The garage sale had gone really well this afternoon. Bilal and his mom had made plenty of money, and gotten rid of all their unneeded stuff. His mom was folding the tables and putting away the unsold items, while Bilal was counting the money – he and his mother would split the profits, just like they had agreed.
Just then, some kids from the neighborhood walked by with some fliers. They stopped in front of the house to talk with him. ‘Hey, Bilal. How’s it going? We’re collecting money and food for the pets of the community. Wanna help?’, asked his friend, Ethan.
Bilal looked at his friends. And then at the wad of cash he was counting. Then back at his friends. ‘Erm..yeah, sure. I mean that’s a great thing you guys are doing. But, I’m still counting my money from the garage sale, so is it okay if I donate some later? After I talk with my mom?’, responded Bilal.
‘Oh, I was asking if you wanted to come help us put up the fliers. But if you want to donate your money, that’s okay too. You know, actually that’s very nice of you’, said Ethan.
‘Oh!! Let me ask my mom, Ethan. You guys go ahead, I’ll catch up with you in a little while, if she says it’s okay.’, Bilal said smiling.
He pocketed all the money, and went to find his mom. She was pouring some juice for them. ‘Hey honey, all done counting up our earnings?’
‘Yeah almost done Mom. Hey listen, Ethan just came by. He and a few other kids are raising money to buy food and stuff for the pets of the community. I was thinking I could help them out too. What do you think?’, Bilal asked as he sat at the table and took a sip of his juice.
‘That sounds like a great idea, honey. In fact, I can ask some of my friends to donate too. That poor Mrs. Adam’s cat has been terribly ill, and she says it’s getting very expensive to take care of him. I’m sure she’ll appreciate the assistance as well.’, remarked his mom.
Bilal bit his lip and thought for a while. He drank some more of his juice, making sure he came up with the right way to say what he was thinking.
‘Mom, I was wondering if I should just give some money instead of going around the neighborhood with the others. I mean isn’t donating money for charity better than giving out some fliers?’, asked Bilal.
His mother smiled. ‘You’re right Bilal. Charity is very important. But money isn’t the only way to give charity. Our Prophet (SA) has taught us that any little deed done to help others is considered as charity and is rewarded by Allah*. In fact, I think that helping your neighbors and friends by using your abilities, and spreading good, might even be better than giving a little money. Of course you could always choose to do both, if you like.’, explained his mother.
‘Hmm, you’re right Mom. I guess I forgot that there are other kinds of charity. And I suppose I could do a little of both. Would you like to donate any of your garage sale money too, Mom?’
‘There you go, buddy. Already using your ability of persuasion to get me to donate. I’d love to give some of my earnings. Why don’t you go on and catch up with your friends. And come on back with all the kids afterwards for a snack. I’ll call and okay it with Ethan’s mom’, encouraged his mom happily.
Bilal counted and split up the garage sale money, and then went to look for his friends to help them out. And after they finished putting up fliers around the whole neighborhood, all the kids sat down to have some milk and cookies. His mom smiled at him, and gave him a thumbs up. The day had ended on an even better note than either of them had expected. Alhamdulillah.
* The Messenger of Allah (saw) said: “To smile in the company of your brother is charity. To command to do good deeds and to prevent others from doing evil is charity. To guide a person in a place where he cannot get astray is charity. To remove troublesome things like thorns and bones from the road is charity. To pour water from your jug into the jug of your brother is charity. To guide a person with defective vision is charity for you.” (Bukhari)