Thu 17 Jm2 1435 - 17 April 2014
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Is it permissible to say du’aa’ before giving charity?

Is it permissible for the one who wants to give charity to pray for what he wants before giving charity, then give charity after that? What is the ruling on doing this action as a regular practice? Thank you.

Praise be to Allaah.

We do not know of anything in the Sunnah that suggests that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to say du’aa’ and give charity after that, or that he advised his ummah to do that, unless it is a du’aa’ asking Allaah to accept the charity or to enable him to give more.  

The Muslim can give charity so that he may say du’aa’ if he needs a specific thing, and this comes under the heading of drawing closer to Allaah (tawassul) by virtue of righteous deeds, as is mentioned in the hadeeth about the blind man who asked the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) to pray to Allaah to restore his sight, so the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) told him to say du’aa’, and he told him to do wudoo’ and pray (salaah) before calling upon Allaah in du’aa’, and the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) also prayed for him. This comes under the heading of drawing closer to Allaah (tawassul) by virtue of righteous deeds. 

It says in Kashshaaf al-Qinaa’ (1/368), which is a Hanbali book: 

Before he says du’aa’ he should give charity. End quote. 

This may also include what many scholars regard as mustahabb of giving charity before praying for rain (istisqa’), either so that the charity will bring divine mercy or as a means of drawing closer to Allaah by virtue of righteous deeds, before praying for rain. 

In al-Mawsoo’ah al-Fiqhiyyah (3/310) it says: 

The madhhabs are agreed that it is mustahabb to give charity before praying for rain, but they differed as to whether the imam should enjoin that. The Shaafa’is, Hanbalis and Hanafis said, and it is the official view of the Maalikis, that the imam should enjoin them to give charity within the limits of what they can afford. Some of the Maalikis said that he should not enjoin them to do that, rather he should leave it up to the people without ordering them to do it, because there is more hope of reward, as their charity will come from themselves rather than on the command of the imam. 

End quote. 

Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al-‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: 

Sadaqah – i.e., his telling them to give charity before praying for rain – it may be said  that it is appropriate, because charity is going good towards others, and doing good is a cause of mercy, as Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“Surely, Allaah’s Mercy is (ever) near unto the good‑doers”

[al-A’raaf 7:56] 

And rain is mercy, because Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“And He it is Who sends down the rain after they have despaired, and spreads His Mercy”

[al-Shoora 42:28] 

Charity here refers not the obligatory charity (zakaah) but charity that is mustahabb. As for obligatory charity, withholding it is a cause of rain being withheld, as the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “No people withhold the zakaah of their wealth but rain will be withheld from the sky.” 

Al-Sharh al-Mumti’ (5/209). 

If the Muslim needs to be relieved of distress or for things to be made easy for him, or it is a matter of general concern such as praying for rain, then giving charity before praying comes under the heading of seeking to draw closer to Allaah by virtue of righteous deeds. But if this is ongoing and a person does that every time he gives charity, that is subject to further discussion, because that is not prescribed for us and our Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) did not encourage us to do that. This indicates that it is not prescribed. As for what the brother is doing – may Allaah guide him – of saying du’aa’ before giving charity, we do not know of any basis for this apart from what we have mentioned about the du’aa’ being connected to the acceptance of the charity and asking Allaah for more. 

Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al-‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: 

The one who is giving zakaah should say what is narrated in the reports of du’aa’s, such as: Allaahumma taqabbal minni innaka anta al-samee’ al-‘aleem (O Allaah, accept from me, for You are the All-Hearing, All-Knowing) and Allaahumma aj’alha maghnaman wa la taj’alha maghraman (O Allaah make a cause a gain, and do not make it a cause of loss).  

Al-Sharh al-Mumti’ (6/270). 

And Allaah knows best.

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