O you who believe! ... And know that Allah-SWT is Self-Sufficing, Praise-Worthy.
Charity must be made out of one's own earnings. Whatever is spent must be legitimate, as acquisition of wealth through illegitimate means cannot be termed as earning. Rather those indulging in such unfair practices try to conceal the illegal sources of their wealth from others. Whatever is spent in Allah-SWT's Way from a lawfully earned wealth must be good and proper, may it be grain, fruit or any other commodity. If someone gives away something obtained unlawfully, Allah-SWT will not accept it. According to ‘Hadith’, ‘evil can be washed away by virtue, but an impurity cannot wash away another impurity’. However, if a person owns commodities that are inferior in quality he will have to give from what he has. Or if he owns some good quality, and some relatively defective things, he can give from both. This spending includes all aspects of charity, whether mandatory or optional
"And what we bring forth from the earth for you" means Zakat of the land as termed as 'Usher. According to the Hanafi School of Thought, 'Usher is payable on every holding of the land. The Holy Prophet-SW has decreed payment of one-tenth of the produce of the crop from the land served by rainfall and one-twentieth of produce of land irrigated by canals. Al-An'am (and pay what is due of them the harvest day 6:141) clearly enjoins 'Usher. The tax levied on land by an Islamic Government is termed as 'Usher and Kharaj’. The former is not merely a tax but a fiscal worship and since a Muslim is obliged to worship he pays 'Usher from his land produce. ‘Kharaj’ is a tax on a non-believer who is not obliged to worship, but being a dweller of the State he pays it to the State on his land produce. 'Usher is similar to Zakat, the only difference is that the latter is payable after the lapse of one year while the former is payable on the day of harvest. If there is no produce there: is no 'Usher, but Zakat remains payable even if there is no profit from the liable holdings. Moreover Zakat is obligatory only on Muslims and its expenditure on non-Muslims is not allowed. For further details Mufti Muhammad Shafi's-RUA ‘Nizanm al Aradhi’ may be consulted.
Always strive for perfection in all that you offer in His-SWT Name. You would yourself not like to accept something inferior; except in the case where you are at risk of a total loss and overlook quality to accept at least something rather than losing all. But Allah-SWT is in no need of your presents, which even you deem inferior. Remember that He-SWT is Perfect in His-SWT Being and in His-SWT Attributes; and all His-SWT Actions are worthy of high admiration.
Satan threatens you with poverty ... And Allah-SWT is Bountiful, Knowing.
Satan instills in your heart the fear that you will be reduced to poverty by your contributing to works of charity. You must not lend an ear to him. In fact he suggests immodesty. If you heed him, he would not stop at restraining you from charity, but would also make you indulge in immorality. One of the reasons for the waywardness of youth today is that Zakat has not been paid on the wealth inherited by them. As a result it is spent on lewdness and obscenity. This is the case with the wealth earned by lawful means where share of the poor is withheld by non payment of Zakat, not to speak of the wealth generated through unlawful means altogether!
Allah-SWT promises forgiveness and rewards to those who spend in His-SWT Cause, charity becomes a source of expiation for some of the misdeeds and may bring fabulous rewards in the ‘Akhirah’. It may also become the cause of affluence and abundance of provisions in this world. Allah-SWT is indeed Generous and knows the donors, their intentions and where they spend.
He-SWT grants wisdom... But none takes heed except persons of understanding.
The term al Hikmah (Wisdom) refers to the completion of a word or an action to perfection. This term has been frequently used in the Quran and all explanations given by various commentators lead to the same meaning.
According to Tafsir-e Mazhari this wisdom refers to useful and genuine knowledge that prompts action in accordance with Allah-SWT's approval. Apparently this knowledge is the domain of Prophets-AS to whom the entire mankind must turn for its attainment. It may well mean, understanding the Deen. To comprehend the divine Injunctions, and know their blessings and benefits is the real worship, leading to salvation in both the worlds. Allah-SWT may give such wisdom to whomever He-SWT pleases, and surely such a person is blessed with ample good.
This shows that when Allah-SWT is pleased with someone He-SWT grants him the understanding of the Prophetic knowledge, and it is only then that magnificence of Islam truly permeates his heart. According to the Holy Prophet-SW, Allah-SWT gives the worldly affluence to both, His-SWT enemies and friends alike, while only the latter are blessed with Deen; and only those who accept the truth are wise. Only those ponder over Divine Knowledge whose thinking is free of Satanic ideas; a feat possible only when the soul-at-evil is subjugated.
