When we hear about charity in a khutbah/lecture, it’s almost ALWAYS attached to a fundraiser. As a result, people fail to understand that charity is a matter of tazkiya and personal spiritual development. No this is not a fundraiser, so read it all the way through.
“You will not attain the reward of piety until you spend out of that which you love…” (3:92)
Most people only give their spare change, unused clothes, and whatever else is convenient to give. Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) however demands that we spend from what is most beloved to us. Unfortunately, we’ve limited the scope of charity to money.
When this verse was revealed, a great companion by the name of Abu Talha (RA) came to the Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wa salam) to give his favorite garden named Bairuha, which was almost like a mini resort behind the masjid, in charity. It was a beautiful garden with springs and palm trees that the Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wa salam) used to enjoy basking in. The idea was that if I want the gardens of the hereafter, I should give my most precious possession, the gardens of this world, in charity.
Abdullah Ibn Omar (RA) was also once riding his favorite and most beloved camel. And in the midst of admiring it, he decided to stop over on the side of the road and give it to a poor old man.
We give charity because we no longer want or need certain things; the companions on the other hand gave what they wanted most as a proof of their faith to Allah.
This form of charity is a wonderful tazkiya exercise and so as a challenge to you and I: Think of something REALLY precious to you and give it away seeking Allah’s reward. It could be your favorite clothes, jewelry, etc. But use it as a means of seeking jannah instead of whatever temporary pleasure it yields you in this world.