ON HELPING NEEDY/
PIETY OF GIVING
Purity in thought is not sufficient
Pray, raise it from theoretical standpoint
By thy solid acts of generosity
A part of thy possessions
Held dear by thee with obsession
Because thee were bestowed chance
By our Lord’s benevolence
To those who didn’t had chance
So ill-fated they were!
Giving brings smiles on recipients’ faces
And a glow on the face of the giver the most
For this act is liked by our Lord manifold.
ACTS OF HELPING NEEDY
The root word for charity in Latin is ‘caritas’ meaning preciousness, dearness, of high price. This goes to show the inherent importance of giving. This costly thing could be in the form of material possessions or anything which a person holds dear, dispensing of which is a bit difficult. Charity is our generosity in giving to spread the message of love, wellness and kindness. It also purifies our soul because of sanctity involved in giving that indispensable thing.
Bhagwad Gita emphatically declares that acts of sacrifice, charity and penance are not to be given up; these must be performed. Indeed, sacrifice, charity and penance; purify even the great souls. All these acts should be performed without any expectation of any results.
Man being a social animal cannot live in isolation. Material prosperity notwithstanding, a person concerned cannot be considered complete – with satiety in one and dissatisfaction in other aspects. Indeed there are so many occasions when we require somebody’s assistance for a peaceful co-existence. We are in fact interwoven. If I meet somebody’s need at this moment others will meet mine too at some other time(s). This goes on not only in individual plane but in international relationships as well. In this way the affairs of world go – a quid pro quo.
Holy Quran is very clear on this when It professes: The Zakat is an obligatory payment on all believers who have an income. This payment is to be paid to in accordance to God’s instructions.
Humans are different in their temperaments and style of functioning. Different people having different ideas, some professing one school of thought while others are having just tangentially opposite. One who realizes the true goal of life, knows fully well, the exact meaning of life and our dependence on each others. What essentially one needs for leading a peaceful life not only dependents on an individual’s satisfaction but also the satisfaction of the society in which that person is living but without any exhibition/show offs. There are people who feel concerned for others’ needs and aspirations and go all out in meeting those. This is what our Creator wants from us all.
Holy Bible is very emphatic on this: Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.
Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven.
Dependability on each other for meeting our various needs is the name of the game – which is called life. If I meet somebody’s need, others may be meeting those of mine. Those who pride their indispensability are living in fools paradise.
One incidence highlights the interdependence we humans should have and this like incident could happen any time anywhere with anybody. It so happened that the vehicle on which we were travelling met with an accident with a car. The car engine and the front glass of the car were totally shattered due to the impact. Fault was that of the car driver – driving in the wrong direction and also in drunken state! I took that person to the nearby hospital while he was bleeding profousely. Any loss of time would have proved fatal. Doctors attended on him instantly and thus the person was saved. To our utter surprise, after his recovery, he started exhibiting his position in the society just forgetting that just a while ago he was just a helpless accident victim/in vegetable state! He may have material prosperity but that did not help him anyway if timely assistance was not rendered/forthcoming from a fellow being – a total stranger. There is a lesson in this, the true meaning of meeting the need of the needy is felt when an individual concerned himself/herself feels the pinch.
While method of giving/donation/funding may differ but the purity of act of giving/rendering help is gratuitous. The person to whom the help is rendered gets succor while the giver gets the reward of his pious act from our Lord – just manifold.
Although charity is given to the needy to meet their day to day needs, not connected or related to us yet the maxim ‘The charity begins at home’ is coined for hermits who make no distinction between their own relatives or strangers. Thus obliterating this distinction they start taking alms from their own home as though taking alms from a total strangers.
The charity could be in the form of food items, clothing items, medicines for meeting health requirements, etc. While we meet the requirement of others, the one who receives the same gets hunger satiety or may get protection from cold and sun or may meet his/her health needs.
This sort of piety or compassion is liked by our Creator. It has rightly been said that while we meet the need of a needy, our Creator grants us even more in the form of His benevolence. Also, the sigh of relief from the hapless whose need has been met too may pray to God for the benefactor. This is also termed as alms giving. In many religions, it is customary to feast the poor on the demise of their departed relatives for bestowing peace to the departed souls. In Hinduism, it is termed as Shradha.
The deed of charity stems from the righteous deed to which it entails and every righteous deed could be construed as a service to humanity. Service to humanity is next to Godliness. The one who cares for the needy and oppressed is indeed cared by our Lord. His bounties flow to such person without asking.
Care ought to be exercised that we incentivize disadvantaged classes who need our help the most. Otherwise, we may be giving doles to strong bodied people who could otherwise earn and thus rewarding their laziness which may have negative effects ultimately.