In these ayaat, Allah is telling us not to let our wealth and children divert us from His remembrance, and He also alerts us to the dangers of procrastinating when it comes to doing good deeds (more specifically, spending).
يَـٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوا۟ لَا تُلْهِكُمْ أَمْوَٰلُكُمْ وَلَآ أَوْلَـٰدُكُمْ عَن ذِكْرِ ٱللَّـهِ ۚ وَمَن يَفْعَلْ ذَٰلِكَ فَأُو۟لَـٰٓئِكَ هُمُ ٱلْخَـٰسِرُونَ
O you who have believed, let not your wealth and your children divert you from remembrance of Allah. And whoever does that – then those are the losers. (al-Munafiqoon: 9)
وَأَنفِقُوا۟ مِن مَّا رَزَقْنَـٰكُم مِّن قَبْلِ أَن يَأْتِىَ أَحَدَكُمُ ٱلْمَوْتُ فَيَقُولَ رَبِّ لَوْلَآ أَخَّرْتَنِىٓ إِلَىٰٓ أَجَلٍ قَرِيبٍ فَأَصَّدَّقَ وَأَكُن مِّنَ ٱلصَّـٰلِحِينَ
And spend [in the way of Allah] from what We have provided you before death approaches one of you and he says, “My Lord, if only You would delay me for a brief term so I would give charity and be among the righteous.” (al-Munafiqoon:10)
وَلَن يُؤَخِّرَ ٱللَّـهُ نَفْسًا إِذَا جَآءَ أَجَلُهَا ۚ وَٱللَّـهُ خَبِيرٌۢ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ
But never will Allah delay a soul when its time has come. And Allah is Acquainted with what you do. (al-Munafiqoon:11)
Many people delay doing good deeds, such as spending, going for Hajj or Umrah, until after they’ve retired or when their kids have settled down. In short, they present their wealth and children as an excuse from doing good! They procrastinate because their wealth and children keep them busy from focusing on what will benefit them in the Akhirah!
But the reality is, we have no idea when death will reach any of us! And what good can we do when we are in the throes of death? At that time, as they depart from the dunya, those who neglected their charity, or their worship or any act of goodness, will have deep regret and will wish that they’re given one more chance to be among the righteous. But they will not get that chance!
Wealth, children and family are blessings from Allah, but at the same time, they shouldn’t be a cause due to which we forget the remembrance of Allah and the Akhirah! We shouldn’t lose ourselves in our wealth or our children. And we have a beautiful example in the Prophet ﷺ of how he would balance between family time and worship.
Al-Aswad narrated, “I asked ‘Aisha (ra) what did the Prophet ﷺ use to do at home.” She replied, “He ﷺ used to keep himself busy serving his family and when it was time for the prayer, he ﷺ would get up for prayer.” [al-Bukhari]
So we need maintain a balance between wealth, family, and doing good deeds that will benefit us in the Akhirah. The time to act is now. Don’t wait until your children grow up and get married to do good! Rather start doing good now. And more specifically start spending from what Allah has provided you (which also indicates that He doesn’t burden a person from spending beyond his means).
So spend what is within your means! And spend generously! And this spending includes both the obligatory spending, meaning zakaat and also voluntary spending. Spending on one’s family members, spending on the poor and also spending in the propagation of the Deen.
Generally, people procrastinate when it comes to spending and parting from their wealth. And that’s because, the love of dunya and the love of wanting wealth just for themselves and their children, is so deeply rooted within them, that it becomes difficult to spend!
But in contrast, those who spend and give willing are considered righteous in the Sight of Allah. So the cure to detaching your heart from the love of this world, is to spend from what Allah has given you!
And Sadaqah only brings about goodness and benefit! Apparently, the wealth may seem to be reducing when you give, but in reality it’s not. Allah places a lot of barakah in it, so much so that He compensates for that spending with something much better both in this world and the next! By virtue of a person’s sadaqah, calamities are removed. By virtue of a person’s sadaqah, blessings reach him. By virtue of a person’s sadaqah, good opportunities come his way. And by virtue of a person’s sadaqah, the Anger of Allah is cooled!
So never leave spending or doing any form of good for tomorrow. For tomorrow may never come. Use the time that you have today!
A man came to the Prophet ﷺ and asked, “O Allah’s Messenger ﷺ! Which charity is the most superior in reward?” He ﷺ replied, “The charity which you practice while you are healthy, having a keen desire to amass more wealth (niggardly) and afraid of poverty and wish to become wealthy. Do not delay it to the time of approaching death and then say, ‘Give so much to such and such, and so much to such and such.’ And it has already belonged to such and such (as it is too late).” [al-Bukhari]
The Prophet ﷺ said to a man while he was advising him, “Take advantage of five matters before five other matters; your youth, before you become old; and your health, before you fall sick; and your richness, before you become poor; and your free time before you become busy; and your life, before your death.” [Saheeh al-Jaami’]