Allah Ta’lah says: “O, you who believe. Do not invalidate your charities (being deprived of its outcome) with reminders (of it) or causing hurt, like the one who spends his wealth only to be seen by the people and does not believe in Alläh and the Last Day.” – (Sürah al- Baqarah, Äyah 264)
Giving Sadaqah (charity) secretly enables a person to be away, from Riya (showing off) and making if known to people.
Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) said: “Allah does no; accept anything from a person who publicizes his acts, who shows off and reminds his kindness hurtfully.”
A person discharging his Sadaqah publicly or mentions it to people also shows off. On the other hand; giving Sadaqah secretly without informing anybody saves a person from a disastrous situation.
Among the great Muslim figures were people of such calibre who tried their best not to let the recipients of their charity know about the charity. Some of those great personalities put their charity quietly into the hands of a blind person. Some left their charity on a path where a certain poor person would likely pass; some tied their charity to the garment of the poor while they were asleep; some of them sent their charity to the needy with someone else. All had a common intention: to abstain from showing off, publicising the charity, and reminding it hurtfully to the recipients of the charity.
When a person gives their charity secretly, they stay away from fame, praises and reverence by people, which is difficult for the Nafs (lower self) and more rewarding at the same time.
The Prophet of Allah (sallallâhu alayhi wa sallam) said: “Allah Ta’âlâ will shade seven groups of people on the Day of Qiämah in the shade of His Arsh (Divine Throne) on the day when there will be no other shade. One of them is the people whose left hands do not know what their right hands give in Sadaqah.
Besides, there are potential harms for the recipient of the Sadaqah when it is given openly, while they do not exist when it is given secretly. When Sadaqah is given publicly, it can hurt the feelings of the poor because their poverty is somehow exposed.
The public might rebuke and backbite the poor, thinking that they do not need it at all. Considering the saying that goes, “The giving hand is more virtuous than the receiving one,
“The Sadaqah given publicly might include a connotation of belittling the needy.
However, it is noi permissible to humiliate or belitle a Mu’min.
When Sadagah is given publicly to a poor person and if no Sadagah is given to those other needy people that are present, then there will be a bizarre circumstance; and that is not appropriate in Islam.
Therefore, all these reasons indicate that giving Sadagah secretly is more meritorious.
Note: From the Book Fazilath Calender – 2022