[English Transcript] Generosity is Fragile – Nouman Ali Khan


اَلْحَمْدُ لِلّٰه خَالِقِ الْوُجُودِ مِنَ الْعَدَمِ،
وَ جَاعِلِ النُّورِ مِنَ الظُّلَمِ
وَمُخْرِجِ الصَّبْرِ مِنَ الْأَلَمِ
وَ مُلْقِيْ التَّوْبَةِ عَلَى النَّدَمِ
فَنَشْكُرُهُ عَلَى الْمَصَائِبِ كَمَا نَشْكُرُهُ عَلَى النِّعَمِ
وَنُصَلِّي عَلَى رَسُولِهِ الْأَكْرَمِ
ذِيْ الشَّرَفِ الْأَشَمِّ وَ النُّورِ الْأتَمِّ
وَالكِتَابِ الْمُحْكَمِ
وَكَمَالِ النَّبِيِّنَ وَالْخَاتَمِ
سَيِّدِ وَلَدِ آدَمِ
الَّذِيْ بَشَّرَ بِهِ عِيْسَى بْنُ مَرْيَمِ
وَدَعَا لِبِعْثَتِهِ إِبْرَاهِيْمُ عَلَيهِ السَّلَامُ
حِينَ كَانَ يَرْفَعُ قَوَاعِدَ بَيْتِ اللهِ الْمُحَرَّمِ
وَصَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ وَعَلَى أَتْبَاعِهِ خَيْرِ الْأُمَمِ
الَّذِيْنَ بَارَكَ اللهُ بِهِمْ كَافَّةَ النَّاسِ
العَرَبَ مِنْهُمْ وَ الْعَجَمِ
والْحَمْدُ لِلّٰه الَّذِي لَمْ يَتَّخِذْ وَلَدًا
وَلَمْ يَكُنْ لَهُ شَرِيْكٌ فِي الْمُلْكِ
وَلَمْ يَكُنْ لَهُ وَلِيٌّ مِن الذُّلِّ وَكَـبِّـرْهُ تَكْبِـيْـرًا
وَالحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ الَّذِي أَنزَلَ عَلَىٰ عَبْدِهِ الْكِتَابَ وَلَمْ يَجْعَل لَّهُ عِوَجًا
وَالْـحَمْدَ لِلّٰهِ الَّذِي نَـحْمَدُهُ وَنَسْتَعِيْنُهُ وَنَسْتَغْفِرُهُ
وَنُؤْمِنُ بِهِ وَنَتَوَكَّلُ عَلَيْهِ
وَ نَعُوذُ بِاللهِ مِنْ شُرُورِ أَنْفُسِنَا
وَمِنْ سَيِّئَاتِ أَعْمَالِنَا،
مَنْ يَهْدِهِ اللهُ فَلَا مُضِلَّ لَهُ،
وَمَنْ يُضْلِلْ فَلَا هَادِيَ لَهُ
وَنَشْهَدُ أَن لاَّ إِلَهَ إِلاَّ الله وَحْدَهُ لَا شَرِيْكَ لَهُ
وَ نَشْهَدُ أَنَّ مُـحَمَّداً عَبْدُ اللهِ وَرَسُولُه
أَرْسَلَهُ اللهُ تَعَالَى بِالْهُدَى وَدِيْنِ الْحَـقِّ
لِيُظْهِرَهُ عَلَى الدِّيْنِ كُلِّهِ
وَكَفَى بِاللهِ شَهِيْدًا
فَصَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ تَسْـلِيْمًا كَثِيْرًا كَثِيْرًا
: أَمَّا بَعْدُ
فَإِنَّ أَصْدَقَ الْحَدِيثِ كِتَابُ اللهِ
وَخَيرَ الْهَدْيِ هَدْيُ مُحَمَّدٍ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيهِ وَسَلَّمَ
وَ إِنَّ شَرَّ الْأُمُورِ مُحْدَثَاتُهَا
وَإِنَّ كُلَّ مُحْدَثَةٍ بِدْعَةٌ
وَكُلَّ بِدْعَةٍ ضَلَالَةٌ
وَكُلَّ ضَلَالَةٍ فِي النَّارِ
قَالَ اللهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ فِي كِتَابِهِ الْكَرِيْمِ
بَعْدَ أَنْ أَقُوْلَ أَعُوْذُ بِاللهِ مِنَ الشَّيْطَانِ الرَّجِيمِ
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَا تُبْطِلُوا صَدَقَاتِكُم بِالْمَنِّ وَالْأَذَىٰ
كَالَّذِي يُنفِقُ مَالَهُ رِئَاءَ النَّاسِ وَلَا يُؤْمِنُ بِاللَّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الْآخِرِ ۖ
فَمَثَلُهُ كَمَثَلِ صَفْوَانٍ عَلَيْهِ تُرَابٌ
فَأَصَابَهُ وَابِلٌ فَتَرَكَهُ صَلْدًا ۖ
لَّا يَقْدِرُونَ عَلَىٰ شَيْءٍ مِّمَّا كَسَبُوا ۗ
وَاللَّهُ لَا يَهْدِي الْقَوْمَ الْكَافِرِينَ (QS. 2:264)
اللّٰهُمَّ لَا تَجْعَلْنَا مِنْهُمْ
رَبّ اشْرَحْ لِيْ صَدْرِيْ وَيَسِّرْ لِي أَمْرِي
وَاحْلُلْ عُقْدَةً مِنْ لِسَانِيْ يَفْقَهُ قَوْلِي
اَللّٰهُمَّ ثَبِّتْنَا عِنْدَ الْمَوتِ بِلَا إِلٰهَ إِلَّا الله
اَللّٰهُمَّ ٱجْعَلْنَا مِنَ الَّذِيْنَ آمَنُوا وَعَمِلُوْا الصَّالِحَاتِ
وَتَوَاصَوْا بِالْحَقِّ وَتَوَاصَوْا بِالصَّبْرِ
آمين يَا رَبَّ العَالَمِينَ

