Charity has been practiced since the beginning of time, and with such high inflation rates, as well as increasing financial burdens, people, as well as entire families are sometimes forced to turn to the streets, as they are unable to pay for utilities and food due to the intense employment competition. With more people not being able to pay for a proper education and so uneducated people suffer because they too, were just not lucky enough to be able to afford to study.
Charity: its role in Religion
Charity does not necessarily mean the use of money. Charity comes in all forms. Charity, in its definition, is to voluntarily help someone in need without any expectation of any gains, rewards or appreciation. Some religions strongly incorporate charity into their practices, the religions, and their charitable practices are discussed below:
Islam: Islam incorporates charity into its practices, such that it was made one of the pillars of Islam, which are the five basic principles on which the religion is based. Zakat is one of the five pillars of Islam. It has been made compulsory, in the case that individuals earning fits the criteria to be eligible to give Zakat, a percentage of a Muslim’s earnings to people who need it.
However, for those who cannot give Zakat, they can perform charity by giving Sadaqah. There is no minimum or maximum limit for Sadaqah. In Islam, even smiling at someone is considered Sadaqah.
Christianity: in the 12th and 13th century, patrons founded multiple hospitals for the ill, who could not afford medical care for themselves.
Hinduism: Hinduism charity is defined as giving up one’s property to someone else in need.
Charity is about more than money
As you can see now, many religions practice charity without the involvement of money or cash. Sometimes, the best thing you can do to help alleviate how someone is feeling and to make their day better is just be offering a shoulder to cry on, an open ear, a gentle heart, and lastly, a simple smile, that costs absolutely nothing. In religions such as Judaism, giving someone something as simple as your time is considered charity.
However, nowadays, some organizations prove to be ‘non-profit’ but you really do not know if the proceedings of the non-profit organization are really going to the community that needs help or being used for other purposes. The best thing to do is perform charity by yourselves, whether it’s an on-going funding for a family in need or a one-time thing.