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Opinion: No selfie charity please!

By Junaid M Wani

Every country is in a quagmire, struggling hard and taking all the preventive measures to contain the noxious coronavirus which has proven to be cataclysmic in all parts of the world.

This wave has swayed towards Kashmir as well. Every day we see a surge in positive cases of coronavirus, which leads to more stress and agony among people of all ages.


This pandemic has proven a global full stop to every aspect of life be it education, business, or travel.

Markets are seen deserted and there is an atmosphere of panic and perturbation. It is not just the threat to our lives, the disease is actually proving more than that. It is badly rattling the entire economic equilibrium that will take years to return to some normalcy.

The poor are facing the brunt of it. While lockdown is a must, these families are finding it hard to manage their daily meals. Labourers, daily wagers, and others with limited means of livelihood are staring at dark days ahead. The disruption of production cycle is going to have a very bad impact on a person’s spending ability, and eventually capsize the economy.

It is in this context that communities need to come forward. In Islam helping those in need and supporting those in distress is the best way to thank Allah for His blessings and is a trait that is encouraged by our religion.

Moreover, there is a clear reward, both here and hereafter, for a person who aids another one. Helping each other is a way to overcome grief that we may experience and it can empower us in the worship of Allah. The act of charity is deemed to be one of the most favourable acts in Islam. Allah and his Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) mentioned time and time again that the act of charity is great and should be performed on regular basis.

Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said “Protect yourself from hell-fire even by giving a piece of date as charity.” (Al Bukhari & Muslim)

“The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) also said, “We (Muslims) are the last (to come) but will be the foremost on the Day of Resurrection.” The narrators of this hadith said (to man),’Spend (in charity), for then I will compensate you (generously).” (Bukhari Shareef).

What is happening nowadays is that some folks are trying to become heroes on social media in the name of charity to poor and helpless and have ended up doing it with wrong intentions. They are taking advantage of people’s need and this charity is merely for publicity purposes. Some look for political gains and others for merely showoff. In all this, they forget that they are defaming the one whom they are contributing and helping.

It cannot be called as charity and helping the poor. It, in fact, is a form of shame a person brings on himself. When someone is poor and helpless, they can’t be dealt with fake sympathy. Real charity does not come with a name tag. Those who want to truly help, do so anonymously, without putting up their names and pictures on social media. A man who gives charity and hides it, so that his left hand does not know what his right hand is doing, is quintessentially a person who cares more about helping other people with good deeds than what other people think of his good deeds.

Don’t be always ready to share it on various social media platforms. Do it for the sake of Allah. In today’s era (Corona lockdown) there are lot of families who are getting affected because of this lockdown and lack food and other essential materials needed for day-to-day life, but cannot come in open. It is the responsibility of all of us to come forward in this pandemic and help such families without keeping in mind any political or other advantage and do it in the name of Allah because Allah loves the one who gives charity but still remains obscure and uncelebrated. Let me mention here that one can give charity via publicly also as long as one is aware of their intentions and behavior.

“A man should fear when he enjoys only the good he does publicly. Is it not, publicity rather than charity, which he loves? Is it not vanity, rather than benevolence, that gives such charities?” — Henry Ward Beecher                                                                                                                             

This article should inspire us to reflect on our footprint in the world and how much we are doing for others for the sake of Allah. When we serve the creation, we are serving Allah. May Allah allow us all to be forthcoming in helping others and being leaders in kindness, compassion and empathy.  Aameen!

(Author can be reached at [email protected])