Allah Subhanahu wa ta’ala has created His nature around us, and that nature is both physical and metaphysical. It is only when you understand nature that you’ll be able to make your life one step easier. An example of physical nature would be rain. In order for people to protect themselves against the physical reality, they would alter their behavior so that they can deal with that nature. On the other hand metaphysical means you cannot really see it or touch it but it is part of the universe.
The deen addresses many of these metaphysical issues e.g. at every given moment Allah Subhanahu wa ta’ala is sending calamity upon the universe. Just as rain falls from the sky, calamity is constantly falling upon the universe. Your response to those calamities will dictate whether you get jannah or jahannam. The greatest calamity is life itself because the result of life could be jannah or jahannam. There is constant difficulty being sent by Allah Subhanahu wa ta’ala to test mankind. Calamity is the nature of life.
What can one do to protect oneself from calamities? Not only did the prophet (ﷺ) tell us that calamities are continuous, but he also gave us the solution. The prophet (ﷺ) said;
بَادِرُوا بِالصَّدَقَةِ ، فَإِنَّ الْبَلاءَ لا يَتَخَطَّاهَا
Be hasty in giving sadaqah for it stands in the way of calamity (Narrated by Razin, Mishkaat al-Masaabih, Hadith 1887)
Baadiru (بَادِرُوا) means do not even think. Do it all of a sudden. So sadaqah is the name of the umbrella that constantly protects you from calamity. Be continuous, perpetual, and hasty in giving sadaqah. This is Allah Subhanahu wa ta’ala’s insurance. This is the messenger (ﷺ)’s insurance policy.
There are so many calamities e.g. cancer, car accidents, death etc. However, there is one calamity that far supersedes all the other calamities, and that is jahannam. This calamity hangs over each and every one of our heads. Not only did the prophet (ﷺ) tell us that sadaqah protects us from calamity and that we should be perpetual in giving it, but he also told us that it will protect us from jahannam as well. The prophet (ﷺ) said;
اتَّقُوا النَّارَ وَلَوْ بِشِقِّ تَمْرَةٍ ، فَإِنْ لَمْ تَجِدُوا فَبِكَلِمَةٍ طَيِّبَةٍ
Guard yourselves against the Fire (of Hell) even if it be only with half a date-fruit (given in charity); and if you cannot afford even that, you should at least say a good word. (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
Even if all you can give is half a date, it will be able to protect you from the greatest calamity that exists i.e. jahannam. This metaphysical principle within the deen applies very broadly. It will protect us from the calamities in this life and the infinite calamity of the hereafter. We have no choice but to give sadaqah. The prophet (ﷺ) then took it a step further and said that even if you cannot afford to give sadaqah, then at least go to the situation where you give a good word e.g. by encouraging them, supporting them, telling the people that you will make du‘aa for them in-sha-Allah etc.
(The above is a summary of the talk given by Shaykh Husain Abdul Sattar. The audio of the talk can be downloaded from HERE. To listen to more talks of Shaykh Husain Abdul Sattar, please visit sacredlearning.org)