بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
يَسْأَلُونَكَ مَاذَا يُنفِقُونَ قُلْ مَا أَنفَقْتُم مِّنْ خَيْرٍ فَلِلْوَالِدَيْنِ وَالأَقْرَبِينَ وَالْيَتَامَى وَالْمَسَاكِينِ وَابْنِ السَّبِيلِ وَمَا تَفْعَلُواْ مِنْ خَيْرٍ فَإِنَّ اللّهَ بِهِ عَلِيمٌ
“They ask you, [O Muhammad], what they should spend. Say, “Whatever you spend of good is [to be] for parents and relatives and orphans and the needy and the traveller. And whatever you do of good – indeed, Allah is Knowing of it””
[Al-Qur’an – Surat Al-Baqarah (The Cow): 215]
What do I have extra or surplus? Do I hoard it or do I spend it freely?
As I thought about this question, two things came to my mind: my time and skills. I was thinking that rather than spending my time on myself or doing what I wanted to do, if I could spend that time helping others out, it would have much more beneficial results.
This weekend, I did not really help my mother as much as I should have and I realized that had I helped her in her work, perhaps she could have gotten the time to spend on listening to a lecture, reading the Qur’an, strengthening the bonds of kinship or even in recovering her health. One should definitely spend their time and their skills in helping others out and giving others time.
This could include helping the community by educating those around you of Islam, by making donations to a hospital or by visiting family members and helping them in their problems. One interesting aspect that I had not considered beforehand is that if you help someone fulfil their obligations, it gives that person more time to do ‘Ibadah or to do other acts of goodness as well, thus enabling the spread of khair or good.