Allah swt says in Surah Baqarah, verse 261:
مَّثَلُ ٱلَّذِينَ يُنفِقُونَ أَمۡوَٲلَهُمۡ فِى سَبِيلِ ٱللَّهِ كَمَثَلِ حَبَّةٍ أَنۢبَتَتۡ سَبۡعَ سَنَابِلَ فِى كُلِّ سُنۢبُلَةٍ۬ مِّاْئَةُ حَبَّةٍ۬ۗ وَٱللَّهُ يُضَـٰعِفُ لِمَن يَشَآءُۗ وَٱللَّهُ وَٲسِعٌ عَلِيمٌ
The example of those who spend their wealth in the way of Allah is that of a grain that sprouts into seven ears, each bearing one hundren grains. Allah gives manifold increases to whom He Wishes. Allah is Infinitely Vast, Always All Knower.
SubhanAllah, this ayah is so beautiful. Imagine you invest your money somewhere, and get a 700% profit. Isn’t that what every investor looks for – the maximum profit?
Okay, beginning with amwalahum – it comes from the root meem, wow, laam and means wealth, any kind of possession you have. It’s followed by ‘sabeeliAllah’ – so it is being said in this verse to spend in the way of Allah, in His obedience. It can be in ways of promoting the deen and in the path which takes the pleasure of Allah.
Habbatin comes from the root haa, ba, ba and it means food/grain. What is interesting to note is that it comes from the same root as love. For a grain, you have to put it into the soil for it to grow. Similarly, for love, it has to be put into the heart for the actions to show. If it is just on the tongue, it is not real.
Sanabil, the word for ears, comes from the root seen, noon, ba, laam. It is the spike that grows off the main stem – which has grains in it.
So, there is one grain, which grows 7 ears, which lead to 100 more, leading to 700 in total.
Then the word youdha’ifu comes from the root dhad, ‘ayn, faa. It means something of equal amount – ie being multiplied. So Allah swt increases the wealth many times – as much as He wills and for whomever He wills.
Then His attributes are mentioned. Al Waasi’ comes from the root wow, seen, ‘ayn and means capacity, abundance in His attributes. The creation’s capactiy is limited – we can’t do it all. Allah, the Creator, has an unlimited capacity and abundance. Al ‘Aleem comes from the root ‘ayn, laam, meem and means the possessor of great ‘ilm. It is ‘ilm of every single thing and every detail, not limited to any time.
SubhanAllah, there are so many lessons from this ayah.
- To spend in the way of Allah is an act of ‘ibaadah (worship) and obedience.
- This is the best investment you can make – especially in context about 15 verses later when riba is discussed. Spending in the way of Allah has massive reward compared to the immense punishment of riba.
- Sadaqah’s comparison to grain is just an amazing Arabic GEM mashaAllah :). When discussed later, we learn that trade is permissble because of the work put into it. Similarly, the grain is put into the soil and then it needs work (just like love). This is where the reward is – when there is time and effort and money put in – not just money (as in riba).
Did you pick up any other benefits? 🙂