As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh. (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)
One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:
Dear brother in islam assalamu alikum my question is zakah is to be given in such a way that other hand should not know about it. al hamdulillah i know some peoples who are giving zakah and nobody knows about it. infact peoples in my home town hate that person because they think that he is not giving zakah. his paresnts also blame him that he is the only in the whole family who is not taking out zakah. but he is quite just for the sake of allah and he is not bother what people think about him. i enquired one of aalim about way of giving zakah and he told that we can give zakah openly also as that will encourage others to give zakah please tell me exact answer. let me tel you that the person about whom i am talking gives money to one supermarket and tell them to supply provision to the masakins.
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Charity openly or secretly
In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and whoever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is none worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad (saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.
Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 13 Surah Raad verse 22:
22 Those who patiently persevere seeking the countenance their Lord; establish regular prayers; spend (in charity) out of We have bestowed for their sustenance secretly and openly; and turn off evil with good: for such there is the final attainment of the (Eternal) Home.
Sahih Al-Bukhari Hadith 2.504 Narrated by Abu Huraira
The Prophet (saws) said, "Seven people will be shaded by Allah under His Shade on the Day when there will be no shade except His. They are:
(1) a just ruler;
(2) a young man who has been brought up in the worship of Allah, (i.e. worships Allah (Alone) sincerely from his childhood),
(3) a man whose heart is attached to the mosque (who offers the five compulsory congregational prayers in the mosque);
(4) two persons who love each other only for Allah's Sake and they meet and part in Allah's Cause only;
(5) a man who refuses the call of a charming woman of noble birth for an illegal sexual intercourse with her and says: ‘I am afraid of Allah’;
(6) a person who practices charity so secretly that his left hand does not know what his right hand has given (i.e. nobody knows how much he has given in charity).
(7) a person who remembers Allah in seclusion and his eyes get flooded with tears."
Without an iota of a doubt, the charity (regardless of whether it be the obligatory 'zakah' or the voluntary 'sadaqah') which is distributed secretly is better than the one which is given openly.
There is definitely an allowance in the deen for one to give or distribute their charity openly, so that others might be inspired to also give in charity. The difference between giving charity secretly and open is not between right and wrong, but rather between good and best!
Regardless of whether one gives charity openly or in secret, provided their sole intention in doing the charity is to earn the Pleasure and the Good Will of their Lord Most Gracious, such charity will find acceptance with their Lord Most High and He will not diminish their due rewards in the least.
Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allah’s Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is only ones. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.
Your brothers and well wishers in Islam,
Members of Islamhelpline