Sunday, 04 November 2007 13:14
It is a Mu'min's (believers) fundamental belief that all conditions occur only by the will of Allah Ta'ala. Health or illness, prosperity or poverty, events that evoke happiness or incidents that plunge one into grief — all happen by the decree of Allah Ta'ala alone. In positive conditions one should be filled with shukr (gratitude) to Allah Ta'ala. In adverse conditions one should adopt sabr (patience) and seek the help of Allah Ta'ala.
While one is allowed to adopt permissible means to remove any difficulty, the most important aspect is to draw the help of Allah Ta'ala. This can be done in various ways and as many ways as possible should be adopted. Some of the various ways of drawing the help of Allah Ta'ala are: Sincere istighfaar (repentance), excessive recitation of Durood Shareef, recitation of the Qur'an, earnest dua as much as possible, etc. Of utmost importance is the abandoning of sin and doing righteous actions.
One of the ways encouraged in the Ahadith for alleviating illness and other difficulties is sadaqah (charity). Anything that one gives voluntarily to a needy person falls in the category of sadaqah. While there is no restriction on what should be given in sadaqah, it will be more rewarding to fulfil the need of the moment. If the need of the moment is to provide shelter for people who have been left homeless after a severe storm, or to pay the rent of a destitute person who is about to be evicted, etc., it will be more rewarding to fulfil this need instead of sacrificing an animal and distributing it's meat to the poor.
It is a common misconception that the benefits of sadaqah will only be received if an animal is slaughtered and the meat distributed. While this is also a form of sadaqah, it is incorrect to believe that the benefits of sadaqah are restricted to this particular form only, or that one's illness or any other difficulty will be alleviated by this form of sadaqah only. Furthermore, some people entertain many other baseless beliefs in this regard, such as that the sadaqah must be a goat of a particular colour or that the meat of the sacrificed animal must be left at a crossroads, etc., in order to achieve the desired benefits. Such beliefs and practices should be abandoned.
In short, sadaqah is a greatly virtuous act. However, it will be more rewarding to fulfil the need of the moment. There is also no special significance of slaughtering an animal as a form of sadaqah.
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