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The Amazing Habit of Giving Charity

As human beings, nothing shapes our existence and our future more than our everyday habits and routine, as Allah reminds us in Surah Yasin when talking about what will happen on the day of judgment.

“On that Day no soul will be wronged in the least, nor will you be rewarded except for what you used to do.”-
Quran 36:54.

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Written by

Ibrahim Sulieman

Published on

As human beings, nothing shapes our existence and our future more than our everyday habits and routine, as Allah reminds us in Surah Yasin when talking about what will happen on the day of judgment.

“On that Day no soul will be wronged in the least, nor will you be rewarded except for what you used to do.”

Quran 36:54.

In other words, our everyday habits and routines make us or break us as the bad habits can hold us back and the good ones can help us to make successful positive meaningful changes, achieve all our goals in this life and the hereafter and become the person we want to be.

Habit is generally defined as an action or behaviour we do regularly or consistently without much thought or thinking and routine on the other hand is several habits that cluster together or a sequence of actions we perform together.

Habits govern so much of our waking hours because as human beings we are creatures of habit and routine. The latest neuroscience is discovering that habit is a special type of memory that organises and drives our everyday thinking and behaviour and thus it frees us from paying attention and decision-making as both of these psychological processes use up a lot of mental energy.

So, without further ado in this article, I want to share and remind us all of one of the most amazing and powerful human habit that we should all strive hard to cultivate in our lives-the habit of giving to charity or Sadaqah. It is universally an admired human habit, and highly praised from an Islamic perspective. This is a habit that has the potential to bring us countless blessings or barrak and most importantly, bring us closer to Allah and lead to his forgiveness and ultimately help us achieve our dream of going to Paradise.

“Who is it that would loan Allah a goodly loan so He may multiply it for him many times over?” (Qur’an, 2: 245).

And the Prophet (peace be upon him) said “Sadaqah extinguishes sin as water extinguishes fire” (Hadith, Tirmidhi).

In recent years I’ve developed a great interest in human nature, and everything related to the business of positive lasting changes, and particularly my favorite topic the psychology of human habits and the key role they play in everyday human behaviour.

After struggling for years with many bad habits and self-defeating behaviours or negative addictive lifestyle choices. I made a sincere prayer and dua to Allah to help me change my ways for the better and not only has Allah answered my prayer and dua by helping me make the necessary changes but he has also made me to become deeply curious, and fascinated with the psychology of personal change and self-transformation. Ever since then, I’ve been researching and deeply investigating and examining the nature of everyday human behaviour and lifestyle choices, through the lens of human habits.

So in sha Allah what I’m going to do in the following sentences is share with you, one of my favorite story from a Hadith related to the habit of charity that illustrates beautifully how we can also develop this beautiful human habit and the tremendous reward that awaits us if Allah accepts our efforts.

One of the most important lessons I’ve learned from studying the psychology of personal change and self-transformation is that, in all walks of life, the most successful and healthiest, and happiest people are those who consistently make smart choices, by developing effective habits, and routines in all aspects of their lives.

Someone who made a smart choice and developed an effective habit and ended up with continued success and who we can all learn a lot from is the story of the righteous farmer, as told by our  prophet Muhammad (pbuh) in an authentic hadith:

Abu Hurayrah, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated that the Prophet said: “While a man was in a barren tract of land (or a desert), he heard a voice proceeding from a cloud (saying) ‘Water the garden of so-and-so.’ Thereupon, the cloud drifted (in a certain direction), and water poured down there from over a rocky area. All the streamlets flowed into one large channel. The man followed the water and came upon a man standing in his garden, changing the course of the water with his spade. He said to him: ‘O Slave of Allah, what is your name?’ The man said: ‘So-and-so.’ It was that very name which he had heard from the cloud! The man said: ‘O slave of Allah, why do you ask me my name?’ He said: ‘I heard a voice from the clouds which poured down this water, saying: “Water the garden of so-and-so,” mentioning your name. What do you do with it (to receive such divine providence from Allah)?’ The man said: ‘Now that you ask me, I will tell you. I look at the produce of the garden, give one-third of it in charity, use one-third for myself and my dependents to eat therefrom, and invest (the remaining) third back into the garden.’” [Imam Muslim]

What I like about this story is, it provides us with a simple and practical way of developing the beautiful habit of giving to charity consistently. We should start by following in his footsteps and commit a certain percentage of our income regularly to charity or sadaqah even if it’s just £5 or £10 a week or a month, so that we too can gain the countless blessings or barrak that Allah will put into our lives. It is an honour and a security for us knowing that when we get into the habit of giving to charity for Allah’s sake he promised he will reward us tremendously for it.

“And whatever you spend in charity, He will compensate you for it. For He is the Best Provider.” -Quran 34:39

Moreover, in a Qudsi Hadeeth (sacred narration) reads: 

“Spend (on charity), O son of Adam, and I shall spend on you.” (Imam Al-Bukhari and Imam Muslim)

As we can see, charity is one of the smartest investments we can make in our lives and one of the best ways to get closer to Allah and please him and make him happy with us and decrease our sins and increase our chances of going to paradise and we get relief from the hardship and difficulties in our lives.

“Those who spend their wealth in charity day and night, secretly and openly—their reward is with their Lord, and there will be no fear for them, nor will they grieve.”-Quran 02:274

The benefits of giving to charity for Allah swt’s sake are endless so, therefore, the first step is we have to have a deep desire and strong motivation to cultivate this beautiful human habit, which means we have to formulate the intention to make this a habit because true change is an inside job that  has to come from deep in our hearts and minds for Allah swt to help us to create this amazing and powerful human habit or any other good habits we desire as Allah swt reminds us

“Indeed, Allāh will not change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves.” -Quran 13:11

So the sooner we start, the sooner our lives will get better and we can reduce our chances of regretting not having developed this beautiful human habit as Allah swt himself encourages us.

“And donate from what We have provided for you before death comes to one of you, and you cry, “My Lord! If only You delayed me for a short while, I would give in charity and be one of the righteous.” Quran 63:10

The great news is, that we can all leverage the power of habits because when we change our habits, we change our lives and transform ourselves for the better as the author Gretchen Rubin brilliantly puts it: “We can use decision-making to choose the habits we want to form, we can use willpower to get the habit started; then and this is the best part we can allow the extraordinary power of habit to take over. We take our hands off the wheel of decision, our foot off the gas of willpower, and rely on the cruise control of habits. That’s the promise of habit”. And remember that you don’t decide your future, you decide your habits and your habits decide your future.

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