Thursday, May 27, 2010

Charity and Blessing

In a surau the other day, a friend read for me a sentence from a book that goes something like this:-
In the morning, some Angels would supplicate “Dear Allah, please give back, the equivalent or better to those who have given to charity (sodaqah); please take away part or all things that people hold back from giving to charity”.

Note: Non-Muslim readers are much-welcomed to read but may find the content is a tad too "Islamic".

An enterprising cousin, who has been operating a ‘not too small’ roadside food stall, has recently confided in me the secret of her success:- Her late mother told her to give to charity whatever little that she can spare – after following her mother’s advise her business ‘blossomed’. A three storey bungalow somewhere in Gombak near Batu Cave is a testimony of her endeavour (Oops! her word here, I believed her husband has also contributes big time for the bungalow).

The story of AbdurRahman ‘Auf (one of the richest men during Rasulullah s.a.w. time) might have been recounted to some of you umpteen times over the years, in short the story goes like this:-
AbdurRahman was bringing back a trade expedition of 70 fully loaded camels to Madinah.
On confirming the tradition of Prophet which (more or less) pointed out that ‘AbdurRahman will crawl on his way to enter the paradise due to his wealth in this life’, AbdurRahman then donated the whole 70 fully loaded camels to Baitul Mal (House of Finance).
Hardly a week has passed-by, by the grace of Allah: AbdurRahman has through normal trading/business, regained a similar size of wealth.


Following are some verses from Al Quran that relates to wealth, sodaqah, remembrance of Allah and spending for the betterment of souls.

“Verily, as for the men and women who accept the truth as true and who [thus] offer up unto Allah a goodly loan, they will be amply repaid, and shall have a noble reward [in the life to come].." (Al Hadid, Verse 18)

Say: “Behold, my Sustainer(Allah) grants abundant sustenance, or gives it in scant measure, unto whomever He wills of His servants; and whatever it be that you spend on others, He [always] replaces it: for He is the best of providers.” (Surah Saba’, Verse 39)

O ye who believe! Let neither your wealth nor your children distract you from remembrance of Allah. Those who do so, they are the losers. (Surah Al-Munafiqun, Verse 09)

And spend of that wherewith We have provided you before death cometh unto one of you and he saith: My Lord! If only thou wouldst reprieve me for a little while, then I would give alms and be among the righteous. . (Surah Al-Munafiqun, Verse 10)

So keep your duty to Allah as best ye can, and listen, and obey, and spend; that is better for your souls. And whoso is saved from his own greed, such are the successful. (Surah Al-Taghabun, Verse 16)

If ye lend unto Allah a goodly loan, He will double it for you and will forgive you, for Allah is Responsive, Clement. (Surah Al-Taghabun, Verse 17)



My late FIL and MIL stayed with me for few months before my FIL felt that he should go home for the Ramadhan in late 1999. I remembered very clearly that before they came over, for months I used to have RM10-30 in my bank balance a day before the salary day. Somehow my saving improved, I have some RM200 -300 addition to the previous balance to my bank account for each month of their stay.

I did not earn any extra money through salary increase or other activities and I did not recall that the in-laws chip in any money for their stay as yours truly is supposed to be well to do Petronas staff. What I recalled was that during the few months of their stay I did not have to send my old 23 years young car to my trusted foreman, Ah Lai, “under the big tree” workshop in Ampang.


Several months before I retire from Petronas last year, I sold off my 12 years old second hand car after acquiring 2 slightly newer (6 and 9 years young) second hand cars. One is to ferry my family, MIL and her helper and the smaller 2 doors for me and my family. I bought them because members of my family thought that I, as a Petronas retiree should have nice or acceptable (not too old) cars. I was rather reluctant at first, trying not to use so much money as I might need them for my two children’s education (the eldest was in form 5 then) and I was also very mindful that I might not be working after my retirement. After much persuasion from my children, I gave in telling myself that I have to do willingly and sincerely.


