“A good word is a charitable act.”
What could be easier than saying a good word? This is within the means of anyone who has the ability to speak and reason, and it is considered an act of charity by Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala). What better way to use the faculties of speech and reason that He (swt) has blessed us with? We should therefore perform this act as an expression of gratitude to Allah (swt) with the intention of pleasing Him (swt).
The expression ‘a good word’ includes many things. It is enjoining the good; reminding others about Allah (swt); spreading the salam; dhikr or remembrance of Allah (swt); saying things which make another person happy; in fact any word by which Allah (swt) is remembered or which benefits His (swt) creation can be considered a good word.
As we learnt from the another hadith, the Prophet (SallAllahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) said:
“Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day should speak good things or keep silent.”
We need to use the power of speech as a force for good. We must understand that just as speaking a good word is a charitable, so speaking a bad word can be a sin. Backbiting or speaking of others as they would not like to be spoken about, can actually earn punishment in the Hellfire, so we should never underestimate the importance of how we use our tongues.
So let’s use our speech in a way that is pleasing to our Creator (swt). Let’s speak good words and refrain from ill speech, let’s make dhikr of Allah (swt) and call others to worship Him (swt) and let’s glorify Him in the morning and night and be thankful for all that He (swt) has bestowed on us.
“Every step you take toward the prayer is a charitable act.”
Illustrating that every step we take towards the prayer is rewardable as a charitable act, show us the importance of prayer in congregation in the mosque. Allah (swt) will bestow bounties on us for each step we take towards the prayer.
There are other hadith that talk of the virtues of walking to the mosque. In particular, a hadith in Sahih Muslim records that the Tribe of Salamah wanted to move closer to the Prophet’s (SallAllahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) mosque in Madinah. The Prophet (SallAllahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) advised them not to move as the steps that they took towards the mosque would be recorded for them. He (SallAllahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) also told them, that for every step they took, they would be raised another rank in Paradise. From this, some scholars have also deduced that the greater the effort required in attending the mosque, the greater the reward.
Other hadith have noted the importance of the Fajr and Isha prayers in congregation (for men) in particular. The Prophet (SallAllahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) said:
“One who performs Isha prayer in congregation, is as if he has performed Salat for half of the night. And one who performs the Fajr prayer in congregation, is as if he has performed Salat the whole night.”
[Recorded in Sahih Muslim]
“No prayers are more heavy (harder) for the hypocrites than the Fajr and the Isha prayer; but if they knew the reward for these prayers at their respective times, they would certainly present themselves (in the mosques) even if they had to crawl.”
[Recorded in Sahih al-Bukhari]
SubhaanAllah, they would go even if they had to crawl. How many people do we see for Fajr prayer in the mosque? And yet the reward with Allah (swt) is so great.
These hadith reminds us of the reward not just for the act of prayer itself, but also the effort we make to attend it in congregation. A sense of community and companionship is created when we pray together. Congregational prayer brings the believers together to stand shoulder to shoulder and foot to foot in worship of Allah (swt), and Allah (swt) in His (swt) infinite mercy makes this prayer in congregation is 27 times more rewardable than the prayer performed alone. Not only this, He (swt) rewards us for every step we take to the prayer, every step we take closer to Him (swt). Let’s pray that He (swt) raises us another rank in Paradise for every step we take.
“And removing a harmful thing from the path is a charitable act.”
Removing something harmful from the road is an act of charity in gratitude to Allah (swt) that is available to almost everyone. It is a seemingly small act and yet its magnitude is so great. The Prophet (SallAllahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) tells us that it is considered a charitable act by Allah (swt).
In another hadith the Prophet (SallAllahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) describes the act of removing something from the road as being a branch of imaan or faith:
“Faith is seventy- or sixty- some odd branches. The most virtuous of them is the statement, ‘There is none worthy of worship but Allah.’ And the lowest of them is removing something harmful from the path. And hayaa (modesty) is part of faith.”
[Recorded in Muslim]
If the Muslims of today were to abide by this teaching, our streets would be cleanest in the world!
How many of us see something harmful in the road, and yet do not think that it is our duty to do anything about it? The truly sad thing is that goes beyond laziness to something deeper. Many Muslims today actually feel that it is beneath them, to pick up something dirty from the road. When we feel like this, it demonstrates a lack of understanding of the teachings of Islam, and a lack of gratitude to our Creator (swt).
Let’s put this noble teaching into practice in our lives. Let’s clean up our streets and demonstrate our love and gratitude towards our Creator (swt).
In a hadith recorded in Sahih Muslim, the Prophet (SallAllahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) said:
“Every morning there is on the bones and joints of any of you a charitable act. Every tasbeehah is a charitable act; every tahmeedah is a charitable act; every tahleelah is a charitable act; every takbeerah is a charitable act; ordering the good is a charitable act; eradicating evil is a charitable act. To fulfill that charity, it is sifficient to pray two rakats of Dhuha.”
This hadith contains elements of both the hadith recorded above, and the previous hadith, whilst also containing the important addition of the Dhuha prayer fulfilling the obligations of charity due upon the human being for each day the sun rises.
The Dhuha prayer consists of at least two rakats, but can contain as many as eight rakats broken up into sets of two rakats each. It is prayed in the time from just after sunrise until just before high noon, but it is preferred to delay it, based on the hadith of the Prophet (SallAllahu Alayhi Wa Sallam):
“The prayer of the pentinent is when your weaned camels feel the heat of the sun.”
[Recorded in Muslim]
Due to the fact that the hadith states that charity is due on the body on every day that the sun rises, and that the Dhuha prayer fulfills this charity, it is highly recommended that we strive to pray at least two rakats of prayer to fulfill this requirement.
Abu Huraira (RadhiAllahu Anhu) said in a hadith recorded in Sahih al-Bukhari and Muslim that the Prophet (SallAllahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) advised him to perform three acts: fast three days every month, perform two rakats of the Dhuha Prayer and perform the Witr Prayer before he slept.
Let’s make it our practice to perform at least two rakats of prayer during the morning time to show our gratitude to Allah (swt) for the blessing of our bodies, and to fulfill this act of charity that is due upon us each day the sun rises.