Surah Al-Baqarah is the largest surah of the Qur’an, and towards the end of surah Al-Baqarah, Allah repeats, goes back to one of the most fundamental concepts of our religion. Allah’s power to give life after death.

Subject Change after Subject of Life After Death

And that discussion actually starts with Ibrahim (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ), and you know, the story of the prophet who came by and he saw a ruin town and said, “How could Allah bring life to this after it has died?”

And the story of Ibrahim (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) who asked Allah, “How can, you know…”

“How would you give life to the dead?”

And Allah asked him, “Don’t you already believe?”

He said, “I just want to satisfy my heart.”

And then there’s a story of the birds. And I won’t be talking about those stories. And of course within that passage also is Ayatul Kursi And that makes a lot of sense because Ayatul Kursi starts with,

اللَّهُ لَا إِلَٰهَ إِلَّا هُوَ الْحَيُّ الْقَيُّومُ (QS. 2:255)

“The One source of all life and the One who maintains all life.”

So, it’s actually in the context of those stories, that the final thesis of them, is actually the Ayatul Kursi. And.. and actually coming after that is these, the stories of resurrection. And right after these stories of resurrection, Allah having the power to give life to the dead. Allah changes the subject, which is really interesting.

اِلْتِفَاتٌ مَوْضُوْعِيٌّ, the topic has switched.

So, Ayatul Kursi, then the stories of resurrection, followed by a subject of charity. Giving for the sake of Allah. Now, there’s a really remarkable continuity in what Allah is saying. On the one hand, Allah talks about how a dead animal was brought back to life in front of the eyes of Uzair (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ).

Before that, Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) talked to Ibrahim (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) or Ibrahim after that, rather Ibrahim (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) asked about how He gives life to the dead, and birds came back to life.

You know, فَصُرْهُنَّ إِلَيْكَ ثُمَّ اجْعَلْ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ جَبَلٍ مِّنْهُنَّ جُزْءًا

(QS. 2:260) ثُمَّ ادْعُهُنَّ يَأْتِينَكَ سَعْيًا

“Call on them, they will come back to you running.”

