Allah (swt) says in the Holy Quran:
‘Therefore I have warned you of a Fire blazing fiercely (Hell)’. (TMQ-92:14)
‘And away from it shall be kept the one who guards the most (against evil)’. (TMQ-92:17)
‘Who gives away wealth purifying himself’. (TMQ-92:18)
‘And have in their minds no favor from anyone for which a reward is expected in return’. (TMQ-92:19)
‘But only the desire to seek for the Countenance of their Lord, Most High’, (TMQ-92:20)
In the Quranic verses mentioned above, Allah (swt) has enlightened us that the people who will be saved from the blazing Fire of Hell will be the ones who are pious and who give charity. This verse brings out the contrast between the fate of the believers and the non-believers. The latter are going to be doomed sooner or later. Even if the noose is not tightened on them in this fleeting world life, there are ultimately going to be cast into the Fire of Hell. The former are those pious people who believe in Allah (swt) and the Day of Judgment. Since such people are obedient to Allah (swt) so they also spend in His Way, as they have been Commanded by their Creator and in the process they purify their souls of greed and selfishness. The believers understand that by giving away their wealth in charity they will not incur any loss but they are making a very profitable deal. In this superb deal there is no tension of incurring loss at all because not only has Allah (swt) promised to return to the donor the wealth that he gives away through charity or donation but He has also promised to multiply the reward many times. This implies that if a donor gives away a certain amount of wealth for an Islamic cause, in a selfless and sincere way, then Allah (swt) will give him back, many times more, than what he has donated. The donor’s sins will also be forgiven and he will be freed from every kind of grief and fear. Last but not the least, the generous people will be rewarded with Paradise, which is what every pious Muslim craves for.
So who amongst the believers can afford to miss such a great investment opportunity for both this life and the Hereafter, wherein not only is our principal safe but we may also reap great dividends.
So it is the duty of every pious Muslim to spend in charity or donation from what Allah (swt) has bestowed on them. The only condition is that the donor should be generous and he should sacrifice a part of his wealth for the poor or for some Islamic cause, wholeheartedly.
As the verses mentioned in the beginning of this post reveal, the donor should give away donation or charity only with the noble intention of appeasing Allah (swt) and for purifying his soul and wealth and not to show off or with any ulterior motive. Allah (swt) will reward only that charity which is given with a pure mind. Since Allah (swt) is All-Knowing, so it would be of no use if the donor, (instead of helping the poor and the needy selflessly), helps those to whom he is indebted so that he can repay their favors or else if he helps those from whom he hopes to get some other favor in return. Here is an example from the hadith which depicts selfless charity which is glorified in Islam:
Ibn Jarir and Ibn Asakir have narrated on the authority of Hazrat Amir bin Abdullah bin Zubair that when Hazrat Abu Bakr’s (ra) father saw him purchasing and then setting free slaves, (who had accepted Islam, but were being mistreated by their masters) he said, ‘Son, I notice that you are setting the weak people free, if you spend this money on freeing strong, young men, then you would have got help and support from them’. On hearing this Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) replied, ‘Dear father, I only seek the reward that is with Allah (swt)’. Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddique (ra) has set an example for rest of the Muslims to follow.
To sum up, the charity which is given with a selfish motive and not for obtaining the Goodwill of Allah (swt), has no value in the Eyes of Allah (swt) and we, as true Muslims, should abstain from doing so.