Hadith Qudsi 18:
On the authority of Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him), who
said that the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said: Allah
(mighty and sublime be He) will say on the Day of Resurrection:
O son of Adam, I fell ill and you visited Me not. He will say: O Lord,
and how should I visit You when You are the Lord of the worlds?
He will say: Did you not know that My servant So-and-so had
fallen ill and you visited him not? Did you not know that had you visited him you would have found Me with him? O son of Adam, I
asked you for food and you fed Me not. He will say: O Lord, and how should I feed You when You are the Lord of the
worlds? He will say: Did you not know that My servant So-and-so asked you for food and you fed him not? Did you not know that
had you fed him you would surely have found that (the reward for doing so) with Me? O son of Adam, I asked you to give
Me to drink and you gave Me not to drink. He will say: O Lord, how should I give You to drink whin You are the Lord of
the worlds? He will say: My servant So-and-so asked you to give him to drink and you gave him not to drink. Had you given
him to drink you would have surely found that with Me.
It was related by Muslim.
Here are some Muslim Relief Organizations that will accept your zakat/sadaqa
Ask around or list of Muslim aid/humanitarian organizations can try the MSA
(Muslim Student Association) homepage's
list of Muslim
Ramadan is a blessed month with many rewards. It is sunnah to
give more generously during Ramadan.
Sahih Bukhari, Volume 1, Book 1, Number 5:
Narrated Ibn 'Abbas: Allah's Apostle was the most generous of all
the people, and he used to reach the peak in generosity in the month of
Ramadan when Gabriel met him. Gabriel used to meet him every night of
Ramadan to teach him the Qur'an. Allah's Apostle was the most generous
person, even more generous than the strong uncontrollable wind (in
readiness and haste to do charitable deeds).
While sadaqa (voluntary charity) can be given freely, zakat has certain
restrictions. It is obligatory (one
of the five pillars of faith) and must be given to muslims Therefore
donations to the Salvation Army & Red Cross, for example, would
NOT qualify as zakat. (Non zakat items may qualify as sadaqa which is different) (For
further discussion see click & see Q5) The Quran defines
eight categories that zakat can be given into. (See
Q2 after clicking for details ) Giving to a national organization is
not required) over personal giving. (See
Q1 after clicking for details ) . Sometimes
people ask if money donated for masjids and schools qualifies
as zakat. (See for
discussion click here and see second answer) Another question
that comes up is whether one can take charitable deductions on ones tax
return for ( click
and see Q3 )
While money is useful in charity, there are other ways to contribute. For example, if you are a doctor or health care professional, you can contribute your time and expertise in relief work. You can also check with the Islamic relief organization who would surely want to hear from you.
Tip if you own assets that have increased in value: If you own assets such as stocks or real estate that have appreciated considerably since you acquired them and live in the US do not simply sell your asset and give the Islamic charity the proceeds. You may be able to give considerably more (without it costing you anything) to the Islamic charity by using tax saving vehicles like charitable remainder trusts (consult the Islamic charity which should be familiar with the paperwork--and yes, we know, things are just way too complicated in the US). There are also tax saving "inheritance" instruments available for charity. (See the will section on this website. Note: You cannot Islamically give more than a third of your estate to charity, and Islamically it is better to give to the charities while you are alive, if possible.)
Tip if you are not wealthly (e.g. middle class): but want some creative ways to increase the money you give to Islamic relief groups, see the numerous links we have for living on a lower budget in the "useful misc. resources" section of this website.