Generosity Revisited by Yousaf Jahangir
Abdullah Ibn Abbas said: “The messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم was the most generous person, and he was most generous in the month of Ramadan.” (Agreed upon)
What is generosity?
In the context of Ramadan, when we hear the term generous, we think of one form of generosity, and that is being generous with our wealth. However, when we look at the life of the messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم, we find that he gave generosity a whole new meaning.
He was the kindest, most loving and most respectful person to have ever lived. We learn this from many instances in the prophet’s life, one of which being how he honoured Bilal. Bilal was an Abyssinian slave, a category of people who were perceived to be the lowest of creatures in the Quraishan society and treated the worst. The messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم not only freed him, but he gave him one of the most important and honourable roles within the Muslim society – the caller of the azaan.
The point here is, the prophet was generous with his wealth, but more importantly he was generous with his manners and his love for his fellow human beings. He was generous with his time, his status and his emotional intelligence.
How can we bring this sacred knowledge into our lives this Ramadan?
Practical ways for us to be more generous in this blessed month
We should be generous to those around us, starting with our children and spouses by letting them feel the spirit of Ramadan through our actions. Do we really expect our children to benefit from this blessed month if all they see from their parents is an increase in bad manners, like getting angry more easily in Ramadan or saying that which is inappropriate? Do we think by merely abstaining from food and drink that our children will learn the amazing lessons of this month? Likewise, the same can be said for our spouses, and everyone we come into contact with.
How are you going to be generous to those around you?
How can we be generous to ourselves?
One of the most overlooked aspects of generosity this month is the generosity to oneself
Ramadan emphasises selflessness but it also teaches us to be selfish when earning Allah’s rewards and nourishing our souls such as when the messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم would go into spiritual seclusion in the last 10 nights. So, we cannot let this month of blessings pass by us without truly benefiting from this blessed opportunity. We find in Ramadan Allah سبحانه و تعالى has given us many avenues leading to His mercy and many opportunities to strengthen our relationship with Him. Some of them are:
- Reciting the Quran
- Salah, including the Fard, Taraweeh and Qiyam prayers.
- Self-restraint, from saying or doing that which Allah has made haram.
In what remains of Ramadan and after that, the question is how are you going to revive the most overlooked aspect of generosity, the generosity to yourself?
Written by Yousaf Jahangir, Student at the Islamic University of Madinah, 24th May 2018