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Verse 12 of Sura 58 provides {58:12}: "O ye who believe! When you consult the Messenger in private, give alms before your consultation. That is better and purer for you. But when you do not find the wherewithal, lo! Allah is Forgiving and Merciful. "

According to traditions when this verse was revealed the Holy Prophet wanted to fix an amount, which every person who consulted the Holy Prophet should pay. Ali represented that, as the people were generally poor no amount should be fixed, and the option should rest with the person concerned to pay whatever alms he could.