Abū Hurairah and Hakim ibn Hizam (may Allah be pleased with them) report that the Holy Messenger (may Allah bless and greet him) said, “The best charity is that which leaves a man contented and you should make a beginning from those whose care is your responsibility.”
Charity is a benevolent act, most liked by Allah the Exalted and thus cherished by the believers. The charity which is given out at a time when one is healthy, has his own problems to attend to and stands in need of wealth, has great value before Allah the Most Knowing. Such an act of charity is far from covetousness.
In the present hadith, the Holy Messenger (may Allah bless and greet him) provides the believers with a measure to make the charity best. Having contentment while giving out one’s wealth in charity means that there should be no second thought after spending something in charity. Also, while giving out something in charity one should be careful that he is not making himself destitute and thus in need of charity from others. Or that he should be so firm that his poverty does not strain his heart.
Abū Bakr Siddique (may Allah be pleased with him) brought all his wealth to the Messenger (may Allah bless and greet him) that nothing but God and His Messenger remained at his home. But he remained quite contented. Yet everyone is not Abū Bakr, and Islam demands only that which he can cheerfully part with leaving himself solvent, and in any case there should be no strain on the heart otherwise the charity will lose all its merit. Another thing to be noted is that only after meeting the needs of his dependents charity is extended to others; contravention of this is against the very spirit of charity. It always begins from home.