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Education and Generosity

How benevolent, philanthropic, confident of God, great-spirited, honorable, and noble are the openhanded individuals who adhere to the codes of generosity and avoid misery and avarice!
The Islamic education cares for seeding this quality in the minds for its being the worthiest estimable tendency that leads to social adhesion and the harmony of the individuals’ reciprocal love and association. The Prophet (s) called to heed this quality. He said, “Generosity is surely a part of faith. Faith will be in the Paradise.” “God the Praised said: I have accepted this religion. It will not be amended without generosity and good manners. You should spare no efforts for honoring this religion with these two matters.” “The generous are close to God, and close to people, and close to the Paradise and remote from the hell-fire.” “Do the favor to its deservers and to those who do not deserve. If you give it to its people, then you have done the right. If you do not reach them, then you are its people.”

The Imams also spoke much about generosity. Imam Musa bin Jafar (a) said, “The courteous generous is being in God’s sustenance. God will not leave him before He sends him to the Paradise. God did never select for prophecy and the succession of the prophets other than the generous. My father kept on advising me of generosity till he passed away.”

The Imams adhered to generosity. They devaluated the riches except in cases of meeting the needs of the hungry, the needy, or the insolvent. Imam al-Hassan, the generous of the Prophet’s household, is reported that he had never said, “No” to any suppliant. People asked him about this quality. He answered, “I ask God and long for His benevolence. I am too diffident to be suppliant or reject a suppliant. God has inured me to receive His abundant graces and I accustomed to give His graces to people. I am afraid He will cease His habit if I cease mine. As a suppliant come to me I say: Welcome to him whose favor is an urgent obligation, and whose favor is imposed on every charitable. The best days of a man are those in which his favor is asked.”.

The Imams were draining their virtues and generosity on the needy and the orphans. Al-Kumeit, the poet, refers to this point by composing; “They are the rainy –with charity- that became the laps of orphans when people refrain.”

The Imams’ history is suffocated with situations of generosity and charity.

Adapted from the book: "The Educational System in Islam" by: "Baqir Sharif Al-Qireshi"

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