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Significance of charity in Ramadan

ZANJABIL MASHKURA | March 21, 2024 00:00:00

On every arrival, Ramadan brings blessings, compassion and joy among the believers. By the grace of Allah, any act of obedience during this holy month of fasting is immensely valuable, as the rewards for good deeds get multiplied. That is why Muslims perform many acts of benevolence to earn the satisfaction and pleasure of Allah SWT. One of the most prominent means of attaining higher rewards is charity through Sadaqah and Zakat.

Zakat is different from voluntary charity. It is mandatory as one of the five main pillars of Islam. The payable is calculated based on the total savings of a Muslim for one year. Muslims who own a specific amount of wealth in the form of gold, silver, cash, crops, or herded animals for a whole year have to pay 2.5 per cent of their total yearly savings to people in need.

Zakat is to be collected in the month of Ramadan. However, the total amount doesn't need to be paid in the month. You can put the money for Zakat aside and utilise for needy people all year round. This way, your Zakat is performed, and the money gets used in a planned way.

Apart from the obligatory side, Zakat also carries a lot of importance. This act of benediction purifies the wealth and enhances the spirituality of the one performing it, which eventually leads to prosperity in both the world here and hereafter. By giving Zakat, a Muslim acknowledges that Rizk comes from Allah S.W.T. and that we should help those who are in need.

Paying zakat is a financial ibadat. Giving away one's hard-earned money is a great sacrifice. It creates a sense of self-discipline and frees the performer from excessive desires and greed. The general teaching of Islam is that those in need have a right over those who are well off. This alms-giving ensures that those rights are fulfilled.

Zakat serves a broader aim than just self-purification. It turns out as a powerful instrument for social transformation. It's an incredible institution intended to reshape the economic structure of society. It leads to the circulation of money. When the solvents give Zakat properly, the underprivileged part of society gets a chance to enjoy a better lifestyle. The economic changes would be huge if we all just did our part.

In Bangladesh, despite continuous economic fluctuations, bank accounts with more than Tk 10 million increased in 2023. A constant rise in the number of crore-taka accounts indicates that inequality in society is increasing. If the upper class of society locks out all the wealth while the poor and needy starve, then the socioeconomic condition of this world will never change. If all these account-holders give Zakat properly, the equality gap will become much smaller. This would lift countless people out of poverty.

On the flip side, the act of giving Zakat has become a means of showing off for some. We have seen that often local leaders and politically influential people use it for name and fame. But the purpose is to help those in need. Many people lost their lives at Zakat events for scrambles in the midst of crowd.

Along with Zakat, voluntary Sadaqah is important in the month of Ramadan. Muslims are encouraged to give charity throughout the year, but especially during Ramadan. By engaging in a kind act of charity during this holy month, we can strengthen our relationship with Allah SWT while contributing to the well-being of the less-fortunate.

Charity in the last ten days of Ramadan is more valuable as it adds even higher rewards. Narrated by Abu Hurayrah (R), the Prophet (PBUH) said, "Every good deed of the son of Adam will be multiplied ten to seven hundred times in reward. Allah said: Except for fasting, for it is done for Me (my sake), and I will reward it." (Al-Bukhaari and Muslim).

Charity is beneficial in terms of spirituality as well as social welfare. Many Muslims across the world are living in poverty. They do not have sufficient means to live a life free from suffering. Even a small donation can alleviate a little bit of struggle for those who go without the necessities every day. For example, many people from Bangladesh are sending aid to the Palestinian brothers and sisters. That is why Sadaqah is a way of increasing love, harmony, and affection between Muslims.

Charity can take various forms, including giving money to the needy, providing meals, or supporting charitable projects and initiatives. In Ramadan, the Zakat and charity foundations have extra work pressure. Helping your local mosque or any nearby charitable organisation can be a great form of charity.

Donations or voluntary acts are both significantly crucial in the month of Ramadan to help families receive proper meals for Sahur and Iftar. Many charitable foundations in the town provide versatile activities. For example, the As-Sunnah Foundation, the Pashe Achi Initiative, Saee-Al-Khair, and many more are working day and night to stand beside people in need.

As human beings, especially thoughtful Muslims, we need to free ourselves from the greed of wealth. We must dedicate ourselves to helping the financially suffering ones. To do that, we need to give the measured amount of Zakat without any hesitation. Moreover, we should give charity as much as we can.

With our large population, even a small amount of charity becomes a huge amount that can eradicate poverty in this country altogether. When each one of us comes forward with whatever we have and contributes through Zakat and voluntary charity, we can achieve tremendous amounts of good for the underprivileged society and its people.

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