Sayyiduna Abu Hurairah (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) reports that Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) said, “Sadaqah (charity) does not decrease wealth, and Allah Ta‘ala will only increase a servant in honour through (him) forgiving (another person who wronged him), and whenever a person conducts himself with humility for the sake of Allah Ta‘ala – Allah Ta‘ala will elevate him (in honour).” (Saheeh Muslim #6592)
In this blessed hadeeth, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) imparted three important teachings to the Ummah. The first teaching is that giving sadaqah (charity) does not cause one to lose, though it outwardly appears that one’s wealth is now less than before.
Generally, when a person gives R10 to a needy person, then he regards the R10 to be gone and lost. Conversely, if a person spends R10 purchasing a commodity, then he does not regard the R10 to be lost, as he has acquired something in lieu of his money. He understands that the R10 has merely changed form from being R10 in cash to being a commodity worth R10 in his possession.
As far as sadaqah is concerned, then the reality of the matter is that when a person spends wealth in charity for the pleasure of Allah Ta‘ala, then he acquires such immense barakah and reward in lieu of his sadaqah that it is far more valuable than any commodity which his wealth can purchase. Hence, spending in sadaqah should never be regarded as a loss.
The second teaching is that forgiving and pardoning a person for the wrong they committed and the hurt and harm they caused is a means of being blessed with honour by Allah Ta‘ala. Generally, in society, when a person is wronged by another person, then people feel that in order for him to defend and maintain his honour, he must seek retribution. People will even urge him to take revenge saying, “If you allow people to treat you in this way, you will be viewed as a weak person and nobody will respect you!”
However, Allah Ta‘ala declares in the Quraan Majeed, “Whoever desires honour – then to Allah Ta‘ala alone belongs all honour.” (Surah Faatir v10) In other words, Allah Ta‘ala alone is the One who bestows honour, and Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) has promised that Allah Ta‘ala will bestow honour to the one who has the heart to forgive others and overlook their mistakes.
The final teaching in this hadeeth is that conducting oneself with humility is the means of one being blessed with honour and respect by Allah Ta‘ala. In the world today, many people feel that in order to be viewed with respect and honour, they need to dress according to the latest fashion, acquire a high level of education, earn an excessive amount of wealth, rub shoulders with popular individuals in society, and lead a glamorous lifestyle. However, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) has taught us that the more we adopt humility and rid our hearts of pride, the more Allah Ta‘ala will elevate us and bless us with honour and respect.
True humility lies in a person bowing down and submitting before the commands of Allah Ta‘ala, adhering to the sunnah of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam), fulfilling the rights of people and conducting with them with kindness and compassion.
May Allah Ta‘ala bless us all with the heart to spend in His path, to overlook the faults of others and to remain humble at all times, aameen.