Tasawwuf Subjugates Evil Soul (Nafs-e Ammarah)
It is Tasawwuf, which harnesses the evil soul, and all efforts are concentrated towards achieving this end. This is why it is imperative to attain spiritual beneficence from the Aulia and to undertake such exercises, which help subdue the evil inclinations of the soul.
And whatever you ...And the wrongdoers have no helpers.
And whatever people spend whether in obedience or in affront, rightfully or wrongfully, sincerely or in pretence, good or bad, is known to Allah-SWT . And the vows made to Allah-SWT , whether in the form of physical worship or charity, correctly or unlawfully are also known to Him-SWT . As for making a vow to do a certain act, it is necessary that the vow should be taken as obligatory, but the act should not be an obligation itself. The vow is to be undertaken purely for Allah-SWT . For example, Salat is obligatory and one cannot vow that he will offer Salat-al-Fajr or any other obligatory Salat, but he may vow to offer voluntary Salat.
All matters pertaining to vows, Allah-SWT knows their legitimacy, fulfillment and other details. He-SWT will requite whatever is deserved. And those who ignore the bounds laid down by Allah-SWT and are found guilty of irregularities and disobedience shall find no helper to rescue them from His-SWT Punishment.
If you do acts of charity openly... and you shall not be treated unjustly.
If alms are given publicly it is a good thing insofar as it sets an example for others. It is, however, difficult because it does involve a risk of dissimulation and sometimes, even vanity. It has a number of similar other complications. the easiest way is to give away the alms secretly for it would ensure the dignity of the recipient and at the same time protect the donor from any difficulty. The quantity of the donation will not be known publicly, which is an advantage. Even if there is no worldly benefit, Allah-SWT will make this charity a source of atonement for some of the misdeeds and will elevate the spiritual status of the donor. The atonement of sins is not confined to secret-alms giving only; it is also attained when giving away publicly. The real aim of spending is the expiation of sins and the attainment of Allah-SWT's nearness, Who-SWT is well Aware of all actions.
According to the Holy Prophet-SW, alms given secretly extinguish Allah-SWT's Wrath and a kind treatment to the kindred prolongs ones life. The commentators have collected many a ‘Hadith’ in this context. The voluntary alms can be given to both the Muslim as well as the non-believer. The donor must not withhold alms from a needy non-believer relative, waiting for him to embrace Islam, because guidance is purely Allah-SWT's Endowment and whoever will turn to Him-SWT will be blessed with it. It is not the Holy Prophet's-SW responsibility to impart guidance. Allah-SWT is Rabb-SWT of everyone and provides livelihood to all. So do not deprive the non-believers from voluntary alms as in any case you spend for your own good and you will be rewarded accordingly.
Now whether the beggar is a Muslim or a non-believer, he eats in the name of Allah-SWT . If the latter prostrates before someone else it is none of the donor's business. It is between him and Allah-SWT . You are not doing a favour to the beggar as your act of charity is not for him, but for your own redemption in both worlds. You seek to please Allah-SWT and strive to know His-SWT Grandeur. Your aims are high and your wish is indeed commendable. So be mindful that the ladder you use for reaching your goal-should not be made of inferior material, nor should it be weakly supported. Therefore, spend in Allah-SWT's Way what is good and have trust in Him-SWT , for He-SWT will return it multiplied manifold and there will be no injustice.
It must be remembered that voluntary charity can be given to non-Muslims too, but the obligatory alms such as Zakat, 'Usher etc. payable by the Muslims will only be spent on Muslims. Any payment on this account to the non-Muslims will be null and void. These obligatory alms are those, which have been enjoined on the Muslims and were collected by the State in the era of the Holy Prophet-SW, Jihad was declared against those who refused to pay Zakat soon after his-SW passingaway, just as it was waged against impostors and apostates. The first Caliph Hadhrat Abu Bakr Siddiq-RUA himself led the army which fought for three days an nights against those who had refused to pay Zakat, and Hadhrat' Ali-RAU by his side. Zakat and 'Usher were promptly collected during the times of all Caliph thereafter Caliph Ali-RAU himself paid the Zakat and as leader of the Muslims collected and spent it rightfully on the affairs of the state.
Charity is for the poor ... Allah-SWT knows it well
Charity isfor the poor who cannot spare time to earn their living because of pre-occupations in religious pursuits such as education or jihad. They are so modest that they do not even ask for help and are content to the extent that people take them to be affluent. But they can be recognised by their pallid faces and ragged garments. They do not beg people and consider it below dignity. Starvation and poverty cannot detract them from their mission. These are the people, charity given to whom, is most rewarded by Allah-SWT , Who-SWT is well aware of all that is given in His-SWT way.