THE MYSTERIES OF ALMSGIVING
Book 5 in the original work
Chapter 1: The Meaning of Zakat
This chapter explains the importance of almsgiving (zakat), how it is third of the Five Pillars of the religion, where and how it is mentioned throughout the Quran, and the way these mentions are almost always connected to prayer in the phrase, “those who are steady in prayer and give in charity.” This chapter also explains the literal meaning of the Arabic word zakiya, which means to weed a garden so that what remains may flourish.
chapter 2: the outward conditions of zakat
This chapter is a brief explanation of what zakat is, its two main forms, who should provide it, and who may receive it. Although this occupies around twenty pages in the original work, the children’s edition will only include points which relate to virtues children can understand and put into practice. For example, they consider why some objects we give in charity should be of good quality and not something we wouldn’t want for ourselves.
chapter 3: the inward conditions of zakat
This chapter helps children understand what it means to be generous. It conveys Ghazali’s teaching about why someone who gives in charity should be grateful to the one who receives it (in addition to the recipient being grateful for the gift) and what it means to accomplish this act selflessly. It also includes examples of how good people of the past gave to those in need.
chapter 4: voluntary acts of charity apart from zakat
This chapter conveys Ghazali’s teachings about the many spiritual benefits of charity in general, both for the giver and the recipient, and what the inner disposition should be of those who give charity and those who receive it.
The virtues stressed throughout The Mysteries of Almsgiving are generosity, gratitude, selflessness, and reflection.
Following in the future will be the books on fasting, pilgrimage, along with other books in the series.