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O ye who believe! cancel not your charity by reminders of your generosity or by injury,- like those who spend their substance to be seen of men, but believe neither in Allah nor in the Last Day. They are in parable like a hard, barren rock, on which is a little soil: on it falls heavy rain, which leaves it (Just) a bare stone. They will be able to do nothing with aught they have earned. And Allah guideth not those who reject faith.

Ibn Kathir writes,

Allah then said,

like him who spends his wealth to be seen of men,

meaning, “Do not nullify your acts of charity by
following them with reminders and harm, just like
the charity of those who give it to show off to
people.”

The boasting person pretends to give away charity for
Allah’s sake, but in reality seeks to gain people’s praise
and the reputation of being kind or generous, or other
material gains of this life. All the while, he does not think
about Allah or gaining His pleasure and generous
rewards, and this is why Allah said,

and he does not believe in Allah, nor in the Last Day.
Allah next set the example of whoever gives charity to
show off.
Ad-Dahhak commented that the example fits one who
follows his acts of charity with reminders or harm.
Allah said,

His likeness is the likeness of Safwan,

where Safwan, from is Safwanah, meaning `the
smooth rocks,’

on which is little dust; on it falls a Wabil,

which leaves it bare.
This Ayah means that heavy rain left the Safwan
completely barren of dust. Such is the case with Allah’s
action regarding the work of those who show off, as their
deeds are bound to vanish and disappear, even though
people think that these deeds are as plentiful as specks
of dust.
So Allah said,

They are not able to do anything with what they have
earned. And Allah does not guide the disbelieving people.

References:

Kathir, Ibn. Tafsir Ibn Kathir. (surah 2 verse 264). https://archive.org/details/TafseerIbnKathirenglish114SurahsComplete

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