Allah says in Surah al-Baqarah:
'If you give charity openly, that is good. But if you keep it secret, and give it to the needy in private, that is better for you. It will atone for some of your misdeeds. Allah is cognizant of what you do.' (Verse 271)
This verse praises both the open and secret charities. Summarizing other verses and Shariah evidences about this, our Islamic scholars conclude: ''If sadaqah is fard, it is better to give it openly, because in this case obedience to Allah's command is manifest and preventing this charity from falling upon those who are not entitled to it. If the charity is voluntary, it is better to keep it secret. It will be away from hypocrisy and pride.''
'If you give charity openly, that is good' means fard sadaqah.
'But if you keep it secret...' means voluntary sadaqah.
''... and give it to the needy in private, that is better for you''. In other words, the most deserving of charity is the poor. The introduction of alms in Islam was for the protection and help of that category.
Giving sadaqah, both open and secretly, always benefits the owner, causing his sins to be erased:
'It will atone for some of your misdeeds'
This promise, in turn, will shake the hearts of people and increase their piety.
'Allah is cognizant of what you do'
He will reward or punishment to each one according to his actions.
As is well-known, it is not easy that a person gives the charity to other people voluntarily. This requires constant propagate against greed and the desire for wealth. Second, one should strive to eliminate hypocrisy once they reach the level of generosity. Life experience has shown that avoiding hypocrisy is more difficult than spending money. It is natural that individuals want others to know their sadaqah and good deeds.