English Translation and Commentary of the Holy Quran (2010)

by Maulana Muhammad Ali

Chapter 2: Al-Baqarah — The Cow (Revealed at Madinah: 40 sections, 286 verses)

Section 36 (Verses 2:261–2:266): Spending Money in the Cause of Truth

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Translation:

مَثَلُ الَّذِیۡنَ یُنۡفِقُوۡنَ اَمۡوَالَہُمۡ فِیۡ سَبِیۡلِ اللّٰہِ کَمَثَلِ حَبَّۃٍ اَنۡۢبَتَتۡ سَبۡعَ سَنَابِلَ فِیۡ کُلِّ سُنۡۢبُلَۃٍ مِّائَۃُ حَبَّۃٍ ؕ وَ اللّٰہُ یُضٰعِفُ لِمَنۡ یَّشَآءُ ؕ وَ اللّٰہُ وَاسِعٌ عَلِیۡمٌ ﴿۲۶۱﴾

2:261 The parable of those who spend their wealth in the way of Allah is as the parable of a grain growing seven ears, in every ear a hundred grains.1 And Allah multiplies (further) for whom He pleases. And Allah is Ample-giving, Knowing.

اَلَّذِیۡنَ یُنۡفِقُوۡنَ اَمۡوَالَہُمۡ فِیۡ سَبِیۡلِ اللّٰہِ ثُمَّ لَا یُتۡبِعُوۡنَ مَاۤ اَنۡفَقُوۡا مَنًّا وَّ لَاۤ اَذًی ۙ لَّہُمۡ اَجۡرُہُمۡ عِنۡدَ رَبِّہِمۡ ۚ وَ لَا خَوۡفٌ عَلَیۡہِمۡ وَ لَا ہُمۡ یَحۡزَنُوۡنَ ﴿۲۶۲﴾

2:262 Those who spend their wealth in the way of Allah, then do not follow up what they have spent with reproach or injury, their reward is with their Lord, and they shall have no fear nor shall they grieve.2

قَوۡلٌ مَّعۡرُوۡفٌ وَّ مَغۡفِرَۃٌ خَیۡرٌ مِّنۡ صَدَقَۃٍ یَّتۡبَعُہَاۤ اَذًی ؕ وَ اللّٰہُ غَنِیٌّ حَلِیۡمٌ ﴿۲۶۳﴾

2:263 A kind word with forgiveness is better than charity followed by injury. And Allah is Self-sufficient, Forbearing.

یٰۤاَیُّہَا الَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡا لَا تُبۡطِلُوۡا صَدَقٰتِکُمۡ بِالۡمَنِّ وَ الۡاَذٰی ۙ کَالَّذِیۡ یُنۡفِقُ مَالَہٗ رِئَآءَ النَّاسِ وَ لَا یُؤۡمِنُ بِاللّٰہِ وَ الۡیَوۡمِ الۡاٰخِرِؕ فَمَثَلُہٗ کَمَثَلِ صَفۡوَانٍ عَلَیۡہِ تُرَابٌ فَاَصَابَہٗ وَابِلٌ فَتَرَکَہٗ صَلۡدًا ؕ لَا یَقۡدِرُوۡنَ عَلٰی شَیۡءٍ مِّمَّا کَسَبُوۡا ؕ وَ اللّٰہُ لَا یَہۡدِی الۡقَوۡمَ الۡکٰفِرِیۡنَ ﴿۲۶۴﴾

2:264 O you who believe, do not make your charity worthless by reproach and injury, like him who spends his wealth to be seen by people and does not believe in Allah and the Last Day.3 So his parable is as the parable of a smooth rock with earth upon it, then heavy rain falls upon it, so it leaves it bare! They are not able to gain anything of what they earn. And Allah does not guide the disbelieving people.4

وَ مَثَلُ الَّذِیۡنَ یُنۡفِقُوۡنَ اَمۡوَالَہُمُ ابۡتِغَآءَ مَرۡضَاتِ اللّٰہِ وَ تَثۡبِیۡتًا مِّنۡ اَنۡفُسِہِمۡ کَمَثَلِ جَنَّۃٍۭ بِرَبۡوَۃٍ اَصَابَہَا وَابِلٌ فَاٰتَتۡ اُکُلَہَا ضِعۡفَیۡنِ ۚ فَاِنۡ لَّمۡ یُصِبۡہَا وَابِلٌ فَطَلٌّ ؕ وَ اللّٰہُ بِمَا تَعۡمَلُوۡنَ بَصِیۡرٌ ﴿۲۶۵﴾

2:265 And the parable of those who spend their wealth to seek Allah’s pleasure and for the strengthening of their souls is as the parable of a garden on elevated ground, upon which heavy rain falls, so it brings forth its fruit twofold; but if heavy rain does not fall on it, light rain (is sufficient).5 And Allah is Seer of what you do.

اَیَوَدُّ اَحَدُکُمۡ اَنۡ تَکُوۡنَ لَہٗ جَنَّۃٌ مِّنۡ نَّخِیۡلٍ وَّ اَعۡنَابٍ تَجۡرِیۡ مِنۡ تَحۡتِہَا الۡاَنۡہٰرُ ۙ لَہٗ فِیۡہَا مِنۡ کُلِّ الثَّمَرٰتِ ۙ وَ اَصَابَہُ الۡکِبَرُ وَ لَہٗ ذُرِّیَّۃٌ ضُعَفَآءُ ۪ۖ فَاَصَابَہَاۤ اِعۡصَارٌ فِیۡہِ نَارٌ فَاحۡتَرَقَتۡ ؕ کَذٰلِکَ یُبَیِّنُ اللّٰہُ لَکُمُ الۡاٰیٰتِ لَعَلَّکُمۡ تَتَفَکَّرُوۡنَ ﴿۲۶۶﴾٪

2:266 Does one of you like to have a garden of palms and vines with streams flowing in it — he has in it all kinds of fruits — and old age has overtaken him and he has weak offspring, when a whirlwind with fire in it strikes it so it becomes blasted. Thus Allah makes the messages clear to you that you may reflect.

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Commentary:

  1. The expenditure of money must be accompanied with hard labour, as a seed cast on the ground unaccompanied by any labour would not grow.
  2. Gifts, whether given in the cause of national or individual suffering, must not be accompanied by any interested motives; hence the donor is forbidden even to mention them afterwards.
  3. This conveys a very strong disapproval of giving charity to be seen by people, making it utterly hateful in the sight of true believers.
  4. The concluding words of the parable show that the efforts of the disbelievers to deal a death-blow to Islam are meant here. They were spending their money to retard the advancement of Islam, but their efforts would be fruitless.
  5. This is the parable of the believers who will reap the fruits of the sacrifices they make.

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