In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
Al-Baqarah Ayah 262 – Do Not Follow Charity with Insults
We are now reaching the end of Surah Al-Baqarah. From here onwards, we will read some basic principles and guidelines concerning financial transactions. If these principles were followed in truth then many of our economic problems would be solved.
The ayaat that we will study cover two important points of Islamic economic order:
- Spending the extra to our needs to help the poor and the needy; known as sadaqah [charity] and khairaat [alms]
- Dealing in riba [interest, usury] is haram [unlawful]; Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala provides directions on how to stay on guard against it
In the following ayah, Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala talks about the merit of spending in His Way and the conditions which make charity acceptable and worthy in His Sight.
Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala praises those who spend in His cause, and then refrain from reminding those who received the charity of their generosity. These reminders could be in the form of words, hints or actions. Hurting or insulting others, after they have been helped, annuls the charity. Therefore, one must be cautious of what feelings emerge in his heart or what words he speaks after doing an act of generosity.
The word manna [مَنًّا] is from the root letters meem-noon-noon and it means ‘to confer or bestow a benefit or favor to someone’.
The word adha [أَذًى] is from the root letters hamza-dhal-ya and it means ‘hurt or experiencing or suffering what is disagreeable’.
When do people remind others of their favors upon them? When they expect something in return.
For example, someone gives a ride to a neighbor and next time when doer of good deeds wants help, they say, “Remember, I gave you a ride last week?”
Mann can also be against Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala. For instance, we are making du’a and we say, “O Allah! I helped such and such person for your sake, or, O Allah, I gave this much in charity please answer my prayers. I recite the Qur’an so please make my life easy.”
We learned in the previous ayah that the rewards are multiplied only for those who are sincere in their intentions.
People who conceal their good deeds and do not remind others of their favors will get their reward from Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala – this is His promise. Such people will have no fear of the horrors of the Day of Resurrection nor shall they grieve about their offspring or the adornment and delights of this world that they leave behind. They will not feel sorry for this because they will acquire what is far better for them – Allah’s pleasure and His rewards.
This is the correct and masnoon [according to Sunnah] method of giving charity. Neither publicize your charity nor cause any pain to those who have been helped.
–Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala teaches us to spend on others as much as we spend on ourselves and our loved ones. In Islam, we are encouraged to live conscious and concerned lives. In a hadeeth we learn: Whoever relieves the hardship of a believer in this world, Allah will relieve his hardship on the Day of Resurrection. Whoever helps ease someone in difficulty, Allah will make it easy for him in this world and in the Hereafter.
-Reward for charity is promised to only those who do not follow their good deed with reminders and hurtful speech or actions.
-Conceal people’s weakness. If someone is less in status than you and Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala has favored you, do not taunt or insult the other people. Do not advertise that you are the one paying for their groceries. Honor their self-respect.
-We learn that the reward is with Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala – whatever is with Him is safe and secure. It means do not be stingy when giving in the Path of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala. When someone gives to Him – it is never a loss.
-If a person gives in the Way of Allah with sincerity then no negative thoughts will enter his heart. They live a peaceful and happy life. There is a special kind of calmness in their lives. That is how Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala protects His righteous servants in this world and the next.
-This ayah is not just about giving money in the Way of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala but everyday favors such as cooking food for our family, keeping the house clean, being kind to our neighbors, etc. as well. We don’t need to remind our families or neighbors how much we do for them. Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala can see everything. Don’t waste your reward by your reminders.
DOWNLOAD PDF: Tafseer Al-Baqarah Ayah 262