What Does the Quran Say About Charity?

Breaking Ramadan Fast with Disadvantaged Youth
U.S. Embassy, Jakarta/Flickr/Attribution-No Derivs 2.0

Islam calls upon its followers to reach out with open hands, and give in charity as a way of life. In the Quran, charity is often mentioned along with prayer, as one of the factors that identifies true believers. In addition, the Quran frequently uses the words “regular charity,” so charity is best as an ongoing and consistent activity, not just a one-off here and there for a special cause.  Charity should be part of the very fiber of your personality as a Muslim.

Charity is mentioned dozens of times in the Quran.  The passages below are only from the second chapter, Surah Al-Baqarah.

"Be steadfast in prayer, practice regular charity, and bow down your heads with those who bow down (in worship)" (2:43).

"Worship none but Allah. treat with kindness your parents and kindred, and orphans and those in need; speak fair to the people; be steadfast in prayer; and practice regular charity" (2:83).

"Be steadfast in prayer and regular in charity. Whatever good you send forth for your souls before you, you shall find it with Allah. For Allah sees well all that you do" (2:110).

"They ask thee what they should spend in charity. Say: Whatever you spend that is good, is for parents and kindred and orphans and those in want and for wayfarers. And whatever you do that is good, Allah knows it well" (2:215).

"Charity is for those in need, who, in Allah's cause are restricted (from travel), and cannot move about in the land, seeking (For trade or work)" (2:273).

"Those who in charity spend of their goods by night and by day, in secret and in public, have their reward with their Lord: on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve" (2:274).

"Allah will deprive usury of all blessing, but will give increase for deeds of charity. For He loves not creatures ungrateful and wicked" (2:276).

"Those who believe, and do deeds of righteousness, and establish regular prayers and regular charity, will have their reward with their Lord. On them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve" (2:277).

"If the debtor is in a difficulty, grant him time until it is easy for him to repay. But if you remit it by way of charity, that is best for you if you only knew" (2:280).

The Quran also reminds that we should be humble about our offerings of charity, not embarrassing or injuring the recipients.

"Kind words and the covering of faults are better than charity followed by injury. Allah is free of all wants, and He is Most-Forbearing" (2:263).

"O you who believe! Do not cancel your charity by reminders of your generosity or by injury, like those who spend their substance to be seen of men, but believe neither in Allah nor in the Last Day (2:264).

"If you disclose acts of charity, even so it is well, but if you conceal them, and make them reach those really in need, that is best for you. It will remove from you some of your (stains of) evil" (2:271).