Lilfuqaraaa'il lazeena uhsiroo fee sabeelil laahi laa yastatee'oona darban fil ardi yah sabuhumul jaahilu aghniyaaa'a minat ta'affufi ta'rifuhum biseemaahum laa yas'aloonan naasa ilhaafaa; wa maa tunfiqoo min khairin fa innal laaha bihee 'Aleem
[Charity is] for the poor who have been restricted for the cause of Allah, unable to move about in the land. An ignorant [person] would think them self-sufficient because of their restraint, but you will know them by their [characteristic] sign. They do not ask people persistently [or at all]. And whatever you spend of good - indeed, Allah is Knowing of it.
(Give to) the needy who are engaged in the service of God who are not able to move about in the land, whom the ignorant consider to be affluent as they refrain from asking. You can know them from their faces for they do not ask of men importunately. God is surely cognisant of good things that you spend.
Ahmed Raza Khan
(Spend) For the poor who are restricted while in Allah's cause, who cannot travel in the land (for earning) – the unwise think they are wealthy because of their restraint; you will recognise them by their faces; they do not seek from people in order to avoid grovelling; and Allah knows whatever you spend in charity.
That (which you spend) is for the poor who, having dedicated themselves to God’s cause, are in distressed circumstances. They are unable to move about the earth (to render service in God’s cause and earn their livelihood). Those who are unaware (of their circumstances) suppose them wealthy because of their abstinence and dignified bearing, but you will know them by their countenance – they do not beg of people importunately. And whatever good you spend, surely God has full knowledge of it.
Amatul Rahman Omar
(These charities are meant) for those needy who are (so) confined in the way of Allâh that they are unable to move about in the land (for providing their sustenance). The person ignorant (of their condition) thinks them free from want, because of (their) abstaining (from begging). But you shall know them by their appearance (that they are in need). They do not beg of people with importunity. And whatever good thing you spend (for their help) Allâh knows it surely well.
A. J. Arberry
it being for the poor who are restrained in the way of God, and are unable to journey in the land; the ignorant man supposes them rich because of their abstinence, but thou shalt know them by their mark -- they do not beg of men importunately. And whatever good you expend, surely God has knowledge of it.
Abdul Majid Daryabadi
Alms are for the poor who are restricted in the way of Allah, disabled from going about in the land. The (unknowing taketh them for the affluent because of their modesty thou I wouldst recognise them by their appearance: they ask not of men with importunity. And whatsoever ye shall expend of good, verily Allah is thereof Knower
(Spend) For the poor who are restricted while in Allah´s cause, who cannot travel in the land (for earning) - the unwise think they are wealthy because of their restraint; you will recognise them by their faces; they do not seek from people in order to avoid grovelling; and Allah knows whatever you spend in charity.
Hamid S. Aziz
(Alms are for) the poor who are straitened in Allah´s way, and cannot travel about in the earth. The ignorant think them to be rich because of their modesty; you will know them by their mark, they do not beg from men with importunity; but what you spend of good Allah knows.
Hilali & Khan
(Charity is) for Fuqara (the poor), who in Allah's Cause are restricted (from travel), and cannot move about in the land (for trade or work). The one who knows them not, thinks that they are rich because of their modesty. You may know them by their mark, they do not beg of people at all. And whatever you spend in good, surely Allah knows it well.
It is for the poor; those who are restrained in the way of God, and unable to travel in the land. The unaware would think them rich, due to their dignity. You will recognize them by their features. They do not ask from people insistently. Whatever charity you give, God is aware of it.
For the poor , those who were restricted/surrounded in God`s way/sake , they are not able (to go) moving/traveling in the earth/Planet Earth, the ignorant/foolish thinks/supposes them (as) rich from the purity/refrainment (dignity), you know them by their expressions/marks , they do not ask/question the people persistently , and what you spend from goodness/wealth , so that God (is) with it knowledgeable.
Abul Ala Maududi
Those who are engaged so much in the cause of Allah that they cannot move about in the land to earn their livelihood and are, therefore, in straitened circumstances, specially deserve help. An ignorant person would suppose them to be well off because of their self-respect; you can know their real condition from their faces, for they are not the ones who would beg of people with importunity. And Allah will surely know whatever you will spend on them.
