Remittance of Debt by Charity

وَإِن كَانَ ذُو عُسْرَةٍ فَنَظِرَةٌ إِلَى مَيْسَرَةٍ وَأَن تَصَدَّقُواْ خَيْرٌ لَّكُمْ إِن كُنتُمْ تَعْلَمُونَ

“If the debtor is in a difficulty, grant him time Till it is easy for him to repay. But if ye remit it by way of charity, that is best for you if ye only knew.” (2:280)

Charity is best for you – Quran again and again emphasises the fact that sacrificing what’s dear to you, i.e. spending money towards charity, makes you a stronger and better human being. Charity is a core part of our belief and can be carried out in many forms. Even a good word is considered a charitable deed.

I really like the idea of debt relief in the verse above. In one way loans to the poor provide some motivation to work and repay as oppose to free charitable money. But in most cases the poor is exploited. High levels of interest sometimes make it impossible to repay the loan. Even the idea of microfinance has it’s flaws. Although it ensures loans for the poor to start up their businesses but at the cost of huge interest rates ranging from 20-50% in some cases. This is mainly because of the high management cost incurred to provide the service in the remote and poor neighbourhoods. This is also why the idea of Islamic microfinance, i.e. interest free microfinance is fairly remote.

The verse points to a mid way. Why aren’t these microfinance organisations use charitable funds to subsidise microfinance lending to the poor. At least the administration cost can be sponsored by charitable means to keep the margin to a minimum or even null.

One other key think I notice in the verse is that although it seems that the debtor is benefiting (in fact it is the case), the assurance instead is given to the one who remits it by way of charity. That sounds incredible and this benefit can again be in any form and is often long lasting.

As Ramadan ends, many of us would feel spiritually recharged for the whole year. We should take this momentum into the next month and let it not die down until the next Ramadan. Keep you charitable self motivated and keep counting the ‘benefits’.

Beautiful Loan

مَّن ذَا الَّذِي يُقْرِضُ اللّهَ قَرْضًا حَسَنًا فَيُضَاعِفَهُ لَهُ أَضْعَافًا كَثِيرَةً وَاللّهُ يَقْبِضُ وَيَبْسُطُ وَإِلَيْهِ تُرْجَعُونَ

“Who is he that will loan to God a beautiful loan, which God will double unto his credit and multiply many times? It is God that giveth (you) Want or plenty, and to Him shall be your return.” (2:245)

God promises, that whatever we genuinely spend in charitable causes is returned to us multiplied one way of the other.

No pain no gain

Running B10KRunning the 10K this weekend was a memorable experience. It’s amazing how much we can push our bodies. For someone who hardly runs, it was a painful but rewarding experience. FTCF continues to impress with it’s support for education in Pakistan and yet continues to be our favourite charity to support.

I agree with Anthony Robins when he says that “the secret of success is learning how to use pain and pleasure instead of having pain and pleasure use you. If you do that, you’re in control of your life. If you don’t, life controls you.”

Thank you!

We asked for help and many of you have responded with generosity. Adeel underwent the bone marrow transplant on May 14th in Singapore and will be discharged from the hospital on 26th May Inshallah. The operation was successful but as with any transplant the body can reject it anytime within the first 3 months of the operation. Adeel will be kept under observation for this time before his transplant can be declared successful.

The family needed instant support when they almost lost hope. Thanks to all of you, the campaign which Atiya Bilal started in Pakistan successfully raised almost 1 million rupees from all corners of the world within a matter of days.

Adeel’s father sends special prayers for helping them at a time when they had no hope. May God bless you all for your support. Amen

Charity in vain

“Those who spend their wealth for God’s sake, and do not follow up their gifts with reminders of their generosity or with injury, their reward is with their Lord. On them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve.

Kind speech and forgiveness is better than charity followed by injury. And God is Self-sufficient, Forbearing.

O you who believe! Do not render in vain your charity by reminders of your generosity or by injury, like him who spends his wealth to be seen of men, and he does not believe in God, nor in the Last Day. His likeness is the likeness of a smooth rock on which is a little dust; on it falls heavy rain which leaves it bare. They are not able to do anything with what they have earned. And God does not guide the disbelieving people.”

— Quran (2:262-264)

What Gives

I just came across this blog What Gives where a woman, Betty Longdergan, is giving away $100 a day for 365 days of the year. She chooses causes, people and organisations she feels are making a difference in the world. At least once a week she also picks a cause for “Vicarious Giving” where a reader would convince her of a worthy project or organization and she features it on the blog and gives it $100.

Basically her money comes from her inheritance which she has decided to give away for a variety of reasons, one of them being that her mother would have been proud of her. The inspiration came after watching the movie Julie & Julia where the protagonist decides to blog for a year about Julia Child’s recipes. Betty thought if she had to blog for a year about something, every day, what would it be? And this is what she came up with.

If you had to blog about something, every single day, what would it be?