عن عدي بن حاتم رضي الله عنه قال: قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم اتقوا النار ولو بشق تمرة فمن لم يجد فبكلمة طيبة
Adi bin Hatim RA reported: The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “Guard yourselves against the Fire (of Hell) even if it be only with half a date-fruit (given in charity); and if you cannot afford even that, you should at least say a good word.” [Bukhari and Muslim].
قال رسول الله، صلى الله عليه وسلم ما منكم من أحد إلا سيكلمه ربه ليس بينه وبينه ترجمان، فينظر أيمن منه، فلا يرى إلا ماقدم، وينظر أشأم منه، فلا يرى إلا ما قدم، وينظر بين يديه، فلا يرى إلا النار تلقاء وجهه، فاتقوا النار ولو بشق تمرة
A narration of Bukhari and Muslim has:
The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “Every one of you will speak to his Rabb without an interpreter between them. He will look to his right side and will see only the deeds he had previously done; he will look to his left and will see only the deeds he had previously done, and he will look in front of him and will see nothing but Fire (of Hell) before his face. So protect yourselves from Fire (of Hell), even by giving half a date-fruit (in charity)”.
“Safeguard yourself from the Hell-fire,” means that a person should engage in good deeds and acts of obedience that will protect him from the punishment of Hell-fire.
This Hadith teaches us that each person will be directly accountable to Allah for his deeds on the day of Qiyamah. Only good deeds will benefit a person at that time. We are also encouraged to give in charity, according to our capacity and to deal kindly and gently with people. A Qur’anic verse states,
قَوْلٌ مَّعْرُوْفٌ وَّمَغْفِرَةٌ خَيْر مِّنْ صَدَقَةٍ يَّتْبَعُهَٓا اَذًى
Kind words and forgiving of faults are better than ṣadaqah (charity) followed by injury. [Baqarah 2: 263]
EASY GOOD DEED – Sadaqah and Charity
Sadaqah and charity are both acts of great merit and very effective means of earning Divine pardon and escaping the fires of Hell. The Holy Quraan and Hadith too are replete with the merits of spending money as sadaqah and in charity: in fact one will have to compile an entire book in order to do justice to this topic.
What we wish to bring to your attention here is that it is not at all necessary to spend too much to gain merit; one has to spend only as much as he can afford. If one has only a Rand and he spends a few cents on some good work in the path of Allah as charity or Sadaqah, then it is as if a man with a hundred thousand rands spends a thousand.
Allah does not care for human wealth; Allah values the purity of intent. When the intention is pure and sincere, then to Allah it doesn’t matter much how much was spent.
Let us recall the Hadith which we quoted earlier:
اتقوا النار ولو بشق تمرة
Guard yourselves against the Fire (of Hell) even if it be only with half a date-fruit (given in charity) [Bukhari and Muslim]
This hadith means that if one has nothing save half a date, and he gives it to another who needs it, it too would be counted as a sadaqah and would earn merit and lead to Divine pardon.
This hadith also clearly shows that the poor should not think that they cannot earn merit through sadaqah: by spending whatever they can afford, they too can earn this merit.
There are some who, after paying Zakaat, believe that they have done all that is required from them and do not spent a cent more; this is not justified. Zakaat is a duty and the money is to be spent for very specific purposes only. There are many other good deeds which lie outside the ambit of Zakaat e.g. contributing to a Masjid fund. Hence some money over and above Zakaat should be spent on other good deeds too. Our spiritual elders and saints always set aside a certain portion of their incomes for charitable purposes. Maulana Thanwi R always reserved one-fifth of his income for this, others reserved one-tenth or one-twentieth part. The advantage of this practice is that whenever the occasion arises, the money is already set aside and available; this availability is also a reminder. If everyone regularly sets aside some part of his income, he can easily earn much merit and reward.