Spending With Sincerity

Mufti Asim Rashid

Islam is a religion that encourages spending on the poor, needy, and those who are more unfortunate than us. However, in doing this, like in all other good deeds, Shaytan attempts to ruin our intentions. This is why we must constantly be conscious of our intentions and keep them pure. Our beloved Prophet (SAW) has told us:


Any good action we do can become weightless on the scale simply by having an impure intention. We must stay sincere and perform every good deed with the intention to gain the pleasure of Allah (SWT)



In verse 265 of Surah Al Baqarah, Allah (SWT) presents to us a parable of those who spend in His path sincerely to seek His (SWT) pleasure and to assure themselves. What does Allah (SWT) mean when he says “to assure themselves”?... This has multiple interpretations, the most apparent one being that they assure themselves of the reward they will get for spending sincerely.

Our beautiful religion teaches us that if we perform a good deed we will be rewarded for it appropriately. However, if we perform that good deed while it is hard for us to do so, then we receive double the reward. We can see this through many verses and prophetic narrations.

When the Prophet (SAW) asked the companions: Should I not direct you towards such [actions] through which Allah (SWT) erases sins and elevates ranks? The Sahabah (RA) emphatically replied with the affirmative. The first action the Prophet (SAW) mentioned was to perform Wudhu completely (in a beautiful manner) at times when it may be displeasing to do so, such as in the cold weather or when you are sleepy, etc.

In another Hadeeth narrated by our mother ‘Aa’ishah (RA), The Prophet (SAW) tells us that a person who reads the Qur’an, and is an expert at it, as a reward, will be among The Noble Righteous Scribes (in Jannah). And such a person who exerts himself to learn the Quran by heart and recites it with great difficulty will have a double reward.

The second interpretation is based on this concept which is that they muster up the courage from within themselves to spend even though they may financially be struggling themselves. Therefore they will receive double the reward. One for sincerely spending on good and also for the struggle.

Imam Fakhrud Din Ar Razi (RA) mentions in his exegesis of this verse that a person who spends sincerely for Allah (SWT) will therefore achieve two things. The first is the assurance which we have already mentioned and explained. The second is a constant natural pure intention from the heart. This means that s/he will naturally have the same pure intention (to please Allah SWT) for any good action s/he performs even if s/he performs it without thinking about the intention behind it.

Allah (SWT) says that the example of these people is that of a beautiful garden covered with trees, on a “Rabwah”. The most popular opinion is that “Rabwah” is a piece of land that is slightly elevated. However, some will give the description that it is a plateau that is raised but also flat, whereas others say it is such a land that has its own source of water. The most detailed description given by Mufassireen is that it is a fertile land in which the soil is dense and extremely receptive. Regardless of which meaning we take, the point being here is that this land is such which is most ideal for producing the best fruit.

This beautiful fertile land is struck by a heavy downpour of rain which causes it to produce double the fruit of any other garden. However, this garden is so fertile that even if it was not struck by this heavy downpour, a slight drizzle would suffice for the same effect.

So the result of sincerity in spending is such that one who spends a hefty amount of his/her wealth in the path of Allah (SWT) will be rewarded greatly, like the heavy downpour doubling the produce. However, if one spends a small amount in the path of Allah (SWT) with the same sincerity, that would also suffice for him/her to be rewarded greatly, like the small drizzle which is enough for the fertile land. This is because the intention has the same amount of sincerity just like the land has the same amount of fertility.

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