Ramadhaan’s Generosity

Spending charity removes sins as water extinguishes fire … charity extinguishes the wrath of Allaah… charity shades the person on the Day of Resurrection. There are many other great virtues for spending in charity, and since the month of Ramadhaan is the month of generosity, we will address this topic from three different perspectives:

Generosity during Ramadhaan:

The month of Ramadhaan is the month of obedience and the performance of good deeds, and the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) was the best of mankind and the most obedient to his Lord, yet he used to increase his acts of worship during this blessed month. Imaam Ibn Al-Qayyim  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said: “The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) was the most generous of all people, but the time he spent the most was during the month of Ramadhaan, and he used to increase his recitation of the Quran, prayers, mentioning Allaah and I’tikaaf (i.e. residing in the mosque with the intention of worship)”.

“There is a difference between being generous in charity and being wasteful: a generous person spends his charity in proper channels, whilst the wasteful person might spend extravagantly in places where it is not needed, and be very poorly in places where spending is direly needed.” 

Anas  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him said: “The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) was the bravest person and the most generous.” [Al-Bukhaari & Muslim]

Ibn ‘Abbaas  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him stated: “ TheProphet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) was the most generous of all the people, and he used to reach the peak in generosity in the month of Ramadhaan when Jibreel met him. Jibreel used to meet him every night of Ramadhaan to teach him the Quran, and when he met him, he  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) would be more generous than the strong uncontrollable wind (i.e. in readiness and haste to do charitable deeds).” [Al-Bukhaari & Muslim] Ibn Hajar  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said commenting on this narration: “This added generosity resulted from the virtue of the month, the one with whom he reviewed the Quran and the thing being reviewed (i.e. the Words of Allaah).” 

 Levels of generosity, and they are as follows:

  • Sacrificing ones soul: Getting killed for the sake of Allaah is the most paramount rank.

  • Utilizing ones position: This is the second best rank as in this case generosity makes a person favor fulfilling the needs of others over his personal interest and status.

  • Sacrificing comfort: A generous person exhausts himself and sacrifices his comfort and sleep for others.

  • Offering ones knowledge: This is one of the noblest ranks of generosity, and it is better than sacrificing ones wealth because knowledge is more honorable than wealth. Never will a stingy person be able to benefit from any knowledge if he possessed any, and it is from the wisdom of Allaah that He only grants this knowledge to generous people who will be willing to offer it to others and benefit them with it. Generosity in this field is to teach the one who asks you what you know and to answer people’s queries.

  • Utilizing ones prestige: This is by interceding to people and facilitating their affairs with those in charge.

  •  Sacrificing physically: Abu Tharr  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him reported that the Messenger of Allaah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said:“When you get up in the morning, charity is due from every one of your joints. There is charity in every ascription of glory to Allaah (i.e. by uttering Subhaanallaah); there is charity in every declaration of His Greatness (i.e. by uttering Allaahu Akbar); there is charity in every utterance of praise of Him (i.e. by uttering Al-Hamdulillaah); there is charity in every declaration that none is worthy of worship except Allaah (i.e. by uttering Laa ilaaha Illallaah); there is charity in enjoining good; there is charity in forbidding evil. Two Rak`ah of Dhuhaa (Forenoon prayer) is equal to all this (in reward)”[Muslim]

  • Sacrificing ones honor: This is by forgiving someone for badmouthing and backbiting you. This reflects ones purity in the heart and grants peace of mind and serenity.

  • Being patient: This is another honorable rank that benefits the person more than sacrificing his wealth. This rank grants the person support from Allaah and leads to others holding him in high esteem, as only selected people are able to endure patiently when others harm them.

  • Being cheerful with others: Abu Tharr  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him reported that the Messenger of Allaah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said:“Do not belittle any good deed, even meeting your Muslim brother with a cheerful face”.[Muslim] This is one of the heaviest deeds on the scale.

  • Not longing to possess what others have: This is the best type that reflects ones contentment with the decrees of Allaah and imposes ones respect on others.

Delaying Zakaah until Ramadhaan:

Allaah Has prescribed Zakaah on those whose wealth reaches a certain amount and made paying Zakaah one of the pillars of Islam. When a full lunar year elapses whilst one possesses such wealth, then he is obliged to pay Zakaah. In case of agriculture, it is due when plants yield fruits. It is not permissible to pay it in payments, nor is one allowed to delay Zakaah until the month of Ramadhaan unless there is a dire need. Ibn Qudaamah and Ash-Shaafi’ee  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  them are of the opinion that: “Zakaah must be paid immediately when it becomes due and one is not permitted to delay it whilst able to unless he fears a certain harm to afflict him due to paying it.”

When asked about delaying the payment of Zakaah until the month of Ramadhaan, Shaykh Al-‘Uthaymeen  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said: “Zakaah, like any other good deed, is preferred in virtuous times unless it becomes due, then a person must pay it immediately. If ones full lunar year elapses on the month of Rajab, for example, then he should not delay it until Ramadhaan and must pay it in Rajab.”