Al-Baqarah · Juz 3 · Qur'an Tafseer

The Virtue of Disclosing or Concealing Charity


In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful


Tafseer Al-Baqarah Ayah 271

In the previous ayaat, we studied the disapproval of disclosing our good deeds. In the present ayah we learn some of the situations in which it might be permissible and encouraged to disclose.


Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala says, “If you disclose your Sadaqat, it is well…” meaning disclosing our good deeds is not a sin, “…but if you conceal them and give them to the poor it is better for you…” This indicates that concealing charity is better than disclosing because it protects one from showing off and boasting. However, if there is an apparent wisdom behind disclosing the charity, such as the people imitating this righteous act, then disclosing it becomes better than concealing it.

The Messenger of Allah salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said,

الْجَاهِرُ بِالْقُرْآنِ كَالْجَاهِرِ بِالصَّدَقَةِ، وَالْمُسِرُّ بِالْقُرآنِ كَالْمُسِرِّ بِالصَّدَقَة

“He who utters aloud Qur’anic recitation is just like he who discloses charity acts. He who conceals Qur’anic recitation is just like he who conceals charity acts.”

The ayah indicates that it is better that acts of charity be concealed, as reiterated by the hadeeth that the Two Saheehs recorded from Abu Hurairah radhiAllahu ‘anhu that the Messenger of Allah salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said,

سَبْعَةٌ يُظِلُّهُمُ اللهُ فِي ظِلِّهِ يَوْمَ لَا ظِلَّ إلَّا ظِلُّهُ: إِمَامٌ عَادِلٌ، وَشَابٌّ نَشَأَ فِي عِبَادَةِ اللهِ، وَرَجُلَانِ تَحَابَّا فِي اللهِ،اجْتَمَعَا عَلَيْهِ وَتَفَرَّقَا عَلَيْهِ، وَرَجُلٌ قَلْبُهُ مُعَلَّقٌ بِالْمَسْجِدِ، إِذَا خَرَجَ مِنْهُ حَتَّى يَرْجِعَ إِلَيْهِ، وَرَجُلٌ ذَكَرَ اللهَ خَالِيًا فَفَاضَتْ عَيْنَاهُ، وَرَجُلٌ دَعَتْهُ امْرَأَةٌ ذَاتُ مَنْصِبٍ وَجَمَالٍ، فَقَالَ: إِنِّي أَخَافُ اللهَ رَبَّ الْعَالَمِينَ، وَرَجُلٌ تَصَدَّقَ بِصَدَقَةٍ فَأَخْفَاهَا، حَتَّى لَا تَعْلَمَ شِمَالُهُ مَا تُنْفِقُ يَمِينُه

“Allah will give shade to seven on the Day when there will be no shade but His: (they are) a just ruler, a youth who has been brought up in the worship of Allah, two persons who love each other only for Allah’s sake who meet and part in Allah’s cause only, a man whose heart is attached to the Masajid from the time he departs the Masjid until he returns to it, a person who remembers Allah in seclusion and his eyes are then flooded with tears, a man who refuses the call of a charming woman of noble birth for illicit intercourse with her and says, ‘I fear Allah, Lord of the worlds,’ and a man who gives charitable gifts so secretly that his left hand does not know what his right hand has given.”

Allah’s statement, “(Allah) will forgive you some of your sins,” means in return for giving away charity, especially if it was concealed. Therefore, you will gain goodness by your rank being raised, and your sins being forgiven. He ends the address by saying He is Well-Acquainted with all that we do. Nothing escapes His knowledge – the good and the bad – and He will reward His servants accordingly.


-We need to learn the etiquette of helping others and giving charity. If our intention is to please Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala then not only will we be careful about disclosing our good deed but also our conduct. We will not humiliate the person seeking our help. We will be cautious of his self-respect and be graceful in our giving.

-We learn that some forms of charity can be made public such as giving someone a helping hand (carrying their load), giving them a car ride or tutoring. The purpose behind such a disclosure should be nothing but to encourage a culture of compassion. Many people do not help others because they are waiting for others to ask. We need to remember that those who seek help sometimes do not ask, they need to be reached instead.

-Why are we encouraged to spend in the way of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala? Not only is this a mean for drawing closer to Him, but through charity we cleanse ourselves of our sins. Man is bound to err. We make mistakes every day consciously or unconsciously. By making it a regular habit to give, we can seek forgiveness for our sins.

-Psychologists note that those blessed with altruist nature live happier lives. Hence, whenever you feel depressed or are hurt, give sadaqah and see how your mood lifts up.

We ask Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala to guide us to that which is best and allow us to pursue it, ameen.

DOWNLOAD PDF: Tafseer Al-Baqarah Ayah 271

رَبَّنَا تَقَبَّلْ مِنَّا ۖ إِنَّكَ أَنتَ السَّمِيعُ الْعَلِيم                
“Our Lord, accept [this] from us. Indeed You are the All-Hearing, the All-Knowing.” [Al-Baqarah 2: 127]

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