Assalamu alaykum WaRahmtullah WaBarakatuh dear brothers and sisters.
In tonights session we will talk about the soldiers of light VS the soldiers of darkness: Generosity VS Miserliness
"Then as for him who gives away and guards (against evil), and accepts the best, We will facilitate for him the easy end." (The Holy Quran 92:5-7)
The Holy Prophet (pbuhap) said: Generosity is a part of Iman (the Faith) and the Iman shall take one to the Heaven. Jami al-Saadaat, Vol. 2, Page 113.
The Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuhap) said: "Nothing shall ensure the welfare (and interests) of your religion except generosity and good disposition."
The Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuhap) said: "The most generous is he who fulfils that which Allah (swt) has deemed obligatory upon him."
Jabir ibne Abdullah Ansari narrated the Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuhap) never disappointed anyone who asked for his help.
Whenever the Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuhap) received anything, he did not sit in peace until it was finished. (Mother of believers) Umm Salmah reported that one day the Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuhap) came home looking disturbed. She asked him what the matter was. The Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuhap) replied that the seven dinars he had received the day before had remained on the bed until evening and had not been distributed. He did not rest until they were given away.
Abu Dharr Ghaffari reported that one evening he was walking with the Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuhap) when he said, "Abu Dharr, if the mountain of Uhud were turned into gold for me, I would not like three nights to pass and one dinar still be left with me, excepting what I would leave for paying my debts." He would never rest until all the cash in the house was completely finished.
Imam Ali (a.s) said: "Overlook and forgive the weakness of generous people, because if they fall down, Allah (swt) gives his hand in their hands and helps them..."
Imam Ali (a.s) said: "Generosity is to help a deserving person without his request, and if you help him after his request, then it is either out of self-respect or to avoid rebuke." Nahjul-Balagah
Imam Hassan Mujtaba (a.s) says: The one who does not have wits and intelligence does not have decorum and decency; the one who lacks fortitude does not have generosity and magnanimity; and that one who does not possess shame and modesty does not have religion.
Once a Bedouin asked Imam Hussain (a.s) what is the best thing to do? Imam Hussain (a.s) replied, "Belief in God". Bedouin asked again, what is the best means of deliverance from destruction, Imam Hussain (a.s) said, "Trust in God". Bedouin asked, what man's ornament is, Imam Hussain (a.s) replied, "knowledge associated with intelligence". Bedouin insisted, if this be not available, what then, Imam Hussain (a.s) replied, "Wealth accompanied with generosity". What if this be out of reach, Imam Hussain (a.s) said, "Poverty allied with patience". What if this be not practicable? Imam Hussain (a.s) smiled and said, let the lightening consume the man to ashes. He then gave whatever money he had with him to fulfill his needs.
Imam Jafar Al-Sadiq (a.s) related that the Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuhap) said: "The best men in view of faith is the most openhanded."
Imam Baqir (a.s) said: "A generous young man who is plunging in sins is favourable, in the sight of Allah (swt) , to a niggardly old man who plunges in worship."
Imam Musa Kadhim (a.s) said: "Man's dependants are his prisoners. Anyone upon whom Allah (swt)confers with graces should be generous towards his prisoners. If he does not, he will soon be deprived of these graces."
Imam Hassan Askari (a.s) says: Generosity has a limit, which when crossed becomes extravagance; caution has a limit, which when crossed becomes cowardice; thriftiness has a limit, which when crossed becomes miserliness; courage has a limit, which when crossed becomes fool-hardiness.
Generosity is one of the ethics of the Prophets, a pillar of faith and a ray of the light of firm faith. The Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuhap) has said: "The Auliya Allah - Friends of Allah (swt)are, essentially and inherently, generous." Hence, in order to acquire this attribute, a Mu'min (believer) should endeavour hard to be munificent and generous towards relatives, deserving ones and the like, for the pleasure of Allah (swt).
It is better that a person's generosity is associated with a thing that is dear to him, and that no obligation is placed upon the person towards whom generosity has been exhibited; man should only view himself as a trustworthy person, whose responsibility is to pass on Allah's (swt) things to deserving and needy individuals. As such, he should stay away from frugality and refrain from withholding the Divine trusts; this is because it is not known whether or not they would yield any benefit, if given after his death, and whether or not his inheritors would expend them in a correct and appropriate manner?
