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Ramadhan reinforces culture
( This article was published in Oman Daily Observer, Oman's most prestigious Newspapers.The article is reproduced with the permission of the author )
By Hasan Kamoonpuri
Although there is a very
strong culture of charity in the world of Islam, a major characteristic of this
month in particular is charity in terms of cash, kind and words. Islam has
produced the largest community of charity givers. Every single day throughout
the year Muslims give charity on events of happiness, sadness as well as on
Ramadhan is the best time to donate in the way of Allah. To feed the hungry or
finance education of under-privileged people and to help the orphan children is
an act of great reward, especially during this month.
Islam has only come for the benefit of mankind, and one of the mercies of Allah,
the Exalted, on people is that the Almighty has opened for them a great door of
opportunity of doing good deeds which remains open even after death. The key to
this door is through charity and sacrifice.
During his life, a Muslim may contribute funds, efforts or ideas towards the
building of a mosque, an orphanage, a printing house for useful books, a good
library, a school for needy people, a hospital for poor patient, a centre for
widows, or a centre for helping refugees or the oppressed people.
After his death these deeds lighten up his grave and this indeed is a great
opportunity, unique to the teachings of Islam. Islamic teachings encourage man
to sow his farm only to reap the harvest in the Hereafter.
Islamic teachings emphasise a lot on this aspect. We find in Islamic books
guidance such as: “Three things help a man after his death, and these are: a
charity given by him, a good habit he taught to others and a good offspring he
leaves behind, who prays for his forgiveness”.
The Messenger of Allah, Muhammad (pbuh), says: “Four things continue to reward a
person even after his death; a man who dies on the true path, a good advise or
knowledge given by him to someone who acts on that advice, an act of charity and
a good offspring he leaves behind, who prays for his forgiveness”.
According to Islamic teachings : “Six things benefit a man after his death; a
pious son who asks for forgiveness on his behalf, a copy of the Holy Quran he
read from, a tree he planted, a glass of water he quenched others’ thirst with,
a well he dug, and a good tradition or habit he left behind to those around him”
The Prophet says that the leader of the good doers on the Day of Judgement is
the one who did good to his parents after their death. The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)
said: “Gift the dead”. When the companions asked what they should gift the dead
with, the Prophet said: “With Charity and Prayers,” and continued to say that:
“The souls of dead people descended every Friday on earth and begged their close
ones with a forlorn voice: ‘O Mother, O Father, O Children, O Close ones to me,
be kind to me even with a dirham, or a piece of bread or clothes, and Allah, the
Exalted, shall reward you.”
The Prophet (pbuh) says that: “The dead man is like a person drowning who
helplessly holds on to any help given to him by his father or brother or friend
and he clings on to these and loves these acts more than the world itself, and
the gifts for the dead are charity and praying for their forgiveness”. The
Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) says: “Cure your sickness with charity”.