Right, so there’s that story. But right after that Allah says,

مَّثَلُ الَّذِينَ يُنفِقُونَ أَمْوَالَهُمْ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ

“The example of those who spend in the path of Allah is the example of somebody who plants a seed in the ground.”

Now, interestingly, the example itself, I’ll summarize here. The example is somebody who took a single grain, a seed, put it in the ground and Allah says,

(QS. 2:261) أَنبَتَتْ سَبْعَ سَنَابِلَ

“It sprouted a plant that had seven ears.”

Like seven sprouts coming out of that one stalk. And each one of them has grains, like you can think of corn, or something else, wheat, that has a hundred seeds on it. So that one seed investment went into the ground and all of these came out.

Now the connection should be obvious to anybody who pays attention. Allah is giving life to the dead earth, and this one dead, you know, seed, and producing life from it. Right?

So it’s still a continuity of the same subject of Allah producing life from death, but it took another turn. There’s something more being done here. It’s not just something being resurrected or a dead seed being brought to life. But it’s being turned into much more than what it actually was. It’s being multiplied 700 times. And then if that wasn’t enough times,

(QS. 2:261) وَاللَّهُ يُضَاعِفُ لِمَن يَشَاءُ

“And Allah multiplies above and beyond that for whoever He wants.”

Human Multiplication

Now, human… human multiplication, you could see 1 turned into 700 in this parable, and then you can think of each one of 700 being planted again and turning into 700 each of them. And each of those multiplications turning 700 again.

So it’s 700 squared, squared, squared, squared, squared to infinity. That’s the idea, but that’s… that’s within the ability of a human being to imagine, that’s human multiplication. But at the end of this ayah Allah says, “Allah multiplies on top of that for whoever He wants.”

وَاللَّهُ يُضَاعِفُ

It is Allah in fact, “He multiplies in a way that only He can, for whoever He wants.”

And this is Allah’s way of describing the power of being charitable. But that also produces a problem because this surah was revealed, um, and much of it was revealed in early Medina and the span of it… some of it, is all the way into late Medina. And pretty much the entire life of the Prophet (ﷺ) in Madina was spent almost… almost all of it in near bankruptcy.

There were times where the Prophet (ﷺ) didn’t even have enough to eat for days. There were times where his own daughter would come to him, and ask for food, because she didn’t have anything in her own household, and he would give her, dhikr of Allah to do instead.

“Let’s say Subhanallah 33 times, Alhamdulillah 33 times, etc.”

This is the state of what was going on in Medina at the time. If we were a well-off society in Medina, we wouldn’t be fighting a military with a handful of weapons, and everybody else is unarmed.

And they’re going into battle. So, this is an economically desperate situation. So, the most of the Qur’an that’s been revealed, it’s been revealed in the context of people that are not wealthy. And this is something very important to understand.

So when Allah is going to talk about being charitable, He’s not starting the conversation talking to millionaires. Yes, some of them are wealthy. Some Sahaba do in fact own gardens. Some of them are very well off, but the vast majority of the companions of the Prophet (ﷺ) are barely surviving, subsistence level.

And then on top of that, the Ansar, uh, are taking care of the Muhajirun. The people that of Medina, which are farming community. So they aren’t millionaires to begin with and they’re now supporting the Muhajirun, that have come from Makkah. So this is actually now their household size, and the depend number of dependents has increased dramatically.

Not to mention the battles of Badr and Uhud, even a single loss… and the… the loss in battles is the loss of heads of household. It’s the men. It’s the fighting and capable men. Those men were a fundamental component of earning the livelihood for the family.

So when those men died in battle, when we suffered the loss in Uhud, it wasn’t just a military loss. It’s a massive, devastating economic loss to that entire family. Because the provider for that household in many cases has died. What are we going to do now?

Ayah about Charity

And so in this environment, Allah gave us ayah about charity. So the first question that is born out of that is, “Why would Allah talk about charity to people that have nothing, almost nothing to give?!”

