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Featured Charity, religion, Islam and beyond...

Discussion in 'Religious Debates' started by adrian009, Jan 15, 2019.

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  1. oldbadger

    oldbadger Skanky Old Mongrel!

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    Regardless of who calls zakat a charity, it is in fact a just taxation, a poor-law to benefit the needy. And very good to see it. The poor-laws of the Old Testament may well have led to Islamic zakat.
     
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  2. Baroodi

    Baroodi Active Member

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    Charity and alms in Islam are not only giving out money to the needy. Prophet Mohammed mentioned many facets in this regard
    1) smiling in the face of another person is alms
    2) lifting with your strong arm a load for someone
    3) running fast with your sturdy legs to help out a caller for help
    4) don`t underestimate any dole, even if it is a half-date
    5) one Durhim outran one hundred thousand Durhim (regarding the divine reward). The Prohpet was asked how is this? He said: some one has two Durhim and paid one Durhim as a dole while someone else is a multimillionaire and paid 100.000. this is like giving a drop from an ocean. A Durhim is the unit currency in the Gulf, about 3 Durhims = 1 $
    In addition Quran recommends giving doles in addition to the indentured Zakat for the social security of the community (The like of those who spend their money in the cause of God is like a seed producing seven spikes, in each spike one hundred seeds) Quran; 1:261.
     
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  3. adrian009

    adrian009 Veteran Member
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    I hadn't really considered something like the gini coefficient so thanks for that. Its useful to consider that countries such as Canada, Europe, India and the Middle East are more equitable than the USA.

    File:2014 Gini Index World Map, income inequality distribution by country per World Bank.svg - Wikipedia

    We would need to consider overall wealth though or average income per person where Islamic countries don't fare so well.

    List of countries by average wage - Wikipedia
     
  4. Firemorphic

    Firemorphic Activist Membrane

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    Ideally, Charity is at the heart of Islamic life, I've seen it very much myself. Pity the charity part hasn't caught on a lot, not only to the perception of Islam to the West but also in the hearts of random people in this world.


     
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  5. Vinayaka

    Vinayaka devotee
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    I think average wage is a meaningless statistic, as it doesn't consider cost of living. Some places are just much cheaper to live in, as there is abundant food, far less cost in utilities, and a few US dollars will go a very long ways. Surely there are other better ways to evaluate how well an individual or a society is doing. One example would be to look at free time an individual has to pursue for community, arts, or religion. If a person or society is so busy working, where is the quality of life?

    As for charity, it's not really very measurable. Much of it is very hidden. The landlord who takes pity on an impoverished young couple by lowering their rent has no measure for that. People like Grandparents the world over who give their time to their grandchildren are certainly charitable. Back yard gardeners who share their hobby garden with neighbours are doing charity, no?
     
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  6. Epic Beard Man

    Epic Beard Man Bearded Philosopher

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    A principle I live by:

    "Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put) and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents.

    Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on."

    Mark 12:41-44

    Communal donations along with state aid truly can make a difference if its appropriated properly, but truly when one gives out of their own earning all they have at that moment in the interest of sincerity truly can we say, like Jesus' words is what I would consider charity.
     
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  7. osgart

    osgart Nothing my eye, Something for sure

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    Why charity is a law of life?

    Because if everyone got what they deserved based on charity then countless many more people would prosper and benefit society.

    Charity is the desire to see good people lifted up to survive and grow.

    If ever there were a heaven it would be about charity of the heart.

    Society measures people on productivity rather then enabling people to be productive.

    And its only logical and of basic virtue to desire to see good hearted folks be lifted up through charity.

    Those who lack charity make the world a colder place more prone to violence, and misery and desparation.

    I do think there has always been a struggle in humanity between false pride and charity. There are those that measure people on their material use to society, and those that measure everything based on charity.

    There are also those whom live in fear of evil, and those who would rather live to do good to others.

    One of the reasons i do still seek God is the concept and principle of charity.

    I dont see charity as pity, i see it as love for others.

