SHAFAQNA – Imam al-Ridha (a.s.), whenever he attended a meal and wanted to eat, he asked others to place a large tray next to the food, then he would put on the tray the finest of every food available, and he would ask them to take the tray to the needy.
Then he used to recite verses 11-16 of the surah al-Balad:
فَلَا اقْتَحَمَ الْعَقَبَةَ ﴿١١﴾ وَمَا أَدْرَاكَ مَا الْعَقَبَةُ ﴿١٢﴾ فَكُّ رَقَبَةٍ ﴿١٣﴾ أَوْ إِطْعَامٌ فِي يَوْمٍ ذِي مَسْغَبَةٍ ﴿١٤﴾ يَتِيمًا ذَا مَقْرَبَةٍ ﴿١٥﴾ أَوْ مِسْكِينًا ذَا مَتْرَبَةٍ ﴿١٦﴾
But he has not broken through the difficult pass (11) And what can make you know what is [breaking through] the difficult pass? (12) It is the freeing of a slave (13) Or feeding on a day of severe hunger (14) An orphan of near relationship (15) Or a needy person in misery (16).
Then Imam al-Ridha added: “Allah the Almighty was aware that freeing a slave would not be possible for everyone, hence another way (such as feeding the poor) to the Paradise.”
Source: “al-Muntaha al-Amal” by Sheikh Abbas Qomi, vol. 2, p. 342