It is indeed only God who has given man whatever he possesses. Man’s life and all his belongings are the bounties given by God. The only befitting way man can express his gratitude to acknowledge this truth is by presenting everything he has in his possession at God’s disposal. Spending a part of one’s wealth in the way of God is only a symbolic expression of such an attitude.
Whatever one earns is attributable to the fact that God has given man the physical and mental abilities to do so: hands to work with, eyes and tongue to see and speak with, mind to plan with. Moreover, He has given man to live in a world which is completely subservient to him. Everything in this world has been designed in such a manner that man can use it to the best of his advantage. If this were not the case, it would not have been possible for human beings to usefully employ the resources of this world. If seeds of were unable to germinate, but instead continued to languish like pebbles in the soil, man could not have obtained the flourishing crops he feeds on. Likewise, if nature had refused to play its subservient role, generating electricity would have become impossible; similarly all transportation facilities would have come to a standstill. The truth is that in the present world man survives and thrives only as a direct consequence of God’s graciousness. The right return for this kindness is that man should spend his earnings in the way of God. He should use his wealth to help out the poor. He should spend his God-given wealth on God-proposed avenues.
The only spending that can qualify to be described as having been done in the way of God is one that is meant to please Him alone, not one that is done to earn fame, respect or reward. Man normally spends wealth to get away from the troubles of this world; wealth spent in the way of God is done to save one from the troubles of the hereafter.
(Dr Khalid Zaheer)