;
The Meaning of Al-Hikmah

Allah said,

﴿ يُؤۡتِى ٱلۡحِڪۡمَةَ مَن يَشَآءُ‌ۚ

(He grants Hikmah to whom He wills.)

`Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that Ibn `Abbas said, "That is knowledge of the Qur'an. For instance, the abrogating and the abrogated, what is plain and clear and what is not as plain and clear, what it allows, and what it does not allow, and its parables.'' Imam Ahmad recorded that Ibn Mas`ud said that he heard the Messenger of Allah saying,

« لَا حَسَدَ إِلَّا فِي اثْنَتَيْنِ: رَجُلٌ آتَاهُ اللهُ مَالًا فَسَلَّطَهُ عَلَى هَلَكَتِهِ فِي الْحَقِّ، وَرَجُلٌ آتَاهُ اللهُ حِكْمَةً فَهُوَ يَقْضِي بِهَا وَيُعَلِّمُهَا »

(There is no envy except in two instances: a person whom Allah has endowed with wealth and he spends it righteously, and a person whom Allah has given Hikmah and he judges by it and teaches it to others.)

This was also collected by Al-Bukhari, Muslim, An-Nasa'i, Ibn Majah.

Allah's statement,

﴿ وَمَا يَذَّكَّرُ إِلَّآ أُوْلُواْ ٱلۡأَلۡبَـٰبِ

(But none remember (will receive admonition) except men of understanding.) means, "Those who will benefit from the advice are those who have sound minds and good comprehension with which they understand the words (of advice and reminder) and their implications.''

﴿ وَمَآ أَنفَقۡتُم مِّن نَّفَقَةٍ أَوۡ نَذَرۡتُم مِّن نَّذۡرٍ۬ فَإِنَّ ٱللَّهَ يَعۡلَمُهُ ۥ‌ۗ وَمَا لِلظَّـٰلِمِينَ مِنۡ أَنصَارٍ إِن تُبۡدُواْ ٱلصَّدَقَـٰتِ فَنِعِمَّا هِىَ‌ۖ وَإِن تُخۡفُوهَا وَتُؤۡتُوهَا ٱلۡفُقَرَآءَ فَهُوَ خَيۡرٌ۬ لَّڪُمۡ‌ۚ وَيُكَفِّرُ عَنڪُم مِّن سَيِّـَٔاتِڪُمۡ‌ۗ وَٱللَّهُ بِمَا تَعۡمَلُونَ خَبِيرٌ۬

(270. And whatever you spend for spendings (e.g., in Sadaqah) or whatever vow you make, be sure Allah knows it all. And for the wrongdoers there are no helpers.) (271. If you disclose your Sadaqat (almsgiving), it is well; but if you conceal them and give them to the poor, that is better for you. (Allah) will expiate you some of your sins. And Allah is Well-Acquainted with what you do.)

Allah states that He has perfect knowledge of the good deeds performed by all of His creation, such as charity and various vows, and He rewards tremendously for these deeds, provided they are performed seeking His Face and His promise. Allah also warns those who do not work in his obedience, but instead disobey His command, reject His revelation and worship others besides Him:

﴿ وَمَا لِلظَّـٰلِمِينَ مِنۡ أَنصَارٍ

(And for the wrongdoers there are no helpers.) meaning, who will save them from Allah's anger and torment on the Day of Resurrection.

The Virtue of Disclosing or Concealing Charity

Allah said,

﴿ إِن تُبۡدُواْ ٱلصَّدَقَـٰتِ فَنِعِمَّا هِىَ‌ۖ

(If you disclose your Sadaqat, it is well) meaning, "It is well if you make known the charity that you give away.''

Allah's statement,

﴿ وَإِن تُخۡفُوهَا وَتُؤۡتُوهَا ٱلۡفُقَرَآءَ فَهُوَ خَيۡرٌ۬ لَّڪُمۡ‌ۚ

(But if you conceal them and give them to the poor, that is better for you.) this indicates that concealing charity is better than disclosing it, because it protects one from showing off and boasting. However, if there is an apparent wisdom behind disclosing the charity, such as the people imitating this righteous act, then disclosing it becomes better than concealing it. The Messenger of Allah said,

« الْجَاهِرُ بِالْقُرْآنِ كَالْجَاهِرِ بِالصَّدَقَةِ، وَالْمُسِرُّ بِالْقُرآنِ كَالْمُسِرِّ بِالصَّدَقَة »

(He who utters aloud Qur'anic recitation is just like he who discloses charity acts. He who conceals Qur'anic recitation is just like he who conceals charity acts.)

