ON THE QUR`AN
parable of those who spend their wealth in the way of Allah is
as the parable of a grain growing seven ears, a hundred grains
in every ear. And Allah multiplies for whomever He pleases.
Allah is Vast, Knowing.
The Qur`an reinforces
the virtue of generosity, which is an indication of trust, service
and submission. Among the metaphors of Arabic speech, the number
seven often implies its multiples, or great numbers. The verse
relates that any good deed is amplified and expanded out of
proportion as though echoing the greatest of all deeds, that of
creation, which is expanding towards its final destiny.
Those who spend their wealth in the way of Allah, then do not
follow up what they have spent with reproach or inquiry, shall
have their reward from their Lord. They shall have no fear, nor
shall they grieve.
True giving has no
expectations or strings attached, for it is done in the way of
Allah (fī sabīl Allah). If one parts with something to
which one is not attached, there can be no regrets later.
The act of giving
should not be based on emotional impulse; giving should be
according to reason and one's heart. The natural spring gushing
from its source fills the nearest holes before moving on – thus
one's generosity should first touch those who are closest.
Kind speech and forgiveness are better than charity followed by
injury. Allah is Self-sufficiently Rich, Forbearing.
The word for charity
in Arabic is sadaqah which derives from the verbal
root sadaqa meaning to be sincere, true, to fulfill
one's promise. Its purpose is purification. If charity causes
harm, it will only be contrary to its purpose. Charity and
generosity bring one close to Allah's Attributes of Mercy,
Generosity and Self-Sufficiency.
O you who believe! Do not nullify your charity by reproach and
injury, like one who spends his wealth to be seen by men and
does not believe in Allah and the Last Day. The parable of this
one is as the parable of a smooth rock with earth upon it when a
heavy rain falls upon it, leaving it bare. They will not be able
to gain anything of what they have earned, and Allah does not
guide the unbelieving people.
nature is physical, gross and lacking in insight. To begin with,
we are in fact like a barren land. To become fertile and benefit
ourselves and others, we must cover ourselves with the moist earth
of correct action (ihsān). If we cause harm or
injury, it is as if our top-soil were washed away, leaving us once
again barren 'hard land', unable to support life.
And the parable of those who spend their wealth seeking the
pleasure of Allah, and for certainty in themselves, is as the
parable of a garden on elevated ground upon which heavy rain
falls. It brings forth its fruit twofold. If heavy rain does not
fall upon it, then light rain [suffices]. And Allah sees what
That which pleases
Allah, and that which strengthens the higher self, are the same,
because the essence of the self – the spirit – is from Allah.
Spending and giving what one wants to keep ennobles man twice
over, speeding up the process of inner purification. To be
purified and ennobled in this life we must give in charity, for
this imitates Allah's mercy and generosity to His creation.
Would one of you like to have a garden of palm trees and vines,
with streams flowing beneath it, possessing all kinds of fruits,
and old age overtakes him, and he has weak offspring, then a
whirlwind containing fire smites it so that it is consumed. Thus
does Allah make the signs clear to you so you may reflect.
If one does not guard
one's good actions, they will be wiped out by wrong action. One's
good actions are like one's offspring: if they are strong and
plentiful, their progenitor will be protected and preserved. Men
or communities who do not build up spiritual strength will
eventually be effaced.
O you who believe! Spend of the good things that you have
acquired and from what We have brought forth for you out of the
earth, and do not intend to spend what is bad while you would
not take it yourselves, unless you overlook the affair. Know
that Allah is Self-Sufficient, Praiseworthy.
This is a summary of
the preceding verses. The priority in life is to spend and give in
the way of truth; and to spend, one must earn. One is only
authorized to earn if one's intention is to spend in order to
propagate and enforce Allah's will.
Shaytān threatens you with poverty and urges you to
excess and detestable actions, while Allah promises you
forgiveness from Himself and abundance. Allah is Vast, Knowing.
brings about anxiety, insecurity and fear for sustenance: this
arises at a time when one is weak or unfocused upon higher things.
Fearing loss of provision is denial of the Merciful Lord Who has
promised sustenance, goodness and generosity for all creation, as
long as they also fulfill their contract of trust and submission
to the natural divine decrees.
Allah promises that
all his creatures are provided for, as long as they follow the
path of submission (islām) and correct action (ihsān).
The negative tendencies in man – the shaytānic
elements of greed and love of power – rise up to bring about
doubt, mistrust, covetousness and exploitation. These are the
destructive tendencies with which man burdens himself as he
struggles in confusion without divine light.
grants wisdom to whomever He pleases, and whoever is granted
wisdom, indeed, has been given much good. None but those of the
innermost core bear this in mind.
Allah opens the great
ocean of wisdom to whoever truly desires it. The essence of
self-knowledge is already within the innermost core of all beings,
but it is only the discriminating seekers who dive into the depths
of the ocean for the precious pearls of knowledge and wisdom.
whatever alms you spend or vow, surely Allah knows it. The
wrongdoers shall have no helpers.
A vow (nadhr)
is a self-imposed promise and reminder of specific action, so that
one may keep moving in the right direction. Making a vow and
keeping it brings about inner discipline and a correct balance. If
one acts justly within oneself, then the likelihood of a correct
outcome is increased. The process allows advancement along the
path of knowledge and ascension on the spiritual ladder.
End of the Surah