by Professor Dr: Hayati AYDIN*
This article focuses on which benefits can be gained in the way of the communal and individual social assistance.
Islam makes the community as a virtuous community that is its men's duty to compete in good and charity they do not compete in earning property.
The only thing that religion wants to be a believer to behave according to conscience of responsibility. This is the clearest word that qualifies Muslim in the Qur'an. According to this, behaving conscientiously is a part of the conscience of responsibility and Qur'an wants to make it. So behaving according to God's order is very important in the context of soul calm. Social assistance is a very important part of this responsibility. Social assistance becomes a source of happiness and spiritual calmnes in individual and social ways both.
SPENDING IN CHARITY AND ITS INNER PEACE
We should not forget that the legislation of the Qur'an corresponds to the true requirements of man's nature, and to make guidance for him in all his socially acts as well as spiritual affairs. In this context, as Izutsu points out, the Quran gives an outstanding emphasis to justice and love in social life. He says that piety, in reality, cannot be piety unless it manifests itself in various actions motivated by the will to practice justice and love towards others. 1
The only thing that religion wants is to be a believer and to behave according to conscience of responsibility. This is the clearest word that qualifies Muslim in the Qur'an. According to this, behaving conscientiously is a part of the conscience of responsibility and Qur'an wants to make it. So behaving according to God's order is very important in the context of soul calm.
Islam makes the community as virtuous community that is its men's duty to compete in good and charity they do not compete in earning property. This phenomenon can be seen in Prophet Muhammad's community. The people of this community spend their life and property for men's happiness. Spend their life on valuable activities. This behaviour is the common behaviour of celestial religions.
“And (remember) Zakariya, when he cried to his Lord: "O my Lord! leave me not without offspring, though thou art the best of inheritors. So We listened to him: and We granted him Yahya: We cured his wife's (Barrenness) for him. These (three) were ever quick in emulation in good works; they used to call on Us with love and reverence, and humble themselves before Us” (Al Anbiyâ, 21/89 -90)
As seen in the verses, it is said that the follower of celestial revelations were men who race in good deeds with one another. Especially for the apostles there was practically no difference between an idea and its spiritual application: They did not separate theory from realization.2
For example the Qur'an praised some men from the people of the Book for their good activities:
“Not all of them are alike: Of the People of the Book are a portion that stand (For the right): They rehearse the Signs of God all night long, and they prostrate themselves in adoration. They believe in God and the Last Day; they enjoin what is right, and forbid what is wrong; and they hasten (in emulation) in (all) good works: They are in the ranks of the righteous” ( Ali- İmrân, 3 / 113 -114)
These two verses explain men to be in compete in favour and for this reason this has been praised by the God.
For example, Islam encourages humans to compete in goodness and charity, and not to compete in prosperity. This gives man very beautiful psychological feeling and good mood.
“ Those who believe and do right, have happiness, and an excellent resting place” (Ar-Ra'd, 13/ 29)
“Oh, verily, they who are close to the God-no fear need they have, and neither shall they grieve: they who have attained to faith and have always been conscious of Him. For them there is the glad tiding (of happiness) in the life of this world and in the life to come; (and since) nothing could ever alter (the outcome of) God's promises, this, this is the triumph supreme ”(Yunus, 10/ 62-64)
Except Hereafter as well there are beauty, something good news and bearer for believer and good makers. There is a pleasure and brilliance of eyes for those who believe and do right. Fahkr al-Din Al-Razi says for interpretation of this verse that there is a lot of receive all the beauty. Every taste and pleasure comes in this statement. In every state and work the best thing being for them.3 Are only these? These are not only things. There is another beauty: Excellent resting place after death.
Islam impulses man to goodness. The name of goodness is Birr in the Qur'anic terminology. This concept has been translated in English as “piety righteousness” “kindness”. Izutsu says that this word (Birr) is a comprehensive name for all actions (as explained in the verse of Bakarah, 2/ 177) motivated by love and righteousness, and stimulated by religious experience of “fear”.4 For this reason Birr is including all of goodness. Prophet Muhammad(p.u.h.) has said that the spiritual dimension of this word that “by favour of goodness, one can get imminent peace and calmness but sin brings about psychological tightness”.5 In addition sin causes disturbance of human desires and creates hesitation at heart means that there can be troubles in one's psychological mood because of sin. As a word 'Birr' is drived from 'Barr' that means broadness in actions of goodness. From this relation, it can be said that in this context 'Birr' is broadness of heart in Islamic literature.6
“Whoever works righteousness, man or woman, and has Faith, verily, to him will We give a new Life, a life that is good and pure and We will bestow on such their reward according to the best of their actions”(An-Nahl,16/ 97)
In the verse it is understood that one part of the verse belongs to the world life and the other part belongs to Hereafter life. The God rewards the believer and the maker of righteous by beauty of life in the world and grant reward to them on their actions according to the best of their actions.
