Lastly, and along the same lines, institutional financial support alone is not enough. The personal touch of giving face to face is a humanitarian approach that our nation’s poor deserve.
In Islam, giving to the poor is one of the five pillars of worship along with belief in God, five daily prayers, fasting during the month of Ramadan and making the pilgrimage, Hajj, once in a lifetime to Mecca. This central tenet of Islam is referred to as “Zakat,” which translates into “Almsgiving.” Zakat is a minimum of 2.5% of one’s extra wealth after paying for one’s own basic living expenses. Beyond this absolute minimum, Muslims are encouraged to be charitable within their means at every opportunity.
Muslims are not only urged to give to the poor, but to practice a whole host of mannerisms and attitudes that must be aligned with respect for the less fortunate and with one’s inner spiritual relationship with God. There are numerous passages of Koran and stories of the Prophet Muhammad that provide inspiration to Muslims, urging them to be generous in the right manner.