Word by Word
then for them
(is) their reward
then for them
(is) their reward
Those who (in charity) spend of their goods by night and by day, in secret and in public, have their reward with their Lord: on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve.
Those who expend their wealth night and day, secretly and openly, their wage awaits them with their Lord, and no fear shall befall them, neither shall they grieve.
"Giving Charity to Polytheists
لَّيۡسَ عَلَيۡكَ هُدَاهُمۡ وَلَـكِنَّ اللّهَ يَهۡدِي مَن يَشَاء وَمَا تُنفِقُواۡ مِنۡ خَيۡرٍ فَلنفُسِكُمۡ وَمَا تُنفِقُونَ إِلاَّ ابۡتِغَاء وَجۡهِ اللّهِ وَمَا تُنفِقُواۡ مِنۡ خَيۡرٍ يُوَفَّ إِلَيۡكُمۡ وَأَنتُمۡ لَا تُظۡلَمُونَ
Not upon you (Muhammad) is their guidance, but Allah guides whom He wills. And whatever you spend in good, it is for yourselves, when you spend not except seeking Allah's Face. And whatever you spend in good, it will be repaid to you in full, and you shall not be wronged.
Abu Abdur-Rahman An-Nasa'i recorded that Ibn Abbas said that;
they, ""Disliked giving charity to their polytheist relatives, but were later on allowed to give it to them when they inquired about this matter, and this Ayah was revealed.""
وَمَا تُنفِقُواۡ مِنۡ خَيۡرٍ فَلنفُسِكُمۡ
And whatever you spend in good, it is for yourselves,
is similar to His other statement,
مَّنۡ عَمِلَ صَـلِحاً فَلِنَفۡسِهِ
Whosoever does righteous good deed, it is for (the benefit of) his ownself.
There are many other similar Ayat in the Qur'an.
Allah said next,
وَمَا تُنفِقُونَ إِلاَّ ابۡتِغَاء وَجۡهِ اللّهِ
When you spend not except seeking Allah's Face.
Al-Hasan Al-Basri commented,
""Whenever the believer spends, including what he spends on himself, he seeks Allah's Face with it.""
Ata Al-Khurasani said that the Ayah means,
""You give away charity for the sake of Allah. Therefore, you will not be asked about the deeds (or wickedness) of those who receive it.""
This is a sound meaning indicating that when one spends in charity for Allah's sake, then his reward will be with Allah. He will not be asked if the charity unintentionally reached righteous, evil, deserving or undeserving persons, for he will be rewarded for his good intention. The proof to this statement is the Ayah,
وَمَا تُنفِقُواۡ مِنۡ خَيۡرٍ يُوَفَّ إِلَيۡكُمۡ وَأَنتُمۡ لَا تُظۡلَمُونَ
And whatever you spend in good, it will be repaid to you in full, and you shall not be wronged.
The Two Sahihs recorded a Hadith by Abu Hurayrah that the Messenger of Allah said,
قَالَ رَجُلٌ لَااَتَصَدَّقَنَّ اللَّيۡلَةَ بِصَدَقَةٍ فَخَرجَ بِصَدَقَتِهِ فَوَضَعَهَا فِي يَدِ زَانِيَةٍ فَأَصۡبَحَ النَّاسُ يَتَحَدَّثُونَ تُصُدِّقَ عَلَى زَانِيَةٍ فَقَالَ اللَّهُمَ لَكَ الۡحَمۡدُ عَلَى زَانِيَةٍ لَااَتَصَدَّقَنَّ اللَّيۡلَةَ بِصَدَقَةٍ
A man said, ""Tonight, I shall give charity."" He went out with his charity and (unknowingly) gave it to an adulteress. The next morning the people said that alms were given to an adulteress. The man said, ""O Allah! All the praises are for You. (I gave my alms) to an adulteress. Tonight, I shall give alms again.""
فَخَرَجَ بِصَدَقَتِهِ فَوَضَعَهَا فِي يَدِ غَنِيَ فَأَصۡبَحُوا يَتَحَدَّثُونَ تُصُدِّقَ اللَّيۡلَةَ عَلَى غَنِيَ قَالَ اللَّهُمَّ لَكَ الۡحَمۡدُ عَلَى غَنِيَ لَاَتَصَدَّقَنَّ اللَّيۡلَةَ بِصَدَقَةٍ
He went out with his charity and (unknowingly) gave it to a rich person. The next morning (the people) said, ""Last night, a wealthy person was given alms."" He said, ""O Allah! All the praises are for You. (I gave alms) to a wealthy man. Tonight, I shall again give charity.""
