Ramadan: The month of Charity

Ramadan is the month of charity. Although it is not obligatory to pay Zakat in the month of Ramadan, most Muslims pay their Zakat in Ramadan. Besides Zakat, there is obligatory Fitra to be paid to the poor before the Eid Prayer. Besides these two obligatory charities, lot of Sadaqa (Voluntary Charity) is paid during Ramadan. It is not that one is not encouraged to do charity throughout the year and do it only in the month of Ramadan. However, it was the Sunnah of the Prophet to do more charity in the month of Ramadan. It is reported that during the month of Ramadan the prophet used to do so much charity that he was likened to fast blowing wind.

It is narrated by Ibn ‘Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) “The Prophet (peace be upon him) was the most generous amongst the people, and he used to be more so in the month of Ramadan when Gabriel visited him, and Gabriel used to meet him on every night of Ramadan till the end of the month. The Prophet used to recite the Holy Qur’an to Gabriel, and when Gabriel met him, he used to be more generous than a fast wind” (Sahih Al Bukhari: Book No. 31: Hadith No. 126).

Qur’an exhorts the believers to do charity and equals it to load given to Allah which will be returned in multiples on the day of Judgement.

“Who is it that would loan Allah a goodly loan so He may multiply it for him many times over? And it is Allah who withholds and grants abundance, and to Him you will be returned” (Surah Al Baqarah 2:245).

At another place Qur’an explains the benefit of charity by giving the example of grain of corn. According to Quran:

The likeness of those who spend their money for Allah’s sake, is as the likeness of a grain (of corn), it grows seven ears, every single ear has a hundred grains, and Allah multiplies (increases the reward) for whom He wills, and Allah is All-Sufficient for His creatures needs, All Knower(Surah Al Baqarah 2: 261)

Those who spend of their goods (in charity) by night and by day in secret and in public shall have their reward with their Lord: on them shall be no fear nor shall they grieve” (Surah Al Baqarah 2:274)

The literal meaning of Zakat is purification and growth. It is a specific amount of money due to be spent on specific accounts after the passage of specific time. There are numerous spiritual, psychological as well as economic benefits of charity, especially zakat.

Spiritually it brings the giver closer to the Creator. There is no denying the fact that physical ibadah (worship) does not affect a person as deeply and does not put as much burden on him or his resources as parting with hard earned money. It is also a form of informal social insurance system which takes care of the basic needs of the poorer sections of the society by the wealthier section. In this way it bridges the gap between the rich and the poor which may lead to many unwanted situations. It creates a feeling of love and brotherhood between the rich and the poor and thus reduces social tensions also.

It has a psychological dimension as well. It has a positive affect of the giver, the receiver, and the society at large. It purifies the property and assets of the giver, restraints his lust for wealth and material goods and creates in him the virtue and urge to share with less fortunate ones. It uplifts the giver from a life of materialism and self-gratification to a life endowed with a higher moral purpose.

Sadaqa and Zakat prepares one to spend in the way of Allah willingly and largeheartedly. It drives away greed and pride from the wealthy and does away with glaring income inequality and at the same time imperceptibly effects a gradual redistribution of wealth from the rich to the poor.

Economically it prevents concentration of wealth by circulating it in the society by transferring wealth from the rich to the poor. It redistributes real income among the members of the society by redistributing a part of purchasing power from the rich to the poor. It is well known economic fact that poor tend to spend most of their income on basic necessities of life as compared to the rich who spend less proportion of their wealth on basic necessities. A major part of the wealth of the rich is spent on luxuries of life. When charity is paid by the rich to the poor it helps in the circulation of money in the economy by creating demand for basic necessities of life.

It also discourages hoarding and accumulation of idle wealth. It ensures to put the waiting resources back into economic activity by pushing every bit of idle wealth into production activity by increasing the cost of waiting.

Let us pay our Zakat and give Sadaqa to reap the spiritual rewards in the holy month of Ramadan. Let us reach out to the less fortunate and make a difference in somebodies’ life. Let us make this Ramadan more fulfilling and satisfying.

Ramadan: The month of the Qur’an

Finally Ramadan 2020 is here. Ramadan is the holiest month among the 12 months of the Islamic Calendar. Muslims all over the world eagerly wait for this month. The month is characterized by Fasting from dawn to dusk, charity, humility, caring for the poor, contemplation on one’s life, reading of the Qur’an and special night prayers popularly called Taraweeh.