Somehow, very shortly after buying and selling the cars, money from unexpected resources came in. One from JHDN (after 5 long years of trying to get back whatever extra I have paid to them) and the other one is the lump sum merit increment (my third for a duration of more than 29 years of services.. just a month before retirement at that.. this do not normally happens, in Petronas mind you)… Alhamdulillah

In the end, with the money from the sale of one car and the two windfalls, I only have to pay less than 30% of the prices of the two cars. To top that, the hard-headed firebrand, barb-trading and ‘lawan-towkey’ yours truly, was offered two year contract to continue working in Petronas at a much lower responsibility and at slightly lower salary. Alhamdulillah.. kecil tapak tangan, nyiru saya tadahkan.

There are few other smaller incidents that also contribute and make me conclude that the money sincerely spent on my household, my family, my friends, my relatives and in-laws may indeed be considered as sodaqah(giving to charity) for I felt there is some baroqah (blessing) as on month to month basis, I end up spending much less than I normally would..

You may have heard or by your own experience conclude that any kindness (giving to charity, do’a and other good deed) you have extended/expended is indeed for the betterment of yourself.

Now that we know, may Allah give us sustenance, strength and courage to always give (sincerely) in His way.


P.s. If you have any similar experiences/incidents, kindly relate it in your comments below so that other readers and I can share them InsyaALLAH. Even if you do not have them, feel free to drop your kind comment/s.

17 comments:

dannalli said...

Wan,

Thank you for sharing the above. Especially on making known on the reality of life,... that end of the month thingy.

Allah/God's providence is amazing ... we have to accept that.

Wan Sharif said...

The end of the month thingy is normal for one who lacks ability to save and/or spend more than what one's earning.. Petronas may be rich.. their employees, some are not so fortunate.. that the main reason why so many competent technical guys left for greener pastures in Arabic countries..
Yes, it is amazing .. we have to accept and be thankful for it especially when our efforts are blessed by Almighty (when Baroqah came into play).
Then there are two other elements.. rahmat and nikmat..I will consider writing about them when I am a little bit more learned.. he,he..

DrSam said...

Salam Pak Wan. I am very glad and blessed to read a real-life story of how your sincere effort in doing the good deed (sadaqah) has really given good financial impact to your financial situation. As I am a strong believer of the saying "in order to get, you have to give first - thus the more you give the more you'll receive in return". I have ever since practiced this and alhamdulillah, even though I don't notice any exponential jump in my financial achievement (probably there are) but it is really and simply a pure satisfaction in doing so.

have a nice day.

Wan Sharif said...

Salam DrSam,
Alhamdulillah..
Thank you for dropping by and glad to have you sharing your experience and practice. No exponential jump in your financial achievement does not mean that He did not give back or replace it. The baroqah that goes with it (you do not have any mishap that need you to empty your pockets). The following verse promised that!!
Say: "Truly, my Lord enlarges the provision for whom He wills of His slaves, and (also) restricts (it) for him, and whatsoever you spend of anything (in Allah's Cause), He will replace it. And He is the Best of providers."Surah Saba' (Sheba):39

If you are doing it for pure satisfaction..then it is sincere enough..

Hopefully by telling our experience, we are not seen as takabbur or riya' or anything of that sort..

Cat-in-Sydney said...

Uncle Wan,
My Mama said ever since she adopts my brother Tom from the streets many years ago, somehow life just gets better and better. See, not just charity or kindness towards humans that get rewarded. Kindness to cats too. My Mama's motto in life now: "as long as I have enough to buy my kitties their favourite food, I'm happy." purrrr.....meow!

Uncle Lee said...

Hello Wan Sharif, I really enjoyed your this very interesting posting.
And of your car and the mechanic.
I guess a lot of people too will have some good experiences to relate.
And sometimes it is difficult to explain certain happenings too.

You keep well and have a great week, best regards, Lee.

Wan Sharif said...