فَخَرَجَ بِصَدَقَتِهِ فَوَضَعَهَا فِي يَدِ سَارِقٍ فَأَصۡبَحُوا يَتَحَدَّثُونَ تُصُدِّقَ اللَّيۡلَةَ عَلَى سَارِقٍ فَقَالَ اللَّهُمَّ لَكَ الۡحَمۡدُ عَلَى زَانِيَةٍ وَعَلَى غَنِيَ وَعَلَى سَارِقٍ
So he went out with his charity and (unknowingly) gave it to a thief. The next morning (the people) said, ""Last night, a thief was given alms."" He said, ""O Allah! All the praises are for You. (I have given alms) to an adulteress, a wealthy man and a thief.""
فَأُتِيَ فَقِيلَ لَهُ أَمَّا صَدَقَتُكَ فَقَدۡ قُبِلَتۡ وَأَمَّا الزَّانِيَةُ فَلَعَلَّهَا أَنۡ تَسۡتَعِفَّ بِهَا عَنۡ زِنَاهَا وَلَعَلَّ الۡغَنِيَّ يَعۡتَبِرُ فَيُنۡفِقُ مِمَّا أَعۡطَاهُ اللهُ وَلَعَلَّ السَّارِقَ أَنۡ يَسۡتَعِفَّ بِهَا عَنۡ سَرِقَتِه
Then, someone came to him and said, ""The alms that you gave away were accepted. As for the adulteress, the alms might make her abstain from adultery. As for the wealthy man, it might make him take a lesson and spend his wealth that Allah has given him. As for the thief, it might make him abstain from stealing.""
Who Deserves Charity
لِلۡفُقَرَاء الَّذِينَ أُحصِرُواۡ فِي سَبِيلِ اللّهِ
(Charity is) for the poor, who in Allah's cause are restricted (from travel),
meaning, the migrants who migrated to Allah and His Messenger, resided in Al-Madinah and did not have resources that sufficiently provided them with their needs.
لَا يَسۡتَطِيعُونَ ضَرۡبًا فِي الَارۡضِ
And cannot Darban (move about) in the land,
meaning, ""They cannot travel in the land to seek means of livelihood.""
Allah said in other instances (using a variation of the word Darban),
وَإِذَا ضَرَبۡتُمۡ فِى الاٌّرۡضِ فَلَيۡسَ عَلَيۡكُمۡ جُنَاحٌ أَن تَقۡصُرُواۡ مِنَ الصَّلوةِ
And when you (Muslims) travel in the land, there is no sin on you if you shorten the Salah (the prayer). (4:101)
أَن سَيَكُونُ مِنكُمۡ مَّرۡضَى وَءَاخَرُونَ يَضۡرِبُونَ فِى الاٌّرۡضِ يَبۡتَغُونَ مِن فَضۡلِ اللَّهِ وَءَاخَرُونَ يُقَـتِلُونَ فِى سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ فَاقۡرَءُواۡ
He knows that there will be some among you sick, others traveling through the land, seeking of Allah's bounty, yet others fighting in Allah's cause. (73:20)
Allah then said,
يَحۡسَبُهُمُ الۡجَاهِلُ أَغۡنِيَاء مِنَ التَّعَفُّفِ
The one who knows them not, thinks that they are rich because of their modesty,
meaning, those who do not know their situation think that they are well-off, because they are modest in their clothes and speech.
There is a Hadith with this meaning that the Two Sahihs recorded from Abu Hurayrah that the Messenger of Allah said,
لَيۡسَ الۡمِسۡكِينُ بِهذَا الطَّوَّافِ الَّذِي تَرُدُّهُ التَّمۡرَةُ وَالتَّمۡرَتَانِ وَاللُّقۡمَةُ وَاللُّقۡمَتَانِ وَالاُۡكۡلَةُ وَالاُۡكۡلَتَانِ وَلكِنِ الۡمِسۡكِينُ الَّذِي لَا يَجِدُ غِنىً يُغۡنِيهِ وَلَا يُفۡطَنُ لَهُ فَيُتَصَدَّقَ عَلَيۡهِ وَلَا يَسۡأَلُ النَّاسَ شَيۡيًا
The Miskin (needy) is not he who wanders about and whose need is sufficed by a date or two, a bite or two or a meal or two. Rather, the Miskin is he who neither has enough resources to sustain him, all the while people are unaware of his need so they do not give to him, nor does he ask people for anything.
