by Binth Niwas
The “Saving for Others” Till
Do you remember having tills in the good old days? Maybe some of you still have them. I especially remember one kind of till used by my family. It was labelled: “Saving for Others.” The money that went into this till was special: it came from sacrifices— small but beautiful sacrifices.
My father had given the instructions. When we felt like buying a snack that was tempting but not really necessary, when we wanted that interesting pen that was the all the rage but that we didn’t actually need, or when we desired to buy a toy or flower that was really attractive but not something that we couldn’t live without, we were asked to willingly sacrifice them for Allah’s sake, putting that amount of money into the till.
The Lesson of Simplicity
You see it was all about cutting out the extravagance and learning to live on what we actually needed and not giving in to all our wants and desires. We were also being trained to realize that others needed us and that we had to be there for them. As Allah (swt) says in the glorious Quran [2: 219] . . . And they ask you what they should spend. Say, “The excess [beyond needs].” Thus Allah makes clear to you the verses [of revelation] that you might give thought.
Instilling this quality in tender ages of your children is essential. It’s so easy to help them build a mentality of helping others. It makes them grow with the thought that there is a world out there that actually needs their care.
I also remember that sometimes our parents would reward us for our little sacrifices, with something better than what we’d given up. That was an outpouring of their love. But the focus was not the reward from parents but rather from our creator. As our lord says in His holy verses, Chapter 2, Surah Baqarah, verse 261: The charity of those who expend their wealth in the Way of Allah may be likened to a grain of corn, which produces seven ears and each ear yields a hundred grains. Likewise Allah develops manifold the charity of anyone He pleases, for He is All-Embracing, All-Wise.
Whose love and mercy could be more profound than our Master’s? Subahana Allah.
Inspiring Childhood and the Gift
Now I can recall the packet of chocolate biscuits that my brother sacrificed or the packet of tip tip (a kind of snack) I avoided buying on our way home from the shop where we’d run an errand for mother. We were little children then, but our hearts filled with contentment and achievement in these little deeds. Beautiful was the feeling when we opened up the till and gave the whole sum of money for a worthy cause. May Allah (swt) endlessly bless my parents, who made possible for us a wonderful and inspiring childhood.
O Believers, spend of the wealth We have bestowed upon you (in Allah’s way), before the Day comes when there shall be no buying and no selling; when neither friendship nor intercession will be of any avail. [Quran, 2:254]
May Allah accept our deeds and remove the wrong intentions from them. Ameen