Caring about Others and Observing the Values
Another aspect of a proper consumption model from the Islamic perspective is that instead of merely seeking to meet the demands of one’s family, the consumer must also think about the deprived and needy people of the society. Otherwise, the feeling of selfishness and arrogance will grow within the individual and the feeling of jealousy and greed will not allow him to use whatever is surplus for the sake of meeting the necessary and vital demands of other members of the society. By helping other people the feelings of dedication and self-sacrifice will emerge contributing to human perfection and leading him to the direction of seeking proximity to God Almighty.
Significance of encouraging donation and charity
The Holy Qur’an has advised the people in different ways about the significance of donation and charity payment aimed at eliminating deprivation from the society and has encouraged the people to do so. In describing good people, The Holy Qur’an has considered making donations as one of the indicators of faith, virtue, kindness, honesty and humbleness terming it as one of the features of the virtuous, the faithful, good-doers and honest people. Some other verses have described making donations almost as important as daily prayers which indicate its significance. Some other verses of The Holy Qur’an has described it as a loan to God or a money loaned without interest and some other verses have termed God Almighty as the receiver of donations. Most importantly, some verses have termed making donations as means of seeking proximity to God or description of the Commander of the Faithful, Imam Ali (Peace be upon him) that are indicative of its significance and the need to further encourage it amongst the people. Moreover, many verses have emphasized the great reward by God in the hereafter for the person who offers donations.
It goes without saying that based on these verses, offering donations and charity payments to the deprived and needy people will bring about great rewards provided that such actions are not aimed at ostentation or showiness. Hence, there are many delicate and precise ethical points mentioned by The Holy Qur’an and the infallible Imams in this regard aimed at protecting the status and prestige of the person who receives the donation so that he won’t feel embarrassed.
The infallible Imams while offering charities tried to do it in such a way that the receiver would not see their faces. For this very reason, they took their donations to the homes of needy people personally and covertly in the middle of the nights.
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