3:134 Those who spend in prosperity and adversity, those who curb rage, and those who pardon people—and God loves the beautiful-doers.
Those who spend in prosperity and adversity. It has been said that in this station people are three groups: First are those who spend nothing, whether in prosperity or adversity, whether in the vastness of blessings or in the days of famine and hardship. They are called “base” in an unqualified sense. They have seized the branch of niggardliness, which is a tree whose roots are in hell and whose branches are in this world.
This is according to what Anas ibn Mālik reported from God’s Messenger: “Openhandedness is a tree in the Garden whose branches are in this world; when someone latches on to one of its branches, it will lead him to the Garden. And niggardliness is a tree in the Fire whose branches are in this world; when someone latches on to one of its branches, it will lead him to the Fire.”
Second, are those who spend in the vastness of blessings but not in narrowness and hardship. Most of God’s creatures among the world’s folk and those who take care of this world are in this station.
In the work of this world, they do not have the confidence for open-handedness and they are always in fear of poverty. To them alludes His words, “If He asks you for them, then presses you, you are niggardly, and He brings out your rancor” [47:37].
Third are those who spend in both of these states, both in ease and difficulty. Such a person has one of two states: Either he is an impudent and impure man who does not know whence he takes and where he gives and does not think about the outcome. He is numbered among the brothers of Satan. That is in His words, “Surely the squanderers are the brothers of Satan” [17:27].
Or he is a man who is confident in the sufficiency of God and His assignment of daily provision. He has recognized the secret of this report from Muṣṭafā: “Surely the holy spirit breathed into my mind that no one will die until his provision is complete. So be wary of God, and go lightly in your seeking. Never let the tardiness of provision make you seek something of God’s bounty through disobedience, for what is with God will only be reached by obeying Him. Surely every man has a provision that will come to him inescapably. If someone approves of it, it will be made blessed for him and be expanded. And if someone does not approve of it, it will not be made blessed for him and it will not expand. Surely provision seeks out a man just as his moment of death seeks him out.” Such a person relies on God’s treasury and keeps his heart straight with God. He spends all that he has and holds nothing back. He brings it to hand from its place on condition of the Shariah, and he spends it in its place in conformity with the Shariah. This is why the Lord of the Worlds praises and lauds his spending and says, “Those who spend in prosperity and adversity.”
Then He says concerning their attribute, “those who curb rage.” They do not become angry at anyone, for they place all sins on themselves and consider themselves subjected and dominated over by the people. They tolerate suffering, or rather, they welcome it with patience and forbearance, for they bear witness that God knows and sees.
And those who pardon people. “Pardon” has two meanings: One is to efface, as the Arabs say, “The winds pardoned the tracks.” The other is surplus, as God says, “Take to pardoning” [7:199], that is, take the surplus of their property.
Here He alludes to the fact that those who pardon people are those who pass over and efface people’s sins, but they do not limit themselves to that. Rather, they caress them and bestow upon them from the surplus of what they own. This is the attribute of the beautiful-doers, and God is their Friend, for He says, “And God loves the beautiful-doers.
Beautiful doing in interacting with the Real is “to worship God as if you see Him.” In interacting with people, it is that, when someone is bad toward you, you are good toward him; and when someone does not act worthily toward you, you act worthily toward him. This is why God commanded, “Take to pardoning,” that is, take the excellent and beautiful things from among the character traits, and pardon those who wrong you, join with those who cut off from you and act with beauty toward those who act with ugliness toward you.