Being Generous: A Source of Relaxation
“…The Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) was the most generous person in giving away what he owned, and he would never look at something as being either too big or too insignificant to give up for the sake of Allah.
Nobody would ask him for anything except that he gave it to them, regardless of how big or small it was. He gave things away in a way that made it seem that he never feared poverty, and generosity and charity were the most beloved things to him. His happiness and joy in giving something away was more than that felt by those who would accept his gifts. He was the most generous person, and his generosity was like the blowing wind.
If a person in need would approach him, he would always prefer that person to himself. This was sometimes in the form of food, and was sometimes in the form of clothing.
He would have variety in terms of how he would give things away:
- Sometimes, he would give it as a small gift, sometimes as charity, and sometimes as a large gift.
- He would sometimes buy something from someone then give him back the product itself that he had just paid for, such as what he did with the camel he bought from Jabir.
- Sometimes, he would take a loan and then pay back more than he borrowed, or would give back something better or more plentiful than he borrowed.
- Sometimes, he would buy something and pay more than its value for it.
- He would accept a gift and then repay it with a gift many times more valuable.
This was all done out of his generosity and desire to practice as many types of charity and good as possible.
His charity was in what he possessed, his personality, and his words. He would give whatever he had and command others to give charity and encourage them in this and call to it through his actions and words.
If he saw a stingy person, his mere personality would force that person into being generous and charitable. Whoever interacted with him and accompanied him and observed his lifestyle had no choice but to also be generous and freely giving.
His lifestyle was one of kindness, charity, and goodness. This is why he was the most relaxed of people and the purest and softest of them in heart. Charity and kindness have an amazing effect in bringing about relaxation.
…Kindness to people and helping them through your money, influence, physical help, and other types of kindness is a means of relaxation. The generous and kind person is much more relaxed and purer and softer in heart, while the stingy person who displays no kindness has the tightest chest, the most depressed life, and the most worries and stress.
And the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه و سلم) gave an example in the ‘Sahih’ regarding the generous and stingy. He likened them to two men wearing metal armor. Whenever the generous person intends to give something in charity, his armor widens and relaxes until it drags and covers his feet. Whenever the stingy person intends to give charity, every ring of his armor stays in place and doesn’t widen or relax at all. So, this is like the relaxation that the charitable believer feels compared to the tightness that the stingy person feels…”
[‘Zad al-Ma’ad’; 2/22-26]