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The Qur'an describes the benevolent in these words

It is no piety that you turn you faces to the east and to the west. True piety is this: to believe in God, and the Last Day, the angels, the Scripture, and the prophets, to give of one's substance however cherished, to kinsmen and orphans, the needy, the traveller, beggars, and to ransom the slave ... (2:177)

On the other hand, at the sensitive moments when the well-to-do person offers generous help to the needy, a proper and subtle approach should be adopted in order to preserve the dignity of the needy person and to avoid undesirable psychological consequences.

Islam asks the wealthy to hold their hand low while giving so that the needy person's hand is above while he takes, in order that he does not feel humiliated and crushed. They should also refrain from being proud and overbearing.

'Ali-may peace be upon him-said

How nice it is for the rich to behave with humility with the poor for the sake of that which is with God! Yet nicer is the proud dignity of the poor in front of the rich due to their trust in and reliance on God. 4


4. Nahj al-balaghah, Hikam, No. 406.

Adapted from: "Ethics and Spiritual Growth" by: "Sayyid Mujtaba Musawi Lari"

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