The Practice of Spending
It is every Muslim’s inherent aspiration to acquire proximity to God; The Qur’an enlightens us about a very potent and assured means of attaining this; by spending in the path of God (Chapter 9; 99).
Numerous individuals miss out on this immense way of attaining intimacy with God simply because they fail to maintain a balance between their income and expenditure. When expenditure exceeds income, one will not have any surplus funds to spend in the path of God. Consequently, it is imperative that a believer avoids extravagance and discards unwarranted expenditure from his or her life.
Some people are of the opinion that charity for the sake of God entails only helping a very poor person who comes to them with his very basic or essential needs or that it requires spending significant amounts of money. This is a misconception; we get innumerable opportunities every day to spend in the path of God.
Buying small gifts for family members, friends and dear ones is the best precedent of spending in the path of God, as it enhances affection. Taking along some fruit* when visiting acquaintances or bringing flowers for the ladies in the family on returning home may seem like small tokens but if the intention is to please the Almighty, then even these small gestures can be vital in coming closer to God.
Similarly, to tip a poor labourer or to pay an extra ten or twenty rupees to a porter or a car cleaner may appear to be trivial acts, but such actions can be very important in enhancing the habit of spending in the path of God.
Spending in the path of God is a habit; do take it up! It is a guaranteed way of attaining the closest proximity to God.
*Fruit is the traditional gift to take along when visiting an acquaintance in Pakistan – translator.
Translated by Bashir Nazir