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Five Inspiring Qur’anic Verses About Charity and Giving

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Your smile for your brother is charity – Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).

The Qur’an has over 50 verses about charity making it one of the most talked-about subjects in the Holy Book. Islam encourages Muslims to adopt charity as a way of life as opposed to it being a random or one-off act. Indeed some charity like Zakat is mandatory whilst there is a general instruction to give charity as regularly as possible.

Here are my favourite verses about charity from the Holy Qu’ran.

Charity as a Loan to Allah (SWT)

For those who give in charity, men and women, and loan to Allah a beautiful loan, it shall be increased manifold (to their credit), and they shall have (besides) a liberal reward.”

57:18

The best transactions we can make in our lives are those with Allah (SWT) in the form of good actions for His sake. Where some good deeds come with a specific and set quantity of reward, giving charity has no such limits. In the above verse, God is telling us giving charity is like giving a loan to Him where He returns the loan with so much ‘interest’ in the form of reward that it’s manifold meaning there is no set quantity, cap or limit to it.

Charity Given With Good Intentions

Kind speech and forgiveness are better than charity followed by injury.”

2:263

There are certain etiquettes to observe when giving charity. It’s important not to feel internally boastful about what you’ve given as that can nullify the loan to Allah (SWT) which the verse after the above-quoted goes on to say.

If you do help someone in need, you should avoid reminding them of the favour you did as it can cause them to feel hurt and embarrassed nor should you go round telling other people about it. This is what can be meant by ‘injury’. Here, God is saying, it’s better to perform other deeds such as acts of kind speech and forgiveness or kindly and gracefully decline an opportunity for charity rather than to give it but then hold it over them or inflate our own ego.

Not to Compare or Belittle Someone’s Charity

It is they who criticise the believers who give freely and those who can only give a little with great effort: they scoff at such people, but it is God who scoffs at the – a painful punishment awaits them.”

9:79

We should avoid speculating and conjecturing over the charity of other people. If, for example, you see a wealthy person seemingly give a little charity, you should not rebuke them or gossip about them behind their backs on the account they should be able to give more.

Similarly, when someone only gives a little, we should not laugh at the quantity given. God accepts and multiplies all charity and we’re not in a position to judge. We all have our own circumstances and we give within our capacity. It’s not for anyone to judge or comment on.

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Giving to Charity Secretly and Openly

Those who give, out of their own possessions, by night and by day, in private and in public will have their reward with their Lord.”

2:274

In this verse, God makes a distinction between when and how to give charity. It could be said giving charity by the day refers to public acts of charity that others can see and night pertains to charity given in secret. Here day and night could be metaphorical. 

Charity given in secret is arguably the best form of charity because it prevents one from becoming arrogant about it. On the other hand, performing charitable acts in public can serve as an inspiration and encouragement for others to follow. For example, if a prominent member of society publicly endorses a charity, it can lead others to donate and help the charity achieve its goals.

Whether to choose to give in secret or open is up to the individual and what they feel is more beneficial. 

Giving Things Away you Love in Charity

You will never attain righteousness until you spend in charity from that what you love.”

3:92

It is mentioned that this verse came to the mind of the daughter of the Prophet (PBUH), Lady Fatima (as) who gave away her new wedding dress on the day of her wedding instead of an older dress to a beggar who could sell it to support themselves and their family.

A great etiquette in charitable giving is giving away something that is dear to you. It’s easy for us to donate clothes we don’t wear anymore or a sum of money that makes no difference to us if lost. 

Without, of course, putting ourselves in poverty and harms way, we should consider donating things that we have an attachment to. Not only does it help us detach from worldly things but is a ‘loan’ to God that will be much more heavily rewarded.

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