What if we told you that amongst the true essence of the Holy season, Ramadan, lies hidden gems which are often overlooked and forgotten?
What if we told you the sacred season of Ramadan is a time to focus not only on spiritual responsibilities but also social responsibilities?
Ramadan is the Holy Month in the Islamic calendar, where Muslim faithfuls around the world fast from dawn until sunset for 30 days. It is a sacred time of spiritual reflection, self-improvement, and devotion to Allah. Fasting during Ramadan is one of the five pillars of Islam, and it serves as a means to purify the soul, practice self-control, and empathize with the less fortunate.
With fasting and spiritual responsibilities often magnified as purpose of the season, this period also offers opportunities to reflect, be proactive and deliberate in how we live our lives. In this article, we would be spotlighting two beautiful gems of opportunity that Ramadan provides: Philanthropy and Charity.
As essential pillars of the Islamic faith, Philanthropy and charity hold a significant place in the Islamic culture and are at the core of Ramadan. Muslims are encouraged to give to the poor, feed the hungry, and support the less fortunate. Ramadan is a time of increased blessings, and the rewards for charitable acts in this season are believed to be multiplied. Muslims are encouraged to give generously and without expectation of reward or recognition. This selfless act of giving is a way to purify the soul and draw closer to Allah.
The Significance of Philanthropy and Charity in Ramadan
The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said, “The best charity is that given in Ramadan.” This statement highlights the significance of acts of philanthropy and charity during Ramadan. The act of philanthropy and charity is highly regarded in Islam, and it is considered a means of attaining spiritual and worldly benefits. In fact, the Quran emphasizes the importance of charity and philanthropy in the verse that states, “Those who spend their wealth in the way of Allah are like a seed which grows seven ears, each ear containing a hundred grains. Allah multiplies for whom He wills. And Allah is all-encompassing and knowing” (2:261). This verse highlights the significance of giving in the way of Allah, and it states that Allah multiplies the reward for those who give for His sake.
Opportunities for Philanthropy and Charity During Ramadan
The holy month provides numerous opportunities for individuals and organizations to contribute to the betterment of society and make a positive impact on the lives of others. There are many ways Muslims can give back during Ramadan. Below are some of these ways:
Waqf is a model of Islamic philanthropy that is instituted to endure in perpetuity. It involves donating a fixed asset that can produce a financial return or provide a benefit as long as the asset is in existence to certain beneficiaries. It is loosely referred to Islamic Trust. What are the conditions for a valid Waqf?
The first condition is permanent dedication. The dedication of the waqf property must be permanent as the waqf becomes invalid when made for a limited period. There should be no condition or contingency attached to the Waqf assets as well otherwise it becomes invalid.
The second condition is the motive behind the Waqf. The motive behind Waqf must be for purposes that are recognized in Islam as Halal (permissible) and not purposes considered as Haram (forbidden) such as production of alcohol, promoting adultery, rearing of pigs etc.
The third condition is the competency of the Waqif. The Waqif must be a competent (possess capacity and right to distribute property) person at the time of dedicating the property. Stolen property cannot be subject of Waqf. You can read more on the acceptable and unacceptable objects of Waqf as well as other details on Waqf here
Zakat is an obligatory form of charity in Islam. It is one of the Five Pillars of Islam and requires Muslims to give a portion of their wealth to those in need. Zakat is calculated as 2.5% of a Muslim’s total savings and assets, including cash, gold, silver, and investments, that have been held for a full lunar year and 20% on other assets such as agricultural goods, precious metals, minerals and livestock.
Zakat can be given directly to individuals in need or through established charitable organizations. The money collected through Zakat is typically used to provide financial assistance to the poor, widows, orphans, and the elderly, among others.
To rightly fulfill Zakat, Muslims must meet certain conditions. The first condition is that they must be a Muslim who possesses wealth above the Nisab threshold, which is the minimum amount of wealth required to give Zakat. The second condition is that the wealth must have been held for a full lunar year. The third condition is that the wealth must be surplus to the basic needs of the individual or family, such as food, clothing, and shelter. You can read more details from our article on Zakat here.
Sadaqah is a voluntary form of charity in Islam that can be given at any time. Unlike Zakat, there is no specific amount or percentage that Muslims are required to give for Sadaqah. It can be given in the form of money, food, clothing, or any other form of assistance that can benefit others.
Sadaqah can be given directly to individuals in need or through charitable organizations. The money collected through Sadaqah is typically used to provide assistance to those in need, such as supporting education, healthcare, or providing basic necessities. To rightly fulfill Sadaqah, Muslims must give it with sincerity and humility, seeking the pleasure of Allah rather than seeking recognition or praise from others. It is rewarding to give Sadaqah regularly as it is believed to be a means of seeking forgiveness and blessings from Allah.
Utilizing the Gems
Our charitable acts should be effective and impactful. We should also not limit, restrict or make it only seasonal.
We can have well structured and established giving or charitable initiatives that endures in season and out of season and remains a viable legacy that transcends generations. To achieve this, we need to be deliberate and seek professional advice from a qualified advisors. Professional advisors provide valuable guidance on the charitable initiatives that are suited to your personal, religious values as well as financial commitments.
As Islamic Estate Advisors, we possess the technical skills needed to advise and structure your philanthropic initiative to suit your desires and objectives. As such, we help Muslims structure their charity in a way that would ensure the maximum benefit to the beneficiaries and the Society for many years after their death.
Kindly reach out to our Islamic Estate Advisors and we will get you started on a sustainable philanthropic and charitable journey. Get in touch with one of our professionals today by sending a mail to contact@fiduciaryservicesltd.
Shukran Jazeelan for reading.
See you next month!