And the answer to that comes from other places in the Qur’an, like,

وَأَنفِقُوا مِمَّا جَعَلَكُم مُّسْتَخْلَفِينَ فِيهِ (QS. 57:7)

“Spend out of whatever Allah has left in your capacity.”

If Allah has left something with you, be charitable with that, be generous with that. So, some person has knowledge. They should be generous with giving it. Someone has a talent. They should be generous in benefiting people with that talent. Somebody in fact has money. They should be generous with their money. Some kid at school has some extra stationary. They should be generous with sharing that pencil with a friend.

“Ah no, I need all my five colors”. Right?

Generosity is not being limited to writing a check, or to giving a credit card, or pulling out cash from your pocket. That is possible for many people, but generosity takes many forms, and pending takes many forms. Being giving to someone else takes many forms.

And it’s Allah incorporating all of the forms of generosity that can support this cause and that can support one another, that Allah is bringing into… into the conversation. So it begins with money, and this ayah, particularly,

(QS. 2:262) الَّذِينَ يُنفِقُونَ أَمْوَالَهُمْ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ

“Their moneys, what they own, what they have, they give.”

But the money nowadays, we think of money as like cash. Right? But money back then, “أَمْوَالُ” was like a sheep,

“Can I borrow your sheep?”

You know, “Can I borrow this tool?”

“Can I have that?”

“Yeah, you can just take it, we have enough.”

“We can take, we can. Take these plates.”

This is, these were their “أَمْوَالُ”. If you ask somebody what their “مَالٌ” is, they didn’t point to a vault, or a bank account, or some liquid assets. That’s not how they counted money back then. Money was the things that are all around you that somebody else could benefit from and you don’t have… you know, you… you can spare it, so you just give it.

This passage when this conversation starts, in this ayah, this is ayah number 261 of suratul Baqarah towards the end. Is the longest set of ayah in the Qur’an that give guidance on spending Like, if you say,

“What does Qur’an have to say about charity and generosity and spending?”

The one place you can go is this place, 261 onwards. And it goes on and on and on. Like, this is such a big topic. Like, if you compare this to other things that have been talked about in the Qur’an, as far as legalities. Maybe inheritance is a couple of ayah, you know pages of this course. Divorce law is a couple of pages of this course. And then spending is a couple of pages of this course.

Like something that you really need to drill in your head, you really need to get. And if it’s not said with so much repetition, and so much explanation. It’s not going to be internalized. This is the kind of subject Allah deemed that has wisdom, this is! And it should get that much attention in the Qur’an.

Generosity is Delicate

But what I wanted to highlight in today’s khutbah, not just introducing this topic, and how it’s placed in the Qur’an. But what I want you and I to think about today is just some of the things that Allah gives us in this passage about. I mean, obviously He told us giving is a very beautiful thing, but I…I named the khutbah strangely “Generosity is Delicate” or it’s fragile. Right? Why, why would I say that? Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) says, listen to this,

He says, (QS. 2:262) الَّذِينَ يُنفِقُونَ أَمْوَالَهُمْ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ

“Those who spend their moneys in the path of Allah,”

(QS. 2:262) ثُمَّ لَا يُتْبِعُونَ مَا أَنفَقُوا مَنًّا وَلَا أَذًى

“Then they don’t follow up whatever they had spent, with two things.”

Two things they don’t do.So it’s not enough that I gave. So, usually when salah is done, you had good intention, you made wudu, all the prerequisites you met. You finished the prayer, your good deed is accepted. Charity however isn’t just a prerequisite;

“I’m giving, because of my sincere intention, I’m giving for good reason, I’m giving halal money, I met the prerequisites and I gave.” Right?

This is our regulation in our religion, in which, it’s not just you meet the prerequisites. There are also post requisites. There are post requisites. What does that mean? That means after you have given, after I have given, there are things that I might do that will cancel out that act. It will not count in my favor. It will mean nothing. There’s a… it’s a scary thing.