In Quran the good and beauty life is a happy life for the people who agree the revelation given to Prophet Muhammad (p.u.h.) according to Ibn Abbas7Ibn Qayyim Al-Jawziyya says in the Tibbu Al-Qulub the God makes happy the people who acts goodness and makes miserable the people who acts bad behaviour. 8He makes these explanations according to the interpretation of Tâ-Hâ, 124; An'am, 127. These verses show us that the owner of goodness has good psychological condition and the owner of badness has bad psychological condition. This is the evident of goodnesses' that they are the source of good psychological feelings.
According to Islam scholars, there is an affect of actions on the heart, positively and negatively.9 We can find this reality in Qur'an concepts and their etymologies, Same of them have powerful references on the man's soul direction.
Islam adopted a considerable number of words which used in Jahiliyya (Age of Ignorance) with modification and succeeded in making out of them high moral concepts into new code of Islamic ethic and law. For example the most important words laden with negative and positive concepts in the Qur'an are “Zulm” and “Adl”.
The meaning of zulm is to put a thing in a wrong place which is not its own place. This occurs because of deficiency or excessiveness.10 Adl is the opposite of this meaning. Namely Adl is to put a thing on its own place.
In Islamic tradition, each sin is a cruelty for human self. Therefore each individual who commits a sin s/he behaves in an unjust way for herself. On the contrary, s/he harms self-confidence.11 “What they spend in the life of this world is like a frosty wind which smites and destroys the crops of a people who had wronged them by own. God did not wrong them, they wronged themselves”(Al-'Imran, 2/ 117) Sins seize both health and truth, so this brings about illness and destruction of heart according to Islamic scholars.12
Therefore, as Ibn Taymiyyah said that cruelty (zulm) is the illness of heart. Justice (adl) is the health and truth of heart. Moreover, just is to be moderate. To be moderate means truth of heart. That is why, in each sin, one destroys him/herself. Corruption is the opposition to just. Truth of heart is at just, but trouble of heart is at corruption.13
“Those who deny Our revelations are deaf, dumb, and lost in the dark…” (Al-An'am, 6/ 39)
One who is sick cannot get favour of foods that are essential for life during this illness. Influence of sins in heart is as mood of illness in body. Medicine of these illnesses is to abandon those sins. 14 Also past generations (Salaf) said that the good behaviour brings up light of heart, power of body, shining of face, wealth of benefits and love inside heart of people. 15
It was stated in the section of Prayer that The Qur'an calls Islamic religion a Natural Religion. Zulm is an unjust behaviour which is the opposite of Islamic principles and naturally contradicts nature. Adl is a just behaviour which is in harmony with nature. For this reason, unjust acts contradict man's nature and naturally man's heart distressed by this action.
Blessing is just the blessing of heart. Which distress is greater than fear, sorrow, sadness, trouble in heart, being far away from God and next world life, concerning one to other being than God or giving up to believe in God faithfully? Everyone who is concerned with a being other than God and loving other beings as God is in a great sorrow from the point of a believer. For each individual who loves existence other than God, there are troubles waiting for them, which give one great sorrow three times in this world. The first one is the pain that belongs to process of reaching this situation. Second is that one suffers from fear of losing or lack of this issue when s/he gets this thing and blame of people or rejecting him/herself because of this point of view. Third is the increase of this sorrow when s/he loses this blessing.16
One from the concept of Birr is Tax / Zakah (Alms). The Zakah prescription is necessary for every rich man. 'Zakah' is the most important thing in the spending in charity. 'Zakah' is an action of Birr (Goodness) (look. Bakarah, 2 / 177 as a meaning in dictionary is 'goodness in benefits'. In other words,'Zaka'sh-Shey'u' means “Nama fi As-Salah / incrase in benefits”. 17 The entitling of zakah as zakah is because of its including of hope blessing and cleaning of self. 18 Because, the Qur'an isolates the illnesses that cause harmful effects for human will to remove the defects of heart and will. As the body returns to its natural mood, heart and will return to human nature coming from birth. Heart is nourished by faith and the Qur'an is nourished by maturation activities.19
Islam commands to the rich legal alms / poor tax (to give one fortieth and one tenth from their property) for the poor too. This purifies giver's soul as he relieved the poor.
