Give Zakat to Haiti

Give Zakat (Charity)

The title Give Zakat to Haiti was inspired by the message written by Mohammed Ali and read by Chris Rock on the Hope for Haiti Now telethon. Prior to hearing Chris Rock read Ali’s message on Zakât, I’d never been inspired to explore the meaning of charity. Within my family we've always been taught that it is something that one should do to help mankind.

The word “charity” of the English language got its roots from the Old French word “charite” which is a derivative from the Latin word, “caritas.” In Spanish the word is “caridad,” in Portuguese it’s “caridade,” for the Dutch it’s, “naastenliefde.” But for this article I choose to research the meaning of zakat.

Mohammed Ali’s plea for help for Haiti touched within my spirit and the word zakat stirred intrigue to learn more. While watching Rock deliver Ali’s message, I could not help but envision the time and effort it must have required for this world renowned champion, now battling the degenerative Parkinson disease, spirit of a man to compose his thoughts and control the pen in which he composed his message. Or perhaps he may have struggled to control the shaking of his frail body long enough to deliver his thoughts for someone else to write down how he felt. Regardless, of what struggles he endured to deliver his message, in my eyes there’s still a champion full of compassion and the impact of his message will not be soon forgotten.

Mohammed Ali’s message stated:

In my life I have been called by many names; there are also many names for the charity that resides in the hearts of all human beings. In my faith charity is called Zakat. Zakat is one of the pillars of my faith. By any name charity can bring the people of our planet together. Charity crosses borders and eases pains oh so many.

Charity changes lives and saves lives. There’s an old saying that charity begins at home, but it cannot end there. That is why we call upon all the good people in every corner of the world to help those who cannot help themselves. Whatever you believe, which ever words you choose; zakat or charity, please give, now to Hopeforhaitinow.org. Thank you and God Bless!”

What is Zakat?

Zakat is one of the most important principles of Islam based on the belief that all things belong to God, and wealth is therefore held by and entrusted to human beings. The literal meaning of zakat means grow (in goodness) or increase, purifying, or making pure. The act of giving zakat means purifying one’s wealth to gain Allah’s blessing to make it grow in goodness.

Zakat is a form of giving to those who are less fortunate and all Muslims are obligated to give 2.5% of wealth and assets each year (in excess of what is required) to the poor. Rather than rewrite everything my research revealed about zakat I decided to include additional websites for those who might be interested in learning more about this form of charity.

Zakat Organizations

Below are some organizations where zakat donations can be given. As I mentioned in Tips for Giving Wisely to Charity always research any organization prior to making Haiti donations or any disaster relief in order to ensure that recipients receive the actual funding.Thus avoiding scams and or schemes that are set up to take your funds for themselves.

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs
Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs
When cut- Everyone's blood is red
When cut- Everyone's blood is red
Everyone's blood is red
Everyone's blood is red
Cry, weeping, sobbing
Cry, weeping, sobbing
Lost of walking abilities
Lost of walking abilities

What I’ve learned…

Writing Give Zakat to Haiti has provided learning a little more about other cultures throughout the world which is always a fulfilling feat for me. I always feel that it broadens my thoughts and allows me to keep an open mind.

Personally, I believe that charity or zakat catapults good karma that may come to assist you in time of need and or given other situations. It is my belief that while there are definite differences in ethnicities and beliefs there are some things that remain very similar:

  • When we are cut - everyone’s blood is red.
  • When inflicted with pain – everyone has a cry of weeping that transcends any language barrier.
  • Everyone has to have the four basic needs – water, air, food, and shelter. And regardless of culture most require and flow within Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs as well.
  • Throughout cultures most believe in a higher source be it termed: God, Allah, Buddha, an All-knowing, Oneness, Omnipotent, etc.
  • We all mourn death, celebrate life, and feel sadness from heartbreak.
  • And when the earth shakes at 7.1 on the rector scale in a large population - many lives will be lost, many will be lamed, and many human beings will be without places to call home; in spite of what nation the earthquake occurs. No one ever knows when, where, or how someone you love might require disaster relief.

Thanks to the world of technology and the Internet these acts of nature impact you in “real time” and forces one to become more consciously aware of the similarities rather than the differences. 

So regardless of how you say: charity, charite, caritas, caridad, caridade, naastenliefde, or zakat. Let’s continue to give to our Haitian neighbors donations not just during the initial tragedy but next month and the following. Note: Other celebrities not appearing in the Hope for Haiti Now telethon have contributed to the Haiti disaster as well. As Wyclef Jean says, "Let’s help Haiti rise from the ashes and rebuild" for one never knows where, when, why, or how the next act of nature will affect us all.

UPDATE:

HAITI -  One Year Later...1/12/2011

Tragedy happens daily throughout the world and it is unfortunate that most times we are focused on the latest event and tend to forget about others that still need our help.I think when you view the videos you will see that Haiti is still in need of Zakat in order to recover from the earthquake last year.