Salam Angelina @ Cis,
Thanks for dropping a line
Can not agree more with you and your mum.. charity towards animals will be get rewarded and the blessing. Zillion thanks to you for reminding me on this fact.
InsyaAllah, the rezeki for your mum's household and the cats will be taken care of as a reward..

Hello Uncle (Brother) Lee,
Kind of you to drop by, reading from your blogs.. you will have ample rewards.. now that you SIL/BIL are staying with you and those help/assistance/free services/ donations rendered..
so much so you might have lost count and believed they are parts and parcels of life.. I believed that if you count all the blessing.. you would have lost count.. so numerous..
Have a great rewarding weeks to you as well, Brother.. as we say Sokmo sokmo (Trengganuspeak) forever and ever.. Warmest regards Wan Sharif

Al-Manar said...

Wan,
Only very recently I left some comments on a posting by a lady blogger, a teacher. Following that her next posting made reference to my comments and went on in line with the same theme as yours. A number of old and dedicated teachers, including one in her family, according to her, seemed to have their children blessed with good education and standing in life. Gift in the form of education that benefits the receiver is one the three great investments in life, according to Prophet Muhammad SAW. Rewards need not necessarily be in direct financial terms.

Rosfida Abu Sufi said...

A lesson taught based on true life experiences..You seek, then you shall gain..I seek knowledge and I found it here..Thank you, may I learn how to be humble in expenditures and may I practise the art of sharing..Insya-allah..

Wan Sharif said...

Salam Abang Hassan (Al Manar),
Could not agree more with you...
If you quote something from Rasulullah SAW.. all the more reason for me to agree with you.. Allah has his way of rewarding.. whatever He gives.. kita terima dan bersyukur lah..
Apa pun.. duit - walau pun kita suka terima, kekadang ianya boleh jadi satu ujian... nak tahu kita ni bersyukur ke tidak..

Wan Sharif said...

Salam Ms Rosfida,
Thank you for dropping by and the kind words.. semuga segala usaha kita umat Islam diterima sebagai amal bakti..InsyaALLAH

en_me said...

insaff kanns.. uhuhu

Wan Sharif said...

en_me,
thank you for the visit and dropping appreciative comment.

Uncle Lee said...

Hi Wan Sharif, terima kaseh seribu for your jalan atas ayer compliments. And yes, we are having fun being tourist guides to my SIL and BIL.

Re your Trengganu 'speak', I still remember my old days of going to Trengannu and Kota Baru....their very strong East Coast accent buat saya kelam kabote, ha ha....bila saya buka mulut with my sebelum Mederka or Tunku Abdul Rahman's time, terus they know where I come from, ha ha.
But I sure miss Trengganu's nasi dagang, and KB's ikan percik.

You keep well and have a pleasant week....don't forget check your flashlight batteries, ha ha, Lee.

pakmat said...

..salam wan..it is easier to share when you have nothing..:)

Wan Sharif said...

Bro. Lee,
May be I am a little bit generous with my comments on you, but then that's my opinion from reading your blog... Well if you miss the nasi dagang , KL here has a comparable nasi dagang in Ulik Mayang, Taman Melati, between Gombak and Melati..
OOps I do need to check my flashlight batteries.. TQVM for reminding.. need to go see my mum tonite.. no blogging for 4-5 days..alahai...
Take care and have a beautiful weekend.

Wan Sharif said...

Salam Bro Mat,
Have to agree with you that it is easier to share when you have nothing..
But then Islam is universal, not only for the have, it is also the have-not.
I do recall, the saying that you can sedeqah half a tamar/kurma or date, half a glass of milk or just a glass of plain water. Even if you can not afford that your sweet smile is also a sedeqah.. your kind word, putting away the hindrance on the road.. well I am not about to prolong this.. telling you what you probably heard a zillion times.. and better still a part you itenary..
Do take care.. I would like to meet you in person if your are in KL or when I am in Kelate

p.s. my hp 019-9819405.. should you feel like making a miss call or an sms.. u r welcome..