Note: Qatadah Rahmathullah alaihe says that the Jews used to turn their faces to the West while offering theirprayers and the Christians faced the East; so this Ayat was sent down concerning their practise. Several otherUlama have expressed the same opinion (Durre Manthur). Imaam Jassaas Rahmathullah alaihe has said that thisAyaat was sent down to refute the objection of the Jews and the Christians against the change of ‘Qiblah’ i.e. fromBait-ul-Muqaddas to Ka’bah. Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala has, in this Ayat stressed the fact that virtue lies inobedience to Allah Ta’ala, without which the turning to the East or West is meaningless (Ahlamul-Quran).Spending for the cause of Allah means that, in all cases, money must be spent only to seek the pleasure and loveof Allah, and not for getting name and fame for one-self, in which case the spending will not count as an act of virtue. It will rather become a sin instead of being a virtue.Rasulullah Sallallaho alaihe wasallam has said that Haq Ta’ala Shanohu does not look at your faces and yourwealth (how much you spent). He rather, looks at your deeds and your hearts (the motives behind your deeds).(Mishkaat). Another Hadith reports Rasulullah Sallallaho alaihe wasallam as saying, "The thing I fear most for you(the Ummah) is the minor ‘Shirk’. On being asked what the minor ‘Shirk’ was, he replied, "To do something for thesake of show". Repeated warnings have been given in the Ahadith against spending for the sake of displaying one’sgenerosity.
The translation given indicated that spending of money should be motivated by love for Allah. Some Ulama haveinterpreted the Ayat as follows:
Spending of money should be accompanied by a feeling of love for spending i.e. one should be delighted to giveaway things as Sadaqah, should have no second thoughts, nor regret having spent money, nor fear from want, norblame oneself for spending it lavishly (Ahkamul Qur’an). Many other Ulama have given a different interpretation. They say that the Ayaat refers to spending for the cause of Allah while one still needs and loves money. A Hadithsays that someone asked Rasulullah Sallallaho alaihe wasallam, "What is meant by spending money while oneloves it; for everybody loves money?" Rasulullah Sallallaho alaihe wasallam replied, "It means that you shouldspend money while you are conscious of your own needs, fear from want and neediness and feel afraid lest youshould need it at a time during the long years of your life lying ahead".
Another Hadith says that the best Sadaqah is to spend at the time when you are in good health, hoping to live long.Do not go on postponing Sadaqah till you find yourself on the death-bed, with little or no hope of survival, at which juncture, you may begin to give away your wealth saying, ‘So much to so-and-so and so much for such and suchcause, though it now belongs to your heirs. (Durre Manthur). When the hope for life vanishes, feeling for personalneeds is no longer there and, with the apprehension of all the property going to your heirs, you begin to distribute itamong Masjids and Madrasahs!
So long as the feeling of one’s own neediness was uppermost, the will to give as Sadaqah was absent. Thereforethe ‘Shariah’ has ordered that such last-moment directions for giving things in Sadaqah or to non-heirs should belimited to a maximum of one third of the total property. Thus if the total property has been given away at the time of death, only one third of it can be validly disposed off according to such a ‘will’ of the deceased. The above Ayatspecifically emphasizes spending on the orphans and the destitute while Zakaat has been mentioned separately, atthe end of the Ayat.
This shows that spending on the things specified therein has to be done from the property left with a person afterpayment of Zakaat. This point will be explained later under Hadith No. 1
3. Spend your wealth for the cause of Allah, and make not your hands contribute to your destruction; and do good.Lo! Allah loves those who are beneficent. (al-baqarah: 195)
Note: According to Huzaifah Radhiallaho anho, the command "Do not contribute to your own destruction," meansgiving up Sadaqah for fear of becoming poor.Ibne Abbas Radhiallaho anho has said, "To get killed in the path of Allah, is not ruining oneself: in fact, ruination liesin withholding the expenditure on sadaqah". Dhahhaak Bin Jubair Rahmathullah alaihe has said that the Ansaar