So what to do with the excess money you have if you are a Muslim? Well luckily for us the Koran has an answer,and this is the topic of todays Koran study.
Verse 261 of the Koran lends from the Bible for an analogy again when it talks about the grains and the number seven designating prosperity. This is seen in the parables of Jesus when he is extolling the virtues of spreading the good word of Jehovah, see for example in Matthew 13:23.
"The parable of those who spend their wealth in the way of Allah is that
of a grain which grows seven ears, in every ear a hundred grains. Allah
enhances severalfold whomever He wishes, and Allah is all-bounteous,
Interestingly, as most things in the Koran, we see that Allah is the one who decides who will be blessed. So even if you do the right thing and spread the good message of Islam you may not be blessed. This to me is a conundrum, as it seems more to be showing that there is nothing divine here as there is no way of knowing if you will be blessed. Its almost as if there is no God? Perhaps that is why the Saudi aristocracy is hoarding all their wealth. Lastly, just in case you did not get the message the first time verse 262 reiterates the point.
Verse 263, is one of those "no shits Sherlock" verses that exist in various holy texts. It is a verse that you can turn to and say, "see I told you its true, after all look at this awesome knowledge."
"An honourable word with pardon is better than a charity followed by affront. Allah is all-sufficient, most forbearing."
So basically, if you give to charity, do not go cause trouble or ask for returns from that charity after giving. Or in the words of George Carlin "Don't be a dick". This is not knowledge, this is a social construct that develops in any society. If you are a dick, you will be a cast out and you will suffer and/or die. So, amazingly we learn to get along.
Importantly, when you give to charity as a Muslim, you should never let
others know as it is self righteous and not in the spirit of charity.
This is something I can get on board with, after all what is altruism if
you are seeking something (i.e. recognition and praise) in return.
"O you who have faith! Do not render your charities void by reproaches
If you don't know how to give to charity exactly though, there is a solution. All you have to do is look at those hideous infidels and see how they give to charity and do the exact opposite.
" like those who spend their wealth to be seen by people and
have no faith in Allah and the Last Day. Their parable is
that of a rock covered with soil: a downpour strikes it, leaving it
bare. They have no power over anything of what they have earned, and
Allah does not guide the faithless lot."
Amazingly Allah does not accept charity from infidels as a good deed, as it explicitly states here that there will be no benefits. Granted you should not want something in return when you give to charity, but it does make you wonder why Allah blesses Muslims when they give.
"The parable of those who spend their wealth seeking Allah’s pleasure and
to confirm themselves, is that of a garden on a hillside: the downpour
strikes it, whereupon it brings forth its fruit twofold; and if it is
not a downpour that strikes it, then a shower, and Allah sees best what
Did you notice the contradiction? Thats right verse 261 and 266 claim different things for people contributing to Islam. In one you might get a blessing, in the other you will not get a blessing when giving to charity.
Lastly, lets consider verse 166
"Would any of you like to have a garden of palm trees and vines, with
streams running in it, with all kinds of fruit for him therein, and old
age were to strike him while he has weakly offspring; whereupon a fiery
hurricane were to hit it, whereat it lies burnt? Thus does Allah clarify
His signs for you so that you may reflect."
Uhm..... Ok, I have no idea. Apparently this is meant to refer to the time when Muhammad was in Medina after fleeing from Mecca and his enemies. At this time however, the Muslims were still getting attacked and so this message was meant to serve as a reminder that Muslims should continue fighting for the survival of Islam. Interestingly these attacks came after Muhammad and his followers would raid caravans so as to obtain resources and food. So if anything, Muhammad brought the war against Islam by his own actions. So much for the peaceful prophet and religion?
Thanks for reading. Now I am off to the bank to deposit some money into an Islamic fund....after all I need to book my way into paradise with my virgins.
The version of the Koran I am reading is the John Meadows Rodwell translation. An online version can be found at the al-quran.info website
Additionally, for commentary I am utilizing the commentary of Maulana Muhammad Ali which is available at muslim.org/english-quran/quran.htm