Levels of Charity (Hadith No. 1223)
Narrated Abu Burda:
from his father from his grandfather that the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, “Every Muslim has to give in charity.” The people asked, “O Allah’s Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam)! If someone has nothing to give, what will he do?” He said, “He should work with his hands and benefit himself and also give in charity (from what he earns).” The people further asked, “If he cannot find even that?” He replied, “He should help the needy who appeal for help.” Then the people asked, “If he cannot do that?” He replied, “Then he should perform good deeds and keep away from evil deeds and this will be regarded as charitable deeds.”
Charity (Zakah) is binding on all Muslims. No matter what condition one is in, he has to give Zakah. If it’s wealth, a share of that. If it’s health, a share of that (by working with his hands and earning). If neither, helping others. If none of these, then staying away from evil deeds. Doing tazkiyah (purification) of one’s self.
If you notice, all these levels require sacrifice. Giving up something or the other for the better. Like it’s a trait that should be found in every Muslim. General behavior. By default. The Muslim is giving and sacrificing for his own benefit as well as the benefit of the society.
Giving wealth earns him reward and regulates money in the society. Giving up sins requires avoiding temptation, but it purifies his nafs and saves the society from bigger evils at the same time.
So we have to train ourselves. Being Muslims, we have to be giving as well. We have to sacrifice. Whatever the need may be. It’s expected of us. Start by doing Sadaqah, by doing healthy physical activities, by helping others and by doing good deeds and staying away from bad ones. Start by denying yourself. Start by self-restraint.