- Politics and Social Issues
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!”
Sites providing Information...
- Charity Navigator: Ramadan and the Tradition of Zakat
Zakat is a integral part of Ramadan and one of the five pillars of Islam.
- IslamiCity.com - Zakat
The word Zakat means both 'purification' and 'growth'. Our possessions are purified by setting aside a proportion for those in need, and, like the pruning of plants, this cutting back balances and encourages new growth.
- What is Zakat?
"Take from their wealth a portion for charity, in order to clean them thereby, and sanctify them."
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.
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.
- The Zakat Foundation
A US based international charity organization that works with emergency relief, education, orphans, healthcare, sustainable development, microcredit, provides Ramadan Iftars and food distribution, and fresh meat for Udhiya/Qurbani and Aqeeqah. A US b
- Islamic-American Zakat Foundation
The Islamic-American Zakat Foundation is a 501 (c)(3) tax-exempt religious and charitable organization. Our mission is to provide assistance for food, shelter, clothing and transportation for the poor and needy, orphans, wayfarers, and other pers
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.
- Hope For Haiti Now: A Global Benefit For Earthquake Relief
Hope For Haiti Now: A Global Benefit For Earthquake Relief, official donation site for the telethon. George Clooney has teamed up with MTV Networks for the Hope for Haiti Now telethon this Friday night, discussed his work on the telethon, all donatio
- Celebrity Charity News, Events, Foundations & Causes
Look to the Stars is the web's number one source of celebrity charity news and information, covering what the top stars are doing to make a positive difference in the world. The site includes exclusive interviews and a database where fans can learn a
- Yle Haiti - Blog
Yle Haiti is a foundation started by Grammy-Award winning musician, producer and social entrepreneur Wyclef Jean that is changing lives in this desperately poor but optimistic nation. Through Yle Haiti, Wyclef uses music, sports and the media to r
- Official Site of We Are The World 25 For Haiti
'We Are The World 25 For Haiti' is the Official non-profit Foundation's website featuring the re-recording of 'We Are The World' by over 80 Artists
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.
- Katie Couric: Haiti: One Year Later
Many have said, "It is the destiny of the people of Haiti to suffer." Self-righteous or the truth?
- Haiti, one year later - The Big Picture - Boston.com
It's been one year since the earth shook so violently below Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Twelve months of struggle and heartache have followed - Must see Pictures...
- Haiti News - Breaking World Haiti News - The New York Times
World news about Haiti and information about its people, politics and economy from The New York Times.