How charity makes us happier

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By Selma Roth
Saudi Gazette 

Ramadan is the perfect month of the year to spend some extra money and time on others, whether it be family and friends, neighbors, the community, elderly people, or those suffering from illness, hunger, or loneliness. In fact, Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) encouraged people to be altruistic during the holy month, saying the rewards for generosity in this month would multiply and that the best charity is that given in Ramadan.

An increasing amount of scientific research agrees, not because of the awards awaiting us in the Hereafter, but because of the instant gift we receive when we give: Happiness.

One such study is the “Do Good Live Well Survey” held in 2010 by American organization, Volunteer Match. Among the 4,500 adults questioned, 68 percent reported that volunteering made them feel physically healthier, 89 percent that it had improved their sense of wellbeing, and 73 percent that it lowered their stress levels.

Volunteering, it appears, helps put things into perspective and makes people more grateful for their own health and prosperity.Another study carried out at the University of British Columbia in Canada, and published in the journal Science in March 2008, found that individuals who spend money on gifts for friends or charitable donations get an immediate boost in happiness, while those spending on themselves do not experience this.

MORE

Additional Reading

Two Hundred Verses about Compassionate Living in the Quran

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