The Qur'an

Verse commentary

58.12-13 Kathir - Ibn Al Kathir
The Order to give Charity before One speaks to the Prophet in private
Allah commanded His believing servants, when any of them wanted to speak with Allah's Messenger in secret, to give away charity beforehand so that his charity cleanses and purifies him and makes him worthy of having a private counsel with the Prophet. This is why Allah the Exalted said,
ذَلِكَ خَيْرٌ لَّكُمْ وَأَطْهَرُ
(That will be better and purer for you.) then He said,
فَإِن لَّمْ تَجِدُواْ
(But if you find not.) meaning, if he is unable to do so due to poverty,
فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ
(then verily, Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.) He only commanded those who are financially able to give this type of charity. Allah the Exalted said,
أَءَشْفَقْتُمْ أَن تُقَدِّمُواْ بَيْنَ يَدَىْ نَجْوَكُمْ صَدَقَـتٍ
(Are you afraid of spending in charity before your private consultation) meaning, are you afraid that the order to give charity before speaking privately to the Prophet remains in effect forever
فَإِذْ لَمْ تَفْعَلُواْ وَتَابَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْكُمْ فَأَقِيمُواْ الصَّلوةَ وَءَاتُواْ الزَّكَوةَ وَأَطِيعُواْ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ وَاللَّهُ خَبِيرٌ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ
(If then you do it not, and Allah has forgiven you, then perform Salah and give Zakah and obey Allah and His Messenger. And Allah is All-Aware of what you do.) Therefore, Allah abrogated the obligation of giving this charity. It was said that none has implemented this command before except its abrogation, `Ali bin Abi Talib. `Ali bin Abi Talhah reported from Ibn `Abbas:
فَقَدِّمُواْ بَيْنَ يَدَىْ نَجْوَكُمْ صَدَقَةً
(spend something in charity before your private consultation.) "The Muslims kept asking Allah's Messenger questions until it became difficult on him. Allah wanted to lighten the burden from His Prophet, upon him be peace. So when He said this, many Muslims were afraid to pay this charity and stopped asking. Afterwards, Allah sent down this Ayah,
أَءَشْفَقْتُمْ أَن تُقَدِّمُواْ بَيْنَ يَدَىْ نَجْوَكُمْ صَدَقَـتٍ فَإِذْ لَمْ تَفْعَلُواْ وَتَابَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْكُمْ فَأَقِيمُواْ الصَّلوةَ وَءَاتُواْ الزَّكَوةَ
(Are you afraid of spending in charity before your private consultation If then you do it not, and Allah has forgiven you, then perform Salah and give Zakah) Thus Allah made things easy and lenient for them.'' `Ikrimah and Al-Hasan Al-Basri commented on Allah's statement:
فَقَدِّمُواْ بَيْنَ يَدَىْ نَجْوَكُمْ صَدَقَةً
(spend something in charity before your private consultation.) "This was abrogated by the next Ayah:
أَءَشْفَقْتُمْ أَن تُقَدِّمُواْ بَيْنَ يَدَىْ نَجْوَكُمْ صَدَقَـتٍ
(Are you afraid of spending in charity before your private consultation...).'' Sa`id bin Abi `Arubah reported from Qatadah and Muqatil bin Hayyan, "People kept questioning Allah's Messenger until they made things difficult for him. Allah provided a way to stop their behavior by this Ayah. One of them would need to speak to Allah's Prophet about a real matter, but could not do so until he gave in charity. This became hard on people and Allah sent down relief from this requirement afterwards,
فَإِن لَّمْ تَجِدُواْ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ
(But if you find not, then verily, Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful).'' Ma`mar reported from Qatadah that the Ayah,
إِذَا نَـجَيْتُمُ الرَّسُولَ فَقَدِّمُواْ بَيْنَ يَدَىْ نَجْوَكُمْ صَدَقَةً
(When you (want to) consult the Messenger in private, spend something in charity before your private consultation.) was abrogated after being in effect for only one hour of a day. `Abdur-Razzaq recorded that Mujahid said that `Ali said, "No one except me implemented this Ayah, until it was abrogated,'' and he was reported to have said that it remained in effect for merely an hour.