Living The Quran
From Issue: 500 [Read full issue]
Al-Baqarah (The Cow)
Chapter 2: Verse 264 (partial)
"O you who have attained to faith! Do not deprive your charitable deeds of all worth by stressing your own benevolence and hurting [the feeling of the needy], as does he who spends his wealth only to be seen and praised by men, and believes not in God and the Last Day."
Throughout the Quran humankind is asked to find the measure in which it will give and to remain discreet and respectful of others. Indeed, one's way of giving is in itself a testimony of faith: if you have no need to be seen by others, it is a sign that you know God is always with you. Discretion also safeguards the dignity of those you help.
This duty to be discreet is more important than it may appear: it bears the mark of respect for people's dignity in all circumstances, even the most intimate. The aim is to prevent evil, to give before the poor need to beg, and to try to avoid being seen by anyone so that no one has to be embarrassed or look the other way for no reason. When society does not give what its members are entitled to have, the more affluent among them must express the greatness of this principle of dignified generosity. The Quran constantly paints this landscape, which must not be forgotten in our personal economic management.
"Westerm Muslims and The Future of Islam" - Tariq Ramadan, pp. 180-181