It’s as if Allah is going to say in this ayah, there are two things you can do, that can completely nullify. Doesn’t matter if you gave half your wealth in charity. All of your wealth in charity. Doesn’t matter if you were a big check or small check. Doesn’t matter if you did it at the time with good intention. It doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter if you meant well back then or not. None of that matters.

Examples of Follow Up What They Have Spent with Reminders or Injury

If you do these two things afterwards, even those good intentions and that good deed will amount to nothing. Now, what are those two things?

He says, مَنًّا وَلَا أَذًى (QS. 2:262)

So let’s explore these two words. “مَنَّ” in Arabic is to do a favor, but also to remind someone of a favor, to remind somebody of a favor. So if in Urdu they say, “Ehsaan jatanaa.”

“Ehsaan jatanaa” like to remind someone what you did for them or… and you can do so… you know, “صَرَاحَةً”, you can do explicitly.

“You know how much money I gave you all these years?”

“You know how much I financially supported you?”

“Do you know how many times I’ve given you my car whenever you asked for it?”

That’s explicitly, right? You can explicitly remind someone of how much of a favor you’ve done for them. You could do that. Another thing you could do is do so implicitly.

كِنَايَةً

So you don’t say it outright. You don’t say it outright but there’s body language, or there’s a comment, or there’s a sarcastic remark, or there’s a… you know, intelligent way of reminding someone that you’ve given him, “Man I could have really used the car this weekend. but Alhamdulillah it’s for a good cause.”

You made someone feel that they’re a burden, because you gave to them, and that you are doing a sacrifice by giving to them.

That’s after the fact, “You know, last month, yeah, it was just… I needed to make some investments… but you know, Alhamdulillah it’s okay.”

You did this something… and there are some people that so good at this. I can’t even come up with very good examples. Some people are really good at taking those jabs without taking… without letting you… without getting caught that they are taking a jab.

Right there, they’re reminding you of what they’ve done for you. They’re reminding you of a favor and they’re doing so in a very subtle non-direct kind of way. That’s also “مَنٌّ”.

“مَنٌّ”.

Now, how do you know that… what you did is actually “مَنٌّ”? Maybe the clarification of it is in the next word,

(QS. 2:262) مَنًّا وَلَا أَذًى

“أَذًى” in Arabic means to cause pain. Hurtfulness. You don’t do this in a way, you won’t remind somebody of a favor. By the way when you remind someone of what you’ve done for them, you’re hurting them anyway. It’s embarrassing.

Nobody likes to be in a place where they have to ask. Right? Or be in a place of need. So, the fact that somebody needed something from you is not something they’re proud of. And it’s not a great thing to remind them that they were in need of whatever it was.

Whatever you help them with. You know, whatever, it was financial, it was material, or it was something else. But the idea that when you give and then you remind somebody what you’ve done is actually, Allah saying, “You may have done it. It left your bank, it left you, you lost that money. But don’t expect that seed to turn into 700 seeds and those 700 seeds turn into. No, that’s not going to happen now.”

They… because even if you did it fii sabilillah, if you followed it up with this crime of reminding somebody, of making some… and then on top of that, making somebody feel bad,

(QS. 2:262) وَلَا أَذًى

So… and “أَذًى”… Allah separated these two things, because even “مَنٌّ” itself has “أَذًى” in it. When you remind somebody what you’ve done for them is going to hurt them anyway. So why even mentioned hurt separately? Because hurt is understood in the first one, because there are other forms of hurt.

There are other forms of hurting, because when you give somebody, then you might start feeling like you should have more of a weight. Your opinion should have more weight to them, because they’re under your debt.

So when you ask them to do something. They should just do it, because of everything you’ve done for them. Right? And now you can even ask them to do.. or speak to them in a way that’s hurtful because you owe them.

Now, I won’t give you an explicit example of this. I’ll give you, it’s just something I can relate to from personal experience. And this is not to call anybody out. But a long time ago, when I started, you know, engaging in speaking engagements. I get invited from different institutions to go speak somewhere, in some different countries, some different city, etc.