The Ayah indicates that it is better that acts of charity be concealed, as reiterated by the Hadith that the Two Sahihs recorded from Abu Hurayrah that the Messenger of Allah said,

« سَبْعَةٌ يُظِلُّهُمُ اللهُ فِي ظِلِّهِ يَوْمَ لَا ظِلَّ إلَّا ظِلُّهُ: إِمَامٌ عَادِلٌ، وَشَابٌّ نَشَأَ فِي عِبَادَةِ اللهِ، وَرَجُلَانِ تَحَابَّا فِي اللهِ، اجْتَمَعَا عَلَيْهِ وَتَفَرَّقَا عَلَيْهِ، وَرَجُلٌ قَلْبُهُ مُعَلَّقٌ بِالْمَسْجِدِ، إِذَا خَرَجَ مِنْهُ حَتَّى يَرْجِعَ إِلَيْهِ، وَرَجُلٌ ذَكَرَ اللهَ خَالِيًا فَفَاضَتْ عَيْنَاهُ، وَرَجُلٌ دَعَتْهُ امْرَأَةٌ ذَاتُ مَنْصِبٍ وَجَمَالٍ، فَقَالَ: إِنِّي أَخَافُ اللهَ رَبَّ الْعَالَمِينَ، وَرَجُلٌ تَصَدَّقَ بِصَدَقَةٍ فَأَخْفَاهَا، حَتَّى لَا تَعْلَمَ شِمَالُهُ مَا تُنْفِقُ يَمِينُه »

(Allah will give shade to seven on the Day when there will be no shade but His. (They are:) a just ruler, a youth who has been brought up in the worship of Allah, two persons who love each other only for Allah's sake who meet and part in Allah's cause only, a man whose heart is attached to the Masjids from the time he departs the Masjid until he returns to it, a person who remembers Allah in seclusion and his eyes are then flooded with tears, a man who refuses the call of a charming woman of noble birth for illicit intercourse with her and says, `I fear Allah, Lord of the worlds', and a man who gives charitable gifts so secretly that his left hand does not know what his right hand has given.)

Allah's statement,

﴿ وَيُكَفِّرُ عَنڪُم مِّن سَيِّـَٔاتِڪُمۡ‌ۗ

((Allah) will expiate you some of your sins) means, in return for giving away charity, especially if it was concealed. Therefore, you will gain goodness by your rank being raised, and your sins being forgiven.

Allah's statement,

﴿ وَٱللَّهُ بِمَا تَعۡمَلُونَ خَبِيرٌ۬

(And Allah is Well-Acquainted with what you do) means, "No good deed that you perform escapes His knowledge, and He shall reward for it.''

﴿ لَّيۡسَ عَلَيۡكَ هُدَٮٰهُمۡ وَلَـٰڪِنَّ ٱللَّهَ يَهۡدِى مَن يَشَآءُ‌ۗ وَمَا تُنفِقُواْ مِنۡ خَيۡرٍ۬ فَلِأَنفُسِڪُمۡ‌ۚ وَمَا تُنفِقُونَ إِلَّا ٱبۡتِغَآءَ وَجۡهِ ٱللَّهِ‌ۚ وَمَا تُنفِقُواْ مِنۡ خَيۡرٍ۬ يُوَفَّ إِلَيۡڪُمۡ وَأَنتُمۡ لَا تُظۡلَمُونَ لِلۡفُقَرَآءِ ٱلَّذِينَ أُحۡصِرُواْ فِى سَبِيلِ ٱللَّهِ لَا يَسۡتَطِيعُونَ ضَرۡبً۬ا فِى ٱلۡأَرۡضِ يَحۡسَبُهُمُ ٱلۡجَاهِلُ أَغۡنِيَآءَ مِنَ ٱلتَّعَفُّفِ تَعۡرِفُهُم بِسِيمَـٰهُمۡ لَا يَسۡـَٔلُونَ ٱلنَّاسَ إِلۡحَافً۬ا‌ۗ وَمَا تُنفِقُواْ مِنۡ خَيۡرٍ۬ فَإِنَّ ٱللَّهَ بِهِۦ عَلِيمٌ ٱلَّذِينَ يُنفِقُونَ أَمۡوَٲلَهُم بِٱلَّيۡلِ وَٱلنَّهَارِ سِرًّ۬ا وَعَلَانِيَةً۬ فَلَهُمۡ أَجۡرُهُمۡ عِندَ رَبِّهِمۡ وَلَا خَوۡفٌ عَلَيۡهِمۡ وَلَا هُمۡ يَحۡزَنُونَ

(272. Not upon you (Muhammad) is their guidance, but Allah guides whom He wills. And whatever you spend in good, it is for yourselves, when you spend not except seeking Allah's Face. And whatever you spend in good, it will be repaid to you in full, and you shall not be wronged.) (273. (Charity is) for Fuqara' (the poor), who in Allah's cause are restricted (from travel), and cannot move about in the land (for trade or work). The one who knows them not, thinks that they are rich because of their modesty. You may know them by their mark, they do not beg of people at all. And whatever you spend in good, surely Allah knows it well.) (274. Those who spend their wealth (in Allah's cause) by night and day, in secret and in public, they shall have their reward with their Lord. On them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve.)