In the fifth lesson on Quranic reflection and tafsir, Shaykh Faraz reflects upon two verses (103-104) from Surat al-Tawba on giving to charity, and the ultimate purpose of charity. The verses correspond to the fifth book Imam Ghazali’s Ihya on zakat.
In these verses, Allah commands the Prophet, peace be upon him, and through it commands all of us:
“Take from their wealth a charity that will purify them and increase them through it; and pray for them for your prayers are serenity for them; and truly Allah is Hearing and Knowing”
(خُذْ مِنْ أَمْوَالِهِمْ صَدَقَةً تُطَهِّرُهُمْ وَتُزَكِّيهِمْ بِهَا وَصَلِّ عَلَيْهِمْ ۖ إِنَّ صَلَاتَكَ سَكَنٌ لَهُمْ ۗ وَاللَّهُ سَمِيعٌ عَلِيمٌ)
“Do they not know that it is Allah that accepts repentance from His servants and He takes charity; and that Allah it is He who is the Relenting and Compassionate.”
(أَلَمْ يَعْلَمُوا أَنَّ اللَّهَ هُوَ يَقْبَلُ التَّوْبَةَ عَنْ عِبَادِهِ وَيَأْخُذُ الصَّدَقَاتِ وَأَنَّ اللَّهَ هُوَ التَّوَّابُ الرَّحِيمُ)
Scholars detail that the charity referenced in these verses is that of obligatory Zakat. What then is the purpose of zakat? Allah mentions that is intended for purify them and to increase them through it. Zakat purifies three things: your wealth, your actions and your heart from being miserly and needy of this world.
In the second verse, Allah commands us to have certainty accepts the repentance of His servants. One should also have certainty that Allah accepts charity if it is given sincerely to Allah. Do not give it thinking that it is you that is benefiting that person instead one should have gratitude for Allah facilitating that you give and benefit from your charity.
Finally, Shaykh Faraz reminds us to focus our actions, not on the action itself; rather, on Allah by bringing to mind the names and attributes of Allah. Thus, busy yourself with Allah before, during and after an action of Good. The greatest charity is for a person to give themselves to Allah.
In this series Shaykh Faraz will be looking at points of reflection from key verses in the Quran. The series will follow the thematic order of Imam Ghazali’s Ihya Ulum al-Din (Renewing the Religious Knowledges). The aim is to connect the key verses of guidance from the Book of Allah with the blueprint of renewal, the Ihya, so that we experience a renewal by The Book.
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