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 37 (Verses 2:267–2:273): Spending in the Cause of Truth



یٰۤاَیُّہَا الَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡۤا اَنۡفِقُوۡا مِنۡ طَیِّبٰتِ مَا کَسَبۡتُمۡ وَ مِمَّاۤ اَخۡرَجۡنَا لَکُمۡ مِّنَ الۡاَرۡضِ ۪ وَ لَا تَیَمَّمُوا الۡخَبِیۡثَ مِنۡہُ تُنۡفِقُوۡنَ وَ لَسۡتُمۡ بِاٰخِذِیۡہِ اِلَّاۤ اَنۡ تُغۡمِضُوۡا فِیۡہِ ؕ وَ اعۡلَمُوۡۤا اَنَّ اللّٰہَ غَنِیٌّ حَمِیۡدٌ ﴿۲۶۷﴾

2:267 O you who believe, spend (on good works) out of the good things that you earn and out of what We bring forth for you from the earth, and do not aim at the bad to spend from it, while you would not take it yourselves unless you turned a blind eye to it.1 And know that Allah is Self-sufficient, Praiseworthy.

اَلشَّیۡطٰنُ یَعِدُکُمُ الۡفَقۡرَ وَ یَاۡمُرُکُمۡ بِالۡفَحۡشَآءِ ۚ وَ اللّٰہُ یَعِدُکُمۡ مَّغۡفِرَۃً مِّنۡہُ وَ فَضۡلًا ؕ وَ اللّٰہُ وَاسِعٌ عَلِیۡمٌ ﴿۲۶۸﴾ۖۙ

2:268 The devil threatens you with poverty and commands you to be miserly, and Allah promises you forgiveness from Himself and abundance. And Allah is Ample-giving, Knowing;

یُّؤۡتِی الۡحِکۡمَۃَ مَنۡ یَّشَآءُ ۚ وَ مَنۡ یُّؤۡتَ الۡحِکۡمَۃَ فَقَدۡ اُوۡتِیَ خَیۡرًا کَثِیۡرًا ؕ وَ مَا یَذَّکَّرُ اِلَّاۤ اُولُوا الۡاَلۡبَابِ ﴿۲۶۹﴾

2:269 He grants wisdom to whom He pleases. And whoever is granted wisdom, he indeed is given a great good. And none are mindful but those who have understanding.

وَ مَاۤ اَنۡفَقۡتُمۡ مِّنۡ نَّفَقَۃٍ اَوۡ نَذَرۡتُمۡ مِّنۡ نَّذۡرٍ فَاِنَّ اللّٰہَ یَعۡلَمُہٗ ؕ وَ مَا لِلظّٰلِمِیۡنَ مِنۡ اَنۡصَارٍ ﴿۲۷۰﴾

2:270 And whatever you spend in charity or (whatever) vow you vow, Allah surely knows it. And the wrongdoers shall have no helpers.

اِنۡ تُبۡدُوا الصَّدَقٰتِ فَنِعِمَّا ہِیَ ۚ وَ اِنۡ تُخۡفُوۡہَا وَ تُؤۡتُوۡہَا الۡفُقَرَآءَ فَہُوَ خَیۡرٌ لَّکُمۡ ؕ وَ یُکَفِّرُ عَنۡکُمۡ مِّنۡ سَیِّاٰتِکُمۡ ؕ وَ اللّٰہُ بِمَا تَعۡمَلُوۡنَ خَبِیۡرٌ ﴿۲۷۱﴾

2:271 If you manifest charity, how excellent it is! And if you hide it and give it to the poor, it is good for you.2 And it will do away with some of your evil deeds; and Allah is Aware of what you do.

لَیۡسَ عَلَیۡکَ ہُدٰىہُمۡ وَ لٰکِنَّ اللّٰہَ یَہۡدِیۡ مَنۡ یَّشَآءُ ؕ وَ مَا تُنۡفِقُوۡا مِنۡ خَیۡرٍ فَلِاَنۡفُسِکُمۡ ؕ وَ مَا تُنۡفِقُوۡنَ اِلَّا ابۡتِغَآءَ وَجۡہِ اللّٰہِ ؕ وَ مَا تُنۡفِقُوۡا مِنۡ خَیۡرٍ یُّوَفَّ اِلَیۡکُمۡ وَ اَنۡتُمۡ لَا تُظۡلَمُوۡنَ ﴿۲۷۲﴾

2:272 Their guidance is not your duty, but Allah guides whom He pleases. And whatever good thing you spend, it is to your good. And you do not spend but to seek Allah’s pleasure. And whatever good thing you spend, it will be paid back to you in full, and you will not be wronged.3

لِلۡفُقَرَآءِ الَّذِیۡنَ اُحۡصِرُوۡا فِیۡ سَبِیۡلِ اللّٰہِ لَا یَسۡتَطِیۡعُوۡنَ ضَرۡبًا فِی الۡاَرۡضِ ۫ یَحۡسَبُہُمُ الۡجَاہِلُ اَغۡنِیَآءَ مِنَ التَّعَفُّفِ ۚ تَعۡرِفُہُمۡ بِسِیۡمٰہُمۡ ۚ لَا یَسۡـَٔلُوۡنَ النَّاسَ اِلۡحَافًا ؕ وَ مَا تُنۡفِقُوۡا مِنۡ خَیۡرٍ فَاِنَّ اللّٰہَ بِہٖ عَلِیۡمٌ ﴿۲۷۳﴾٪

2:273 (Charity is) for the poor who are confined in the way of Allah,4 they cannot go about in the land; the ignorant man thinks them to be rich on account of (their) abstaining (from begging). You can recognize them by their mark — they do not beg of people demandingly.5 And whatever good thing you spend, surely Allah is Knower of it.



  1. Muslims are here enjoined to support the cause of Truth by spending good things, things which they love, and not to even think of giving bad things, things which they themselves would not accept from others. Elsewhere it is said: “You cannot attain to righteousness unless you spend out of what you love” (3:92).
  2. The manifesting of charity or giving charity openly is quite different from giving “to be seen by people”, for which see v. 264. By the giving of charity openly is meant the giving of subscriptions for the advancement of national or public welfare. The rule laid down here enjoins public as well as private acts of charity, mentioning public charity first, as that is of greatest importance.
  3. Muslims did not fight to bring the disbelievers into the fold of Islam; for that, the Prophet is told here in plain words, was not his responsibility. It was for the good of their people, for their defence, that the Muslims were required to raise subscriptions. Hence what they spent was for Allah’s pleasure, because it was in the cause of truth. They are assured that for these deeds of sacrifice they will be fully rewarded. As regards private charity, Muslim charity was exercised not only for the welfare of their own people but also for that of non-Muslims. Islam did not allow difference of religion to be a hindrance in giving charity.
  4. “Confined in the way of Allah” included those who had to fight in defence of Islam but had no means of livelihood, those who could not go forth to trade because of insecurity, and those who were wounded in the fighting.
  5. Those who abstain from begging deserve to be assisted by private acts of charity.