Qur'an photo

Photo Credit & © Mohsin Aziz



Photo Credit & © Mohsin Aziz


The month of Ramadan is characterized by reading of the Qur’an. Even those who don’t usually read Qur’an try to read some portion every day. And why not? Ramadan has special connect with Qur’an. It was during this month that Qur’an was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him). As the Qur’an itself declares:

‘Verily! We have sent it (this Qur’an) down in the night of the Decree. And what will make you know what the night of the Decree is? The night of Decree is better than a thousand months” (Al Qur’an, 97:1-3)

Night of Decree is one of the blessed night in the last ten days of the Ramadan. Today Qur’an is the most sold book in the world. It is also the most read book in the world. There are innumerable benefits of reading the Qur’an. However, it was not revealed to be just read, decorated in fancy clothes and kept on the shelf to be taken out every Ramadan, read and kept back for next one year. Rather it was revealed to be understood and followed. Qur’an itself challenges and motivates humanity to understand it by contemplating (tadabbur) on its verses and to find guidance for this world and for hereafter. As Allah says in the Qur’an:

“Will they not then ponder the Qur’an or are there locks upon their hearts?” (Al Qur’an,, 47:24)

“This is a blessed book which We have revealed to you, (O Muhammad), that they might reflect upon its verses and those of understanding would be reminded” (Al Qur’an, 38:29)

“Indeed in the creation of the heavens and the earth and the alternation of the night and the day are signs for those of understanding. Who remember Allah while standing or sitting or (lying) on their sides and give thought to the creation of the heavens and the earth, (saying), “Our Lord you did not create this aimlessly; Exalted are You (above such a thing); then protect us from the punishment of the fire” (Al Qur’an, 3:190-191)

In fact, the Qur’an condemns those who do not ponder over it. It declares:

“Do they not look into the dominion of the heavens and the earth and all things that Allah has created, and that it may be that the end of their lives is near. In what message after this will they then believe” (Al Qur’an, 7:185)

Yes, everybody does not know Arabic, the language of the Qur’an. All of us should make an effort to at least know the basic terms used in the Qur’an. But not knowing Arabic can not be an excuse. There are lots of translations of the meaning of the Qur’an available in every major language of the world. One can start reading the translation of the meaning from them. It is true that Qur’an has deep and multiple meaning for every word in it. It requires to have a thorough knowledge of not only Classical Arabic language but history, classical Arabic poetry, sociology etc. to understand the meaning of each verse. Humankind will keep contemplating till the day of Judgement and will still be surprised to find something new at every turn. However, basic message of the Qur’an can be understood by any body and everybody. The basic concepts which are dealt with in the Qur’an are Universal and can be understood, appreciated and applied by anybody regardless of the time and the place. Concepts such as justice, equality of human beings regardless of colour of the skin or gender, taking care of the parents, helping the poor and the needy, humility, truthfulness, forbearance etc. are all universal themes which appeal to everybody.

Let us resolve that this Ramadan, we will not only recite Qur’an but will try to read it with understanding. Let us contemplate and ponder on Qur’an and get benefit as the Qur’an declares:

So when the Qur’an is recited, then listen to it and pay attention that you may receive Mercy” (Al Qur’an, 7:204)

Let us recite and read it with understanding so as to benefit from it in this world and let Qur’an be our proof and intercession on the Day of Judgement. Happy Reading, Happy Pondering.

Wo zamaney main muazzez thay musalman hokar

Aur tum khwaar hua tarik e Qur’an hokar



Seminar Report: Idarah Ulum al Qur’an

Idarah Ulum al Qur’an, Aligarh, India (Institute of Qur’anic Sciences, Established 1984) organised a seminar on Qur’anic sciences on 6 October 2019 at its premises. Idarah Ulum Qur’an organises seminar every year on various themes related to the Qur’an, particularly on themes that have relevance to the problems of present day.

This year the annual seminar of the Idarah was somewhat different from previous years. Usually, seminars and conferences have plenty of research papers with hardly any time for the presenter and audience for question and answer. This time around the seminar was confined to only two research papers. For both the papers, two discussants were identified and provided advance copy of the papers so that they get enough time to prepare themselves for discussion. After presentation of the papers, discussants presented their detailed comments. After that the audience was also given enough time to ask questions and offer comments. At the end the presenters were provided opportunity to respond to the comments and questions.

First research paper was presented by Dr. Abu Saad Islahi. It was entitled “The controversies around compilation of the Qur’an: A critical Review”. He mentioned the work done so far, both by traditional and contemporary scholars on the subject. Books of critics (orientalists) and their objections were also taken note of. The researcher also discussed in detail the Muslim response to the criticism by the orientalists.

The second research paper was presented by Dr. Mohiuddin Ghazi. His theme was “Reform Mission of the Qur’an: Narrative and Resources”. His paper emphasized that the Qur’an has placed great importance on the betterment of the individual and the society. The paper highlighted the difference between what the Qur’an enjoins the believers to do and what the believers are actually doing. The paper discussed in detail as to how this objective could be achieved and what methods and resources could be used for it.

On this occasion two books were also released:

  • Methodology for The Translation of the Holy Quran“. Containing the views of late Maulana Amantullah Islahi. It has been compiled by Mohiuddin Ghazi,
  • Relations with Non-Muslims and the Holy Qur’an. This book is a collection of papers from an earlier seminar.

This is a good initiative and hopefully the management of the institute will keep up this tradition in future as well. Rather than quantity, focus should be on quality which can be maintained only if limited number of papers are presented and discussed in detail. This will allow the researchers to further refine and develop their papers before publication. For more details about Idarah Ulum al Qur’an, please visit www.alquran.in