Islam, July 1996

Generosity of a Different Kind

Halil Necatioglu

Our beloved leader Prophet Muhammad -- May peace be with him, his family, his companions and those who follow his path -- said: "Be aware that Allah is the most generous! Allah is the most generous! Allah is the most generous! I am the most generous among the children of Adam. The second most generous person is he who seeks knowledge and disseminates what he has learned; he will be treated as a nation (ummah) himself on the Day of Judgement. (What an elevated stage; what a great honor!) Another generous person is he who puts up his life for Allah and fights in the battle for Allah until he is martyred. (Reported by Enes -- May Allah be pleased with him -- Ramuz al-Ahadith, v.1, p. 163)

Yes, Allah is the Most generous. Praise be to Him for everything He has bestowed upon us. "Our existence is a divine generosity; our life, a gift from Allah." Everything we have comes from Allah; He is the creator and the sustainer. Health, intelligence, life, faith, air, water, food, joy, spouse, children, honor, kindness, ... all come from Him. The paradise and the endless rewards and gifts will come from Him. We cannot finish counting and writing His blessing even if the trees on earth become pens; and the oceans, ink.

This Hadith indicates that Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) is most generous human of all times. He would not pile up food, money, ornaments or alike in his house; instead, he would give it to the needy right away. He would give in plenty -- not a piece of meat, an arm, a leg or a whole lamb, but a flock of sheep. He was like the sky or ocean in generosity; he never turned anybody empty handed. He would look after the needy, the widow, the orphan, the relative, and the neighbor.

The Hadith also informs us of another kind of generosity. Seeking knowledge, becoming a scholar and teaching that knowledge is generosity, too. How great it is to be a teacher, a spiritual guide, an educator! For this reason, as a nation, as a group, as Muslims, as spiritual guides, as disciples, as scholars, a students, we pay great importance to the education at all levels and stages.

Summer is the season many people and students have plenty of free time. There should be no idle, useless, illegal or haram work in summer, nor should be laziness. Not even a moment of life should be wasted. A Muslim should seek charitable activities, do useful work, and try to establish something that would earn rewards for him continuously.

I urge the administrators and members of our charitable foundations and social and cultural associations to take advantage of the summer time. Organize recreational and educational programs. Open summer schools for children in places that they can enjoy the fresh air. Organize group vacations and educational programs for families so that they can get to know one another, strengthen the friendship and earn rewards. Initiate sportive, social and religious activities for the youth, the college students. Provide them opportunities to develop physical abilities and courses to increase their knowledge on Islam.

I sincerely wish that the summer time is not wasted but well appreciated. I wish our brothers and sisters are saved from a vacation that is full of disobedience, lust, satanic desires, useless deeds, and waste. I wish they all earn rewards and the pleasure of Allah.