Surah Al-Baqara, Ayah’s 212-216
212 The life of this world is alluring to those who reject faith and they scoff at those who believe. But the righteous will be above them on the Day of Resurrection; for Allah bestows His abundance without measures on whom He will.
213 Mankind was one single nation and Allah sent Messengers with glad tidings and warnings; and with them He sent the Book in truth to judge between people in matters wherein they differed; but the People of the Book after the clear Signs came to them did not differ among themselves except through selfish contumacy. Allah by His Grace guided the believers to the truth concerning that wherein they differed. For Allah guides whom He will to a path that is straight.
214 Or do ye think that ye shall enter the Garden (of Bliss) without such (trials) as came to those who passed away before you? They encountered suffering and adversity and were so shaken in spirit that even the Apostle and those of faith who were with him cried: “When (will come) the help of Allah?” Ah! verily the help of Allah is (always) near!
215 They ask thee what they should spend (in charity). Say: Whatever ye spend that is good is for parents and kindred and orphans and those in want and for wayfarers. And whatever ye do that is good Allah knoweth it well.
216 Fighting is prescribed for you and ye dislike it. But it is possible that ye dislike a thing which is good for you and that ye love a thing which is bad for you. But Allah knoweth and ye know not.
Allah’s gifts in this world seem unequal, and sometimes those that get them seem to deserve them the least.
Allah’s bounty is unlimited to the just as well as the unjust.
In His wisdom He may give to whomsoever He pleases. The account is not taken now, but will be taken in the end, when the balance will be redressed.
Three questions arise in charity:
(1) What shall we give?
(2) to whom shall we give?
(3) how shall we give?
What shall we give?
Give anything that is good, useful, helpful, valuable. It may be property or money; it may be a helping hand; it may be advice; it may be a kind word; “whatever ye do that is good” is charity.
On the other hand, if you throw away what is useless, there is no charity in it. Or if you give something with a harmful intent, e.g., a sword to a madman, or a drug or sweets or even money to someone whom you want to entrap or corrupt, it is no charity but a gift of damnation.
To whom should you give?
It may be tempting to earn the world’s praise by a gift that will be talked about, but are you meeting the needs of those who have the first claim on you?
If you are not, you are like a person who defrauds creditors: it is no charity. Every gift is judged by its unselfish character: the degree of need or claim is a factor which you should consider; if you disregard it, there is something selfish behind it.
How should it be given?
As in the sight of Allah; thus shuts out all pretence, show, and insincerity.
To fight in the cause of Truth is one of the highest forms of charity.
What can you offer that is more precious than your own life?
But here again the limitations come in.
If you are a mere brawler, or a selfish aggressive person, or a vainglorious bully, you deserve the highest censure.
If you offer your life to the righteous Iman, who is only guided by Allah, you are an unselfish here.
Allah knows the value of things better than you do.