“Accept the offerings they make from their wealth in order to cleanse and purify them for progress…” (At-Taubah, 9/103)
“Those who spend their wealth for increase in self-purification”(Al-Layl, 92/18)
As seen in these verses the Qur'an orders the rich to give the poor their lot. This help gives the person an inner peace and satisfaction. The time of Qur'an's talking about spiritual fact to be understood in the best way uses the method of representation and impression (intensify) in generally (look, Bakarah, 2/ 17, 261, 264, 265).20 As well as for showing the soul calmness of alms-giver and the soul's trouble of miser using the example of two persons who is wearing a tight iron cloaks on them from their breasts to their collarbones.Al-Jawziyya, Ibn Qayyim, Al-Jawabu Al-Kafi li Man Saala an Dawâi As-Shafi, (Beirut: Dar Al-Ihyâi Ulûm, 1990).p.117; Kamil, Umar,Abdullah, At-Tasavvuf Beyna Al-Ifrat wa At-Tafrit, (Beirut: 2001).p. 63
Narrated Abu Huraira: The Prophet (p.u.h.) has said, "The example of a miser and an alms-giver is like the example of two persons wearing iron cloaks." Allah's Apostle also said, "The example of an alms-giver and a miser is like the example of two persons who have two iron cloaks on them from their breasts to their collar bones, and when the alms-giver wants to give in charity, the cloak becomes capacious till it covers his whole body to such an extent that it hides his fingertips and covers his footprints (obliterates his tracks). And when the miser wants to spend, it (the iron cloak) sticks and every ring gets stuck to its place and he tries to widen it, but it did not become wide”21
In the Hadith the soul calmness of alms-giver is represented with cloak's capaciousness and the soul's trouble of miser is represented with iron cloak's constriction.
Without a doubt, heart's blessed income is the income of body. Alms end up sins as in the opposition of water and fire, keeps heart from dangers. In other words, its income can be conceived as cleaning of heart from sins. 22 “Accept the offerings (Sadqah) they make from their wealth in order to cleanse (Tathir) and purify (Tezkiya) them from progress, and invoke blessings upon them. Your blessings will surely bring them peace, for God hears all and knows everything” (At-Taubah, 9/103)
In fact the name of Sadaqah is coming from Sidq (accuracy). Because, giving sadaqah is an evidence of iman's accuracy.23 For this reason, the Prophet (p.u.h.) refused to accept it from all whose behaviour had made it obvious that were hypocrites.24 Sadaqah primarily denotes the tax called Zakah(the purifying does) incumbent on every Muslim enjoying a certain minimum of property or income. Secondary, as Muhammad Asad pointed out, this comprises everything that a believer freely gives to another person, out of love or compassion, as well as what he is morally or legally obliged to give, without expecting any worldly return.25 Like this âyath, all uses Tathir and Tezkiyya that are used in the context of Sadaqah in the Qur'an come to the meaning of spiritual cleans and purify of sins. 26
As a result, Islam encourages humans to compete in goodness and charity, and not to compete in prosperity. If man behave according to Islamic orders in this issue this gives him very beautiful psychological feeling and good mood.
Abu Abdillah Muhammad b. Ahmad, Al-Qurtubi, Al-Jâmi lî-Ahkâm al-Qur'ân, (Beirut: Dâr Al-Kütub Al-İlmiyye, 1988).
Abu Dawud, Sunan, (İstanbul: Çağrı publishing house, 1992).
Abu Talib Muhammad b. Ali b. Atiyya, Al- Makki, Qutu Al-Qulub fi Muamalati al-Mahbub, (Maktabatu Al-Mustafa Al-Halabi, 1961).
Al-Raghib al-Isfahani, Abul-Qasim Husayn ibn Muhammad Al- Mufradat fi Gharib al-Qur'ân, (Beirut: Dâr al-Ma'rifa).
Al-Raghib, Al- Isfahanî, Abul-Qasim Husayn b. Muhammad, Az-Zari'a ilâ Makarimi As-Sharia, (Beirut-Lubnan: Dar Al-Kutub Al-Ilmiyya, 1980).
Ash-Shawkan', Muhammad b. Ali, Al-Fath Al-Qadir Al-Jami' fi Ar-Rivayah wa Dirayah min 'Ilmi At-Tafshir, (Egypt: Mustafa Al-Babi Al-Halabî, 1964).
Ayub b. Musa, Abu Al-Baqa', Al-Kulliyat Mu'camu fi al-Mustalahat wa al-Furuk al-Lugawi, (Beirut: Muassatu Ar-Risala).
Darimî, Sunan, (İstanbul: Çağrı publishing house, 1992).
Fakhr al-Din, al-Razi, Al-Tafsir al-Kabir, (Tahran: Dâr Al-Kütub Al-İlm,).
Ibn Kathir, Ismail, Tafsir Al-Quran Al-Karim, (Beirut: Dar Al-Ihyai At-Turas Al-Arabi, 1969).
Ibn Maca, Sunan, (İstanbul: Çağrı publishing house, 1992).
