Giving charity to the poor is highly recommended in Islam. In fact, every Muslim is required to share his or her wealth with the poor for distribution of wealth in society and easing pain and suffering of those in need.
Allah has promised great rewards for the smallest act of goodness. For those deeds that continue to benefit Allah’s creation ever after the doer has passed away, the rewards and blessings from Allah are unlimited indeed.
In a hadith, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) stated :
“If a person dies, then his good deeds stop except for three: a Sadaqa Jariah (continuous charity), a beneficial knowledge, or a righteous child who prays for him.” – Sahih Muslim
This hadith points out some very important points for all Muslims:
Islam encourages us to think not only for ourself but also of others. Most of us are so wrapped up in our own quest for wealth, possessions and earning more money we forget millions of those people who live below poverty line and do not even have enough to feed one decent meal to their children.
Sadqa Jariya or continual charity is one which keeps on benefiting people long after we have gone to the grave.
It can be building a school where students can keep getting education, it can be digging of a water source like canal or well which will provide water to those who are struck by famine or drought,
It can be building of a shelter for old people, the homeless, the poor or orphans, a library, a hospital or even planting a tree which gives shade on a hot summer day or bears fruit for people and birds to eat. Donating medical machinery or wheel chairs in a hospital is also a way to earn continuous charity.
Beneficial knowledge can be a book, research work in any field of science, technology, medicine etc, or religious tafsir or anything related to field of education which benefits human beings.
Another way to earn rewards for Sadqa-e-Jariya is to spread knowledge about Islam, the holy Quran or to invite people towards good things. Even teaching another person a prayer is form of earning Sadqa-e-Jariya because as long as that person recites that prayer or teaches it to other people, we will get blessings for it.
“The likeness of those who spend their wealth in the Way of Allah, is as the likeness of a grain (of corn); it grows seven ears, and each ear has a hundred grains. Allah gives manifold increase to whom He pleases. And Allah is All-Sufficient, All-Knower.”
[Quran: Al-Baqarah 2:261]
So we should make plans and goals not only for this life, but also do something that will keep on benefiting people long after we are gone.