chairty in islam

الكاتب : الاسد   المشاهدات : 936   الردود : 0    ‏2006-04-28
      مشاركة رقم : 1    ‏2006-04-28
  1. الاسد

    الاسد عضو نشيط

    التسجيل :
    ‏2003-09-02
    المشاركات:
    328
    الإعجاب :
    0
    The Concept of Charity in Islam



    Charity, preached by every religion of the world, is a way of bringing
    justice to society. And justice is the essence of religion. Islam has therefore made charity, that is, zakat, obligatory and binding upon all those who embrace the faith; it has been made into an institution in order to give it permanence and regularity.


    All human beings, according to Islam, have been created by one and the same God, and for this reason they belong to one great brotherhood. All being descendants of the same progenitor, Adam and Eve, they should naturally be each other’s well-wishers. They must willingly come to one another’s assistance, like members of the same large family. Islam has, therefore, laid the greatest of emphasis on the support of destitute and disabled members of society. It is a sacred duty of the wealthy to give part of their possessions to fulfill the needs of the deprived sections of the
    community


    This spirit of helping others to earn God’s pleasure is best reflected in Muslim society in the field of education. Inspired by traditions of the Prophet that the greatest charity for a Muslim being to learn something, and then teaching it to others (Ahmad) Muslims in large numbers have devoted themselves to other’s education generation after generation.


    Thus the spirit of kindness and well wishing is the essence of charity. The giver is not to expect any reward from the beneficiary as there waits for him an abundant reward from God—material, moral, and spiritual — what God deems it best to confer on His servant.
    The payment of zakah is a way of purifying one’s wealth. It saves one from greed and selfishness and encourages him to be truthful and God-fearing in his financial dealings. Another purpose is to help the poor and the needy and to assist other causes in the way of Allah (God). Muslims know that it is a profitable investment (and not a loss) to help the cause of Allah (God) because it will establish economic balance and social justice, and at the same time earn an immense reward in the Hereafter.


    Sadaqat is a very wide term and is used in the Quran to cover all kinds of charity. Its scope is so vast that even the poor who can have nothing tangible to give can offer sadaqa in the shape of a smile or a glass of water to a thirsty person, or they may even just utter a kindly word. Good conduct is frequently termed sadaqa in the hadith. Planting something from which a person, bird or animal later eats also counts as sadaqa. In this extended sense, acts of loving kindness, even greeting another with a cheerful face, is regarded as sadaqa. In short, every good deed is sadaqa.


    Sadaqa AL-jaria is Helping someone to establish himself in business, giving someone a proper education; helping someone recover from some disease by monetary assistance to looking after the orphans and the destitute; giving scholarships to students, all such charitable works come under sadaka jaria—that is why so many centers of social welfare have continued to function in the Muslim community. It is unfortunate that the figures of individuals assisting people in need are not available. There are such traditions as stress the importance of giving sadaqa in the holy month of Ramadan. Therefore, in this month of fasting, almost all those who can afford it help the poor people in one way or another. The reward for giving voluntary alms in secret is seventy times that of giving it publicly.


    The Quran states that “Charity is for those in need.” This is a general principle which enjoins us to help people in need, be they good or bad, on the right path or not, Muslims or non-Muslims. We are not supposed to judge in these matters. The chief ends in charity, as reiterated here, should be God’s pleasure and our own spiritual good.
    So the test of charity lies not in giving away something we have discarded but the things that we value greatly, something that we love. It is unselfishness that God demands. It may be in any form—one’s personal efforts, talents, skill, learning, property or possessions.


    The law of zakat is to take from those who have wealth and give it away to those who do not. This rotation of wealth is a way to balance social inequality.
    Zakat in spirit is an act of worship while in its external form it is the carrying out of social service. It is thus not just the payment of a tax as it is generally understood but is rather an act of religious significance


    The funds thus accumulated must be spent on the eight categories specified in the Qur'an namely, the poor and the destitute, the wayfarer, the bankrupt, the needy, converts, captives, the collectors of zakat, and in the cause of God. The last category allows such funds to be used for the general welfare of the community— for the education of the people, for public works, and for any other need of the Muslim community.


    Islam has established this institution to make concern for the poor a permanent and compulsory duty. This means an annual contribution of two and a half percent of one’s income to public welfare. The rate on other types of wealth such as agricultural produce and jewelry is more. It is incumbent on minors and adults, males and females, living or dead.


    A society can flourish only when its members do not spend all their wealth on the satisfaction of their own desires but reserve a portion of it for parents, relatives' neighbors, the poor and the incapacitated. As the saying goes (Charity begins at home). A true believer is thus always prepared, after meeting the needs of his family, to assist other people in need of his help.


    We conclude with a hadith which sums up the essence of Charity:
    “Every good act is charity. Your smiling to your brother is charity; an exhortation of your fellowman to virtuous deeds is equal to alms-giving; your putting a wanderer on the right road is charity; your assisting the blind is charity; your removing stones, and thorns, and other obstructions from the road is charity; your giving water to the thirsty is charity. A man’s true wealth, as regards the Hereafter, is the good he does in this world to his fellow men. When he dies, people will say “what property has he left behind him?” But the angels will ask, “what good deeds has he sent before him?”
     

مشاركة هذه الصفحة