Ibn Qayyim, Al-Jawzaiyya, Al-Jawabu Al-Kafi li Man Saala an Dawâi As-Shafi, (Beirut: Dar Al-Ihyâi Ulûm, 1990).
Ibn Qayyim, Al-Jawzaiyya, Tibb Al-Qulub, (Jidde: 1983).
Ibn Taymiyyah, Ahmad, Majmu' Fatawa, (Riyad: 1381).
Muslim, Sahih, (İstanbul: Çağrı publishing house, 1992).
Nasaî, Sunan, (İstanbul: Çağrı publishing house, 1992).
Toshihiko, Izutsu, The Structure of The Ethical Terms in The Qur'an, (Tokyo: Keio University, 1959).
Umar Abdullah, Kamil, At-Tasavvuf Beyna Al-Ifrat wa At-Tafrit, (Beirut: 2001).
Whaitall, Perry, A Treasury of Traditional Wisdom (From Schoun: Perspectives spiritualise,, London, George Allen and Unwin LTD, 1971).
Toshihiko, Izutsu, The Structure of the ethical terms in the Qur'an, (Tokyo: Keio University, 1959), p. 210
2 Whitall, Perry, A Treasury of traditional wisdom (From Schoun: Perspectives spiritualise, p. 170), (London, George Allen and Unwin LTD, 1971), p. 499
6 Al- Isfahanî, Raghib, Az-Zari'a ilâ makarimi as-sharia, (Beirut-Lubnan: Dar Al-Kutub Al-Ilmiyya, 1980), p. 127
7 Ibn Kathir, Ismail, Tafsiru al-Quran al-karim, (Beirut: Dar Al-Ihyai At-Turas Al-Arabi, 1969), 2: 585; Al-Jawziyya, Ibn Qayyim, bb Al-Qulub, (Jidde: 1983). p. 145
9 Al- Makki, Abu Talib Muhammad b. Ali b. Atiyya, Qutu Al-Qulub fi muamalati al-mahbub, (Maktabatu Al-Mustafa Al-Halabi, 1961), 1: 230: Ibn Taymiyyah, Ahmad, Majmu' fatawa, (Riyad, 1381), 10: 98; Al-Jawziyya, Tibb al-qulub, p. 133
10 Al-Isfahanî, Al- Müfradât, p. 315; Ayub b. Musa, Abu Al-Baqa', Al-Kulliyat mu'camu fi al-mustalahat wa al-furuk al-lugawi, (Beirut: Muassatu Ar-Risala, p. 594); Al-Jurjanî, Sharif Ali b. Muhammad, At-Ta'rifat, p. 144; Izutsu, Ibid, p. 152
12 Al-Jawziyya, Al-Jawabu al-kafi, p.117; Kamil Umar, Abdullah, At-Tasavvuf Beyna Al-Ifrat wa At-Tafrit, (Beirut: 2001), p. 63; Ibn Taymiyyah, Ibid, 10: 98-101
14 Al-Jawziyya, Ibn Qayyim, Al-Jawabu Al-Kafi li Man Saala an Dawâi As-Shafi, (Beirut: Dar Al-Ihyâi Ulûm, 1990).p.117; Kamil, Umar, Ibid, p. 63; Ibn Taymiyyah, Ibid, 10: 98-101
20 I want to give another example except for the text about the Quran's usage: the method of representation and impression for psychological phenomenon. In Al-Balad's surah the Quran to overcome niggardliness nature makes a link with climbing a steep mountain: “But he could not scale the step ascent. How will you comprehend what the ascent is? To free a neck or to feed in times of famine. The orphan near in relationship, or the poor in distress; and to be of those who believe, and urge upon one another to persevere, and urge upon each other to be kind. They are the people of the right hand (will succeed)” (Al-Balad, 90/ 11-18)
So with this example the Quran shows us how hard is to defeat niggardliness which is a psychological reality.
21Bukhari, Zakah 28; Jihad wa sayr, 89; Ahmad b. Hanbal, Musnad, 2: 256; www.sacred_texts.com/isl/
23 Qurtubî, Abu Abdillah Muhammad ibn Ahmad, Al-Jâmi lî-ahkâm al-Qur'ân, (Beirut: Dâr Al-Kütub Al-İlmiyye, 1988), 8: 157; ash- Şawkanî, Muhammad b. Ali, Al-Fath Al-Qadir Al-Jami' fi Ar-Rivayah wa Dirayah min 'Ilmi At-Tafshir, (Egypt: Mustafa Al-Babi Al-Halabî, 1964)., 2: 399
25 Look. Asad, Muhammad, The Message of the Qur'an, (England: The Book Foundation, 2003).p. 269, 280