If you have time I would like to forward a query which was written by a friend.
Could someone please help me decide on what to do about this issue I have. Recently in our building here downtown a group from WORLDVISION had a child sponsorship program set up. I went by and the person there talked to me about the program. I kind of got discouraged when I found out it is a Christian organization and I thought its not for me, I figured, I may as well support a Muslim organization since I am a Muslim. She assured me they don’t encourage anyone to become Christian or anything, they “say” they just provide basics of living regardless of race culture, etc…
She came to know I am a Muslim and she showed me a picture of a little Muslim girl in Bangladesh who she wanted me to sponsor. I hesitated at first but then when I saw the little girls name, it was the same name as my mother, I don’t know, I just filled out the form right there. The girl there told me I could cancel anytime I wanted if I decided not to continue with it.
I have the pamphlet with the little girls picture and its bothering me.
The money is not an issue for me; its the fact that its a Christian organization. Would I be overall supporting a Christian cause, which I certainly don’t want to do. What I am saying is, I don’t want to help build churches, I may as well help build mosques.
What is your opinion?
My dear brother, poverty and need has no religion. To support the poor and to help the needy is one of the basic goods that any person can aspire to do, irrespective of what the beliefs of such poor and needy are. You may have noticed that at numerous occasions, the Qur’an has prompted its followers to support the needy, to feed the hungry and to help the poor, yet at not even a single instance has the Qur’an made such help conditional upon the beliefs of the needy, the hungry or the poor.
As far as extending help to the needy through an organization is concerned, the only thing that needs to be secured (that too only at a possible level) is that the money shall actually be spent for the cause for which it is being donated. A good deed is a good deed, irrespective of who performs it. In fact, the Qur’an has directed the Muslims to cooperate with others in all that is good and to refrain from extending direct or indirect cooperation in matters, which entail disobedience toward God. The Qur’an has unequivocally declared:
Do not let the hatred of a nation – because it stopped you from the Masjid e Haraam – incite you to transgress. Cooperate in matters of goodness and piety; do not extend your cooperation in matters of injustice and transgression. And fear God. Indeed God is strict in reckoning. (Al-Maidah 5:2)
At another instance, the Qur’an says:
Believers, be maintainers of justice, bearing its witness for God; Do not let hatred of a people incite you to do injustice. Maintain justice, for that is, indeed, closer to piety. (Al-Maaidah 5: 8)
In view of these clear directives of the Qur’an, one should indeed very closely judge whether the deed that is being financed is one, which may be termed as ‘goodness’ and ‘justice’; nevertheless, the fact that it is a Christian or a Jewish or a Hindu organization that is seeking your help for the purpose, is absolutely immaterial in a Muslim’s decision in this regard.
December 24, 2000