Charity is something that is very important to us as Muslims, and Allah (swt) stresses this importance when he speaks of the qualities of believers and those who earn his pleasure will ultimately be the ones who are given the best of rewards, Jannah.
And establish prayer and give zakah (charity), and whatever good you put forward for yourselves – you will find it with Allah. Indeed, Allah of what you do, is Seeing. [2:110]
Small Acts of Charity that Make a Big Difference
Turning Waste into Worth
1. Clean out your closet and find gently used clothes you wear seldomly, shoes you bought and never wore, and things that may be brand new but just do not fit. Find a family in need or give to a local homeless shelter or women’s shelter.
2. Instead of throwing away those cardboard toilet paper rolls, almost empty jars of peanut butter, and that too stale to eat cereal turn it into a meal for the birds and squirrels. Plan a day with children at your local Masjid or community center and have children bring in their supplies. Smear the peanut butter on the rolls, roll them in crushed cereal, and hang them from the trees using string, rinse and recycle the old peanut butter jars or use them for storage containers.
3. Organize a food drive at your Masjid, School, or work place and clean out your cupboards. All the food that is still good but you will never use, give. Plan a day for everyone to bring sealed and unexpired foods and give all of the food to a homeless shelter or keep it in storage at the Masjid for families who may be facing difficulty.
So whoever does an atom’s weight of good will see it [99:7]
Give Wealth Through Wisdom
4. If you know someone new to your Masjid who is struggling to learn their salah, offer to spend time with them to help them learn and memorize. If you have just $10, you can pay for them to have 30 days of access to one of the courses on Understand Quran Acadamy. If you do not have $10 and neither do they, let them know that UQA offers free access to learning for those who cannot afford it, subhan allah!
5. You can purchase the learn 50% of Quran course package from UQA and keep it for use at your Masjid in the library or learning center to help those who do not speak Arabic learn.
6. Use what you know about Quran to write or speak to inspire others. Give reminders about salah, about not gossiping or backbiting, and give simple advice to those who are struggling.
Time Well Spent
7. Get some fresh air and take a walk in your local park or somewhere that you live. Take a bag along with you to collect any trash you may find, as it is our responsibility to care for our earth.
8. Motivate your Masjid to recycle! Use an old, clean trash container with a lid and make a “Please Recycle” sign. Place this bin next to the trash container to encourage brothers and sisters to recycle. Once a week, spend a little time out of your day to rinse and clean the recycling and drop it off at your local recycling center. In some places you may receive a little bit of money for recycling cans and bottles, if so use the funds to pay someones bus fare or buy someone something to eat and drink.
9. Visit with the sick and elderly. If you know of anyone at your Masjid who is unable to attend, offer to visit with them and read Quran to them or just be there to make them smile. You can also visit local nursing homes and retirement communities, as many of the residents spend their final days with no visitors.
10. Visit your local animal shelter and offer to walk some of the dogs or play with the cats and kittens. These animals often live most of their lives in tiny cages, so some fresh air and a friendly pet will lift their spirits, all of Allah’s (swt) creatures deserve love!
There are many creative ways that we can give, and the possibilities are endless! No deed is ever too small, especially if we recall the story of the man who used his shoe to feed a thirsty dog who was granted jannah because of this deed.
And whatever good they do – never will it be removed from them. And Allah is Knowing of the righteous. [3:115]
Why These Small things Matter
Throughout Quran and Hadith, you will find many instances in which Allah (swt) and Prophet Muhammad (saw) advises us be mindful of the world around us, and to be respectful of all creatures and creations. By acting charitable, doing good, and spreading kindness by any means, in shaa allah, these small acts will be remembered on the day of judgement.
The Prophet Muhammad (saw) said: “Every Muslim has to give in charity.” The people then asked: ” If someone has nothing to give, what should he do?” The Prophet replied: “He should work with his hands and benefit himself and also give in charity (from what he earns).” The people further asked: “If he cannot find even that?” He replied: “He should help the needy who appeal for help.” Then the people asked: “If he cannot do (even) that?” The Prophet said finally: “Then he should perform good deeds and keep away from evil deeds, and that will be regarded as charitable deeds.” (Bukhari)
Find a way to do something good today and do as much good as you can! Teach your children, siblings, or friends to give in charity. Smile often, use kind words, and use that wonderful mind of yours to come up with ways to please Allah (swt) while benefiting others, in shaa allah. Allah’s (swt) promise is real, alhamdulillah.
Indeed, the men who practice charity and the women who practice charity and [they who] have loaned Allah a goodly loan – it will be multiplied for them, and they will have a noble reward. [57:18]
Praying you will benefit.