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Disclosing charity if asked about it


Assalaamu alaykum. I recently gave a donation to charity, but without my family's knowledge. My mother, who never sees me donating, complained to me and asked me if I give donations to charity or not. I told her that I cannot inform her of this because it is between me and God, but she insisted and said that it is okay because she is my mother. I finally consented and confirmed that I have given donations. I have not specified the amount however. Is the reward of my donations at risk for having told her? She was upset and insisted that because she is my mother it was okay for her to know. This is an argument that she has used in the past to get any information she wants from me, and I do not believe that it is a valid reason. When people ask if I donate to charity, if I do not specify the amount and just say yes, is that enough, or should I not even say yes? I am not happy about receiving these questions, and I fear for the reward which I desire to achieve.


All perfect praise be to Allah, the Lord of the worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger. 

You are upon goodness, Allah willing, and we expect that you will get the reward of the charity. Your charity does not become invalidated just by telling your mother or anyone else if you are asked and you answered by saying ‘yes’ or by mentioning the amount also.

Actions are judged by one's intentions, and since you did not tell the people about this in order to win their praise, then you are not showing off, as you did not do so in order that people speak about you and know about it.

There is no doubt that, in general, hiding charity is better than disclosing it; Allah says (what means): {If you disclose your charitable expenditures, they are good; but if you conceal them and give them to the poor, it is better for you, and He will remove from you some of your misdeeds [thereby]. And Allah, with what you do, is [fully] Acquainted.} [Quran 2:271]

However, sometimes, disclosing charity may be better. Imam Ibn Katheer  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said in his commentary on the above verse:

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 Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said, ‘The one who recites Quran aloud is just like the one who discloses charity, and the one who recites Quranic inaudibly is just like the one who conceals charity.’ In principle, it is better that acts of charity be concealed based on this verse.

You can use Tawriyah if you are asked about charity and do not want to give the asker a true answer. Tawriyah means saying something which has more than one meaning and intending a meaning different from what the listener is likely to understand. Please, refer to fatwa 351313.

Allah knows best.

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