The truth of the matter is that the vast majority of those who accept the Messengers early in their ministries are always relatively poor. They are nevertheless asked to make sacrifices from the little that they have - and they do - and Allah accepts those sacrifices and blesses the people making them with extra-ordinary growth and bounties. Were this not the truth, were it the case that by spending in the way of Allah these poor souls waste the little they had to begin with - the Messengers of God, and their early followers would come to naught - they would fail miserably.
But this is not what history records.
Quite the contrary, again and again, we read in history how God’s Messengers come into the world alone and the whole worlds stands up in opposition to them and they are accepted only by a few weak and helpless people - but the Messengers of Allah and these weak helpless people are the ones who succeed.
How does this happen? It happens because Allah has decreed that:
‘Most surely I will prevail, I and My Messengers.’ Verily, Allah is Powerful, Mighty [58:22].
This is what we know from history to have been the case of the Sahaba, the Companions of the Holy Prophet - may peace and blessings of Allah be upon him. The case of the Promised Messiah (as) and his Companions was no different. Those who accepted him came from all types of backgrounds but the vast majority were people of simple means and they responded to his calls to make sacrifices even though they had very little to help him carry out his mission.
They responded wholeheartedly and Allah accepted their sacrifices and caused them to prosper and flourish and today the Community founded by the Promised Messiah in 1889 comprises millions upon millions of people and is established in almost every country of the world.
This is because Allah causes to flourish those who are grateful and destroys those who are ungrateful:
And remember also the time when your Lord declared, ‘If you are grateful, I will, surely, bestow more favours on you; but if you are ungrateful, then know that My punishment is severe indeed.’ [14:8]
This is how Allah makes His Messengers triumph despite the fact that they and those who accept them in the very beginning are almost wholly weak and helpless.
Recently, I was in Chicago and made mention of this same incident and the answer I had given to the young child who had asked me this question. But here in Chicago, I had the honor to be in the company of people with whom this had been literally proven true. I showed the members there the copy of a letter of Hazrat Mufti Muhammad Sadiq Sahib, may Allah be pleased with him - a Companion of the Promised Messiah (as) and the first missionary of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community who had been sent to the US in 1920.
He had made an appeal for funds to carry out the work he had been assigned in America. The letter I was showing to the members was one he he had written to Hazrat Qazi Muhammad Yuauf Sahib (ra) on the 24th of June 1921. Hazrat Qazi Muhammad Yusuf Sahib (ra) was the father of Dr Masood Qazi Sahib, the current President of our Jama'at in Chicago. In that letter, Hazrat Mufti Sahib (ra) had thanked the father of Dr Sahib for having sent him two checks to support the work he was doing in the way of Allah in Chicago, IL.
Today, a large number from among the progeny of Hazrat Yusuf Qazi Sahib resides comfortably in that very town from where an appeal had been sent a century earlier for someone to send funds so the message that the work Promised Messiah (as) had been commissioned could be carried out.
This phenomenon of sowing and reaping fruits later is nothing strange. It is an every day experience.
When a father and mother begin a family and a child is bestowed upon them by Allah, they begin to spend on the care and comfort of the child and go on spending.. often for decades.. but this spending is not like the case of a simple exchange in a candy store..Here the parents continue to spend to provide for the child's housing, food, drink, clothing, transport, education and a myriad of other things...apparently seeing nothing in return...till the day dawns when that child is seen graduating and beginning to practice his profession as a lawyer or a doctor or an engineer...
So what is it that we get when we spend in the way of Allah? We gain purification and tranquility says the Holy Quran:
Take alms out of their wealth, so that thou mayest cleanse them and purify them thereby. And pray for them; thy prayer is indeed a source of tranquility for them. And Allah is All-Hearing, All-Knowing [9:103].
When we spend in the way of Allah we are bestowed the highest form of righteousness:
Never shall you attain to righteousness unless you spend out of that which you love; and whatever you spend, Allah surely knows it well. [3:93]
When we spend in the way of Allah we are bestowed growth beyond our wildest imagination..
The similitude of those who spend their wealth for the cause of Allah is like the similitude of a grain of corn which grows seven ears, in each ear a hundred grains. And Allah multiplies it further for whomsoever He pleases; and Allah is Bountiful, All-Knowing. [2:262]
May Allah enable us all to understand the true concept of spending in the way of Allah and enable us to sacrifice in His way from our wealth also in a manner that is acceptable to Him. Amen!
Waseem A. Sayed, PhD
National Secretary Waqf-e-Jadid USA