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The Academy Blog
16 Aug 2012

Following generosity with reminders and harm

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bismillah

Reminding and harming those who receive charity from you

الَّذِينَ يُنفِقُونَ أَمْوَالَهُمْ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّـهِ ثُمَّ لَا يُتْبِعُونَ مَا أَنفَقُوا مَنًّا وَلَا أَذًى ۙ لَّهُمْ أَجْرُهُمْ عِندَ رَبِّهِمْ وَلَا خَوْفٌ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلَا هُمْ يَحْزَنُونَ  (*)  قَوْلٌ مَّعْرُوفٌ وَمَغْفِرَةٌ خَيْرٌ مِّن صَدَقَةٍ يَتْبَعُهَا أَذًى ۗوَاللَّـهُ غَنِيٌّ حَلِيمٌ  ﴿*)  يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَا تُبْطِلُوا صَدَقَاتِكُم بِالْمَنِّ وَالْأَذَىٰ كَالَّذِي يُنفِقُ مَالَهُ رِئَاءَ النَّاسِ وَلَا يُؤْمِنُ بِاللَّـهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الْآخِرِ ۖ فَمَثَلُهُ كَمَثَلِ صَفْوَانٍ عَلَيْهِ تُرَابٌ فَأَصَابَهُ وَابِلٌ فَتَرَكَهُ صَلْدًا ۖ لَّا يَقْدِرُونَ عَلَىٰ شَيْءٍ مِّمَّا كَسَبُوا ۗ وَاللَّـهُ لَا يَهْدِي الْقَوْمَ الْكَافِرِينَ 

Those who spend their wealth in the Cause of Allah, and do not follow-up their gifts with reminders of their generosity or with injury, their reward is with their Lord. On them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve. (Al-Baqarah 2:262)

Kind words and forgiving of faults are better than Sadaqah (charity) followed by injury. And Allah is Rich (Free of all wants) and He is Most-Forbearing. (Al-Baqarah 2:263)

O you who believe! Do not render in vain your Sadaqah (charity) by reminders of your generosity or by injury, like him who spends his wealth to be seen of men, and he does not believe in Allah, nor in the Last Day. His likeness is the likeness of a smooth rock on which is a little dust; on it falls heavy rain which leaves it bare. They are not able to do anything with what they have earned. And Allah does not guide the disbelieving people. (Al-Baqarah 2:264)


Understanding some of the terminology used

  • In the cause of Allah – In all different types of good and piety
  • Reminders – Someone does this to an individual for the purpose of showing how great they are for doing what they have done, or to brag about it.
  • Not causing harm – This is to harm the poor person by  saying may Allah give me rest from you, or to tell the people who the poor person did not want to know, exactly what they did for them.
  • Kind words – These are the good things that are said to the poor person. An example of this is to make supplication that Allah enriches them.
  • And Forgiving – taking care of the needs of your brother and his poverty so no one else sees them. Also it is said it is to forgive the one asking for their way of asking.
  • To be seen by men – To make it look like you are doing it for the sake of Allah, but really you just want the people to see you and think good about you because of what you have done.  This way you can have the people saying good about you and praising you.
  • Safwaan – A clear rock. Some say glass.
  • Waabil – A strong rain storm
  • Salda – Ibn Abaas and Qataadah said it means that there was nothing left on it.

A clear understanding and explanation

{Those who spend their wealth in the Cause of Allah, and do not follow up their gifts with reminders of their generosity or with injury, their reward is with their Lord.}

 The first part of the first verse was talking about Uthman bin Affan and his spending  in the war of Tabook and his purchase of the well and making it a drinking place for the Muslims.  As well about Abdur Rahmaan bin Awf  when he gave 4000 dirham, which came to half of his wealth.

In this, Allah praised those that spend in the cause of Allah and then do not follow it up with neither statement nor action. These people do not do bad things to those that they aided. This does nothing but makes them lose out on the reward of that which they have done. This is why Allah promised in the second part of the verse that great reward.

{On them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve.}

This shows that their reward is upon Allah and no one other than him. When He says {On them shall be no fear} not from poverty and not from being looked down upon and not from what will happen on the day of judgement. {nor shall they grieve.} is speaking about that which they left behind from their children, or the other things from this worldly life. This si because they have went to something better than all of that.

The whole wisdom behind giving charity is to purify the soul and to make a relationship between the rich and the poor built  out of love for the sake of Allah. Allah said,

{Kind words and forgiving of faults are better than Sadaqah (charity) followed by injury. And Allah is Rich (Free of all wants) and He is Most-Forbearing.}

Here Allah repeats that the type of charity that is followed up by remembrance and harm is of no worth. That which is more befitting are some kind words. This fills the person with happiness and self-respect. And this forgiveness or overlooking wards off  looking down upon others, and puts in place of this a sense of brotherhood and friendship.  So as you see, these two things (a kind word and forgiveness and overlooking ) make sure the job of charity is done after all. The whole reason it is given, as we previously mentioned, is to purify the soul and to tie the hearts together.

When Allah mentioned the fact that He is Rich and Most Forbearing, we understand that He is not in need of the creation. He is not in need of their charity that comes especially when it comes and harms others. As well we understand that Allah is, even though He is Rich and not in need of the creation  quick to forgive and does not rush to punishing and harming His Creation.

{O you who believe! Do not render in vain your Sadaqah (charity) by reminders of your generosity or by injury, like him who spends his wealth to be seen of men, and he does not believe in Allah, nor in the Last Day. His likeness is the likeness of a smooth rock on which is a little dust; on it falls heavy rain which leaves it bare. They are not able to do anything with what they have earned. And Allah does not guide the disbelieving people. (Al-Baqarah 2:264)}

In the beginning of this verse where Allah says {O you who believe! Do not render in vain your Sadaqah (charity) by reminders of your generosity or by injury, like him who spends his wealth to be seen of men, and he does not believe in Allah, nor in the Last Day} He means do not nullify your charity with remembrance and harm, as those  do whom give charity to be seen by others. They make it look like they are doing it to please Allah,  but really they want nothing more than the people to praise them for what they have done. All this is to say that they are not looking at doing it for Allah, nor trying to gain the reward of the hereafter. This is what is meant when it was stated {and he does not believe in Allah, nor in the Last Day}. So they have not truly tasted the sweetness of faith. Allah says {His likeness is the likeness of a smooth rock on which is a little dust}, meaning that this heart that is afflicted with showing off is like this smooth rock that has on it a little bit of dust. In the part where Allah said {on it falls heavy rain which leaves it bare} He is saying then a heavy rain falls on it and washes away the little bit of dust that was on it so the rock can once again be seen, so nothing came out of this whole situation. This is just like the person that gives charity to be seen by the people. There is no good that will come out of it for him. He will not be rewarded by Allah for it. This is why Allah said {They are not able to do anything with what they have earned. And Allah does not guide the disbelieving people} So the actions that are done  solely to be seen by the people are just like the actions of the disbeliever in that they will be of no avail for the one that did them.


That which is benefited from the verses

  1. The type of charity that is accepted by Allah is that which is done solely for His sake.
  2. The good word which makes things easy on the hearts and causes the people to feel happiness and self-respect  is better with Allah then the charity that is given and it ends up as a form of harm.
  3. It is necessary for the Muslim to learn from Allah, in that they do not rush to harm or become angry with the one that they give charity to, when they do not do something for them in return or do not say thank you.
  4. Both reminding of the good and harming are just like showing off, in that they all nullify the reward for giving charity.
  5. Taking others feelings into consideration is necessary when we talk about interacting with one another and speaking with one another, so that the hearts become full with love and grow closer together.
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