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Ayat 263 of Surah Al-Baqarah is a beautiful and thought-provoking verse that emphasizes the importance of sincerity in charity. It teaches us that the true value of charity lies not in the amount given but in the intention behind it. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the profound wisdom of this Ayat, its context, interpretation, and how it can inspire a life of genuine generosity.

Al baqarah ayat 263 in Arabic, English and transliteration:

Arabic: قَوْلٌۭ مَّعْرُوفٌۭ وَمَغْفِرَةٌ خَيْرٌۭ مِّن صَدَقَةٍۢ يَتْبَعُهَآ أَذًۭى ۗ وَٱللَّهُ غَنِىٌّ حَلِيمٌۭ

English Translation: A kind word and the veiling of another’s want is better than a charitable deed followed by hurt; and God is self-sufficient, and forbearing.

Transliteration: “Qawlun ma’rūfun wa maghfiratun khayrun min sadaqatin yatba’uha adhā. Wallāhu ghaniyyun, halīm.”

What is al baqarah 263 meaning?

قَوْلٌۭ مَّعْرُوفٌۭ وَمَغْفِرَةٌ خَيْرٌۭ مِّن صَدَقَةٍۢ يَتْبَعُهَآ أَذًۭى ۗ وَٱللَّهُ غَنِىٌّ حَلِيمٌۭ

Translation: A kind word and the veiling of another’s want is better than a charitable deed followed by hurt; and God is self-sufficient, forbearing.

Meaning and Interpretation:

  1. Kind Words and Forgiveness: The verse begins by highlighting that speaking kindly and forgiving others is often more valuable than giving charity. It emphasizes the importance of the intention and the manner in which acts are performed.
  2. Charity Followed by Injury: The verse warns against giving charity and then following it with harmful words or actions that may hurt the recipient’s feelings. Such behavior negates the benefits of the charitable act.
  3. God’s Self-Sufficiency and Forbearance: The verse concludes by reminding that Allah is self-sufficient and does not need our charity, and He is forbearing, meaning He is patient and understanding. This serves as a reminder that our acts of charity should be for the sake of Allah and to help others, not for self-aggrandizement or to exert power over others.
  4. Moral Guidance: Overall, Ayat 263 serves as moral guidance, teaching that the spirit in which acts are performed is as important, if not more so, than the acts themselves. It encourages believers to approach charity with humility, compassion, and sincerity, without causing harm or discomfort to the recipient.
  5. Relevance in Daily Life: This Ayat’s teachings extend beyond charity to encompass all interactions with others. It encourages empathy, respect, and consideration in all dealings, whether with family, friends, or strangers.

In summary, Surah Al-Baqarah Ayat 263 is a profound verse that offers timeless wisdom on charity, human interaction, and the importance of intention in Islam. It serves as a guiding principle for living a compassionate and sincere life.

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Tafsir al baqarah ayat 263 – Tafsir Ibn Kathir:

قَوْلٌ مَّعْرُوفٌ …

Kind words,

meaning, compassionate words and a supplication for Muslims.

… وَمَغْفِرَةٌ …

and forgiving,

meaning, forgiving an injustice that took the form of actions or words.

… خَيْرٌ مِّن صَدَقَةٍ يَتْبَعُهَآ أَذًى …

are better than Sadaqah (charity) followed by injury.

… وَاللّهُ غَنِيٌّ …

And Allah is Rich,

not needing His creation.

… حَلِيمٌ ﴿٢٦٣﴾

Most Forbearing.

forgives, releases and pardons them.

There are several Hadiths that prohibit reminding people of acts of charity. For instance, Muslim recorded that Abu Dharr said that the Messenger of Allah said,

ثَلَاثَةٌ لَا يُكَلِّمُهُمُ اللهُ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ، وَلَا يَنْظُرُ إِلَيْهِم، وَلَا يُزَكِّيهِمْ، وَلَهُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ:

الْمَنَّانُ بِمَا أَعْطَى،

وَالْمُسْبِلُ إِزَارَهُ،

وَالْمُنَفِّقُ سِلْعَتَهُ بِالْحَلِفِ الْكَاذِب

Explore the guidance on fasting in Surah Al Baqarah Ayat 184, a profound verse with flexible provisions.

Three persons whom Allah shall neither speak to on the Day of Resurrection nor look at nor purify, and they shall receive a painful torment:

he who reminds (the people) of what he gives away,

he who lengthens his clothes below the ankles and

he who swears an oath while lying, to sell his merchandise.

This is why Allah said,

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ لاَ تُبْطِلُواْ صَدَقَاتِكُم بِالْمَنِّ وَالأذَى …

O you who believe! Do not render in vain your Sadaqah (charity) by reminders of your generosity or by injury,

stating that the charity will be rendered in vain if it is followed by harm or reminders. In this case, the reward of giving away charity is not sufficient enough to nullify the harm and reminders.

Allah then said,

… كَالَّذِي يُنفِقُ مَالَهُ رِئَاء النَّاسِ …

like him who spends his wealth to be seen of men,

meaning, “Do not nullify your acts of charity by following them with reminders and harm, just like the charity of those who give it to show off to people.”

The boasting person pretends to give away charity for Allah’s sake, but in reality seeks to gain people’s praise and the reputation of being kind or generous, or other material gains of this life. All the while, he does not think about Allah or gaining His pleasure and generous rewards, and this is why Allah said,

… وَلاَ يُؤْمِنُ بِاللّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الآخِرِ …

and he does not believe in Allah, nor in the Last Day.

For a deeper understanding of the Islamic faith and practice, I recommend reading the Surah Al Baqarah Translation. You can also find Quran translations of all the other surahs online.

Allah next set the example of whoever gives charity to show off.

Ad-Dahhak commented that the example fits one who follows his acts of charity with reminders or harm.

Allah said,

… فََََمَثَلُهُ كَمَثَلِ صَفْوَانٍ…

His likeness is the likeness of Safwan,

where Safwan, from is Safwanah, meaning `the smooth rocks,’

… عَلَيْهِ تُرَابٌ فَأَصَابَهُ وَابِلٌ …

on which is little dust; on it falls a Wabil,

meaning, heavy rain.

… فَتَرَكَهُ صَلْدًا …

which leaves it bare.

This Ayah means that heavy rain left the Safwan completely barren of dust. Such is the case with Allah’s action regarding the work of those who show off, as their deeds are bound to vanish and disappear, even though people think that these deeds are as plentiful as specks of dust.

Here we conclude the interpretation of the verse by Ibn Kathir