I don’t know about you, but I want to go go back in time every time I read about the battles in seerah. Maybe it’s the companions’ undying support, martyrdom, glad-tidings or pretty much everything that gets me high reading about Badar, Uhud, Battle of the Trench…
I also wonder if I would’ve accepted Islam had I been born in that era or made sacrifices in the same magnitude the companions of the Prophet (pbuh) did. A few days ago in a session with a scholar, the scholar put forth a question: “Will you be willing to give 50% of what you own to an Islamic cause?” I couldn’t even pretend to say yes to that. Immediate response: I cringed. Responses that followed: “I’m saving for a Mac!” and “I’ll have to start from scratch… again.” The scenario wasn’t even real and yet, I had to entertain my own luxuries before the greater good. And even hypothetically, I wasn’t ready to give away half of my earnings.
It’s things like these that make you realize that it could not have been easy for the companions either. They had their own lives- which were at least as complicated as ours- and were predisposed to the same vices as we are. Just because Abu Bakr (ra) gave 100% of his wealth to prepare for the Battle of Tabuk doesn’t mean his life was any easier than yours or mine. He just had this level of unwavering faith that we can’t possibly comprehend. Umar (ra) wanted to out-do Abu Bakr (ra), so he came up with his 50% and realized there was no way he could win the race when he saw Abu Bakr’s contribution. And Umar (ra) did not offer the remaining half of his assets to call it a draw because he knew his limitations too.
Another companion toiled away in the garden of a Jew and gave away all of his wages for the night the very next morning– a kilo of dates (the only kilo he owned) for the expedition of Tabuk. He could have easily held back thinking it’s too little an offering and would amount to nothing… But the companions knew better. They always did.
March forth (in the way of Allah), no matter whether you are light or heavy, and carry out Jihad (struggle) in the way of Allah with your wealth and lives. That is good for you, if you were to realize. (09:41)
This verse- though revealed as a call for Tabuk- is universal. It exempts no one when it comes to contributing towards Islam. Whether you’re rich or poor, or if you think you have no talent or a lot of it, whether you consider yourself a worthy candidate or not– serving Islam is the best honor you could ever get and you’re expected to serve in your capacity.
And Ramadan is the best time to contribute financially and be rid of this hoarding disorder. #NoteToSelf