Meaning of part of a Hadith regarding the best charity

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by

What is the translation of عن ظهر غنى in the following Hadith?

أفضل الصدقة أو خير الصدقة عن ظهر غنى، واليد العليا خير من اليد السفلى، وابدأ بمن تعول



This narration is recorded in Sahih Muslim on the authority of Sayyiduna Hakim ibn Hizam (radiyallahu ‘anhu). Imam Bukhari (rahimahullah) has recorded this narration with variation in the wording.

(Sahih Muslim, Hadith: 1034, Sahih Bukhari, Hadith: 1427. Also see: Sahih Bukhari, Hadith: 1426 and 5356)


The part in question is translated as follows:

The best charity is that charity which [is affordable and] after giving, the [giver] remains independent [and does not need to beg].

(Refer: Sahih Muslim with Al Minhaj of ‘Allamah Nawawi, Hadith: 2383, Fathul Mulhim, Hadith: 2326)


The translation of the complete Hadith for the benefit of the reader is as follows:

Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “The most excellent/best charity is that charity which after giving, the [giver] remains independent [and does not need to beg], the upper hand [the hand that gives] is better than the lower hand [the hand that receives], and begin [giving charity] to those in your household [i.e. those under your care].’”


Also see here.


And Allah Ta’ala Knows best.

Answered by: Moulana Suhail Motala

Approved by: Moulana Muhammad Abasoomar

This answer was collected from The answers were either answered or checked by Moulana Haroon Abasoomar (rahimahullah) who was a Shaykhul Hadith in South Africa, or by his son, Moulana Muhammad Abasoomer (hafizahullah), who is a Hadith specialist. 

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