Five Benefits of Islam’s Goodness

Muslims are encouraged to perform good deeds in a variety of ways. People performing these make society a more pleasant place for everyone, and so this article will describe five ways in which Islam encourages goodness.

1 – Zakat – Islam Encourages Charitable Giving

The Zakat is an act that requires Muslims to give 2.5% of their wealth to good causes every year. This is beneficial to the community for obvious reasons, especially as local services are having budgets cut during these times of austerity.

Only those with sufficient wealth are required to perform Zakat. The minimum level of sufficient wealth is referred to as the Nisab, and is around 90.8 grams. This is about 3.2 ounces, and with the current price at $ 1,326 an ounce, that makes the current Nisab about $4,243.

While the Zakat is the minimum required donation, Koran 5.9 also states:

“Whoever is watchful against the stinginess of his own soul, those shall be the successful” (Koran 59:9)

So the Koran encourages people to be generous. And when done in moderation, generosity is a generally a good thing. For example, a person who always buys doughnuts for the office will be more popular and make his friends happy, but if he does it too often he’ll make them fat while making himself unnecessarily poor.

2 – Be Cheerful To Others

The Prophet Muhammad has been quoted as saying;

‘Cheerfulness towards other people, even a smile is a Sadaqah or charity to be rewarded by Allah’.

If people in the street were more inclined to smile at each other and be more friendly, than society would be more pleasant and mutual cooperation more likely.

For example, last night on the escalator in London Bridge, a suite wearing young gentleman rudely accosted an elderly tourist for standing still on the wrong side of the escalator (it’s the convention to stand on the right, and walk on the left), trying to shove him and shouting at him to get out of the way. The elderly man just looked confused and scared, and froze like a deer caught in car headlights. Fortunately, a kindly looking bearded Asian man calmly explained the convention to the tourist, upon which he apologised for his indiscretion and stepped to the side. If the young suite wearing gentlemen had been friendly in his request, rather than confrontational, the tourist would not have been afraid and would have reached his destination a little sooner.

3 – Be Honest

t3.6 states:

“Tell the truth when you speak. It is one of the worst betrayals to tell your brother something he thinks you are being honest about when the matter is otherwise.”

Honesty is required for society to function successfully, though it is unfortunately possible for a minority to profit from the majority through dishonesty. Many examples of dishonesty can be found from the credit crunch headlines. For example, borrowers lying about their income caused many people to struggle more than they should have, when the borrowed too much money and found it hard to repay loans at a later date.

4 – Dress Appropriately

t3.7 Be honest in your clothes and dress. It is an outrage against Allah to appear to His servants in the guise of the righteous while secretly contradicting it with the works of the wicked.

In Charlie Brooker’s “The Hell Of It All” he states that the older he gets, the more teenage girls appear to dress like prostitutes. Some people have claimed that this tendency to dress suggestively has led to the UK’s rise in teenage pregnancies.

5 – Be Humble

t3.17 Do not seek exaltation on earth, but have humility…

Humility and modesty tend to be virtuous characteristics, as they involve treating each other with respect. Humble behaviour also leads to less violence.