Importance of Charity

Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) relates that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be to him) said: “Charity is due for every joint of everyone, on every day the sun rises. Administering of justice between two men is also a charity; assisting a man to ride upon his beast or helping him load his bags upon it is charity. A good word is charity; and every step that you take towards prayer is charity and removing harmful things from the street is charity.”

(Bukhari, Muslim)

Charity holds a very important position in Islam. In the hadīth under study the Holy Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be to him) says that charity is due for every joint a human body has; and that too every day. Charity is not something occasional; it is an act that tends to constitute the permanent feature of a believer. Only then he/she will be able to pay this due every day. But how many times he/she has to pay it every day?

For proper appreciation of this question, let’s study the human body anatomically. Thus we come to know that the average adult human has 206 bones, and perhaps the equal number of joints that contribute to make a body a human being with flesh and blood. It becomes evident that a believer has to pay charity over 200 times every day. But how is it possible? The Holy Messenger makes it really very simple. In this hadīth he has taught the believers some good deeds that are treated as acts of charity. On other occasions he taught some other acts of charity. In short, a good deed, howsoever seemingly small and common, is in fact an act of charity.

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