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]

14 Responses to “Being Generous: A Source of Relaxation”

  1. JazakAllahu Khayran. May Allah subhaanahu wa ta’aala increase all the Mu’mineen in generosity. Ameen.

  2. Bedun Isem Says:

    “Whenever the generous person intends to give something in charity, his armor widens and relaxes until it drags and covers his feet” i read in a commentary (i forgot which one) that this man’s armor, because it drags from his feet, will hide his footsteps (i.e. his sins). and the other man, because his armor is so tight, will not be able to hide his sins. is this true?

  3. I think “peace of mind” would be better than “relaxation” and “distress” (or something along those lines) would be a good alternative to “having a tight chest”

    anyways, Jazakallahu khayran akhi for these wonderful and uplifting translations

    • The word I translated as relaxation is انشراح, which literally means expansion or open wide, and that was the closest word true to that meaning.

      As for distress, that would be more appropriate for a word like غم, whereas the Arabic term used was ضيق الصدر. Perhaps a word like constriction would’ve actually worked best.

      Barak Allahu fik for your suggestions.

  4. beautiful.. baarak Allah feek

  5. RasoolAllah (صلى الله عليه و سلم) is the mightiest everlasting challenge to intellectual monopoly, cultural imperialism, religious fanaticism, social injustice, political despotism and economic exploitation.
    Allahu Akbar

  6. Amazing. JzakAllah for sharing. God accept each and every good deed of yours and ours.

  7. Mashaallah very nice!

  8. MashaAllah, a very worthwhile read. Do you think the wording of some of the bullet points might confuse a person about riba? Clearly the occasions you describe would be ones where there were no contractual expectations of generosity.

  9. Quote:

    ”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.”

    Please can a brother or sister explain to me that the above type of act is unlike riba.

    • Riba is when a condition is placed that something additional be paid or received. For example, someone lends you $15 with the condition that you repay him an additonal 2% of the original loan.

      This is different than you choosing to pay back more than you borrowed of your own accord without a condition forcing you to do so, which is what the Prophet is described as doing above.

  10. You are also not allowed to give gifts to the one who lends you money – unless you are a person who is generally generous and gave gifts as a habit before the loan took place. So I guess this is why it wasn’t looked as ‘riba’ when prophet salallahu alayhi wasallam gave gifts to the lender.

  11. ” Alhamdulillah Ala Kulli Hal” very insightful ! “Barakallahu Feeq”.

  12. Umm 'Atiyyah Says:

    Donate to the FREE Tarek Campaign:

    http://www.chipin.com/contribute/id/0b75f4f86b87e7dc

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