Note: The videos are meant to provide an update and not to be viewed as an endorsement to any specific charities. It is always important to research and choose your charity wisely before giving money.

Nations are praying "for you" and "with you" Haiti...
Nations are praying "for you" and "with you" Haiti...

14 comments

VioletSun profile image

VioletSun 6 years ago from Oregon/ Name: Marie

Zakat will be part of my new vocabulary, I like the sound of it and the message of giving. I have in my life been helped when the going was though financially and by strangers; it was weird finding myself struggling after working all my life and being independent, so now that I am in a better place, I return the favor and often reach out to those who are in need. Compassion and kindness does not only help materially but psychologically and spiritually, it gives the hope to keep going, a message that we are not alone. For me it was a soothing feeling to be the recipient of kindness.

Great hub!


cashmere profile image

cashmere 6 years ago from India

That's a new word for me today. I had not heard of it before. Although after reading your hub I really like the sound of it. Very well written hub.


tonymac04 profile image

tonymac04 6 years ago from South Africa

Wonderful, wonderful Hub. Zakat is an important concept,however you say it! Thanks so much for this info.

There is a South African charity that is doing much for Haiti also, called Gift of the Givers. It is founded on the Moslim principle of Zakat. Its homepage is http://www.giftofthegivers.org/. I have no personal link with this group. I just think it is doing great work.

Love and peace

Tony


BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 6 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

What a great hub! Many cultures expect people to naturally share their wealth. I was reading how in Botswana if you are becoming wealthy you must hire maids and servants - you must spread the wealth - it is simply unthinkable to hoard the wealth and fill your home with junk and trinkets - and everyone benefits.

I appreciate all the research you did and the links you provided.

Such a lovely, kind hub. Thank you very much.


Money Glitch profile image

Money Glitch 6 years ago from Texas Author

@violetsun - I agree with you Violet I like the sound of the word and the message of giving to those in need. Thanks for stopping by - Namaste! :)

@cashmere - Thanks for the read, Cashmere, I like the sound of the word as well, that is what intrigue my research originally. Thanks for your kind words. :)


Money Glitch profile image

Money Glitch 6 years ago from Texas Author

@tonymac04 - Hi Tony it is great to meet you and thanks for providing a link to additional to more information on Zakat. Thx for stopping by and commenting! :)

@BKCreative - Thanks BK for stopping by and sharing insight on the culture of Botswana and thank you for your kind comments. :)


psychicdog.net profile image

psychicdog.net 6 years ago

I know disasters of any type are terrible but it is great to see, yet again, the way giving has no cultural boundries and inspires hope and peace. Thanks Money Glitch.


Money Glitch profile image

Money Glitch 6 years ago from Texas Author

Well written psychicdog, thanks for stopping by and commenting.:)


anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 6 years ago

A timely hub. Zakat embraces the selfless concept of giving and sharing. As you pointed out, this concept is evident in many cultures and sometimes, the duties and grind of life can blindside us to share this wonderful value. Thanks for sharing.


Money Glitch profile image

Money Glitch 6 years ago from Texas Author

Anginwu, I like what you have written, "Zakat embraces the selfless concept of giving and sharing." Some see the word "selfless" and think about lack or missing out on something. However, I've learned that the more given, the more wealth is found within one's self. Thanks for stopping by and commenting!


myawn profile image

myawn 6 years ago from Florida

I believe in sharing what I have even though it is not much Good hub on charity. You do never know when a something tragic may strike.


Money Glitch profile image

Money Glitch 6 years ago from Texas Author

Hi myawn, Everyone sharing a little in the end turns out to be a lot for those in need. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. :)


myownworld profile image

myownworld 6 years ago from uk

I know you wrote this a while back, but somehow I came across it tonight and truly loved it. Mohammed Ali was one great man and I have heard so many wonderful stories about him. But not to go off topic, the word 'zakat' is quite familiar to me as I was raised in a muslim family... and one of the things I love about this concept is that it is often likened to a 'grain of corn, which grows seven ears with each ear having a hundred grains' - implying that giving your wealth for charity will ultimately make it multiply and grow.... not to mention, discourage hoarding!

But what I loved is how you emphasized the fact that no matter what word we use for it, or how we give and to whom, it's our common humanity that binds us all. And that the important point to remember is to reach out to others.... and that we're all the same - in fact, as you perfectly put, 'we all mourn death, celebrate life, and feel sadness from heartbreak'. (btw. I see you've refered to Maslow's Hierarchy too - I just finished a paper on it for my class... one amazing theory, no?). Anyway, thank you for an inspiring hub. Love always x


Money Glitch profile image

Money Glitch 6 years ago from Texas Author

Hello MOW! Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving such a great comment on the true meaning of Zakat. Sadly, this hub gets a lot of spammers and scammers. It was really pleasant to see a quality comment that revealed the message I was attempting to write. Thanks for stopping by for a read and sharing your thoughts on giving zakat. :)

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