The concept of charity in Islam was not added as an afterthought. Both Allah (SWT) and his beloved Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) clearly mentioned that charity should be given to those who need it and all Muslims whether poor or rich should take out some money for the charity purposes.
As Abu Hurairah (RAA) reported, a man asked Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) about what charity is rewarded the most? Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) answered;
[Translation] “The charity that is most rewarded is, to give when you are healthy, anxious to accumulate money, afraid of poverty and hoping for wealth, not wait until you are on your death bed to say: give this (money) to so and so and this to so and so and this person had that.” [Sahih Al-Bukhari]
This tells us that Allah (SWT) appreciates those people more who cannot easily afford to give charity but still make some sacrifice to do so. The above mentioned Hadith also tells that one shouldn’t decide whether or not he should give charity depending on his financial situation. The example of Zakat-ul-Fitr should be stated here because Zakat-ul-Fitr was made compulsory for every Muslim by Allah (SWT) and no one was, and is, exempt from this obligation.
Abu Moosa Al-Ash’aree (RAA) reported that the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) said: “Every Muslim is required to offer charity.” The companions in reply said: “Oh messenger of Allah (SWT), what if one did not find any (excess money to give in charity)?” Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) said: “He should employ his hands in work and thus benefit himself and give in charity.”
The companions then asked: “Oh messenger of Allah (SWT), what if one could not?” He, the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) answered: “Then he can assist someone who is desperately in need for something.” The companions further asked: “Oh messenger of Allah, what if one could not?” Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) replied: “Let him do good and abstain from evil. That will be charity for him.” [Sahih Al-Bukhari]
May Allah (SWT) gives us the realisation of how important charity is. The people of Syria are in dire need of any type of aid and a number of Syria relief programmes have been set up in response. As Muslims, it is our duty to fulfil our responsibility and help our Muslim brothers and sisters in their tough times with whatever money we can giveaway (Amen).