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Is donating to charity (sadaqa) wrong?

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Masters in Education from Nottingham University in the UK. Also studied Masters in Islamic Studies and Islamic Banking & Finance. Political activist with interests in Geopolitics, History and Phil ...
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In a Nutshell: Helping someone who asks for or needs help is sadaqa. When the problem is systemic it suggests state failure and that should be addressed urgently rather than ignoring it and creating shadow governments or extensions of state to reproduce failing institutions.

The Problem

Noone criticises sadaqa as being wrong or there is no benefit in it. There is clear benefit in it to the donee, there is clear ajar in it for the donor. If one needs immediate help, one should help. And I know no Muslim who does not help including myself - most of us never publicise the fact - mentioning it only when the need arises or when questioned.

The problem is proactively creating organisations that are regulated and approved by governments who are meant to be doing these tasks. We appoint them to meet collective needs - welfare, healthcare, justice, education, security and so on. They are required to solve these problems via the institutions of power, taxation, judiciary, education and so on by organising society in such a way that eliminates these issues. This is how Islam ordained we run our societies and even many non-Muslim thinkers raise a similar point -


If they are negligent, fail, embezzle, mismanage etc common sense (and revelation!) dictates we hold them to account - not create a shadow govt or extension of govt (with misleading labels charities, schools, security firms, hospitals etc) to do their job.

What would we do if charities fail?

Create more ad infinitum into an infinite regress?

We seem well on the way with tens of thousands of such organisations in the UK alone with the public drowning in charity correspondence, requests and ads every Ramadan to the point of exhaustion, regularly hearing reported problems with inflated salaries, expenses, travel claims, marketing, usurious loans etc. We have simply bloated the problem to the point of such complexity, noone can see their way out of it or beyond it. This has to stop and the critique and backlash is beginning in many quarters.

Many organisations seem to intentionally add to the confusion and the mayhem we face. Take claims from a UK organisation that claims to be "An independent grassroots organisation striving for a world free of injustice and oppression" - how can that be done without working to establish Islam via the caliphate? It can't. The claim is patently false as the organisation does not work to establish Islam or the caliphate. We donate increasing amounts every year for the past century... nothing changes... In fact the situation only gets worse.

Holding the State to Account

We are collectively at fault for failing to hold the state to account, understandably as many are despots and don't allow critique in the Muslim world, but what excuse is there in the land of the free? Even here we are failing to point out the issues are systemic, failing to work to change the system etc with billions over generations who are needy, suffering, oppressed etc unhelped and ignored; one day they will demand their huquq from each and every one of us. Having helped a few will not alleviate the billions we did not help when we could by fixing the system.

I have undertaken considerable research on the seerah and the call of the messengers over the years. I have found they have two facts in common
- they undertook one project which was to call their elites, rulers or influentials to change the system
- they responded to anyone asking or needing help that they encountered

Muhammed (saw) whose seerah is the most detailed to get to us did not get involved in doing any proactive projects or missions helping prostitutes of mecca, infanticide, orphans, market deception and so on. His sole mission was one - whose aim was systemic change, demanding mana'a and nusrah on the basis of tawheed repeatedly.

This should be our dominant collective activity, focus and aim - it should appear dominant in our communications, discussions, debates, seeking to apply pressure on countries like Pakistan, Turkey or Indonesia to lead the way to establish Allah's deen via the caliphate so we actually solve these needs, for Muslims and then non-Muslims on the planet and live in collective submission - Islam.

"When the Prophet (saw) called to Allah in his time of weakness and loneliness, he used to say: 'Allah has sent me and promised me He will make my deen overcome all other deens. My authority will defeat the power of Rome and Persia.
I will defeat all kings and my kingdom and that of my followers will spread all over the earth.'" (Qadi Abd al-Jabar, Tathbit Dala'il an-Nubuwwah, Vol. 2 p. 314)


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