Hadith on Charity: The superiority of early Charity

📖Sahih al-Bukhari 1419
Narrated Abu Huraira: A man came to the Prophet (ﷺ) and asked, “O Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ)! Which charity is the most superior in reward?” He replied, “The charity which you practice while you are healthy, niggardly and afraid of poverty and wish to become wealthy. Do not delay it to the time of approaching death and then say, ‘Give so much to such and such, and so much to such and such.’ And it has already belonged to such and such (as it is too late).”

From this hadith, we can learn the following lessons:

  1. The virtue of practicing charity: The hadith highlights the importance of engaging in charitable acts. It implies that charity holds great reward in the sight of Allah, and it is highly recommended for believers to engage in acts of charity.
  2. The best time for charity: The hadith emphasizes the superiority of giving charity when one is in good health, but still experiences fear of poverty and desires wealth. This indicates that the act of giving in such circumstances demonstrates sincerity and a genuine desire to help others, rather than giving out of surplus wealth or as a mere formality.
  3. Avoiding delay in charity: The hadith advises against delaying acts of charity until one is on the verge of death. It encourages believers to give their charity promptly and not to procrastinate, as they may lose the opportunity to give or distribute their wealth as intended.
  4. Intention and ownership of charity: The hadith warns against delaying charity until the last moments of life and then attempting to allocate it to certain individuals or causes. It implies that once death approaches, the ownership of wealth is no longer in the hands of the individual, and the intended recipients may not receive the intended benefits. Therefore, it is recommended to plan and give charity while one is able to ensure that it reaches the intended recipients.

Overall, this hadith emphasizes the significance of practicing charity, the importance of sincerity and intention in giving, and the need to avoid delay in acts of charity.