A precious stone:
''A wise woman who was traveling in the mountains found a precious stone in a stream. The next day she met another traveler who was hungry, and the wise woman opened her bag to share her food. The hungry traveler saw the precious stone and asked the woman to give it to him. She did so without hesitation.
The traveler left, rejoicing his good fortune. He knew the stone was worth enough to give him security for a lifetime. But a few days later he came back to return the stone to the wise woman. "I've been thinking," He said, "I know how valuable the stone is, but I give it back in the hope that you can give me something even more precious: Give me what you have within you that enabled you to give me the stone (Generosity)."
Allah (swt) , the Wise, has said in the Holy Qur'an: "Give to your close relatives what they need, and also give generously to the destitute and to wayfarers. Do not squander your wealth; those who are wasteful are the brothers and sisters of Satan and Satan is always ungrateful to his Lord. But if, while waiting for the Lord's bounty, you are unable to help your relatives, the destitute and wayfarers, then at least speak kindly to them." (The Holy Quran 17:26-28)
A story of the benefits of generosity:
It is narrated from Imam Musa Al-Kathim (a.s) that in Bani Israel was a righteous man who had a kind hearted wife.
One night this man dreamt that he was told that the Almighty Allah had fixed a particular life span for him. Half of it was to be in prosperity and other half in difficulties. He had the choice of whichever life he desired first and whichever condition he desires to have in the later life. The man requested for some time as he wanted to consult his wife as he had always sought her counsel in important matters.
Next day he related the dream to his wife who told him to ask for a prosperous life first. She said, "And hurry up to obtain it. May be Almighty Allah desires to grant us with His bounties." The next night when he was asked in his dream he said that he wished for prosperity in the earlier part of life. He was told that his wish shall be fulfilled.
Thus he began to receive all types of bounties and comforts. His wealth and property increased.
Then his wife said, "O slave of Almighty Allah! Now you help your relatives and other deprived people. Do good to them. Give that particular thing to that neighbour and something to that friend of yours."
This man followed the advice of his wife and was not stingy in giving his wealth in charity. In this way half the life passed. Again he dreamt of the same person and he was saying, "You were not stingy in charity, therefore the Almighty Allah had decided to grant you prosperity in the later half of your life also."
Imam Al-Reza (a.s) said: 'The generous person partakes of other people's food in order that they may [feel comfortable to] partake of his food, whereas the miser does not partake of others' food so that they may not eat from his. Bihar al-Anwar, v. 71, p. 352, no. 8
The old, the orphan and the prisoner:
Imam Ali (a.s) possessed a great generous heart. Nobody, who came to his (a.s) door for any requirement, returned empty handed. He (a.s) was so generous that he (a.s) did not care to keep an eatable for himself (a.s) required for his (a.s) own survival. Imam Hassan and Hussein (a.s) were ill the Prophet (pbuhap) told Imam Ali (a.s) and Lady Fatima (a.s) to make a Nazr (a vow) that they would fast three days upon the recovery of the children. Allah accepted their prayers and granted their Nazr. Both the children recovered from their illness. Imam Ali (a.s) and Lady Fatima (a.s) decided to fast in fulfilment of the Nazr.
When the two children came to know of this, they too decided to fast.
Imam Ali (a.s) as wages had barley, from which they each had a loaf placed before them as they sat down to break their fast. Just as they were about to begin, a poor man knocked at his door and asked for some food to eat. Imam Ali (a.s) gave him all that was ready. There was no other food in the house, so all of them had to be content with water. They went to bed and slept without food. The next day they fasted again in fulfilment of the Nazr,
Lady Fatima (a.s) again baked 5 loaves. Again they sat together to break the fast with the usual one loaf of bread for each. As they were about to break the fast, an orphan came all of a sudden to their door and asked for food saying he was very hungry. Although the inmates of the house were themselves hungry for two days, they were happy to feed the boy. Everyone gave his or her bread to the orphan. They again slept without any food.
On the third day as they sat down to break the fast, a prisoner knocked at their door asking for something to eat. Although the people of the house of the Holy Prophet had been suffering from near starvation for the last three days, they again gave away all the bread to the prisoner and contented themselves only with water for the third day in succession.
