Abu Sa’eed al-Khudri (may Allah be pleased with him) narrates that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) went out on Eid to the prayer place, and when he had finished, he preached to the people and enjoined them to give charity. He said, “O people, give in charity!”
Then he went over to the women and said, “O women, give in Sadaqa for I have seen that you are the majority of the people of Hell.”
When he went home, Zaynab the wife of Ibn Mas’ood came seeking permission to see him. It was said, “O Messenger of Allaah, here is Zaynab.” He said, “Which Zaynab?” It was said, “The wife of Ibn Mas’ood.” He said, “Yes, let her in.” So they let her in and she said, “O Prophet of Allaah, today you enjoined charity, and I have some jewellery which I wanted to give in charity, but Ibn Mas’ood claims that he and his child have more right to receive it in Sadaqa.” The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Give it in charity to Ibn Mas’ood, for your husband and your child have the most right that you should give it to them in charity.”
Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 1393; Muslim, 80.
Do you see? Not one, not twice – He (peace be upon him) emphasizes on the Sadaqa thrice in a single narration. This should tell us of its significance.
The concept of charity works in an amazing way. You spend to benefit someone and in return, Allah – the magnificent promises to spend on you. A little pondering and you realize that the concept of charity holds the significance it does because of the benefit you are causing to the Creation of Allah. You are helping somebody, showing mercy to somebody, being a reason somebody experiences ease and how Allah loves that!
Also, charity earns you more rewards when done in Ramadan. You, as a Muslim, are first made to experience hunger and thirst to feel for the people who barely have anything to eat or to drink. And then He asks you to share with them. To be giving towards them. So you see what Allah’s impeccable wisdom does there. He doesn’t just command you to give. He explains the value of that giving so that your heart does not grieve over the detachment of wealth.
Can the poor give in charity?
If the rewards of charity are so gargantuan, is it not unjust that the poor cannot benefit from them? Well, here’s the thing – you need not be RICH to give in Sadaqa. Smiling at people is sadaqa, removing an obstacle from somebody’s path is sadaqa, putting a morsel of food in your wife’s mouth is sadaqa, giving somebody as little as a date is charity, planting a tree is charity, donating a copy of the Quran is charity. So you see, you don’t even need money to be charitable. All you need is intention (a right and pure one).