Still on Charity…
It is better to seek no publicity in charity. But if it is known there is no harm. If it is for public purposes, it must necessarily be known, and a pedantic show of concealment may itself be a fault. The harm of publicity lies in motives of ostentation.
We can better reach the really deserving poor by quietly seeking for them. The spiritual benefit ensures to our own souls,“ provided our motives are pure, and we are really seeking the good pleasure of Allah.
In connection with charity this means that we relieve those really in need, whether they are good or bad, on the right path or not, Muslims or otherwise. It is not for us to judge in these matters.
Allah will give light according to His wisdom.
Incidentally it adds a further meaning to the command. “Let there be no compulsion in religion” (Q2; 256). For compulsion may not only be by force, but by economic necessity.
In matters of religion we must not even compel by a bribe of charity. The chief motive in charity should be Allah’s pleasure and our own spiritual good.
Reminder on zakaat al-fitr
Ibn ‘Abbaas said:
“The Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم made zakaat al-fitr obligatory as a means of purifying the fasting person from idle talk and foul language, and to feed the poor. Whoever pays it before the prayer, it is an accepted zakaat, and whoever pays it after the prayer, it is just a kind of charity (sadaqah).
Reported by Abu Dawood, 1371