30 November 2023

The example of those who spend their wealth in the way of Allah is like a seed of grain which grows seven spikes – in each spike is a hundred grains, writes Zeinoul Abedien Cajee*

With Ramadaan just on our doorstep, we all gear up for heightened spirituality, taqwa, and connectedness with Allah (SWT). We forego sleep, we engage in reading and reciting the Holy Qur’an, we abstain from many activities, we are more conscious of Allah, more taqwa, more concern for the poor and downtrodden etc.

Mevlana Jalaladdin Rumi, the famous mystic was once asked: What do you “gain” from praying to Allah regularly? He replied: Usually “I don’t earn anything”, but rather “I lose certain things”. And he quoted everything he lost praying to Allah regularly: ‘I lost my pride, I lost my arrogance, I lost my anger, I lost stress, I lost greed, I lost the pleasure of lying, I lost the taste of sin, I lost the impatience, I lost despair and discouragement.

Sometimes we pray, not to gain something, but to lose things that don’t allow us to grow personally and spiritually. Prayer educates, strengthens, and heals. Similarly when one gives, it may seem that we are losing, but Allah and His Rasool affirm that giving increases our wealth:

“The example of those who spend their wealth in the way of Allah is like a seed [of grain] which grows seven spikes; in each spike is a hundred grains. And Allah multiplies His reward for whom He wills. And Allah is all-Encompassing and Knowing.” (Surah Baqarah 2: 261)

When one thinks of waqf, or sadaqah-jariyah, one thinks of some object or money that one gives in charity. But waqf has a much deeper meaning than just giving. In this article we explore the spirit of giving and the spirituality that is embedded in our hearts.

Firstly, there are rules on the charity that we give. Like zakah, which we know is compulsory and has fixed amongst other requirements as per the Quranic injunction in Surah Taubah 9:60. Clearly waqf has its rules: Waqf, a special form of long term sadaqah, also has its own rules but is purely voluntary.

Secondly, because of the voluntary nature of waqf, the spirit of waqf giving is purely for the pleasure of Allah, for the sake of Allah, and for the Qurbah (closeness) we seek to Allah. We realise that whatever we have belongs to Allah. Allah is the Sovereign, the Owner, the Inheritor of everything. Allah reminds us also in the Qur’an where He says: “Whatever you have, will perish. Whatever Allah has, enduresAn Nahl 16:96]. Our possessions and wealth that we give to Allah will most certainly be everlasting. In another famous Qur’anic verse in waqf literature . “Never shall you attain righteousness until you give of what you love. And whatever you give, verily Allah knows” (Surah Ale Imran 4:92)


All our good deeds will hold us in good stead when we are returned to our Creator. So our belief in the Aakhirah plays an important role in our waqf giving. Apart from making us feel good, giving a gift to Allah from “our” possessions fulfils the exhortation and encouragement by Allah (SWT) in hundreds of verses of the Holy Qur’an that we should spend out of love for Him from the rizq that He has provided.

Spirituality is our connectedness to Allah. This connectedness helps us to think about this worldly life and the materialism and consumerism that abounds.

When we start realizing our core purpose in life… in the words of Allah (SWT) “Indeed, my prayers, my sacrifice, my life and my death are only for Allah, Lord of the worlds” [An-Aam 6:162] then our spiritual tendencies must come to the fore.

To be kind, loving, compassionate and caring; To be benevolent; To be just and to uphold justice; To be honest and sincere; To be courteous; To be morally upright and ethical in our actions; To keep our promises and uphold our trusts and agreements; To be respectful and not call each other with derogatory names; To differ with decorum; To praise rather than envy; To be discreet in our charity rather than showing off.

This is “Spiritual Intelligence”. To be spiritually mature. When we give and feed others, we say: “We do not need a reward nor thanks from you”. [al Insaan76:9]. When we prefer giving to others, even though we are needy, that is the spirit ithaar– a high state of spirituality indeed.

Let us then, through our waqf giving, increase our spirituality and connect with Allah (SWT) and beg for his nearness, for his Qurbah, May Allah accept all our deeds and charities and may our scales weigh heavy with our deeds and charity on the Day of Judgement.

Let us become Spiritually Intelligent. Let us revive the waqf system for everlasting thawaab and increased spirituality. Support Awqaf SA. Make your waqf today.

Visit www.awqafsa.org.za for further information.

*Zeinoul Abedien Cajee [CA (SA) MEd] is the founding CEO of AWQAF SA.

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