Charity is an integral part of the Islamic faith. Within the school of the Ahlulbayt (as), two of the ten obligatory acts comprising the branches of faith (furu’ al-din) involve charity. These two are Zakat and Khums. Aside from these two obligatory forms of charity, voluntary charity is also highly recommended in Islam. This is in the form of Sadaqa.
Evidently, charity plays a highly important role in Islam. Accordingly, as we raise a new generation of Muslims, it is important to teach them the importance of giving to charity.
Here are 5 reasons why we should continue to encourage and teach children about charity.
1) Great rewards
It is important to teach our children that doing good now can have great rewards later. Allah mentions several times that those who donate to the charity shall have many rewards, as well as forgiveness for our sins.
“Those who spend their wealth [in Allah ‘s way] by night and by day, secretly and publicly – they will have their reward with their Lord. And no fear will there be concerning them, nor will they grieve.” [Quran, 2:274]
2) Creates a balanced society
Today, around the globe millions of people struggle daily in poverty. It is shocking to realise that 1% of the world’s population holds more than double the wealth of 6.9 billion people. It is crucial for children to recognise that those who have the means, should to donate towards the poor because it can create a balance between the rich and the poor and prevent such a severely unequal distribution of wealth. Imam Ali (AS) lived life extremely humbly because he used to donate his earnings to charity on his way home after a day of work. We can follow Imam Ali’s steps and donate what we can because there are people more in need of that money, and so that there is not a large imbalance of wealth in society.
3) Prevents greed
In today’s society, there is great emphasis on the importance of striving towards money and success. As children are raised in this environment, they may unintentionally grow to develop habits of greed and in adulthood learn to hold onto all the wealth they can earn. Promoting helping others and donating towards charity, can help decrease attachment to materialistic things. The act of donating materialistic items is reflected when Sayida Fatima Al-Zahraa (AS) gave away her wedding dress to a poor person. When Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HF) asked why she was wearing her old dress, she responded quoted the Quran saying; ‘You will not achieve piety until you give what you love the most‘(3:92)”. Teaching our children to give charity can encourage them to become more selfless.
4) Helps to strengthen faith
Imam Ja’far Sadiq (AS) narrates: “Three things help a man after his death and there are: a charity given by him, a good habit he taught to others and a good offspring he leaves behind, how prays for his forgiveness” (Al Bihar, 6:294).
When donating towards charity, it can help strengthen our faith and remind us of the important aspects of life and the afterlife in Islam. As seen with the example of Prophet Ibrahim (AS), he was willing to give up his own son for the sake of Allah. Donations towards charity can help those in need, while also becoming closer towards Allah.
5) Protects person from harm
When we donate to charity, not only does it reamplify our faith in Allah, but it is also narrated to protect us from hardships. Giving charity in times of hardship can show our gratitude towards Allah, and in return may give us protection and mercy from harm in life and on the day of judgment. Imam Ja’far Sadiq (AS) narrates; “An act of charity given openly prevents seventy types of mishaps, and a secretly given charity cools the anger of our Lord Allah (SWT)” (Al Bihar, 62:269).
Therefore, the act of giving towards charity should be taught to our children as it can help strengthen their faith and become better Muslims, as well as help those living in poverty. Children can also be encouraged to take part in charity in creative ways. Salamoji & The Sadaqa Box is a story encouraging children to give Sadaqa, it can be found here!
Encourage your children to support those in need by donating to The Zahra Trust today.