We spend our whole lives running from the inevitable: death. Indeed, there is nothing more sure than death itself. As God says in the Holy Quran, “Every soul shall taste death.” [3:185]
And yet, as difficult to grasp as it may be, death is essentially a catalyst to life. It is what pushes us to forgive, what pushes us to love, what pushes us to experience new things everyday, and ultimately, what pushes us to give.
Take a moment now and consider this: One day, your body will be wrapped in white cloth and carried down into the dirt. It is unknown who will be there to bury you. Will you be outlived or will others outlive you? God alone knows this. Regardless, on that day you will have no human companionship. The dirt will be made, by Allah’s will, as a heaven or a hell for you. Your faith, your intentions, and your deeds will determine this aspect. In fact, they will determine every aspect from henceforth. This bittersweet blink of an eye, this droplet in an ocean of time, this life we are living now will be the precedence for all that is to come in the afterlife.
Now, this realization may be a little frightening- but it doesn’t have to be. If anything, this realization is a pleasant wake-up call to do good- it is a constant source of guidance for us.
We are born unto this Earth, we are buried in this Earth, and we will one day be resurrected on this Earth. So the call to action is simply – reap only what is good on this Earth. Leave Earth better than you left it. And create a positive impact that will live beyond your mortality.
Abu Huraira (RadhiAllahu ‘anhu) reported: Allah’s Messenger ﷺ as saying: When a man dies, his acts come to an end, but three, recurring charity or knowledge (by which people) benefit, or a pious son, who prays for him (for the deceased). [Sahih Muslim]
One of the ways you can do this is to take this opportunity -while you’re alive, well, and capable- to give sadaqah jariyah (ceaseless charity). Here are some examples:
Help build a well, a masjid, or school:
Even if you simply helped lay down one brick in its structure, you will receive the rewards for every person/animal/plant that drinks from that well, prays in that masjid, learns in that school and more.
Whether it be by providing for them supplies to attend school or by actively teaching someone, knowledge is a seed that will continue to sprout and you will be a beneficiary of all its fruits on the day of judgement.
Provide for an orphan:
Any good that this orphan reaps in his/her life will consequently fall into your scale of good deeds as well. The Prophet PBUH said, “‘I and the one who sponsors an orphan will be in Paradise like these two’ – and he gestured with his forefinger and middle finger, holding them apart.” [Sahih Al-Bukhari]
These are easy options but their rewards are great and lasting. As Allah (SWT) says in the Noble Qur’an: “By no means shall you attain to righteousness until you spend (benevolently) out of what you love; and whatever thing you spend, Allah surely knows it.” (3:92)
Indeed, Allah surely know of what you spend in His sake and will surely reward you for it. So, pick a sadaqah jariyah option and donate today!