A reminder about charity…

In the name of Allah, most Gracious, most Merciful.

Last weekend was the Salvation Army’s Door Knock Appeal and when I heard about it, I thought about whether or not I would donate to the cause and it reminded me of a story I read as a kid about the Prophet Ibrahim (A.S) or Abraham (PBUH) which is available on my post titled Unconditional Charity.

The story demonstrates the importance of unconditional charity and the value of Da’wah through action. Most people would donate to their own religious groups, the true test arises when you are approached by members of other faiths. I still maintain a preference for Islamic Charitable Organisations and I don’t think there can be anything wrong in that, however, the story of Ibrahim (A.S) encourages us as Muslims to be charitable to all of God’s creation.

Be generous and show compassion to both, Muslims and non-Muslims and don’t discriminate in your charity. As Muslims we should understand that no matter what colour we are or what religion we follow, we are all God’s creation. If God himself does not deprive any of His creation from sustenance, how then can we, as His creation, judge between ourselves.

…and remember… “The deeds most loved by Allah are those done regularly, even if they are small.”

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Unconditional Charity…

In the name of Allah, most Gracious, most Merciful.

Last weekend was the Salvation Army’s Door Knock Appeal and when I heard about it, I thought about whether or not I would donate to the cause and it reminded me of a story I read as a kid about the Prophet Ibrahim (A.S) or Abraham (PBUH).

Ibrahim (A.S) would never touch food unless there was a beggar in his house, when no beggars visited in a few days, he began to wonder if it was through some fault of his own that God had not sent a beggar to him. Eventually, a beggar came knocking at his door and when he inquired, he learnt that the beggar was a Magian or Fire worshipper. Ibrahim (A.S) proclaimed, ” I cannot help unbelievers who attribute partners to Allah and wander about in this condition. Go away till you have repented, asked forgiveness of God, embraced Islam and cleaned yourself up. Then you will come back to an open door.” As the begged left, Ibrahim heard these words from above: ” Ibrahim, since I, with my Godhead, do not deny him sustenance, despite the fact that he disobeyed me and committed the one sin I do not pardon, namely that of attributing partners to Me, how could you – My servant – send him away without even a crust of bread? Go and make it up to him at once. If you had done this for your own sake, rather than to please Me, I would have wiped you from My friendship.

Upon receiving this divine command, Ibrahim (A.S) took to the road until he found the beggar. He treated him kindly, invited him into his home and fed him well. Through this generosity and charity, the beggar turned to Allah and was blessed with the honour of true faith.

The story demonstrates the importance of unconditional charity and the value of Da’wah through action. Most people would donate to their own religious groups, the true test arises when you are approached by members of other faiths. I still maintain a preference for Islamic Charitable Organisations and I don’t think there can be anything wrong in that, however, the story of Ibrahim (A.S) encourages us as Muslims to be charitable to all of God’s creation.

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: “The believer’s shade on the Day of Resurrection will be his charity.” – Al-Tirmidhi, Hadith 604.

Dead Sea Seacret… Religious Perspective!

The Dead Sea

I was quite impressed after sampling a treatment from a “Seacret” store in the mall the other day and found that the source of these treatments was the Dead Sea. I could recall a few childhood stories about the Dead Sea which made me question the permissibility and appropriateness of using such treatments. This is what I found:

According to Islamic and Biblical traditions, the Dead Sea is the site of the ancient city of Sodom, home of the Prophet Lut (Lot), peace be upon him.

Prophet Lut (A.S.), after consulting with Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham) (A.S.) left Misr and traversed towards the eastern part of Urdun (Jordan), a place called Sodom or Sadoom. The purpose of his migration was to propagate the teachings of Ibrahim (A.S.) amongst the inhabitants of Sodom, a village situated in the area where the Dead Sea is presently located.

The people of surrounding areas firmly believe that the region in which the Dead Sea is found was once occupied by the people of Sodom. This nation directly rejected the message which Prophet Lut (A.S.) presented to them, due to which they were punished most severely, as described by Allah, “So at day break a mighty cry seized them. Then We turned the localities upside down and We showered upon them rocks of baked clay. In this (incident) there are indeed multiple signs for the people who discern.” (Surah Hijr, Verse 73)

The earth on which they lived was lifted into the sky and then caused to come crashing down approximately 400 meters below the earth. As a result, this area was submerged, and is now known as the Dead Sea. (Qasas ul Qur’an, Vol. 1, Page 257, Mukhtasar Tafseer Ibn Katheer, Vol. 2, Page 312) According to scientists, the area is covered in large deposits of sulphur. For this reason, no life in the form of animals or plants is to be found there and the region stands as a symbol of destruction.

It has been reported by Abdullah ibn Umar (R.A.), that when Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) descended at the place of Hijr (the region where the nations of ‘Aad and Thamud once resided) during the battle of Tabuk, he (S.A.W.) commanded the Sahabah (companions) not to drink from the accursed place. The Sahabah informed the Prophet (S.A.W.) that they had already utilized the water for making dough and drinking. The Prophet (S.A.W.) instructed them to discard the dough and water.

While commenting on this Hadith, Imam Hajar Al-Asqalani (R.H.) outlines that the Hadith clearly teaches us that, it is Makrooh (impermissible) to use the water found in the area of Hijr. He further states, that the same ruling will apply to other accursed places.

The Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W), reportedly tried to dissuade people from visiting the sites of God’s punishment: “Do not enter the place of those who were unjust to themselves, unless you are weeping, lest you should suffer the same punishment as was inflicted upon them.”

The Qur’an describes that the site of this punishment has been left as a sign for those who follow: “Surely! In this are signs for those who understand. And verily, they (the cities) are right on the high-road. Surely! Therein is indeed a sign for the believers.” (Qur’an 15:75-77)

In light of the above narrations, revelations and explanations, we can conclude that the use of products derived from the Dead Sea is inappropriate and should be avoided. I hope we can all benefit from this Insha Allah. May Allah strengthen our faith and make us among those who guide and whom are guided.

Ameen.

Assalaamu Alaikum!