Monday 31 October 2022

The reward for looking after a widow or a poor

The menace of poverty is unendurable. Those who have plenty can never feel the pain of sleeping with an empty stomach and living in rag tags that become waterfalls during rain. The excellent system of obligatory charity (zakat) and voluntary charity (alms) is a great stride towards helping out the poor or widows who find it difficult to make their two ends meet.

There are many verses in Qur'an, which we have shared in our earlier posts, there are also many Hadiths of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ which emphasize the need to help the poor and widows and a great reward is promised to the helpers, provided the help is made not as boasting one's piety but simply to please Allah for Allah has provided many of us more than our needs which instead of being put away in the banks should be used to help the needy.
"Those who in charity spend of their goods by night and by day, in secret and in public, have their reward with their Lord: on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve" (2:274)
The Hadith of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ selected today is mentioned in Sahih al-Bukhari (Book 69 - Supporting the Family - كتاب النفقات / Chapter-1: The superiority of providing for one's family باب فَضْلِ النَّفَقَةِ عَلَى الأَهْلِ  ) Hadith 5353 as under:

حَدَّثَنَا يَحْيَى بْنُ قَزَعَةَ، حَدَّثَنَا مَالِكٌ، عَنْ ثَوْرِ بْنِ زَيْدٍ، عَنْ أَبِي الْغَيْثِ، عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، قَالَ قَالَ النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏ "‏ السَّاعِي عَلَى الأَرْمَلَةِ وَالْمِسْكِينِ كَالْمُجَاهِدِ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ، أَوِ الْقَائِمِ اللَّيْلَ الصَّائِمِ النَّهَارَ ‏"‏‏.

Narrated Abu Huraira: The Prophet (ﷺ) said, "The one who looks after a widow or a poor person is like a Mujahid (warrior) who fights for Allah's Cause, or like him who performs prayers all the night and fasts all the day."

A simple yet powerful saying of the Prophet (ﷺ) which equates helping the poor or a widow to a Mujahid (warrior) who fights for Allah's Cause, or like him who performs prayers all the night and fasts all the day. It is not necessary that one needs a colossal coffer to open it out to the poor, it may be just a small amount of money (the lower limit to anything as large as anything) to the poor, especially the widows or women whose husband is invalid or sick or cannot earn much for the family. 

However, care must be taken to differentiate between the poor and the street beggars. While the poor may not come out in the open to ask for help for, they too have honour and dignity, the beggars are shameless people whose tummy cannot be filled even if much is given to them. The stories concocted by beggars is usually very heart moving, but one can ignore these and be on the lookout for the genuinely needed poor and help them out as much one can and may even convince others to help them.

Read our earlier posts on Charity / Spending in Way of Allah, as mentioned in Qur'an:
May Allāh (سبحانه و تعالى‎) help us understand Qur'ān and follow the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ, which is embodiment of commandments of Allah contained in the Qur'ān. May Allah help us to be like the ones He loves and let our lives be lived helping others and not making others' lives miserable or unlivable. May all our wrong doings, whether intentional or unintentional, be forgiven before the angel of death knocks on our door.  
وَمَا عَلَيۡنَاۤ اِلَّا الۡبَلٰغُ الۡمُبِيۡنُ‏ 
(36:17) and our duty is no more than to clearly convey the Message.”
That is Our duty is only to convey to you the message that Allah has entrusted us with. Then it is for you to accept it or reject it. We have not been made responsible for making you accept it forcibly, And if you do not accept it, we shall not be seized in consequence of your disbelief, You will yourselves be answerable for your actions on Day of Resurrection.

May Allah forgive me if my posts ever imply a piety far greater than I possess. I am most in need of guidance.

Reading the Qur'ān should be a daily obligation of a Muslim - Reading it with translation will make it meaningful. But reading its Exegesis / Tafsir will make you understand it fully. It will also help the Muslims to have grasp over social issues and their answers discussed in the Qur'an and other matter related to inter faith so that they are able to discuss issues with non-Muslims with authority based on refences from Qur'an.

Note: When we mention God in our posts, we mean One True God, we call Allah in Islam, with no associates. Allah is the Sole Creator of all things, and that Allah is all-powerful and all-knowing. Allah has no offspring, no race, no gender, no body, and is unaffected by the characteristics of human life.

This post is also part of series of posts on the subject of: Are you among the best Muslims, as mentioned by Prophet Muhammad ﷺ?

Please refer to our reference page: Sunnah and Hadith of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ to know more about sunnah of Prophet of Allah. You may also refer to our Reference Pages for knowing more about Islam and Qur'ān.

Disclaimer: The material for this post has been collected from the references as given below. If anyone differs with the material contained in this post, one may consult the references and their authors.  If someone has more material about the subject, he/she is most welcome to share in the comments box to make the post all encompassing.

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