    And if there is a God, then God's heart is charity.

    I do not think that life is about being better then everyone else. Its about making everyone else better.

    Charity, and deserve are my highest two virtues as i rank them.

    If one can attain to these two virtues, those are the keys to heaven, and a life worth living IMO.

    The qualm i have with religion is that it requires belief in stories that are mythical. Religion doesnt want to look at the reality of people and existence, and it sets up a false sense of who is genuine and whom are the ones to oppose. People that hold no stock in religion can be very genuine people. Believers tend to see reality through myth, and they totally miss out on people who are non believers and very genuine.
     
    #27 osgart, Jan 15, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2019
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  8. Tony Bristow-Stagg

    Tony Bristow-Stagg Veteran Member
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    Then there are the places where the opposite is applicable. Like the Solomon Islands where most foods are imported and the average wage is very low for most peoples.

    Regards Tony
     
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  9. adrian009

    adrian009 Veteran Member
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    It would be useful to hear about your experiences of Islam and the practice of charity.
     
  10. adrian009

    adrian009 Veteran Member
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    Average wage is useful to gauge the type of economy a country may have but of course we need to know about expenses too. There is a tendency to idealise less developed countries with a simpler way of life but life expectancy (another useful measure) is often poor.

    List of countries by life expectancy - Wikipedia

    Although quantity of life doesn't always mean quality, often it can. Having the basics of good nutrition, housing sanitation, along with work and education opportunities and good health care can contribute enormously to both quality and quantity of life.

    It is hard to measure charity as you say, but consider how a community treats its most vulnerable and despised members with children, disabled and sick, the elderly and prison populations and we can build quite a useful picture of how a community works and what it truly values.

    Here are the Top 10 Most Generous Countries in the World 2018 | Seasia.co

    I agree.
     
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  11. adrian009

    adrian009 Veteran Member
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    The widows mite is one of my favourite stories about giving and sacrifice. Another is the story of the good Samaritan.

    When we discuss charity its really about the spiritual condition of our hearts and what we as individuals are prepared to sacrifice to assist with others. Although having a taxation system is important, this is very different from voluntary giving.

    I suspect the reason charity is considered one of the five pillars of Islam is its the most practical expression of faith, unlike faith, prayer, fasting and pilgrimage that assist the individuals who practice it.
     
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  12. Vinayaka

    Vinayaka devotee
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  13. Epic Beard Man

    Epic Beard Man Bearded Philosopher

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    Right.
     
  14. oldbadger

    oldbadger Skanky Old Mongrel!

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    If wealth and ability is giving 'in a spirit of charity' to poverty and disability under kindness then although this is good it is not ideal.

    Wealth and Ability should pay 'in a spirit of duty' to Poverty and Disability under legislation because (surely?) wealth, ability, poverty and disability all are conditions of 'chance'.

    A person born with high intelligence or great strength is there by chance, just as a person born disabled by low-intelligence or weakness?

    The huge wealth divide is a wickedness.
     
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  15. spirit_of_dawn

    spirit_of_dawn Active Member

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    Zakat in Sunni Islam differs with that of Shia Islam. As I have always said, If you want to speak about Islam, you have to state which sect you are speaking about.

    From a Shia perspective, the Quranic word Zakat is divided into two parts:

    1- State collected, which is not charity but the state can use to help the needy. Not everybody pays this. It is only payable for specific sources of income, and under specific conditions.
    2- Non-state collected zakat that you give from your own money to the needy. The Quran frequently refers to those that pay zakat with virtuous attributes. Other words like infaq and sadaqah are also used to refer to wealth that you give away to others.

    The matters of charity, helping those that are in need, and even sharing your wealth with others have been emphasized greatly in the scripture. I have even seen narrations to the effect that a Muslim shares half his wealth with his brothers in faith.

    "And spend [in the way of Allah ] from what We have provided you before death approaches one of you and he says, "My Lord, if only You would delay me for a brief term so I would give charity and be among the righteous." (Quran, 63:10)​
     
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