslim eats for one stomach, and a non-Muslim eats for seven stomachs." (Collected by Malik, Bukhari, Muslim, Ibn Majah and others)
In another hadith, from Al-Miqdad bin Ma’d Yakrib -Radhi Allaahu anhu - who said: ‘I heard the Messenger of Allaah -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam- saying: "A human does not fill a more evil container than a stomach. It is sufficient for the son of Adam to eat small portions by which his back can remain straight. If it is not possible, then he should reserve his stomach, a third for his food, third for his drink and a third for his breathing." (Collected by Tirmidhi and he declared it to be Hasan, and by Ibn Majah and Ibn Hibban & Albaani)
What a good Muslim needs is so little, so why worry if all your 'gaji sudah habis' (your salary all gone) by the middle of the month. Insya-Allah (God willing), He would provides for you till the end of the month and more importantly during your lifetime in this world and the Hereafter.
You must believe this for He says: "And whoever fears Allah – He will make for him a way out. And will provide for him (his needs) from where he does not expect."
The more you contribute, the more you get the rewards. But mind you, these rewards should not be looked as material gains only but also the spiritual aspects of life including good health, vast and rich experiences, satisfaction in life and sound education.Generosity is both a spiritual value and a spiritual practice.
In the Qur'an states that whatever we give away generously, with the intention of pleasing God, 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.” (Qur'an 34:39)
Whoever is kind to His creatures, God is kind to him; therefore be kind to man on earth, whether good or bad; and being kind to the bad is to withhold him from evil, thus in Heaven you will be treated kindly. He who is not kind to God's creatures, God will not be kind to him.
Another 'ustaz' says that all, irrespective of their beliefs and religions would 'insha-Allah' (God willing) get rewards for their good deeds. But he stressed that the rewards would be of use in this world only; for any good deed to be beneficial to the doers in the Hereafter the person or persons concerned must first be on His straight path, he must have the 'iman' (faith).
Let us have a look at what Allah SWT has to say in Surah Al-'Asr (The Declining Day) with the meaning: 1. By the declining day, 2. Lo! Man is in a state of loss, 3. Save those who believe and do good works, and exhort one another to truth and exhort one another to endurance.
Allah SWT says that everybody is in a state of loss except those who have 'iman'. This 'iman' (faith) is mentioned first, if you do not have 'the iman', then the rest of it is naught; you could do all the good deeds but they would not be looked upon what more counted by Allah SWT.
Those with 'iman' too would be in a state of loss if they do not do good works including rendering help to the poor and the needy. Those who 'cover' these two aspects too would be in a state of loss if they do not exhort one another to truth and endurance.