Giving for Allah’s Sake – Nouman Ali Khan – Quran Weekly

As-Salaamu Alaikum Quran Weekly. Today inshAllah I’ll be sharing with you some
things from the 263rd ayah of Surah Baqarah. Surah Al-Baqarah, 263. And in this ayah Allah
talks a little bit about spending. And spending for His sake, giving in charitable causes.
You know, in this month alhamdulillah we get closer to Allah and we feel a lot more softness
even towards other people. And it’s a month of giving, a lot of people give their zakat
in this month. A lot of people donate more to the mosques and the masajid in this month
or even to humanitarian causes. But actually the original giving, in addition to all of
these causes, really the giving begins with the people closest to you – family members
that are in need, neighbors, friends, things like that. And when you give to those kinds
of, you know, those individuals, or those recipients and you’re personally giving them
some kind of help, maybe you have a friend who is in debt and he didn’t know how to get
out of it or something. Or he’s been stuck in it for a while and you can put a little
dent in their debt. Or you have somebody else, you have an uncle in the family or a cousin
or somebody like that, or even a brother who lost a job and is having a hard time making
the rent payments and things like that. You can help them out. Allah says in this ayah
very powerful bit of advice, not just giving but the way to give – the ethics of giving.
So He says “قَوْلٌ مَّعْرُوفٌ” [Qawlun Ma`rūfun]- a decent word, a decent
word, “وَمَغْفِرَةٌ” [Wa Maghfiratun] – and forgiveness, “خَيْرٌ مِّن
صَدَقَةٍ يَتْبَعُهَا أَذًى” [Khayrun MinŞadaqatin Yatba`uhā ‘Adháan]-
is better than charity given which is followed up by painful words, by pain. Or that charity
that right after it, pain comes. What in the world does that mean? That means sometimes
people give but as they give they’re condescending in the way they give. You know? They’re not,
they have this kind of, “Here take it. I know you need it” – a really hurtful way of saying
it, you know? You didn’t insult the person but you said it in a way that really pierces
through a person’s dignity. So Allah says “قَوْلٌ مَّعْرُوفٌ” [Qawlun
Ma`rūfun]- the word “مَّعْرُوفٌ” [Ma`rūfun] is important here because “مَّعْرُوفٌ”
[Ma`rūfun] part of the meaning of it is to retain dignity, you know, of people, speaking
to people in the “مَّعْرُوفٌ” [Ma`rūfun] is speaking to people in a decent way. The
other thing also, “قَوْلٌ مَّعْرُوفٌ” [Qawlun Ma`rūfun] – so when you give show
respect. In other words, the person you’re helping, you’re not helping them; as a matter
of fact you’re depositing into your akhirah. So technically, they’re helping you from a
faith perspective. You’re honored to be able to help them, not the other way around. Then
He says “وَمَغْفِرَةٌ” [Wa Maghfiratun] – and perhaps there’s somebody that you want
to help in your family or among your circle of friends but you had a fight with them.
And you’re not really getting along with them anymore. And so when it comes time to giving
you’re like, “I don’t know if I should. I mean, we kind of broke it off on bad terms.
I don’t know if I should give to this person anymore.” Allah says not only decent word
but forgiveness is better. This is the right way to go. Then charity given “خَيْرٌ
مِّن صَدَقَةٍ يَتْبَعُهَا أَذًى” [Khayrun MinŞadaqatin Yatba`uhā
‘Adháan] – which is followed and charity right after it, what comes is painful words.
In other words, “Listen. I know you said these mean things to me but keep this charity and
don’t let it happen again next time.” You know, don’t talk down to people and don’t
use your money as leverage against them. When you give, when we give for the sake of Allah
and you give anybody, give a friend, give family, give a masjid, then there are no strings
attached – that is it. You gave for the sake of Allah. You get nothing more out of it.
If they give something to you, if they give thanks to you, if they do you a favor in return
or whatever that’s their prerogative. Number one: you shouldn’t expect it. Number two:
if they don’t do it you shouldn’t be offended and say, “I helped them out and they didn’t
do anything for me.” Because you didn’t help them out. You helped yourself out. And the
moment you start expecting in the depth of your heart, you and I start expecting that
somebody should do something for us in return for the charity that we’ve given them, the
sadaqah, the aide that we gave them, then at that very moment whatever you gave is no
longer acceptable for Allah. That is some, a worldly transaction that has no other worldly
benefit, in the akhirah it will not show up for you. Allah does not like to share. Then
at the end of this ayah, beautifully Allah says “وَاللَّهُ غَنِيٌّ حَلِيمٌ”
[Wa Allāhu Ghanīyun Ĥalīmun]- And Allah is free of need. Allah doesn’t need your charity.
He doesn’t need your help for that friend of yours who is in need for them to be provided
for. Allah would find other ways for them to be provided. You were simply there to demonstrate
your “فقر” [faqr]- your bankruptcy to Allah. “Ya Allah, I don’t have anything for the akhirah,
please accept this from me so that I can build some of my akhirah.” And then Allah says “حَلِيمٌ”
[Ĥalīmun]- Allah is forbearing. Part of the meaning of “حَلم” [Ĥilm] is to be
able to understand the pain of someone else. Allah is sensitive to the pain of other people.
Allah is sensitive to their situation. In other words Allah is saying, first of all
if you think you’re rich, Allah is the one who made you rich.’ He is the “غَنِي”
[Ghanīy]. And second of all, if you are insensitive you should emulate one of the qualities of
Allah Himself which is to be sensitive, which is to be forbearing. You know, “وَاللَّهُ
غَنِيٌّ حَلِيمٌ” [Wa Allāhu Ghanīyun Ĥalīmun] – subhanAllah. May Allah azza wajal make us sensitive and
ethical, really cautious and conscious at the time of giving and may Allah provide all
of us with good, pure halal rizq. BarakAllahu li Walakum, Wa-Salaamu Alaikum
Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuh As-Salaamu Alaikum everyone. If you’ve benefitted
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