Islam teaches generosity. Generosity is big-heartedness. A generous person spends in the way of Allah and helps the poor and needy. Sometimes he sacrifices his own needs to provide for others. Allah promises a great reward for generosity. Allah tells in the Quran:
Those who spend their wealth in the way of Allah and then do not follow up what they have spent with reminders [of it] or [other] injury will have their reward with their Lord, and there will be no fear concerning them, nor will they grieve. [2:262]
Generosity can take different forms including: speaking kindly, enjoining good, helping others, removing their distress and doing justice. A generous person is not only rewarded greatly by Allah, but he also feels happiness and a good feeling in his heart and also gains a special respect in the community.
The Prophet (S.A.W) was a generous man. He never hesitated to give his belongings to the poor and needy. He said:
“Allah is Generous and likes generosity.” [Jami` at-Tirmidhi]
If a person spends in the way of Allah, his wealth does not decrease but it multiples.
Allah says in the Quran:
The example of those who spend their wealth in the way of Allah is like a seed [of grain] which grows seven spikes; in each spike is a hundred grains. And Allah multiplies [His reward] for whom He wills. And Allah is all-Encompassing and Knowing. [2:261]
Abu Hurairah narrated that the Prophet said:
“Generosity is close to the people and far from the Fire. Stinginess is far from Allah, far from Paradise, far from the people and close to the Fire. The ignorant generous person, is more beloved to Allah than the worshiping stingy person.” [Jami` at-Tirmidhi]
The companions of the Prophet (S.A.W) were also very generous. Uthman (R.A) was known for his generosity. When the Muslims migrated to Madinah, they had difficulty in getting drinking water; Uthman (R.A) bought a well for them. In the expedition of Tabook, he bore the expenses of one-third of the Muslim army. Abu Bakr (R.A) gave all his wealth in the Battle of Tabook, while Umar (R.A) gave half his wealth.