There have always been poor and needy people in the community. They are deprived of basic rights such as food, clothing and housing. However, what is the way out of poverty? The gap between the various social classes is not acceptable to Islam. So, the sacred religion of Islam has a strong emphasis on helping the poor. Encouraging people to give charity is one of the major orders of Islam. The Holy Quran says: “The parable of those who spend their substance in the way of God is that of a grain of corn: it groweth seven ears, and each ear hath a hundred grains. God giveth manifold increase to whom He pleaseth: And God careth for all and He knows all things.” (2:261)
This parable of how a grain of corn grows and yields a manifold increase shows how one’s charity is returned to God.
Islamic teaching says that the benefits of what we do return to ourselves. Hence, Charity has two benefits. One is for the poor and another is for us. There is an event supporting this idea.
A man was going to go somewhere. The Prophet Muhammad said that a black snake would follow him and kill him. The man went and returned after a while with a load of wooden sticks on his back. The Prophet asked him to drop the load on the ground. He did so, and a black snake came out.
The Prophet him asked him what he had done that day. He said he had given one of the two loaves of bread he had to eat to a poor man. The Prophet told him that his life had been saved due to his act of charity. (Wasa’il al-Shi’ah, pp.268-277)