Friday, August 19, 2011

Charity in Islam

'Those who believe, and do deeds of righteousness, and establish regular prayers and regular charity, will have their reward with their Lord: On them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve' (2:277)
The concept of charity in Islam is thus linked with justice. It is not limited to the redressal of grievances. It implies apart from the removal of handicaps, the recognition of the right that every human being has to attain the fullness of life.

There are two forms of charity in Islam - obligatory and voluntary, called Zakah and Sadaqah respectively.

As someone who worked with a number of Not for Profits here in DC and Utah. I am pretty informed about the trends and the habits of American giving. I have also helped plan fundraisers and drive for donations both for in kind and cash.

  1. You have to give something you would want to yourself. In other word, you cannot just give stuff that you don't want anymore, it has to be something of use to you. In America, they donate stuff that they have little use for, in the hopes someone else has better use for it--it's utilitarian.
  2. If you Buy your child an Armani jeans, you would want to buy the same brand for that orphan that you visit with. You cannot give them, Old Navy jeans. The charities has to come from something that you would want.
  3. You cannot talk about the deed you have done. You cannot go on and broadcast it like I know some donors do here. You give and forget. When it comes to charity, your left hand is not supposed to know what your right hand is doing.
  4. You are not supposed to donate and give two cents with your donation. For example, some people give money, but when they give the money, they say stuff that might hurt the person receiving the gift.
  5. Those in charge of distributing charity, need not to channel the money form its purpose. They can eat from it if it was food, the can even cut a salary, if it's their full time job. But most of all they need to do that in the littlest costs.
5 Different purposes/names for giving in Islam

1. Infaq fi Sabil Allah (spending in the path of Allah). Infaq Meaning spending benevolently

2. Ihsan Meaning the doing of good or (kindness and consideration

3. Zakah Meaning growth or purification

4. Sadaqah Derived from the root sidq and meaning truth, and comes to signify charitable deed

5. Khayrat Meaning good deeds




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