Maulana Mohammad Ali
(Charity) is for the poor who are confined in the way of Allah, they cannot go about in the land; the ignorant man thinks them to be rich on account of (their) abstaining (from begging). Thou canst recognize them by their maker -- they beg not of men importunately. And whatever good thing you spend, surely Allah is Knower of it.
(Charity is) for Fuqara' (the poor), who in Allah's cause are restricted (from travel), and cannot move about in the land (for trade or work). The one who knows them not, thinks that they are rich because of their modesty. You may know them by their mark, they do not beg of people at all. And whatever you spend in good, surely Allah knows it well.
Mohammed Marmaduke William Pickthall
(Alms are) for the poor who are straitened for the cause of Allah, who cannot travel in the land (for trade). The unthinking man accounteth them wealthy because of their restraint. Thou shalt know them by their mark: They do not beg of men with importunity. And whatsoever good thing ye spend, lo! Allah knoweth it.
Ali Quli Qarai
[The charities are] for the poor who are straitened in the way of Allah, not capable of moving about in the land [for trade]. The unaware suppose them to be well-off because of their reserve. You recognize them by their mark; they do not ask the people importunately. And whatever wealth you may spend, Allah indeed knows it.
Qaribullah & Darwish
(Charity is) for the poor who are restrained in the way of Allah, and are unable to journey in the land. The ignorant take them to be rich because of their abstinence. But you can recognize them by their signs. They do not persistently beg people. Whatever good you give is known to Allah.
(If the recipients of charity are) the poor whose poverty, because of their striving for the cause of God, has become an obstacle for them, and who do not have the ability to travel in the land, they seem rich compared to the ignorant, because of their modest behavior. You would know them by their faces. They would never earnestly ask people for help. God knows well whatever wealth you spend for the cause of God.
Mohammad Habib Shakir
(Alms are) for the poor who are confined in the way of Allah-- they cannot go about in the land; the ignorant man thinks them to be rich on account of (their) abstaining (from begging); you can recognise them by their mark; they do not beg from men importunately; and whatever good thing you spend, surely Allah knows it.
The needy, who are too engrossed in God's cause to be able to travel about the land in search of a livelihood, are considered by those who are unaware of their condition to be free from want, because they refrain from begging. But they can be known from their appearance. They do not make insistent demands upon people. Whatever wealth you spend, God knows it.
Abdullah Yusuf Ali
(Charity is) for those in need, who, in Allah's cause are restricted (from travel), and cannot move about in the land, seeking (For trade or work); the ignorant man thinks, because of their modesty, that they are free from want. Thou shalt know them by their (Unfailing) mark; They beg not importunately from all the sundry. And whatever of good ye give, be assured Allah knoweth it well.
For the poor (this is the predicate of the missing subject, al-sadaqt, `voluntary almsgiving'), who are constrained in the way of God, those who have confined themselves [in preparation] for the struggle; this was revealed concerning the people of Suffa, consisting in some four hundred of the Emigrants (muhjirn), set apart [from the other Muslims] for the study of the Qur'n and to take part in raids; and they are unable to journey (darban, means safaran) in the land, to engage in commerce and earn their living, since they are fully engaged in the struggle; the ignorant man supposes them, on account of the way they behave, rich because of their abstinence, that is, their refraining from asking for things; but you, the one being addressed, shall know them by their mark, by the signs of their humility and exertion; they do not beg of men, and make urgent demands, importunately, that is to say, they do not beg in the first place, so there is no question of persistence. And whatever good you expend, surely God has knowledge of it, and will requite it accordingly.
Tafseer Ibn Kathir
لِلْفُقَرَاء الَّذِينَ أُحصِرُواْ فِي سَبِيلِ اللّهِ
(Charity is) for the poor, who in Allah's cause are restricted (from travel),
meaning, the migrants who migrated to Allah and His Messenger, resided in Al-Madinah and did not have resources that sufficiently provided them with their needs.
لَا يَسْتَطِيعُونَ ضَرْبًا فِي الَارْضِ
And cannot Darban (move about) in the land,
meaning, "They cannot travel in the land to seek means of livelihood."
