The Imperativeness of Being Generous During Ramadan

Islam is a religion that encourages generosity in its followers and gives a full code of life to Muslims. When the wealthy and fortunate ones are generous, it ultimately leads to the sharing of delights and as a result whole of the community and society is able to enjoy the blessings of Almighty which in other case would have been difficult for some to attain and cherish. Therefore, one element that can be found in abundance in the character of Muslims is generosity.

Besides the compulsory act of Zakat as an exemplification of generosity, there are other generous deeds, which a Muslim can commit for the well being of fellow humans in general and Muslims, in particular. Moreover, the reward and imperativeness of these acts of generosity increases substantially when they are undertaken in the month of Ramadan.

Generosity in Fasting Month

Ramadan As A Month Of Generosity:

Before moving on to the imperativeness and need of generosity in the month of Ramadan, it is imperative that a Muslim realizes and identifies Ramadan in itself as a generous offering from Allah Almighty to Muslims.

Ramadan is a month in which Allah Almighty showers His blessings and mercy upon Muslims with full throttle. It is a month in which Allah closes the doors of Hell and opens the doors of Paradise for Muslims, which means that the generosity of Allah Almighty is at its peak and He is open to forgiving all those who repent from true heart and in addition to simple forgiveness also grant them with rewards and blessings so that they land a better and higher place in Paradise. Therefore, Ramadan in itself is a month of generosity in every aspect.

The lines below discuss why a Muslim must be increasingly generous during the month of Ramadan.

A Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH):

Above all, perhaps the biggest and greatest reason why a Muslim must be generous during the month of Ramadan is the fact that being specifically generous during the month of Ramadan is the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Hazrat Ibn Abbas (RA) narrates:

“The Messenger of Allah (PBUH), was the most generous of people. He was especially generous in Ramadan when the Angel Gabriel would come and review the Quran with Him. Gabriel would review the Quran with Him every night during the month of Ramadan. Verily, when Gabriel would come and review the Quran with Him in Ramadan, the Messenger of Allah was more generous than the free blowing wind.” (Tirmidhi)

From this narration, two things become clear about the personality of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). The first thing that becomes clear is that Prophet (PBUH) was most generous of all, therefore, Ramadan or no Ramadan, one ought to follow His Sunnah and be generous in everyday life. The second thing that is evident from the narration is the fact that Prophet (PBUH) was especially generous during Ramadan and it is one of His beloved deeds during the month of fasting, hence, more the reason for a Muslim to show and indulge in acts of generosity during this month and share the blessings and joys with other fellow beings during this Holy month, so that all are able to enjoy and celebrate the Holy month in the best possible manner.

Allah Practices And Encourages Generosity:

As discussed earlier that the month of Ramadan in itself is a symbol of generosity by Allah Almighty, therefore, if Allah Almighty who despite all the sins of humans is generous to them, there is no reason why Muslims should not be generous to each other. Prophet (PBUH) mentions in a hadith:

“During it (Ramadan) a caller cries out, ‘Those desiring good come forward, and those desiring evil stay away’. Allah has those He liberates from Hell, and that occurs every night (during Ramadan).” (Tirmidhi)

From this hadith it is clear that during the month of Ramadan, Allah Almighty specially opens the doors of forgiveness for Muslims. It is in the nights of this Holy Month that He forgives people from Hell and takes them to paradise. Therefore, Allah Almighty shows additional generosity during the month of Ramadan.

At another place, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said:

“I swear by Allah, He will never disgrace you! You uphold the sanctity of blood relations, you honor the guest, you bear the burdens of others, you spend on the deprived, and you assist people in the face of calamities.” (Bukhari)

This hadith shows that Allah Almighty never disgraces people who are generous. Moreover, this hadith also shows the factors that can be considered as act of generosity, which include the following:

  • Firstly, a person is to hold the sanctity of blood relations from which it can be inferred that being good to the blood relations, taking care of them is also an act of generosity, therefore, every Muslim must hold the sanctity of blood relations.
  • Secondly, a Muslim must be hospitable to the guests and give them proper respect and deal with them with graciousness and take care of them properly, which also falls under the circle of generosity.
  • Thirdly, helping others in sharing their burden of any sort is also an act of generosity. Thus, when a Muslim helps another Muslim in bearing the burden no matter if it is financial or physical burden, he or she is actually being generous.
  • Fourthly, spending money on those who are deprived of the necessities of life and assisting the people who are facing any calamity is also an act of generosity. Hence, during Ramadan a Muslim must not let any chance of helping others go from hand.

Distinction On The Judgment Day:

Generosity is an act of virtue and being generous during Ramadan and after it gives a separate identity to a Muslim for which he or she will receive distinction on the Judgment day. In one hadith, Prophet (PBUH) said:

“Should I not inform you of the most generous of all? Allah is the most generous of all, and I am the most generous of humanity. After me the most generous person is a man who learns something beneficial and disseminates it. He will be resurrected on the Day of resurrection as an individual nation. Likewise, is a man who gives his life in the way of Allah.” (Ibn Adi)

From this hadith it is clear, those who are generous will rise as a separate nation on the resurrection day. This rising separately is a blessing from Allah and it shows that the generous will be distinct from others. Therefore, being generous in Ramadan is actually an upward movement in spirituality and piety for distinction.

Conclusion:

In a nutshell, exhibition of generosity in general is recommended in Islam, however, the need and rewards of it rise heavily in the month of Ramadan. In Ramadan, being generous helps sharing of joy and blessings, whereas the reward against it also gets multiplied many times like any other virtuous deed committed during this Holy Month.

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