And they said, “We’re going to pay your flight, we’re going to pay for your hotel, we’re going to pay for this, for that.”

As a matter of principle, I said, “If I believe in your organization.. and I believe in your cause, then I would rather cover my own expenses, I’d rather just go there and speak.”

And, you know, cause I was naive, enough one time to say, “Okay sure, you guys can cover the flight and you guys can cover the.. where I’m going to stay.”

And what happened then is… And I had agreed to speak at whatever forum they had for about an hour. But the moment I got there, “Yeah, we need you to do this, this, this, this, and this.”

And I was like, “Well, no, but I have other obligations. I came agreeing to do this time and this much.”

Yeah, and then… then there are comments, like, “You know Sheikh, we paid for your ticket and blah, blah.”

And I was like, “Ok, you can have your refund. Here you go.”

But the point is when… when you give somebody, even when you make an agreement. And then on top of that, you now put expectations that weren’t there. And you’re trying to now act as if you own somebody because you’ve done him a favor. That’s a form of “أَذًى” too.

When you do something for someone, that’s not because you will gain a level of control over them. You give out of the goodness of your heart. You gave to please Allah. If you add anything to that intention, then Allah is no longer interested in what you gave. That’s not going to count with Allah.

Maybe that will count for chips and points in this life. It will come for points, and then you can use it, and remind them, and exert your influence on them. You can do that. But it’s not for Allah anymore.

Examples of Cases in Muslim Countries

And by just as, for… for me, as a matter of principle. I would never like, you know… then, then… uh, khutbah right? Masajid and some people in Muslim countries, or actually people that come from Muslim countries.

In certain Muslim countries, Imams, and people that lead the prayer. They’re seen in a very lowly light actually. They’re seen as people that are always in need of charity. They can’t make their ends meet. You have to send them food from the neighborhood, so their family can feed themselves.

And some people come from… you know… and this is actually the case in places like Pakistan, where I lived for a year, I saw it. People treat the people who lead the prayer in a certain way. It’s an… almost like an industrialized thing.

And so some people from countries like that, you know, when they’re from America, they’re like if a Khatib comes, and speaker come, and they invite them. Then they have to like, they… they try to give me a check after I give a khutbah in a Masjid.

And… and they handed it to me, you know, how you hand, like somebody’s sadaqah, you shake their hand, and you put it in their hand, and you’re kind a like, you know. There’s a guy shakes my hand and puts some money in my hand. And I like, “What are you doing?”

“This is, you know, for the khutbah.”

I was like, “That was ibadah, why would I… why would I ask you for money for that?”

“No, but this is a… you know, because… for your family.”

I was like, “Um, my family is okay.”

“This is sadaqah, you can put that somewhere else.”

But you know what also comes with that? First of all, I would never accept it. Second of all, if somebody does accept it, then what comes with that? Then they can talk to them like they are anything, that they’re garbage, and I’ve seen it.

So, this idea that when you give somebody, and then by giving somebody, you can exert, influence, and hurt on them. Is actually a way of canceling out whatever sadaqah we gave. Whatever charities we gave. Happens inside Islamic, unfortunately, Islamic organizations. People give big donations to a Masjid.

“We’ll give donations to…”

And then they’re upset that they’re not a board member. They didn’t get elected or their opinion was not taken. Did you give money so that your opinion would be taken? Or did you give money to Allah? Which one was it? Right?

Was that so you can remind them of what you’ve done for them? Therefore your opinion matters more? Or was it because you gave? That’s, you know, you… you have to decide which one it is.

So the first thing that Allah teaches us, it’s pretty powerful. Other deeds are not as simple as this. Where… or not as complicated rather as this. Where you do something good, and even if at the time you had good intention. You’re no… you’re no longer in danger of undoing it, later.

But with sadaqah, and a favor you’ve done to somebody, and your goodness, you’ve done to somebody. You and I are in danger of undoing it. And then not counting for anything. Now it didn’t count anything for…. and worth for anything in this life. And it didn’t count for anything in the next life.