Allah was so pleased on the act of generosity of Imam Ali (a.s) that he revealed upon Prophet (sawas) the following ayah in recognition to his such an act:
And they feed, for the love of Allah, the indigent, the orphan, and the captive - (Saying),"We feed you for the sake of Allah alone: no reward do we desire from you, nor thanks. (The Holy Quran 76:8-9)
Imam Al-Baqir (a.s) learnt from his father Imam Zainul Abideen (a.s); "Beware of and do not associate with a miser because he will deprive you of his wealth when you are seriously in need of it."
Imam Al-Baqir said: ''The faithful do not become cowardly, greedy or miser.''
"It is you who are asked to spend for the cause of Allah, but some of you behave in a niggardly way. Whoever behaves miserly does so against his own soul. Allah is Self-sufficient and you are poor."(The Holy Quran 47:38)
Imam Ali (a.s) said: "I wonder at the mentality of a miser, fearing poverty he takes to stinginess and thus hastily pushes himself headlong into a state of want and destitution, he madly desires plenty and ease, but throws it away without understanding. In this world he, of his own free will, leads the life of a beggar and in the next world he will have to submit an account like the rich."
The selfish man:
"Once upon a time, there was a selfish. He liked everything to be his own. He could not share his belongings with anyone, not even his friends or the poor.
One day, the man lost thirty gold coins. He went to his friend's house and told him how he lost his gold coins. His friend was a kind man.
As his friend's daughter was coming from an errand she found thirty gold coins, when she arrived home, she told her father what she had found. The girl's father told her that the gold coins belong to his friend and he sent for him. When the selfish man arrived, he told him how his daughter had found his thirty gold coins and handed then to him. After counting the gold coins the man said that ten of them was missing and had been taken by the girl as he had forty gold coins. He further commented that he will recover the remaining amount from him (the girl's father). But the father refused.
The selfish man left the gold coins and went to the court and informed the judge there about what had taken place between him and the girl's father.
The judge sent for the girl and her father, and when they arrived asked the girl how many gold coins did she find. She replied thirty gold coins. The Judge that asked the selfish man how many gold coins did he lose and he answered forty gold coins.
The judge then told the selfish man that the gold coins did not belong to him because the girl found thirty and not forty as he claimed to have lost and then told the girl to take the gold coins and that if anybody is looking for them he will send for the girl.
The judge told the selfish man that if anybody reports that they have found forty gold coins he will send for him. It was then that the selfish man confessed that he lied and that he lost thirty gold coins but the judge did not listen to him.
So because of this mans selfishness, lies, and greed it resulted in his loss.
Amir al-Muminin (a.s) said: "Know with certainty that you cannot achieve your desire and cannot exceed your destined life. You are on the track of those before you. Therefore, be humble in seeking and moderate in earning because often seeking leads to deprivation. Every seeker of livelihood does not get it, nor is everyone who is moderate in seeking deprived."
Amir al-Muminin (a.s) said: "A greedy man will always find himself in the shackles of humility."
Imam Jafar as Sadiq (a.s) related that Prophet Muhammad (pbuhap) said: "The generous is close to Allah (swt) close to people, and close to Paradise. The stingy is remote from Allah (swt) remote from people, and close to Hell."
"The stingy ones who try to make others stingy or those who hide the favors that Allah has bestowed on them. We have
prepared a humiliating torment for the disbelievers." (The Holy Quran 4:37)
Imam Jafar as Sadiq (a.s) narrated on the authority of his fathers that Amir ul-Mu'minin (a.s) once heard a man saying that stinginess is less forgivable than wronging. The Imam commented: "No, this is a lie. A wrong man may repent, seek Allah's forgiveness, and correct his mistakes. But when one behaves in a stingy mood, he will not defray the Zakat and almsgiving, will not regard his relatives, will not receive the guests hospitably, and will not spend his fortune in the cause of Allah (swt) and in the fields of charity. Paradise is forbidden for the stingy."
And present in [human] souls is stinginess. (The Holy Quran 4:128) So we have to fight against being miserly and stingy and InshaAllah be generous and trust that Allah swt will always provide.
One thing i would like to add is, I pray that Allah (swt) helps us to become the best we can InshAllah and forgives us when we fail at applying the hadiths we present and share in these lectures. Alhamdulillah.
Allaahumma salle ala Muhammad wa Ale Muhammad al Aemma wal Mahdyeen wa salem tasleeman Katheera