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Kind Words or Charity with Boasting?

قَوْلٌ مَّعْرُوفٌ وَمَغْفِرَةٌ خَيْرٌ مِّن صَدَقَةٍ يَتْبَعُهَا أَذًى وَاللّهُ غَنِيٌّ حَلِيمٌ

"Kind words and forgiving of faults are better than charity (which is) followed by harm. And Allaah is Rich (Free of all wants) and He is Most-Forbearing."*

Allaah teaches us in this verse that saying something kind or forgiving somebody's mistake is better than giving charity and then following it up with boasting or reminding the person of it. In fact in the verse following it Allaah warns us not to nullify our charity by such acts.

To illustrate, some clear examples would be building a Masjid and having your name on it for people's praise, giving charity to somebody and reminding them of it later on directly or indirectly, doing something good and desiring people to know about it just so that they applaud you, etc.

Another aspect of this matter is revealed in the fact of man's servant-hood and helplessness. Allaah reminds people in numerous verses throughout the Qur'aan that what we possess is temporary and is bestowed on us by Allaah. So, if we are giving something in charity which really does not belong to us, how can we boast about it?! It is Allaah alone Who deserves praise and gratitude because it is He alone Who possesses all things and He alone is the Bestower.


* Surah al-Baqarah, verse 263

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