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Give charity to yourself first and then to others


asalaamu caleeykum warahmatulaahi wabarakaat brother i had 2 aquestion but before that i request to you to answer questions directly and not direct to another fatwa my 1st question is bother i lived in non muslim country and my budget is very strict i mean i only got the money that supports me and i have no extra wealth. so it happened that friends of mine were urging me to pay sadaqa regularly even if it cuts your meal i mean they were telling me it is better to miss a lunch and pay sadaqa than to eat lunch and left no money to pay sadaqa. so is it recomended to care the needy muslims while you are also not so much better which would then readily cause you to skip your meals the 2nd question is that seeking advice. bro as we know the muslim ummah are in fitnah period where the muslim kill each other and are as well killed by numerous different infidels. and my country the muslims are killing each other. i am now in non uslim country and i am full student i like to become one of the righteous but i dont know where to start. if i try to learn the diin than the responsibily to support my self is at stake and moreover there is the college which ofcouse consume much of my time. so brothers advice me what i should do for there is nolife except the life of akhira also recomend me if there is aplace in the muslim world where it costs cheap and is good to learn the deen also advice me if i should tadeoff this college education for uluumu diin


All perfect praise be to Allaah, the Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is His Slave and Messenger.

With regard to your first question, there is no doubt that giving charity is of immense virtue in Islam and one gets a great reward for it. Abu Hurayrah  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him narrated that the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said: "If somebody gives in charity something equal to a date from his lawful earning – for Allaah accepts only the Tayyib (i.e. Good, lawful) - then Allaah accepts it with His right hand and He makes it grow for its owner, in the same manner that one of you grows a foal (a young horse), until it becomes like a mountain." [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

So, whenever it is possible for a Muslim to give charity to his fellow Muslims –particularly if they are in need – then this is better.

In case the Muslim gives charity to them while he himself is in need, then this is preferring them over his own self. Indeed, this preference is praised by Allaah as He Says about the Ansaar (what means): {And [also for] those who were settled in the Home [i.e. Al-Madeenah] and [adopted] the faith before them. They love those who emigrated to them and find not any want in their breasts of what they [i.e. the emigrants] were given but give [them] preference over themselves, even though they are in privation. And whoever is protected from the stinginess of his soul — it is those who will be the successful.} [Quran 59:9]

However, even though preferring others over one’s own self is preferred, not everyone is able to do it, so whoever fears to become needy, while he has no extra money to give in charity, then it is better that he puts himself in priority by spending the money on himself so that he will suffice himself (with his own charity), as giving charity to one’s own self comes in priority over giving charity to others as the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said: "Start with your own self and give charity to it, and then if there is something left over from it, give it to your own family, and then if there is anything left over from your family, give it to your relatives, and if there is something left after giving to your relatives, give it to such and such, saying 'to whoever is in front of you, to whoever is to your right hand side, and to whoever is to your left hand side.'" [An-Nasaa’i]  

As regards the second question, the answer is that a Muslim is Islamically ordered an obligatory ordainment to be righteous in the obedience of his Lord; he should abide by the obligations and avoid the prohibitions. It is an obligation to strive to do so, as a Muslim does not know what he may encounter among things that would prevent him from being righteous. Allaah Says (what means): {O you who have believed, respond to Allaah and to the Messenger when he calls you to that which gives you life. And know that Allaah intervenes between a man and his heart and that to Him you will be gathered.} [Quran 8:24]

Islam does not prevent a person from his livelihood; rather, righteousness is one of the means that bring about livelihood, Allaah Says (what means): {And [Allaah revealed] that if they had remained straight on the way, We would have given them abundant rain [i.e. provision]} [Quran 72:16]

If we presume that the means of livelihood have been restricted for a Muslim because of his religion, then the earth of Allaah is vast; Allaah Says (what means): {And whoever emigrates for the cause of Allaah will find on the earth many [alternative] locations and abundance. And whoever leaves his home as an emigrant to Allaah and His Messenger and then death overtakes him- his reward has already become incumbent upon Allaah. And Allaah is ever Forgiving and Merciful.} [Quran 4:100]

Therefore, do not pay any attention to such devilish thoughts. Rather, you should be keen on everything that may help you in being steadfast on righteousness, like seeking beneficial knowledge, performing good deeds and keeping company with righteous people and using your time in what benefits you in this worldly life and the Hereafter.

At this time and age, the means of seeking knowledge are widely available. On the Internet, there are many audio lessons of many trustworthy scholars, so you should endeavor to reconcile between seeking knowledge and being excellent in your academic studies by organizing your time, and you are able to do so, Allaah willing. For more benefit regarding seeking knowledge, please refer to Fataawa 84369, 84726, 85806 and 88419.

Allaah Knows best.

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