As-Sunnah Vol. 2 Issue No. 4

 

Recounting one's favors is prohibited

Abu Dharr (radhi allahu anhu) said, 'The Prophet (sallallahu aliahi wa-sallam) observed, 'There are three (types of) people to whom Allah will neither speak on the Day of Resurrection nor look at them, nor purify them, and they will have a painful chastisement.' The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu aliahi wa-sallam) repeated it three times. Abu Dharr (radhi allahu anhu) remarked, 'They are ruined. Who are they, O Messenger of Allah?' Upon this, the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu aliahi wa-sallam) said, 'One who lets down his lower garments (below his ankles) out of arrogance, one who boasts of his favors done to another; and who sells his goods by taking a false oath.'' [Saheeh Muslim]

Allah says in the Qur'aan about those who follow their charity with reminder, 'O you who believe! Do not render in vain your Sadaqa (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 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.' [Soorah al-Baqarah (2): 265]

(in the above verse) '…like him, who spends his wealth to be seen of men,' means, 'Do not nullify your acts of charity by following them with reminders and harm, just like the charity of those who give it to show off to people.' The boasting person pretends to give away in charity for Allah's sake, but, in reality, seeks to gain people's praise and the reputation of being kind or generous, or other material gains of this life. All the while, he does not think about Allah or gaining His pleasure and generous rewards, and this is why Allah said, 'and he does not believe in Allah, nor in the Last Day.'

Allah next sets the example of whoever gives charity to show off. Ad-Dahhak commented that the example fits one who follows his acts of charity with reminders or harm. [at-Tabaree 5: 527] Allah says, 'His likeness is the likeness of a smooth rock on which is little dust; on it falls heavy rain, which leaves it bare.' This verse means that heavy rain left the smooth rock completely barren of dust. Such is the case with Allah's action regarding the work of those who show off, as their deeds are bound to vanish and disappear, even though people think that these deeds are as plentiful as specks of dust. So, Allah said, 'They are not able to do anything with what they have earned. And Allah does not guide the disbelieving people.' Thus, those who recount their charity will not cause harm to those whom they gave charity, it will only annul the charity, whether these reminders or hints take the form of words or actions. In this case, even the reward of giving away in charity is not sufficient to nullify the harm of reminders.

And Allah says in a previous verse of the same Soorah praising those who spend from their money in His cause, and then refrain from reminding those who received the charity, '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 Sadaqa (charity) followed by injury. And Allah is Rich (free of all wants) and He is Most-Forbearing.' [Soorah al-Baqarah (2): 264]


Taken from As-Sunnah Newsletter - http://www.qsep.com

 

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