So, ثُمَّ لَا يُتْبِعُونَ مَا أَنفَقُوا

(QS. 2:262) مَنًّا وَلَا أَذًى ۙ لَّهُمْ أَجْرُهُمْ عِندَ رَبِّهِمْ

“It is those people that have their compensation.”

Only those people will get their compensation with their Master.

(QS. 2:262) وَلَا خَوْفٌ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلَا هُمْ يَحْزَنُونَ

“And they don’t have any fear on that. They’re not the ones that are going to be sad.”

In other words, Allah’s implying that there are other people who did give, they did give, they were charitable, but they were also not able to live up to the post requirements. And because of that, a day will come where they will be in sadness, instead of being in… in joy.

Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) has told us, we never lose anything by giving. You should not grieve over what you gave somebody. You shouldn’t grieve over anything you gave somebody because once you gave it, you actually didn’t give it to a person. You give it to Allah, if your intentions were pure. You gave it to Allah.

And when you give to Allah, you know, يُوَفَّ إِلَيْكُمْ وَأَنتُمْ لَا تُظْلَمُونَ (QS. 2:272)

“It will absolutely be returned to you. and you will not, you’re not the ones that will be wrong.”

You cannot be wrong when you give to Allah. So you and I have to get it out of our head that we’re giving to a person, or giving to an institutions, or we’re giving to this, um.. individual that…. you know, later on, we can.. we may.. may or may not get along with.

You didn’t give to them. You and I gave to Allah. This was in Allah’s path. This was to please Allah. And that’s it. That’s where it ends for us. Because if it doesn’t end there, if that intention isn’t clear, that’s the only way you can remind somebody.

It’s as if… if you did anything else good. You don’t remind, “You know how… how much fajr I’ve prayed?”

It doesn’t make any sense. You don’t go back and remind somebody of the Ibadah you’ve done. You don’t do it because you know, that’s not how ibadah works. You didn’t do it for anybody else. The same applies to this.

Kind Speech and Forgiveness are Better than Charity Followed by Injury

ثُمَّ لَا يُتْبِعُونَ مَا أَنفَقُوا مَنًّا وَلَا أَذًى ۙ لَّهُمْ أَجْرُهُمْ عِندَ رَبِّهِمْ وَلَا خَوْفٌ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلَا هُمْ يَحْزَنُونَ (QS. 2:262)

I’ll conclude with this brief comment from the next ayah.

قَوْلٌ مَّعْرُوفٌ

“Anything decent to say… anything decent to say…”

وَمَغْفِرَةٌ

“Or just an apology.”

خَيْرٌ مِّنْ صَدَقَةٍ يَتْبَعُهَا أَذًى ۗ

“That would be better than a charity that you give, followed… that which after which, what follows is hurtfulness.”

What is Allah’s saying? Allah is saying that sometimes somebody needs something, you’re like, “I don’t know… if I can give right now. Should I? Should I not? It’s not easy for me.”

But you say, “You know what? Whatever, you know what? It’s the right thing to do. I’m just going to give.”

So you decide after some internal struggle that you going to give. But after you gave, the internal struggle is not over.

“Should I have given? Aah… it’s kind a disturbance… seriously?”

“You know what I went through to give you? And this is what you do… this is how you talk to me? This is how you behave with me?”

Now you decide… because they… because of human beings are human beings. Even if you give somebody charity, doesn’t mean they’re going to be nice to you. It could be the one you helped a lot, turns on you. That happens, right?

أُعَلِّمُهُ الرِّمَايَةَ كُلَّ يَوْمٍ فَلَمَّا اشْتَدَّ سَاعِدُهُ رَمَانِي

“I taught him archery every day. When he… his archery became perfect. He shot me first.”

That happens. You can help somebody out and give them for the right reasons, and be generous, and they turn back and they’re vicious to you. Like, that can happen. But when that happens, you decide that you’re going to remind them of what you did, and how you did for them, and how they did you dirty.

