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Giving Makes you Happier and Healthier

Giving makes you happier and healthier - islamictribune.org

How many times we want to donate to a good cause, but we are confused, thinking about what we wanted to buy from this money. If that something is a luxury, then we are double minded. Because yes, it is okay to earn halal and take benefit of what you earn (as long as you do the compulsory giving i.e. zakat). But it is also commendable if we reduce the money we spend on extras or luxury and give it to someone who cannot afford the basic necessities.

In Quran, Allah says:

“O you who believe! Spend of that with which We have provided for you, before a Day comes when there will be no bargaining, nor friendship, nor intercession. And it is the disbelievers who are the Zaalimoon (wrongdoers)”

Al-Baqarah 2:254

In this ayah believers are being motivated to spend on others by Allah ta’ala. Also, we know that Allah is the sole provider and all the rizq that we have is from Him. But having money or other form of sustenance doesn’t point to divine reward, in fact it means that we are being tested whether we share it with others or keep it to ourselves. What is required from us is that we ‘spend on others’ as the ayah says.

Along with motivating believers to spend, Allah also promises a reward for those who spend.

“And such of you as believe and spend, theirs will be a great reward”

Al-Hadeed 57:7

We know from the hadith of the Prophet that giving sadqah or charity will provide us with a shade on the day of judgement.

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: “The believer’s shade on the Day of Resurrection will be his charity.”

Tirmidhi

Just imagine, that on the day of judgement, there will be so much heat and the sun would be near, on that time, the believer with have a shade. A shade of what? The charity that he gave in this world. So now, whenever you see a needy person or a cause which needs monetary help (old home, orphanage, school etc.), imagine the shade promised by the Prophet peace be upon him.

Also read: Volunteering, Why and How?

Are there any benefits of charity in this world?

The Prophet said: “Give charity without delay, for it stands in the way of calamity.”

Tirmidhi

This means that apart from the reward in the hereafter, charity is beneficial for us in this world too. It stops disaster from reaching us. I was pondering on this hadith and I thought that disaster is often thought about as something physical like damage to our car etc., but what about disaster to our mind, our psychological and physical health. Yes, that calamity is reduced when we give to others and science proves it.

Giving is beneficial for our psychological health, our heart and our happiness.

According to a research giving to others whether it is in form of volunteering or monetary donations has direct “positive effect” on psychological wellbeing of individuals. Apart from psychological health, giving also is beneficial for physical health. In a study, adults diagnosed with high blood pressure were asked to spend money on others or themselves for 3 consecutive weeks. Those who spent money on others had lower level of systolic and diastolic blood pressure. This means that spending money on others shapes cardiovascular health. According to another study, “participants who were randomly assigned to spend money on others experienced greater happiness than those assigned to spend money on themselves.”

References:

  1. Choi, N., & Kim, J. (2011). The effect of time volunteering and charitable donations in later life on psychological wellbeing. Ageing and Society. Retrieved from: https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/ageing-and-society/article/effect-of-time-volunteering-and-charitable-donations-in-later-life-on-psychological-wellbeing/FD56C48FD2F8F68C642B29867B99CFA1
  2. Whillans, Ashley V., Dunn, Elizabeth W., Sandstrom, Gillian M., Dickerson, Sally S., Madden, Kenneth M. (2016 June). Is spending money on others good for your heart? Health Psychology. Retrieved from: https://psycnet.apa.org/buy/2016-06802-001
  3. Dunn, E., Aknin, L., Norton, M. (2008 March 21). Spending Money on Others Promotes Happiness. Science. Retrieved from: https://science.sciencemag.org/content/319/5870/1687.long

9 thoughts on “Giving Makes you Happier and Healthier

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