Ibn ʿAbbās said, “Do not void your charity by counting it a favor toward God.” God is saying, “O you have faith, who have placed your hands in the chains of Our servanthood and have clung to the rope of Our protection! The path of servanthood is not that of gazing on yourself and counting your obedience a favor to Us, for everything you do comes from Our success-giving and Our desire. When your heart was opened up, We opened it. When you found success, We gave it. When you gave comfort to the poor, We willed that. We made all of that happen, so all should be counted as Our favor. All acting is Ours, and all attending to things is Ours.”
2:264 O You who have faith, do not void your charity by counting it a favor and causing discomfort.
It has also been said that do not void your charity by counting it a favor and causing discomfort means to void your charity by laying favors on those who ask. He is saying, “Do not ruin your charity by counting it a favor to the poor. When a rich man counts it as a favor to the poor that he has given him something, it is because he does not recognize the eminence and level of the poor and does not know that today they are the kings of the world, as has come in the report, ‘Kings in tatters.’ And tomorrow, they will enter paradise five hundred years before the rich. Which eminence is greater than this? Which blessing is more complete?”
Abu’l-Dardāʾ said, “I love poverty in humility before my Lord, I love death in yearning for my Lord, I love illness as expiation for my missteps.”
Thus it is not appropriate for a rich man to place favor on a poor man. Rather, he is receiving a favor from him. He should consider him God’s gift to him, for the report has come, “God’s gift to the faithful person is the asker at his gate.” And why should he count it a favor toward the poor man, for he is not giving it to the poor man, nor is the poor man taking it from him, Rather, he is giving it to God, and God is entrusting it to the poor man, This is what the Prophet said: “Surely charity falls into the hand of God before it falls into the hand of the asker.”