Wednesday, July 25, 2012

What stands out about surah al-baqarah?

It's amazing the emphasis put on charity in this surah. Yes, it also talks about a lot of other topics and even has some of the out-of-context verses that are used to portray Islam in a negative light. But if you read it all in one shot (or in a couple days), you cannot come out of it except with the feeling that this chapter's main topic and this chapter's emphasis is by far CHARITY. 

Give as much as you can spare, this is the best thing for you.

Who believe in the unseen, establish prayer, and spend out of what We have provided for them, (2:3)
This is what it takes to be righteous:
Righteousness is not that you turn your faces toward the east or the west, but [true] righteousness is [in] one who believes in Allah , the Last Day, the angels, the Book, and the prophets and gives wealth, in spite of love for it, to relatives, orphans, the needy, the traveler, those who ask [for help], and for freeing slaves; [and who] establishes prayer and gives zakah; [those who] fulfill their promise when they promise; and [those who] are patient in poverty and hardship and during battle. Those are the ones who have been true, and it is those who are the righteous. (2:177)
 And spend in the way of Allah and do not throw [yourselves] with your [own] hands into destruction [by refraining]. And do good; indeed, Allah loves the doers of good. (2:195)
This passage helps us visualize how important charity is:
The example of those who spend their wealth in the way of Allah is like a seed [of grain] which grows seven spikes; in each spike is a hundred grains. And Allah multiplies [His reward] for whom He wills. And Allah is all-Encompassing and Knowing. (2:261)
 Those who spend their wealth in the way of Allah and then do not follow up what they have spent with reminders [of it] or [other] injury will have their reward with their Lord, and there will be no fear concerning them, nor will they grieve. (2:262)
But, God is reasonable in his demands:
 Kind speech and forgiveness are better than charity followed by injury. And Allah is Free of need and Forbearing. (2:263)
Any charity is good but the best charity is hidden from others:
 If you disclose your charitable expenditures, they are good; but if you conceal them and give them to the poor, it is better for you, and He will remove from you some of your misdeeds [thereby]. And Allah , with what you do, is [fully] Acquainted. (2:271)
 Those who spend their wealth [in Allah 's way] by night and by day, secretly and publicly - they will have their reward with their Lord. And no fear will there be concerning them, nor will they grieve. (2:274)

There is much much more on this topic! MUCH more, subhanALLAH :)

Does anyone know the verse that says to give only things you yourself would want to get or something to that effect?

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