Giving And Withholding Charity

Giving and withholding charity-الإنْفاق والإمساك

1. Beware of withholding [charity], for indeed you are [only] a treasurer for someone else in that which you withhold from what is in excess of your daily requirement.

1ـ إيّاكَ والإمْساكَ فَإنَّ ما أمْسَكْتَهُ فَوْقَ قُوتِ يَوْمِكَ كُنْتَ فيهِ خازِناً لِغَيْرِكَ.

2. If you spend your wealth for the sake of Allah, then [know that] indeed Allah is quick in recompense.

2ـ إنْ تَبْذُلُوا أمْوالَكُمْ في جَنْبِ اللّهِ فَإنَّ اللّهَ مُسْرِعُ الخَلَفَ.

3. When you are blessed with sustenance then give charity.

3ـ إذا رُزِقْتَ فَأنْفِقْ.

4. When you are blessed with sustenance then give generously.

4ـ إذا رُزِقْتَ فَأوْسِعْ.

5. Your garments are more lasting for you when worn by others rather than yourself.

5ـ ثِيابُكَ عَلى غَيْرِكَ أبْقى لَكَ مِنْها عَلَيْكَ.

6. A dirham that benefits [others] is better than a dinar1 that throws one into ruin.

6ـ دِرْهَمٌ يَنْفَعُ خَيْرٌ مِنْ دينار يَصْرَعُ.

7. The dirham of a poor man is purer in the sight of Allah than the dinar of the rich.

7ـ دِرْهَمُ الفَقيرِ أزْكى عِنْدَ اللّهِ مِنْ دينارِ الغَنِيِّ.

8. Many a thing that is little grows and develops much more than that which is plenty.

8ـ رُبَّ يَسير أنْمى مِنْ كَثير.

9. Little that belongs to you is better than plenty that belongs to others.

9ـ قَلِيلٌ لَكَ خَيْرٌ مِنْ كَثير لِغَيْرِكَ.

10. Nobody gains anything from his worldly life except that which he spends on others.

10ـ لَيْسَ لأَحَد مِنْ دُنْياهُ إلاّ ما أنْفَقَهُ عَلى أُخْراهُ.

11. One who gives with a short arm is given with a long arm.2

11ـ مَنْ يُعْطِ بِاليَدِ القَصيرَةِ يُعْطَ بِاليَدِ الطَّويلَةِ.

12. Verily you are more in need of giving charity from what you have earned than acquiring what you accumulate.

12ـ إنَّكُمْ إلى إنْفاقِ مَا اكْتَسَبْتُمْ أحْوَجُ مِنْكُمْ إلَى اكْتِسابِ ما تَجْمَعُونَ.

  • 1. The dirham is a silver coin and the dinar is a gold coin (which is typically valued as ten times as much as the dirham).
  • 2. Sayyid Raḍi (r) has explained the meaning of this aphorism thus: it means the human being gets much reward for the little charity that he gives. For the entire explanation refer to the commentary of Nahj al-Balāgha, Hikma no. 232