Giving Sadaqah on behalf of Imam (a.s.) proves one’s love and friendship for him. The correctness of this statement is based on whatever has been recorded concerning the giving of Sadaqah or praying on behalf of believers. As Imam (as) is the Master of the believers, he is the most deserving.
Sadaqah and charity is one of the most recommended acts in Islam .
In Holy Quran, Allah reminds us – “Know they not that Allah accept repentance from His servants and receives their gifts of charity, and that Allah is verily He, the Oft-Returning, Most Merciful” (Holy Quran chapter 9 verse 104)
In the explanation of the above verse we find a tradition reported by Imam Baqir (as) from Ameerul Momeneen (as) that, One day I gave a dinar in charity. The Holy Prophet (sawa) said to me, O Ali! Do you know that charity does not leave the hands of a believer until such time as he does not snatch it away from the jaws of seventy shaytans, and each one of those shaytans tells him not to give in charity! And this charity does not reach the hands of the receiver until it first reaches Allah. Then he recited the verse, “Do they not know that Allah accepts repentance from His servants and takes the alms, and that Allah is the Oft-returning (to mercy), the Merciful?”
At another place, Holy Prophet (sawa) said, Almsgiving avoids seventy kinds of calamities from human, the smallest of which are leprosy.
Holy Prophet (sawa) said, Give alms and cure your patients with it. Giving alms surely removes illnesses and grief. It increases your goodness and your life.
As per the above traditions, sadaqah removes difficulties, is a cause for deflection of grief from a person and increase sustenance and long life. Several incidents testify to the outcomes promised about sadaqah in traditions. For the sake of brevity, just one incident is quoted here.
A pious man from the tribe of Hazrat Musa (as) implored Allah to grant him a child for thirty years, but his prayer was not answered. He went to a prophet from Bani Israel and said, O prophet of Allah! Ask Allah to give me a child. I have asked Allah for it, but I have no child yet.
That prophet prayed and then said, O person! My supplication for you was accepted. You will soon have a child. But Allah has inclined that your child’s wedding night would be the last night of his life.
The worshipper came home and told the story to his wife. His wife said, We asked Allah to grant us a child to relax with him, but when he reaches puberty he will cause us to suffer. Nonetheless we should be happy with Allah’s fate. Her husband answered, We are both old and unable. We might die in his puberty, so that we would not suffer from his death. After nine months, Allah endowed them with an endearing son. They raised him with great effort until he reached his youth and asked his parents for a decent wife. His parents neglected his request to be able to live with him more. Finally, they could not help but arrange a wedding for him.
On the wedding night, they were waiting for their son’s fate – his death. The bride and groom spent that night safely and remained alive for a week. The parents delightfully went to their prophet and asked the reason. The prophet said, It is a surprise! What I told you about your son was Allah’s revelation to me. We should see what your son has done that Allah has removed the misfortune from his fate.
Jibrael descended and said, Allah sends peace to you and says, tell the son’s parents – Their son’s fate was what you had told them, but the son did a good deed that changed his fate. He was eating on his wedding night when a poor old woman came to him and asked for food. The young man gave his own special food to her. The old woman ate the food, which seemed pleasant to her. Then she raised her hands towards Me and said, O Lord! Increases his lifetime!
As the creator of the world, I added eighty years to the young man’s age, due to the supplication of that woman. My servants should know that no one is a loser in dealing with Me and I destroy no one’s reward.
One must give sadaqah for Imam Mahdi (as) and also on behalf of Imam Mahdi (as). It is not that he is in need of our prayers and sadaqah. Far from it. But these are acts of love from our side which we send towards him and will be the cause of receiving love and affection from his side.
Apart from this, we have many traditions that recommend performing Hajj, Tawaf, Ziyarat etc. on behalf of Imam Mahdi (as). Further research informs us that every kind of worship act on behalf of Imam (as) is highly rewarding.
Allamah Ali Ibne Tawoos in his book Kashful Muhajjah reminded his son about the acts that we should perform during the Ghaybat of Imam (as). He writes, You must care for his leadership, loyalty and attachment in a way that Allah, Prophet (sawa) and the forefathers of Imam Mahdi (as) expect from you. You must give preference of the needs of Imam (as) over your own needs when you are reciting the Namaz-e-Hajat (Prayer of having your need fulfilled). Before giving Sadaqah on behalf of your family members, give Sadaqah on behalf of Imam Zamana (a.s.) and pray for him. In addition to this, give him preference in every good deed. All these things will invite Imam’s (as) attention and favors.” (Kashful Muhajjah pages 151-152 part 150)
Giving Sadaqah, performing recommended deeds on his behalf – these are all a type of kindness to the Imam Mahdi (as). Pay attention to the following tradition.
Ali bin Abi Hamza said, I asked Imam Kazim (as), Shall I perform Hajj, pray and pay Sadaqah on behalf of my dead and alive relatives and friends? He replied: Yes, on their behalf give Sadaqah and pray and as a result of your kindness to them and for joining relationships you will become eligible for other rewards. (Wasailush Shiah volume 5 page 367 tradition no. 9)
The author of Mikyalul Makarem adds, Even though the above tradition mentions only relatives and friends, the fact is that acts of kindness with regard to all those who are having some connection with us is a meritorious deed. And in this instance relatives and friends are mentioned only by way of examples. The question is about the legality of performing worship acts on behalf of the dead and alive believers. The Imam said ‘yes’ and then stressed its recommended nature by adding: ‘on their behalf pay Sadaqah and pray’.
At that moment the Imam wanted to encourage further and said: ‘you will become eligible for other rewards’ and since he wanted to highlight the eligibility for reward he said, ‘as a result of your kindness to them and for joining relationships’. Thus this statement confirms the correctness of this action and shows that it is lawful as well as recommended.
We should think deeply upon this point. If kindness of one believer makes one eligible for divine rewards, what would be the position of one who gives Sadaqah on behalf of Imam Mahdi (as)? Yes, he will be rewarded for that and be counted as the best of the Sadaqah-givers since he has performed this worship act on behalf of one who is the best in the whole world. And without any doubt the more perfect is the connection between him and the Holy Imam (as), the more will be the reward of giving Sadaqah on his behalf.
In the same way, with regards to the correctness of offering recommended prayer on behalf of others is proved by the traditional report of Muhammad bin Marwan in Kafi that he said, Imam Sadiq (as) said, What stops a person from among you to perform good deeds on behalf of your parents, whether dead or alive? Perform the ritual prayers on their behalf, pay Sadaqah, do the Hajj and keep fasts. What you do for them will be recompensed to them and you will also get its equal reward. Thus Allah, the Mighty and Sublime, in view of that good deed increases it many times for you. (Al-Kafi volume 2 page 159, Chapter of Parents tradition no. 7)
One should also give sadaqah for the safety of Imam Mahdi (as)
There is no doubt that this is a recommended action; it is a demand for the love of the family of the Messenger of Allah (sawa). Don’t you give Sadaqah on behalf of your family members when you fear for their health and safety? Our Imam is more deserving of this. Besides, a special kind of attachment develops between those who give such a Sadaqah and Imam (as) himself.
Another thing that indicates the importance of this act is the tradition of the Messenger of Allah (sawa). Shaykh Sudooq reports that the Holy Prophet (sawa) said, The faith of a slave is not complete till he considers me above himself and he considers my family above his family, my honor over his honor, myself over his own self.
- Read More: Duties of Shiahs in Ghaybat