In Islam, “every act of goodness is charity." People often associate charity with giving but giving is only one part of the equation. Though helping people financially is a fundamental aspect of charity, sometimes doing things as simple as performing good deeds and staying away from evil is just as important. Even smiling at someone is considered an act of charity. Below are some quotes from the Quran and Hadith which highlight the breath and scope of what includes charity.
“Your smile for your brother is charity" - (At-Tirmidhi, 187)
"The believer's shade on the Day of Resurrection will be his charity." - Al-Tirmidhi, Hadith 604
"Every act of goodness is charity." - Sahih Muslim, Hadith 496
“Charity in secret, quiets the wrath of God and takes away one’s sin as the water puts out the fire and keeps away seventy kinds of calamities.” (Quran 2:271)
“Charity is for those in need, who, in Allah’s cause are restricted (from travel), and cannot move about in the land, seeking (For trade or work)” (2:273).
“O you who believe! Do not cancel your charity by reminders of your generosity or by injury, like those who spend their substance to be seen of men but believe neither in Allah nor in the Last Day (2:264).
As we enter the last Friday of Muharram, open your hearts to struggling communities worldwide. Whether it be providing water to underprivileged communities, helping provide a source of income to a struggling widow, or providing emergency relief to people in Yemen or Somalia, your love and care can provide hope to people in need. What better way than to seek the blessings of Allah (swt) and the prayers of the needy, than helping them this Muharram, when your good deeds are multiplied.
“Indeed, the number of months with Allah is twelve [lunar] months in the register of Allah [from] the day He created the heavens and the earth; of these, four are sacred. That is the correct religion [i.e., way], so do not wrong yourselves during them. And fight against the disbelievers collectively as they fight against you collectively. And know that Allah is with the righteous [who fear Him].” (Qur’an, 9:36)