Hide your Charity – Tafsīr Suratl-Baqarah by Ibn Kathīr


Concerning His statement;

وَمَا أَنفَقْتُم مِّن نَّفَقَةٍ أَوْ نَذَرْتُم مِّن نَّذْرٍ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ يَعْلَمُهُ ۗ وَمَا لِلظَّالِمِينَ مِنْ أَنصَارٍ (٢٧٠) إِن تُبْدُوا الصَّدَقَاتِ فَنِعِمَّا هِيَ ۖ وَإِن تُخْفُوهَا وَتُؤْتُوهَا الْفُقَرَاءَ فَهُوَ خَيْرٌ لَّكُمْ ۚ وَيُكَفِّرُ عَنكُم مِّن سَيِّئَاتِكُمْ ۗ وَاللَّهُ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ خَبِيرٌ (٢٧١)

“And whatever you spend for spendings (e.g., in Sadaqah – charity, etc. for Allāh’s Cause) or whatever vow you make, be sure Allāh knows it all. And for the Dhalimūn (wrong-doers, etc.) there are no helpers. If you disclose your Sadaqat (alms-giving), it is well, but if you conceal it, and give it to the poor, that is better for you. (Allah) will forgive you some of your sins. And Allāh is Well-Acquainted with what you do.” [Al-Baqarah, 270-71]

The content of these two verses: Is that whatever a slave spends of good or bad, rightfully or wrongfully, and likewise swearing an oath for Allāh or other than Allāh, then verily Allāh is aware of it;

(إِن تُبْدُوا الصَّدَقَاتِ فَنِعِمَّا هِي)

“If you disclose your Sadaqat (alms-giving), it is well”

I.e. If you disclose it then it is a good thing.

(وَإِن تُخْفُوهَا وَتُؤْتُوهَا الْفُقَرَاءَ فَهُوَ خَيْرٌ لَّكُمْ)

“But if you conceal it, and give it to the poor, that is better for you”

In it is proof that concealing charity is better than disclosing; Because it’s further from showing-off; except if there are overriding benefits attached in disclosing, from the people following in example, then it is better from this angle.

قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ : الْجَاهِرُ بِالْقُرْآن ِكَالْجَاهِرِ بِالصَّدَقَةِ، وَالْمُسِرُّ بِالْقُرْآنِ كَالْمُسِرِّ بِالصَّدَقَةِ

The Messenger of Allāh ﷺ said: “The one reading the Qurān aloud is like the one who discloses charity, and the one reading Qurān in a low voice is like the one who conceals charity.”

And this does not clash with the Hadith;

أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ خَرَجَ عَلَى النَّاسِ وَهُمْ يُصَلُّونَ، وَقَدْ عَلَتْ أَصْوَاتُهُمْ بِالْقِرَاءَةِ
فَقَالَ : ” إِنَّ الْمُصَلِّيَ يُنَاجِي رَبَّهُ، فَلْيَنْظُرْ بِمَا يُنَاجِيهِ بِهِ، وَلَا يَجْهَرْ بَعْضُكُمْ عَلَى بَعْضٍ بِالْقُرْآن

That the Messenger of Allāh ﷺ, came out to the people while they were praying and their voices were raised in the recitation. He said, “When you pray you are talking confidentially to your Lord. So look to what you confide to Him, and do not raise your voices over one another with the Qurān.”

For this is in a state where annoyance occurs to the people praying or reading or doing dhikr.

▪️ Just as charity is good in one state and better in another, likewise is reading Qurān.

▪️ The asl is that reading in a low voice is better due to this verse, and what has been authentically established on the authority of Abi Hurairah may Allāh be pleased with him:

سبعة يظلهم الله في ظله يوم لا ظل إلا ظله، وذكر منهم، ورجل تصدق بصدقة فأخفاها حتى لا تعلم شماله ما تنفق يمينه

“Seven people will be shaded by Allāh in His shade on a day there is no shade except His shade …. He mentioned the rest of the hadith, which says, “And a man who gives charity so secretly that his left hand does not know what his right hand has given.”

▪️ Concealing charity doesn’t draw attention of the eyes whereas disclosing charity draws the attention of the eyes.

And He clarified that both of them are expiators of sins.

• The soul is in need of being fought until it fights (in the cause of good).

So the verse is general that concealing charity is better, whether it is obligatory (charity) or recommended.

(وَيُكَفِّرُ عَنكُم مِّن سَيِّئَاتِكُمْ)

“(Allāh) will forgive you some of your sins.”

I.e. because of the Sadaqah, especially if concealed.

(وَاللَّهُ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ خَبِير)

“And Allāh is Well-Acquainted with what you do.”

I.e. nothing of that is hidden from Him and He will recompense you for it.

And Allāh is the granter of success.

Benefited from: Shaykh, the Allamah, the Trustworthy Advisor, Abu Abdirrahman Yahya bin Ali Al-Hajuri – may Allah preserve him

Source: https://t.me/sh_yahia_duroos/3149

Translated by: Abu ‘Abdillāh ‘Omar bin Yahya Al-‘Akawi