Your charity in a gift wrap

Don’t turn your charity into a foot that steps on others pride.

Your charity is an act of faith,
An act of obedience to Allah,
An act of love and concern,
A selfless act with your hope only in the reward from Allah, so I believe.

The best of your charity is the one you give in secret,
Not just to others, even to the receiver.
How come that you announce when you give your charity?
You called to say, come to me, I have a charity for you.
Or you say, I am giving you this and that as a charity.

Have you ever thought about the dignity of the receiver of your charity?
Perhaps, the receiver hates to stretch their hands,
But stretch they must out of helplessness.
Helplessness does not equal to lack of dignity.

Help the receiver keep their dignity and be discreet with your charity.
A discreet charity has more value in the eyes of the receiver
And more reward from Allah than open charity.
Yes, the giving hand is better than the receiving hand.
But the receiving hand does not always wish to be so.

Be discreet in your charity,
Don’t turn it into a foot that step on others pride.
Don’t impose your charity on others,
Even if you think they need it,
They might not want it.
You offer, they reject, your intention is already rewarded,
Say salaam and move on, don’t insist, in case you might hurt their pride by so doing.

This is not to say, not to give charity.
By all means do, because it is an act of faith full or reward from the most High.
But let your wisdom precede your charity,         
So you do not have to step on other people’s pride.

One more thing,
Why don’t you help your friend conceal their shame
Of helplessness and being in need
By concealing your charity as a gift?
A dignified heart is more receptive to a gift than a charity.

So, if you seek me out to give your charity, then don’t rub it in.
Help me keep my dignity and be discreet about it.
I know you know I know it’s a charity in a gift wrap.

This reminds me of the story I read from “Enjoy your life (p- 437)” about Ali Ibn al-Husayn. He was known of the saying “Giving charity in secret extinguishes Allah’s wrath” He used to distribute food to the poor people at night without anyone knowing. Even the poor people themselves have no clue where the food they meet at their doorstep each day comes from.

When he died, a black mark was found on his back indicating he has been labouring but no one has ever seen him doing such things. But when the food supply to the needy people stopped upon his death, it was discovered that the midnight labourer, who supplies food at the doorstep of the poor has been none other than Ali Ibn al-Husayn.

Imagine that and be creative with your charity, no one need know about it, even the receiver as long as your intention is purely for Allah and you hope for your reward from Him alone.

The likeness of those who spend their wealth in the Way of Allah, is as the likeness of a grain (of corn); it grows seven ears, and each ear has a hundred grains. Allah gives manifold increase to whom He wills. And Allah is All-Sufficient for His creatures’ needs, All-Knower.

Those who spend their wealth in the Cause of Allah, and do not follow up their gifts with reminders of their generosity or with injury, their reward is with their Lord. On them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve.

Kind words and forgiving of faults are better than Sadaqah (charity) followed by injury. And Allah is Rich (Free of all needs) and He is Most-Forbearing.

O you who believe! Do not render in vain your Sadaqah (charity) by reminders of your generosity or by injury, like him who spends his wealth to be seen of men, and he does not believe in Allah, nor in the Last Day. His likeness is the likeness of a smooth rock on which is a little dust; on it falls heavy rain which leaves it bare. They are not able to do anything with what they have earned. And Allah does not guide the disbelieving people.

And the likeness of those who spend their wealth seeking Allah’s Pleasure while they in their ownselves are sure and certain that Allah will reward them (for their spending in His Cause), is the likeness of a garden on a height; heavy rain falls on it and it doubles its yield of harvest. And if it does not receive heavy rain, light rain suffices it. And Allah is All-Seer (knows well) of what you do. (Al-Baqarah, Quran 2: 261-265)

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