I must have been in a very good mood that day, because instead of giving the standard answer, I said to the young man, "I hope you are not married - yet." Surprised, he asked, "What do you mean?" I said, "It is good you are not yet married and have asked this question, because one day, insha-Allah, you will be blessed with a beautiful, wonderful wife whom you will love more and more each day and a time will come when you will wish to give her a gift - a small token of your undying love and I just do not want you to make the mistake of asking her what is 'the cheapest gift you would accept?”
Similarly, imagine a man going to his beloved mother, a full grown adult, wishing to give her a token of his love and affection. Is it conceivable that this young man would think, 'What is the cheapest way I can express my love to my mother who gave birth to me, brought me up, and took care of my every need?” Would it be appropriate to think only of the smallest possible token to express my love?'
Such a thought would never occur.
This is the point we must understand and convey to everyone repeatedly. If we spend in the way of Allah, half-heartedly or with miserly ulterior motives, we fail to grasp the real meaning of financial sacrifice and the countless blessings that understanding naturally brings. Worse yet, it may be that our efforts are unaccepted
by God and what we deemed as charity in fact becomes a trial for us.
Spending in the way of Allah is hard to understand when we know..."Allah is Ghani, Self- Sufficient, and it is you that are needy (47:39)" - unless it is understood as a way of showing our gratitude for all of His favors and a symbol of our love and appreciation for Allah. Allah says in the Holy Quran that, "those who believe are strongest in their love for Allah (2:166)."
May Allah bless us with the ability to make sacrifices in His way that are acceptable to Him and grant us greater nearness to Him. Amen!
Waseem A. Sayed, PhD
National Secretary Waqf-e-Jadid USA