Generosity of Spirit

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

In my younger years, whenever I walked down a street, beggars would let a hundred people pass and unerringly come right up to me, no matter how much I scowled or tried to look uninterested. What did they see in me, these ragged men and women who could read faces so well? Perhaps I looked like a soft touch, an easy mark, a sucker, a fool who was easily parted with his money. Invariably I would give them a few coins, resenting it all the while. Did they use it to buy alcohol, drugs, food? I was deeply suspicious of the cause of their poverty, and felt robbed of both money and pride.

What a fool I truly was, and feel rightly ashamed of such a miserly spirit, which made me the greater beggar. After many years on the Path of Love, I have learned this at least; the giving of zakat for Eid, or of charity in general, is either from generosity of spirit or it is nothing. God alone is the judge of another’s heart or intention.

As the Master says in the Sufi novel, Master of the Jinn:

“The generous heart always has enough to give. It is the miserly in spirit who believe they never have enough to be generous. It is not lack of possessions that leads to spiritual poverty, nor prayer and fasting by themselves. It is in the abandonment of self-absorption, and in constant remembrance and reflection that the heart becomes detached. Then the hands gladly open their grasp on worldly things and cleave to God.”

And the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Indeed, an ignorant man who is generous is dearer to God than a worshipper who is miserly.” – (Al-Tirmidhi )

May Allah bless you all with generosity of spirit, whose foundation is Love, and whose Source is the Most Loving, the Most Generous. Amin.

Ya Haqq!

19 Responses to Generosity of Spirit

  1. Achelois says:

    I learn something important from you every time. Thank you, dear brother. Indeed generosity is important.

  2. misspecs says:

    “It is the miserly in spirit who believe they never have enough to be generous.” That’s one of my favorite lines from the novel.

    Its so true. We, who consider ourselves to be the better people than those who buy marijuana from that money are sadly unaware of what we really are: poor in the truest sense.

    Great post.

  3. krishna.n.c says:

    Beloved Papa Irving,
    Alhamdullilah!! You have so beautifully expressed the virtue of having a generous spirit and an open heart. So often, we have such a difficulty parting even with the smallest possession which in turn makes it a deadly bad habit .And as years go by, we seem to ponder what made us so ungiving in everything…starting from offering alms in charity to ending up battering our relationships..The more we cleave to our worldly affairs , the farther in distance we are from His Grace and Mercy.
    And truly,the beauty lies in the open palm which holds sand and not the closed fist :))
    Sending you lots of love and heartfelt prayers sweetheart :)

  4. Marahm says:

    Thank you for this lovely reminder of our need– yes, our need– to open our hands and be generous of whatever we know we can give. I would suggest that generosity of spirit need not preceed generosity of pocketbook. Sometimes, the act of reluctant giving transforms itself into an act of enlargement. The giver realizes the basic connection between him/herself and the person in need of the gift, and can say, “There, but for the grace of God…”

  5. Irving says:

    Salaam Dear Sisters:

    Thank you for the kind comments :) Recently, I gave my last dollar to a beggar, happily, grateful that I had a dollar left to give. He said, “God bless you.” And I said the same to him, saying also a silent prayer of gratitude to the Great Provider, who has never failed in His bounty to provide for the poor darvishes who trust in Him.

    God bless you all.

    Ya Haqq!

  6. Maithri says:

    Dearest Brother Irving,

    My heart swells with love when I think of your gracious, humble presence in this world.

    Thank you for your deep kindness and powerful spirit,

    I send you the most reverent love in my heart,


  7. Shahrzad says:

    You’re indeed so humble, dear brother and a beautiful soul. Thank you for this wonderful reminder..

  8. Amina says:

    Salams Bro
    Hope you are doing fine. I liked this entry much. I’m not sure if you know but today on the October 15th is Blog Action Day 2008. Bloggers allover are publishing and discussing matter of poverty in order to raise social awareness and make a difference. Do join!


  9. hfm says:

    I love this.
    Thanks for sharing.

  10. Ruth says:

    I think you are wrong about those beggars – they probably recognised someone who was open and approachable!

  11. Safiyyah says:

    Salaams Brother:

    They saw the love shining on your face :)

  12. Saaleha says:

    Salaams Brother Irving

    You touched me with this post.


  13. Hajar Alwi says:

    Assalamualaikum Brother Irving,

    As expected from you, a thought-provoking post like always. The hand that gives are always better than the hand that receives. :)

    Warm regards

  14. […] Darvish gives us Answered Prayers and Generosity of Spirit […]

  15. Deruyter says:

    Hey, just wanted to say how great of an article this is..I’ll be sure to implement some of what I’ve read!

  16. Ruppert says:

    I usually don?t post in Blogs but your blog forced me to, amazing work.. beautiful

  17. Kamer says:

    Today I found this blog and am amazed by the quality of information posted here.

  18. Brugler says:

    thanks. very useful.


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