No, Allah says, “It’s better that you just say something decent, and you just apologize, and not give to begin with.”

“Than, if you’re going to give, and later on, be… be vicious about it.”

“If you’re going to be violent about it later on, and you have that tendency, then it’s better for you to save yourself and not give charity to begin with.”

If that’s… if that’s your problem. If that if you can’t control your emotions and your temper, and you can’t control your, you know, your… your tendency to remind and shame somebody over what you’ve done for them, and how could they do XYZ to you.

If that’s what you’re going to be, then just let it, then don’t even give. But if you have given, then they do whatever they do. They can act however they act because you didn’t give to them. You gave to Allah. That’s a powerful principle to internalize. That’s a very… this is why Allah said, “تَثْبِيتًا مِّنْ أَنفُسِهِمْ” in this passage.

He says this kind of quality, comes from people who have a lot of firmness deep inside themselves. They have a maturity. they don’t let people affect them. They don’t let circumstances affect them. They’re mature about the reality of what they’re doing and who they’re doing it for. When they have that kind maturity, then they’re not going to end up losing out on the sadaqah that they give.

May Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) accept every… every bit of sadaqah that we’ve ever given. And may He not make us from people who multiple by zero, by our own mistakes and don’t meet the requirements that comes after that.

بَارَكَ اللهُ لِي وَ لَكُمْ فِي القُرْآنِ الحَكِيمِ
ونَفَعَنِي وَ إِيَّاكُمْ بِالْآيَاتِ وَالذِّكْرِ الحَكِيمِ
اَلْحَمْدُ لله وَكَفَى
وَالصَّلَاةُ وَالسَّلَامُ عَلَى عِبَادِهِ الَّذِينَ اصْطَفَى
خُصُوصًا عَلَى أَفْضَلِهِمْ وَخَاتَمَ النَّبِيِّينَ
مُحَمَّدٍ الْأَمِيْنِ
وَعَلَى آلِهِ وَصَحْبِهِ أَجْمَعِيْنَ
قَالَ اللهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ فِي كِتَابِهِ الْكَرِيْمِ
بَعْدَ أَنْ أَقُوْلَ أَعُوْذُ بِاللهِ مِنَ الشَّيْطَانِ الرَّجِيمِ
إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ وَمَلَٰٓئِكَتَهُۥ يُصَلُّونَ عَلَى ٱلنَّبِىِّ ۚ
يَٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ صَلُّواْ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلِّمُواْ تَسْلِيمًا
اللَّهُمَّ صَلِّ عَلَى مُحَمَّدٍ وَعَلَى آلِ مُحَمَّدٍ
كَمَا صَلَّيْتَ عَلَى إِبْرَاهِيمَ وَعَلَى آلِ إِبْرَاهِيمَ
فِي العَالَمِيْنَ إِنَّكَ حَمِيدٌ مَجِيدٌ
اللَّهُمَّ بَارِكْ عَلَى مُحَمَّدٍ وَعَلَى آلِ مُحَمَّدٍ
كَمَا بَارَكْتَ عَلَى إِبْرَاهِيمَ وَعَلَى آلِ إِبْرَاهِيمَ
فِي العَالَمِيْنَ إِنَّكَ حَمِيدٌ مَجِيدٌ
عِبَادَ الله، رَحِمَ كُمُ الله، اِتَّقُوا اللهَ
إنَّ اللَّهَ يَأْمُرُ بِالْعَدْلِ وَالْإِحْسَانِ وَإِيتَاءِ ذِي الْقُرْبَىٰ
وَيَنْهَىٰ عَنِ الْفَحْشَاءِ وَالْمُنكَرِ
وَلَذِكْرُ اللهِ أَكْبَرُ
واللهُ يَعْلَمُ مَا تَصْنَعُونَ، أَقِمِ الصَلَاةَ
إنَّ الصَّلَاةَ كَانَتْ عَلَى المُؤْمِنِينَ كِتَابًا مَوقُوتًا

 

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