Imam Ahmad also recorded this Hadith from Ibn Mas`ud.
You may know them by their mark,
means, ""Those who have good minds discover their situation,""
just as Allah said in other instances,
سِيمَـهُمۡ فِى وُجُوهِهِمۡ
The mark of them (i.e. of their faith) is on their faces. (48:29)
وَلَتَعۡرِفَنَّهُمۡ فِى لَحۡنِ الۡقَوۡلِ
But surely, you will know them by the tone of their speech! (47:30)
لَا يَسۡأَلُونَ النَّاسَ إِلۡحَافًا
they do not beg of people at all,
means, they do not beg and, thus, do not require people to provide them with more than what they actually need.
Indeed, those who ask people for help, while having what suffices for their needs, have begged.
Imam Ahmad recorded that Abu Sa`id said,
""My mother sent me to the Messenger of Allah to ask him for help, but when I came by him I sat down. The Prophet faced me and said to me,
مَنِ اسۡتَغۡنَى أَغۡنَاهُ اللهُ
وَمَنِ اسۡتَعَفَّ أَعَفَّهُ اللهُ
وَمَنِ اسۡتَكَفَّ كَفَاهُ اللهُ
وَمَنۡ سَأَلَ وَلَهُ قِيمَةُ أُوقِيَّةٍ فَقَدۡ أَلۡحَف
Whoever felt satisfied, then Allah will enrich him.
Whoever is modest, Allah will make him decent.
Whoever is content, then Allah will suffice for him.
Whoever asks people, while having a small amount, he will have begged the people.
Abu Sa`id said,
""I said to myself, `I have a camel, Al-Yaqutah, and indeed, it is worth more than a small amount.' And I went back without asking the Prophet for anything.""
This is the same wording for this Hadith collected by Abu Dawud and An-Nasa'i.
وَمَا تُنفِقُواۡ مِنۡ خَيۡرٍ فَإِنَّ اللّهَ بِهِ عَلِيمٌ
And whatever you spend in good, surely Allah knows it well.
indicates that no charity escapes Him, and He will reward it fully and perfectly on the Day of Resurrection, when it is most desperately needed.
Praise for those who Spend in Charity
الَّذِينَ يُنفِقُونَ أَمۡوَالَهُم بِاللَّيۡلِ وَالنَّهَارِ سِرًّا وَعَلَنِيَةً فَلَهُمۡ أَجۡرُهُمۡ عِندَ رَبِّهِمۡ وَلَا خَوۡفٌ عَلَيۡهِمۡ وَلَا هُمۡ يَحۡزَنُونَ
Those who spend their wealth (in Allah's cause) by night and day, in secret and in public, they shall have their reward with their Lord. On them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve.
This Ayah praises those who spend in charity for Allah's sake, seeking His pleasure, day and night, publicly and in secret, including what one spends on his family.
The Two Sahihs recorded that the Messenger of Allah said to Sa`d bin Abi Waqqas:
وَإِنَّكَ لَنۡ تُنۡفِقَ نَفَقَةً تَبۡتَغِي بِهَا وَجۡهَ اللهِ إِلاَّ ازۡدَدۡتَ بِهَا دَرَجَةً وَرِفۡعَةً حَتَّى مَا تَجۡعَلُ فِي فِي امۡرَأَتِك
You will not spend charity with which you seek Allah's Face, but you will ascend a higher degree and status because of it, including what you put in your wife's mouth.
Imam Ahmad recorded that Abu Mas`ud said that the Prophet said,
إِنَّ الۡمُسۡلِمَ إِذَا أَنۡفَقَ عَلَى أَهۡلِهِ نَفَقَةً يَحۡتَسِبُهَا كَانَتۡ لَهُ صَدَقَة
When the Muslim spends on his family while awaiting the reward for it from Allah, it will be written as charity for him.
Al-Bukhari and Muslim also recorded this Hadith.
فَلَهُمۡ أَجۡرُهُمۡ عِندَ رَبِّهِمۡ
shall have their reward with their Lord,
on the Day of Resurrection, as reward for what they spent in acts of obedience.
We previously explained the Ayah,
وَلَا خَوۡفٌ عَلَيۡهِمۡ وَلَا هُمۡ يَحۡزَنُونَ
there shall be no fear on them nor shall they grieve."
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