“You will never attain righteousness until you spend
in charity from that what you love.”
Everything that we have was a gift bestowed upon us by God–our belongings, our surroundings, and our bodies. We are the custodians of all that God has given us, and its our job to care for and safe-keep all that He has created–especially each other.
One way that Muslims are called to care for those around is through Zakat or Sadaka. Zakat, charitable giving, is one of the five pillars of Islam. To care for the less-fortunate and the needy is an essential piece of Muslim faith. Zakat is about more than just giving money–Zakat can be giving time, effort, or lending a hand.
There is no greater way to spend what you have than by helping someone in need. By helping just one person, we help all of society. Both small acts of kindness and organised, charitable giving create positive impacts on the daily lives of those in our community.
In this list, we want to share some ideas to inspire giving.
Here are some Zakat tips, so you can be generous, and help your community!
Use Your Talents!
“The example of those who spend their wealth in the way of Allah is like a seed
of grain which grows seven spikes, in each spike is a hundred grains. And Allah
multiplies the reward for whoever He wills, for Allah is all-Encompassing and knowing,”
Everyone is good at something. Tapping into your personal talents and passions is a great way to channel giving. These talents and passions are gifts from Allah, and we should use such tools to give back. When thinking about ways to give Zakat, consider what your skills are, and choose a Zakat project that lets you use them.
Are you good at handiwork? See if elderly neighbours need help with repairs in their homes. Check in with your local mosque to see if they have any construction needs.
Maybe you’re an excellent baker. Great! Host a bake-sale to raise funds for a charity that is near and dear to your heart.
Are you great at crocheting? When wintertime comes around, make warm hats and gloves for those that can’t afford them.
Allah granted us all unique talents and abilities for a reason–it's so that we can use them to help and inspire those around us, and glorify the purpose of His creation. Anyone can figure out a way to practise Zakat simply by thinking about what their special gifts are, and how they can use them to help others.
Invite Your Community to Join
For those who give in charity, men and women, and loan to Allah a beautiful loan,
it shall be increased manifold (to their credit), and they shall have (besides) a liberal reward,”
More hands make lighter labor. If you have an ambitious idea for Zakat, reach out to like-minded brothers and sisters in your community to join forces. It’s a lot harder to accomplish great tasks by yourself.
Let’s say that you want to revitalise the playground at the local park. What might be a week’s worth of work for you could be a day’s work for a group working together
Maybe you want to raise money to buy eco-friendly solar panels for your Mosque. It might be difficult for you to raise the money yourself, but if brothers and sisters from the community all chip in a little, it will lighten the burden on everyone.
Community action is an amazing thing. A group of determined individuals working together for a greater good are a force to be reckoned with.
Those who give, out of their own possessions, by night and by day,
in private and in public will have their reward with their Lord,”
Practising Zakat as a family is a beautiful thing. It brings you closer as a family unit, and serves as an example of good, charitable giving as a Muslim for your children. Kids who are brought up in an environment that displays kindness and charity will internalise those good examples, and learn to live by them.
Family giving can take many forms–your family can volunteer together. Maybe next time you visit the beach, spend some time with your kids picking up rubbish. Volunteer with your kids. It’s a great opportunity for them to learn compassion, hard-work, and spend some time in the sun.
If you want to teach your kids about giving money–make it a group effort! Try setting up a donation box in your salon or another shared space. Set a purpose for the donations and a monetary goal to reach. Leave the box, and continue contributing little-by-little while encouraging your kids to do the same. This can be a fun-long term Zakat project for the whole family.
The beauty of a family donation box is that you can turn it into a lesson for your young ones. You can teach them patience, persistence, and budgeting.
Organisations To Donate To
If you want to donate money to a charitable organisation, be sure to do some research first. Visit the organisation's website, read about their work and do some snooping around. You want to be sure that your money is going to something meaningful that you want to support. Websites like Charity Watch research and investigate charities for corruption and mismanagement, and are helpful in selecting ethical charities.
Here are some organisations to consider:
Well known international charity Save The Children has worked for decades to provide health, education and protection to children in dangerous environments.
Action Against Hunger is a global humanitarian mission that provides food, water, and healthcare to people suffering from the effects of hunger, famine, and malnutrition.
Anera works specifically in the Levant among Palestinian and Syrian refugees, helping to strengthen communities by teaching best practices in education, agriculture, and by providing healthcare, water, and emergency services.