Balancing Charity And Confidentiality

(MENAFN- Kashmir Observer)
Representational Photo

By Imran Maqbool Wani

Charity and donation of food, clothes, and other essential items are fundamental aspects of Islamic ethics. These acts are considered a means of promoting social justice and equality. Muslims are instructed to provide financial assistance to those in need with humility, sincerity, and compassion, and they are to avoid causing hurt or embarrassment to the recipient. Giving charity is seen as a fundamental responsibility that must be fulfilled by all who are financially able. The concept of charity, or zakat, is deeply ingrained in Muslim culture, and it is viewed as a way to help those who are less fortunate and to promote social welfare and community development.


Moreover, Muslims are encouraged to give charity in a manner that is ethical and respectful. They are advised to give in secret, where their left-hand does not know what their right hand has given. However, the most important aspect of giving charity is to do so in a manner that is compassionate and ethical. Muslims are taught to give to please Allah and seek His blessings, rather than seek praise or recognition from others.

According to a saying of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), Allah will grant seven individuals shade on the Day of Judgement. He mentioned six of them and then concluded by saying that one of them is the person who gives in charity secretly, without even letting his left hand know what his right hand has given in charity, and the other is the person who remembers Allah in solitude and sheds tears out of reverence for Him.

“They who spend their wealth in the way of Allah and then do not follow up what they have spent with reminders or injury will have their reward with their Lord. There will be no fear concerning them, nor will they grieve.” – Quran (2:262)

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In Kashmir, it is heartening to see the social service sector put in tremendous efforts to organize frequent donation drives for food, clothes, and other essentials by Non-governmental organizations, Trusts, and Volunteer groups. In recent times, these drives have gained immense popularity and are often shared on social media platforms to reach a wider audience. It's important to keep the public informed about how their donations are making a difference in the lives of those in need. However, it's crucial to be mindful of the privacy of those receiving donations. Frequently, social media platforms display photographs without obscuring the faces of those depicted. This practice can result in distress and discomfort for the individuals in question. Recognition by friends or relatives can precipitate awkward conversations for them.

Donations should be given selflessly, without expecting any public recognition. Unfortunately, some charity event organizers exploit the publicity of donations to benefit their own reputation. This practice is increasingly common on social media platforms. We must prioritize the needs of those in need and avoid exploiting their vulnerability for personal gain. We must maintain the dignity and privacy of individuals receiving support and conduct charitable events professionally and with integrity.

In Islam, privacy is highly valued and respected. It is considered a fundamental right of individuals to maintain their privacy and dignity, even in charitable acts. When distributing donations, it is essential to exercise discretion and sensitivity to ensure that the identities and personal details of the recipients remain confidential. This upholds the Islamic principle of protecting privacy and prevents any potential harm to the recipients, such as unwarranted attention or exploitation.

Islam discourages ostentatious displays of charity that may compromise the privacy or dignity of recipients. The Quran warns against those who spend their wealth to be seen by others, emphasizing the importance of sincerity and humility in charitable deeds. Hence, it is recommended to give charity discreetly, without drawing attention to oneself or causing any discomfort to the recipients.

Maintaining anonymity does not mean neglecting the needs of the recipients. It is essential to ensure that the donations are distributed to those who truly need them, fairly and equitably. This requires careful planning, coordination, and communication with relevant authorities and organizations, as well as a deep understanding of the local context and culture.

Respecting the privacy and dignity of individuals is an essential tenet of Islamic ethics and values that must be upheld in all spheres of life, including charitable acts. By doing so, we fulfill our obligation to those in need and contribute to building a just, compassionate, and harmonious society. Ethical, respectful, and compassionate giving can bring about positive change in the world.

As a community, we must continue to support one another while respecting each other's privacy and dignity. It is crucial to work together to create a society that treats every individual with the utmost respect and compassion. This approach will result in a more just, equitable, and humane society that aligns with Islamic values and ethics.

Views expressed in the article are the author's own and do not necessarily represent the editorial stance of Kashmir

  • The writer, a professional Social Worker is working in the developmental sector and can be reached at [email protected]


Kashmir Observer

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