I read this verse today and I felt compelled to share it with you. It’s a small example of the way Islam cultivates the individual.
We are told that it is better to speak kind words and to forgive others than it is to “help” them with charity, financial or otherwise, if we are then going to follow it up with reminders of our “favor”, or otherwise harm the person we supposedly “helped”.
In this beautiful verse, God says:
“Kind speech and forgiveness are better than charity followed by injury. And God is Free of need and Forbearing.” (Quran 2:263)
Do you know of anyone who has helped someone out, then after that, never let them forget it?
We as Muslims must be genuine in our actions and we do good, for God’s sake alone. So if we are to help anyone, it should be for the pleasure of God, knowing that He never allows the reward for good to be lost, nor does He allow our sincere deeds go to waste.
In that case, we would never expect even appreciation from those we help, but only appreciation from God Himself. And He has told us here that He is free of need, and lenient and patient. Indicating that it is ridiculous to think He needs us to do acts of charity, rather we do them for the good of our own souls.
We’ve also been instructed in the Quran:
“We feed you for the sake of God alone: no reward do we desire from you, nor thanks.” (Quran 76:9)
This is selfish selflessness. We are doing good, treating others well, spreading kindness and charity with the hope that our Maker will be pleased with us.
That’s what I call a win win situation.
If you read the Quran you will find all kinds of beautiful instructions, the intricacy of which are astounding. Our character is cultivated through these injunctions, especially when coupled with the stories and examples of the prophets present within its pages.
What a blessing.