Philanthropy and charity in islam research papers examples

Every religion advocates philanthropy and looks at it as an essential aspect for the welfare of mankind. Islam is no exception and we find that Islamic rulings make charity obligatory. The western world does not associate the philanthropy with Islam and rather look at the Muslim community as propagators of violence and terrorism. The West looks at Islam as authoritarian and domination of women. Their unawareness of the Quran and the conducts of the Prophet keep them away from the reality that Islam is all about compassion, mercy and generosity. It is perhaps the irresponsible attitude of certain Muslims that have led to a certain image about Muslims and the Islamic religion (Anonymous. 6). Forms of charity in Islam Zakat, the religious charity, is the most common form and one part of the zakat are used for public welfare system, with the purpose of providing support to poor members of the community. It is not only considered to be a part of Muslims’ communal duties, but is also a spiritual act:  Islam preaches that giving away purifies oneself of material selfishness and keeps one away from envy and jealousy. Giving charity encourages all members of society to be compassionate and work harder and improve the lot of the community. Zakat is, thus profoundly social and spiritual as well. As one of the most basic tenets of Islam, zakat is just one feature of Muslim philanthropy. Muslim charity and compassion is broad and diverse and reflects centuries of change in different cultural and social contexts around the world. Zakat is the ideal religious charity. Those who contribute and those who are eligible to receive Zakat enjoy the beneficial effects of this solidarity. Sadaqa is another aspect of Muslim charity and this is an individual choice of every individual Muslim. Sadaqa   may or may not be monetary in nature and can cover anything from clothing and feeding the poor kind or even voluntary service. It also mean being kind to someone or saying kind words. The third form of Islamic philanthropy, kaffara is rarer. These donations are given away as part of a self-punishment after breaking an oath. The fourth facet of Islamic philanthropy relates to the advantaged members of society and makes known that it is the obligation of all Muslims to give away in charity as members of the community.  Islam legislated zakat in the form of an annual tax that was levied by the government.  Sadaqah is given voluntarily by any Muslim as and when he feels required. However, priority is given to family members and relatives. What Quran says
“ The Quran says: “ But righteous is the one who gives away wealth, out of love for Him to the near of kin and the orphans and the needy and the wayfarer and to those who ask, and to set slaves free” (2: 177).” Prophet, in his writings, describes the significance of philanthropy. Philanthropy can be obligatory and voluntary in Islam. Obligatory philanthropy comprises of zakat and zakat-ul-fitr while the voluntary philanthropy comprises of samara and waqf.
Zakat is a portion of wealth that is for the needy and given in fixed categories of beneficiaries, especially if his assets are more than a certain limit Quran mentions that Zakat charity is only for the poor and the needy. The government of an Islamic state is accountable for the gathering and administration of zakat. Zakat-ul-fitr is compulsory on every Muslim. Zakat is usually calculated at 2. 5 % of wealth and given at the end of the Ramadan fast.
Sadaqa means charity done for the benefit of fellow men and can be in kind or cash. “ Every act of goodness is sadaqa”; as the Prophet said.   He says that if he cannot give because he has no money, he can work for someone in need of help and, if he cannot even do that, he should ablest refrains from doing any evil or harm others. Waqf is the eternal dedication of any property for any charitable or religious work. This is recognized by Islamic law and Waqf means the transfer of ownership to God.  The profits are applied to help mankind and any kind of property can be the subject of waqf. The security of a waqf is decided by the likelihood of perpetual benefit and turned into profitable use. It is interesting to note that Islamic institution of waqf is much more extensive and carries a wider scope than that of an English trust. The institution is already popular in Islamic countries and there is a special ministry that deals with the administration of waqf properties. The Quran and Sunnah lay great stress on supporting the poor and the destitute. Islam makes it clear that it is the duty of the rich to take care of the deprived sections of society and be good to fellow humans. It also talk about protecting the environment and treat the animals well. In the recent times, we find that Islamic philanthropy has been experiencing a shift with respect to its role of giving charity and promoting wellbeing. The term Islamic philanthropy refers to the private goods that are given in agreement with Islamic ordinances of charitable giving and can be distinguished from philanthropy in Muslim communities. Need Of Focus And Strategic Direction  Looking at the innumerable styles of Islamic philanthropy, it can be hard to review the scale of Muslim charity. However, some estimates hold the Islamic giving to fall between 250 billion dollars annually. This is a huge sum, and despite the continuing efforts to undertake the social needs of the Muslim world, Islamic philanthropy is still not institutionalized properly.  