The True Spirit of Charity
An act of kindness is indeed a joy forever! If we dig deep into this saying, we realize that kindness and generosity have the power to change the world – which is how such acts can be engraved into the hearts of people, which is why such acts live forever and are also a constant source of satisfaction and pleasure for the benefactor for the times to come.
The best way to show kindness is through simple acts of generosity. People will forget what you said but they will never forget what you did to make a difference in their life. Our religion is a great advocate of charity. The Holy Quran says:”Worship none but Allah. treat with kindness your parents and kindred, and orphans and those in need; speak fair to the people; be steadfast in prayer; and practice regular charity” (2:83).
History is full of examples of people who are an embodiment of their love for humanity. However, when we talk about compassion for humanity, our Holy Prophet (PBUH) is undoubtedly the most magnanimous, the most benevolent and the most self-sacrificing human being to have lived on the face of this earth. The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was not only generous himself; he continuously encouraged and motivated his followers to help others, to support the families of their Muslim brothers, neighbors, communities and the entire Muslim Ummah in various ways like feeding the poor and needy, by providing water to the needy, by helping orphans and by taking care of the widows are only a few ways in which our Prophet (PBUH) showed his love for humanity.
Charity has multitude of benefits for a community. When you donate money for charity organizations within your county, you are helping to create a community that is strong and self-sustaining. It is not strange to have financially weak members in a community and this is not only restricted to the third world countries only, however, when people of a community help each other, they help to make their community stronger and united.
It is heartening that Pakistanis recognized as one of the most charitable nations of the world as it donates over 1% of its GDP in charity, upholding the spirit of charity in various forms like Zakat, Sadqa and Fitrana. However, according to Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS), the Household Integrated Economic Survey (HIES) 2018-19 reveal that 16% of Pakistan’s population is experiencing moderate or severe food insecurity with the incidence of being twice as high in rural areas than urban areas: 20% and 9.2% respectively.
There are many reputable government and non-profit charity organizations that have been providing services to needy for many years now and over the recent years, there has been a significant increase in this trend. World renowned and famous organizations like the Edhi Foundation, Shaukat Khanum Cancer Hospital and Chippa Welfare Association along with many other philanthropist organizations are working tirelessly for the needy. These altruistic organizations don’t wish to publicize and flaunt their charity work as they know that our religion always reminds us to be humble about our acts of charity, as any act of charity must not be embarrassing to the recipients. Another such organization, Yuseaid Foundation has also emerged as a community-oriented and public-spirited charity organization which works selflessly towards various objectives, as their target is not just restricted to only helping the poor. From eliminating hunger, eradicating child labour to raising a voice against unequal distribution of wealth and providing opportunities to the youth in Pakistan, their mission is not restricted to a specific field; rather they work in diverse fields as they believe to take the lead when they see the need! Such dynamic charity organizations indeed are a role model for the entire nation as they provide encouragement to those who want to participate in acts of kindness and generosity without the aim to gain popularity.
As we have embarked on our journey into 2021, we are looking forward to a more promising year ahead.In 2020, factors like high food prices, locust outbreaks, climate events such as rains, flooding, droughts, and the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic all exacerbated the number of people who face food insecurity and other social and financial challenges. Hence, there is a need to institutionalize individual efforts into more structured and organized efforts, under the umbrella of renowned and selfless charity organizations.
Faith in the Almighty and love for humanity – the strongholds of our religion will always be a guiding force in our endeavor to make Pakistan a place where no one sleeps hungry, where no child is denied his right to education, where every citizen gets equal opportunity in every walk of life because a generous and helpful community is indeed a socially and economically strong community.