Allah said in other instances (using a variation of the word Darban),
وَإِذَا ضَرَبْتُمْ فِى الاٌّرْضِ فَلَيْسَ عَلَيْكُمْ جُنَاحٌ أَن تَقْصُرُواْ مِنَ الصَّلوةِ
And when you (Muslims) travel in the land, there is no sin on you if you shorten the Salah (the prayer). (4;101)
أَن سَيَكُونُ مِنكُمْ مَّرْضَى وَءَاخَرُونَ يَضْرِبُونَ فِى الاٌّرْضِ يَبْتَغُونَ مِن فَضْلِ اللَّهِ وَءَاخَرُونَ يُقَـتِلُونَ فِى سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ فَاقْرَءُواْ
He knows that there will be some among you sick, others traveling through the land, seeking of Allah's bounty, yet others fighting in Allah's cause. (73;20)
Allah then said,
يَحْسَبُهُمُ الْجَاهِلُ أَغْنِيَاء مِنَ التَّعَفُّفِ
The one who knows them not, thinks that they are rich because of their modesty,
meaning, those who do not know their situation think that they are well-off, because they are modest in their clothes and speech.
There is a Hadith with this meaning that the Two Sahihs recorded from Abu Hurayrah that the Messenger of Allah said,
لَيْسَ الْمِسْكِينُ بِهذَا الطَّوَّافِ الَّذِي تَرُدُّهُ التَّمْرَةُ وَالتَّمْرَتَانِ وَاللُّقْمَةُ وَاللُّقْمَتَانِ وَالاُْكْلَةُ وَالاُْكْلَتَانِ وَلكِنِ الْمِسْكِينُ الَّذِي لَا يَجِدُ غِنىً يُغْنِيهِ وَلَا يُفْطَنُ لَهُ فَيُتَصَدَّقَ عَلَيْهِ وَلَا يَسْأَلُ النَّاسَ شَيْيًا
The Miskin (needy) is not he who wanders about and whose need is sufficed by a date or two, a bite or two or a meal or two. Rather, the Miskin is he who neither has enough resources to sustain him, all the while people are unaware of his need so they do not give to him, nor does he ask people for anything.
Imam Ahmad also recorded this Hadith from Ibn Mas`ud.
You may know them by their mark,
means, "Those who have good minds discover their situation,"
just as Allah said in other instances,
سِيمَـهُمْ فِى وُجُوهِهِمْ
The mark of them (i.e. of their faith) is on their faces. (48;29)
وَلَتَعْرِفَنَّهُمْ فِى لَحْنِ الْقَوْلِ
But surely, you will know them by the tone of their speech! (47;30)
لَا يَسْأَلُونَ النَّاسَ إِلْحَافًا
they do not beg of people at all,
means, they do not beg and, thus, do not require people to provide them with more than what they actually need.
Indeed, those who ask people for help, while having what suffices for their needs, have begged.
Imam Ahmad recorded that Abu Sa`id said,
"My mother sent me to the Messenger of Allah to ask him for help, but when I came by him I sat down. The Prophet faced me and said to me,
مَنِ اسْتَغْنَى أَغْنَاهُ اللهُ
وَمَنِ اسْتَعَفَّ أَعَفَّهُ اللهُ
وَمَنِ اسْتَكَفَّ كَفَاهُ اللهُ
وَمَنْ سَأَلَ وَلَهُ قِيمَةُ أُوقِيَّةٍ فَقَدْ أَلْحَف
Whoever felt satisfied, then Allah will enrich him.
Whoever is modest, Allah will make him decent.
Whoever is content, then Allah will suffice for him.
Whoever asks people, while having a small amount, he will have begged the people.
Abu Sa`id said,
"I said to myself, `I have a camel, Al-Yaqutah, and indeed, it is worth more than a small amount.' And I went back without asking the Prophet for anything."
This is the same wording for this Hadith collected by Abu Dawud and An-Nasa'i.
وَمَا تُنفِقُواْ مِنْ خَيْرٍ فَإِنَّ اللّهَ بِهِ عَلِيمٌ
And whatever you spend in good, surely Allah knows it well.
indicates that no charity escapes Him, and He will reward it fully and perfectly on the Day of Resurrection, when it is most desperately needed.
Praise for those who Spend in Charity
الَّذِينَ يُنفِقُونَ أَمْوَالَهُم بِاللَّيْلِ وَالنَّهَارِ سِرًّا وَعَلَنِيَةً فَلَهُمْ أَجْرُهُمْ عِندَ رَبِّهِمْ وَلَا خَوْفٌ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلَا هُمْ يَحْزَنُونَ