`I will return now to avarice: and I tell you that when the sense would fain acquire a thing or tenaciously keep it, reason must say: "Such a thing will have its end." It is certain that if it will have an end it is madness to love it. Wherefore it behoves one to love and to keep that which will not have an end.
`Let avarice then be changed into alms, distributing rightly what [a man] hath acquired wrongly.
`And let him see to it that what the right hand shall give the left hand shall not know'. Because the hypocrites when they do alms desire to be seen and praised of the world. But verily they are vain, seeing that for whom a man worketh from him doth he receive his wages. If, then, a man would receive anything of God, it behoveth him to serve God.
`And see that when ye do alms, ye consider that ye are giving to God all that [ye give] for love of God. Wherefore be not slow to give, and give of the best of that which ye have, for love of God.
`Tell me, desire ye to receive of God anything that is bad? Certainly not, O dust and ashes! Then how have ye faith in you if ye shall give anything bad for love of God?
`It were better to give nothing than to give a bad thing; for in not giving ye shall have some excuse according to the world: but in giving a worthless thing, and keeping the best for yourselves what shall be the excuse?
`And this is all that I have to say to you concerning penitence.
Barnabas answered: `How long ought penitence to last?.
Jesus replied: `As long as a man is in a state of sin he ought always to repent and do penance for it. Wherefore as human life always sinneth, so ought it always to do penance; unless ye would make more account of your shoes than of your soul, since every time that your shoes are burst ye mend them'.
An Islamic Perspective and Commentary
Give for Love of God
"Giving to God all that [ye give] for love of God", is one of the central messages in Qur'an. In 2.177, it immediately follows the requirements of belief, counted even before prayer and charity, along the path of achieving righteousness:
YUSUFALI: It is not righteousness that ye turn your faces Towards east or West; but it is righteousness- to believe in Allah and the Last Day, and the Angels, and the Book, and the Messengers; to spend of your substance, out of love for Him, for your kin, for orphans, for the needy, for the wayfarer, for those who ask, and for the ransom of slaves; to be steadfast in prayer, and practice regular charity; to fulfil the contracts which ye have made; and to be firm and patient, in pain (or suffering) and adversity, and throughout all periods of panic. Such are the people of truth, the Allah-fearing.
Similarly, 76.8 & 76.9, state that righteous people give for the love of Allah:
YUSUFALI: And they feed, for the love of Allah, the indigent, the orphan, and the captive,-
YUSUFALI: (Saying),"We feed you for the sake of Allah alone: no reward do we desire from you, nor thanks.
We also see in 3.92 that "we shall not give anything bad for love of God"; but we should give things that are dear to us:
YUSUFALI: By no means shall ye attain righteousness unless ye give (freely) of that which ye love; and whatever ye give, of a truth Allah knoweth it well.
Finally, we find the exact phrase `And let him see to it that what the right hand shall give the left hand shall not know' in the hadiths (sayings of the Prophet Muhammad) shown below:
Book 005, Number 2248:
Abu Huraira reported that the Apostle of Allah (may peace be upon him) had said: Seven are (the persons) whom Allah would give protection with His Shade on the Day when there would be no shade but that of Him (i. e. on the Day of Judgment, and they are): a just ruler, a youth who grew up with the worship of Allah; a person whose heart is attached to the mosques; two persons who love and meet each other and depart from each other for the sake of Allah; a man whom a beautiful woman of high rank seduces (for illicit relation), but he (rejects this offer by saying):" I fear Allah" ; a person who gives charity and conceals it (to such an extent) that the right hand does not know what the left has given: and a person who remembered Allah in privacy and his eyes shed tears.
Book 51, Number 51.5.14:
Yahya related to me from Malik from Khubayb ibn Abd ar-Rahman al-Ansari from Hafs ibn Asim that either Abu Said al-Khudri or Abu Hurayra said, "The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, 'There are seven whom Allah will shade in His shade on the day on which there is no shade except His shade: a just imam, a youth who grows up worshipping Allah, a man whose heart is attached to the mosque when he leaves it until he returns to it, two men who love each other in Allah and meet for that and part for that, a man who remembers Allah when he is alone and his eyes overflow with tears, a man who refuses the approaches of a noble, beautiful woman, saying "I fear Allah," and a man who gives sadaqa (charity) and conceals it so that his left hand does not know what his right hand gives.' "