The philanthropies proposed to attend to the world’s challenges are limited by development and training. The shortage of qualified and experienced philanthropists lowers the impact of each dollar that gets donated. There is a clear lack of focus and the investments need to be developed strategically so that the advantages reach every section of the society. It is time to shift from personal giving and get to the exact causes of the problems. Muslim philanthropists should encourage discussions and networking opportunities to make way for a new, strategic way of giving. The wide-reaching community of Muslim philanthropists should reach out to the poor, regardless of their religious beliefs. Apart from donating to educational and health-care institutions that are faith-based, it is necessary to fund initiatives that promote research, economic and social advancement, religious and cultural tolerance and leadership development. The charity should work towards negating the negative aspects of globalization.  Muslim philanthropy should shift its focus from conventional to strategic, thus making the impact long-term rather than short-term, by incorporating strategic planning and through building endowments. It should confront the root causes of poverty and be ready to invest as and when required and reach out to the needy of every religious belief and race. Strategic partnerships and alliance building with typical philanthropies can make progress in this direction and to tackle global issues. World Congress of Muslim Philanthropists The World Congress of Muslim Philanthropists is a new organisation that was formed to help Islamıc donors and supervise the billions of dollars that get donated for humanitarian causes a year and overcome any obstacles. The generosity of Muslims is simply unparalleled and more than $200-billion a year are given to charity collectively, for the needy and the mosques. Muslims believe in the Muslims because we believe Philanthropy. Muslims community is urged to protect the environment and prevent the spread of diseases like HIV/AIDS. The aim of World Congress of Muslim Philanthropists is to bring the world’s Islamic donors together.
Muslims share risks with everyone on this planet and need to be more active in finding solutions. The organisation will create a network and coordinate Muslims involved in Philanthropy and organize annual events to discuss Muslim giving (Wilhelm). The donors also need to be ensured that their money is not supportıng any terrorist activities. The World Congress of Muslim Phılanthropists also aims to improve the image of Islam to the Western world.
The Muslim-American philanthropists President Obama has pledged to work with American Muslims and ensure that they are able to fulfil their Zakat. Still, there are steps that need to be taken to minimise the obstacles faced by the Muslim American donors, Estimates propose that more than 10 billion is donated by the Americans Muslims every year and is used to fund non-religious organizations, mosques and schools. After 9/11, regulations have become complicated and several crackdowns on Muslim charities have made it harder for Muslim Americans to feel safe and not under any pressure when donating. In spite of the risks, the Muslim-American philanthropists have continued to give and have often been dismayed to find their accounts frozen or the recipients of their charitable gifts shut down. The philanthropic organizations should work to fight the insecurities faced by Muslim-Americans. Muslim communities often feel isolated and apart and are left with fewer opportunities for social engagement and charity (Zaman). President Obama should be lauded for his efforts to reform Zakat and the philanthropic leaders should take advantage of the opportunity.
Conclusion Muslims in America and rest of the world need to work together in the twenty-first century and build strong social networks to spread goodwill between Muslim communities and the world. The westerns world is still not completely aware of the generous charity model of Islam. There is a need to be more fair and honest when giving donations and how those donations are being spent. Regular feedback and updates will increase confidence and one should help donors with helpful guidance to overcome any fears about philanthropy. Islam is a wonderful religion and one should make efforts to understand it and its model of philanthropy.
Works CitedTillier, Mathieu. ” Charity, Endowments, and Charitable Institutions in Medieval Islam.” Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient 50. 4 (2007): 574-. Print. Anonymous. ” Inside Islam.” Scholastic News 74. 18 (2006): 6. Print. McChesney, R. D. Charity, Endowments, and Charitable Institutions in Medieval Islam. 14 Vol. BRILL, 2007. Print. Wilhelm, Ian. ” New Group Meets to Promote Muslim Charity Worldwide.” The Chronicle of Philanthropy. 24 March 2008. Print. Zaman, Saima. ” A New Era of Muslim-American Philanthropy Requires Fewer Obstacles to Giving.” Philanthropy News Digest. 23 June 2009. Print