We have all read articles or listened to Friday sermons about charity. It’s an essential part of our faith and rightfully gets much needed attention. But few of us talk about the real life effects of charity.
From the generous sister who greeted me with a kind word on a very dark day to the brother who received charity to pay his electricity bill to keep a life saving medical device running, charity has phenomenal and sweeping effects for those who receive it. But for those who give it, the effects can be even greater.
There are so many ways that giving charity benefits the benefactor- too many to list here. But here are four far-reaching benefits of giving charity that we feel they affect us in this life and the hereafter.
1. Charity Does not Decrease our Wealth
This is an interesting outcome of giving in charity. Most of the time, when we spend money, the laws of mathematical equations, namely subtraction, apply. But with charity, even though there is an immediate negation of overall wealth, there always ends up being an unexpected return or even increase.
Have you ever heard of someone who went broke from spending too much money in charity? Surely, there are people who have given a majority of their wealth in charity time and time again, like Abu Bakr, Uthman bin Affan, or Aisha (May Allah be pleased with them). But these great benefactors always bounced back.
2. Charity is the Smartest Investment you will ever Make
When we all do better, we all do better. No one wants to live in a society where there are people living in squalor, reduced to commit crimes just to survive. In this life, when we invest in those who have less than us, we bring our society up and create an environment where social justice and harmony is possible.
This was the effect of charity when the Muhajireen (migrants) left their homes with very little to migrate to Medina and the Ansar (the helpers) gave them a hand up. Because of this charity, together the Muhajireen and the Ansar were able to establish a successful and prosperous society that we, as an ummah, feel the effects of to this day.
3. Charity Eases Hardship
No matter how much we have, we, as human beings, tend to focus on what we don’t have and how hard we think we have it. But when we look at those who have less, our hardships seem small and manageable. Giving to those who have less than us can be a good way to get some perspective on our hardships.
Giving charity is difficult for many of us because it seems, on the surface level, that we are giving to those who cannot benefit us and that that money will be lost. It may be that those we give charity to may not ever be in a position to return the favor, but our reward does not come from the recipient of our charity. It comes from Allah Almighty and can manifest in many different ways in this life and the next if we have the right intentions.