I recently had serious car accident, and al-hamdu lillaah no one was hurt. My mom thinks that she should give money in charity to thank Allah for saving my life. I don’t agree with her and I would like to know if it’s allowed?
Answer (Sheikh Ahmad Kutty):
Your mom is right in saying so, if she means to say that it is an excellent idea to show gratitude to Allah for His favor towards you in saving you and your family. Such acts are permitted and even were condoned and approved by the Prophet, peace be upon him, but, however, she is wrong if she insists it is an obligatory thing upon you; it is only optional to so, and therefore it is left to you. Charity is undoubtedly a great thing; it is undoubtedly considered a good way of showing gratitude to Allah for His favors. The Prophet, peace be upon him, said, “Charity averts/prevents calamities/tragedies”
However, we should know that it is one thing to say that something is optional or rewarding, yet it is quite another to say it is obligatory. We cannot make anything obligatory unless Allah and His Messenger have done so.
We should express gratitude to Allah for all of His favors, and we should also be spontaneous in expressing such feelings whenever things like these happen to us. Such accidents can very well serve as reminders for us not to take Allah’s favors for granted, to be more careful as well as to be better aware and conscious of our true priorities in life. Gratitude can be expressed in any number of ways such as offering a Prayer of Shukr, or giving charity, or even simply resolving oneself to lead a more conscious and religiously fulfilling life.