let me take picture and give you some rice for the world to see and pity you

Q: I work for a zakat agency and have being working with XXXXX for Alhamduillah 15 years. Can you tell me shiek, what is meant by you saying non-manipulative literature?must not be used by chsritable organization? Truth is truth. You keep saying this in your khutba I heard online and writing. You make me sick. (text)

A: How you would like the following to take place: (May Allah SWT not make it as such)  you or your children being eligible for Zakat go to attain your rightful (zakat) monies, when these foundations are about to get their handout or a bag of rice and sugar for your mere survival purposes, the ‘kind’ organization takes a picture of you and your child and pastes it for the world to see on their glossy/pricey literature financed with (very often) zakat monies. Would you like your mother and father to be displayed in such a manner?

My Brother/sister, Allah gives money to whosoever He wishers, giving your zakat to the poor is the right of the poor, NOT your right over them!

Stop wanting to rock your world by seeing graphics of the impoverished for the few pennies given by you or the little work you do for the poor. Allah (SWT) choosing you is a gift. We often wonder if such organizations under the impression that people would not give if you did not show graphics of an old man without teeth and a sunken in set of  jaws? A woman with burns? Child with disheveled hair and staring green eyes into a camera? Seven sisters each with a mismatched outfits standing in a line for $25 dollar check each. (for the record, NO person under general condition would allow their izzah (self respect) to be sold in such a manner for a $25 check ! Sadly, by the time the check is cashed – attributing transaction cost to it, each would be lucky if she had $20 to her name!) If such is the case your agency or its givers, we need to beg Allah for the acceptance of our Zakah!

Particularly, how about some respect for the elderly or the innocent youth/minors. Even child models in America get paid for their pictures to be taken. Yet, zakat organizations thrive of these pictures taken at the exchange of a meager bowl of food given with public funds and later ‘prostitute’ that picture for global viewing of their Muslim sisters/brothers. How about a tad bit of compassion? Although some may allow for a mature person to volunteer for a picture taking session in exchange of a pound of flour. Then too such an act would be frowned upon, after-all, which starving person would say no to a graphic display of self in exchange of a loaf of bread! After all, are we not talking survival! Ask yourself, does Islam allow a vulnerable persons picture to be taken for world viewing. How about to play with sentiments for emotional extortion/blackmail?

What is ironical, many men/woman (particularly religiously linked zakat collection agencies) claim religiosity by wearing a scarf and hat (hat and beard from time to time – bravo), but when it comes to exposing the faces of the impoverished, or for espousing sentiments for a buck, such people seemingly have little misgivings. For the record, that could very well be our biological children that seek someday seek assistance. Let us not play with people’s emotions and sentiments. Sure, it brings in the cash for some organizations, but let us not prostitute oppressed human life for a first class seat on American airlines. (Nothing against Americans airlines! We support all the good you do. Btw: are they still around?!)

I sometimes ask, are the poor really poor, or are the rich zakat collectors the real beggars due to the manner in which they exploit the poor for a pay check. This only proves that professional thuggery is more valued then the petty wrongs of the poor. You are right, truth is truth. And yes, you do make me sick!

That is what I mean by ‘non manipulative literature’ being shown to the world by organizations seeking wealth of the people. I thank you for seeking clarification. I sincerely wish you the best. I am sure you are not part of any of the above. I wish you well and wish the best of standards for your foundation and groups that i represent as well, Ameen.

Allah Certainly Knows Best.

p.s. Yes, I do understand we are living in the age of media. Would this also apply to your daughters? Mother? Grandmother and grandfather? Self? Spouse?

Also for the record, i only said what you claim i have said once thus far and it was in a gathering of students, not in khutba! Furnish your proof.

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3 responses to “let me take picture and give you some rice for the world to see and pity you

  1. AsSalaamu Alaikum Ml Shoayb. Ml’s response is indeed a befitting one and one that all Zakaat organisations should be reading. It is a sad state of affairs how some of these organisations exploit the poor, and what a true word: charity is their RIGHT on us, not our right. Allah keep you with Aafiyat insha Allah.

    As for the person asking the question, please feel some shame for how you have addressed a scholar of Allah. The response was diplomatic and couth, I know some Ulama who would have told you exactly where to get off, this was a very gentle way of responding to your drivel. Allah guide you insha Allah, reward you for your Deeni work and accept you. Aameen.

  2. Servant of allah

    As Salaamu alaikum
    Very beneficial information sheikh, may allah swt reward you. In the past I myself was involved with one of these organizations. I was blinded folded by projections of muslims in third world countries, and avoided the needs of our muslim brothers and sisters within our own local community. In my perspective, it is important to reach to someone in home before abroad.

  3. worried mother

    As-salaam-alaikum and AMEEN IMAM. I am pleased that the Imam has taken the higher road to response to this question and negative insult to our Imam. I find that if this person is working for a charity he, himself, should have a humbleness for helping the needy and not be chasticing our Imam for his sacrifice to maintain a website of questions to help us understand Islam better. I am offended by his words and to say to a fellow Muslim that he makes him sick, shame on him/her. In other words, charity begins at home, yes, kindness and respect for others should be with everyone you encounter and especially an Imam who gives for Allah (swt) his life. May Allah (swt) forgive this person’s lack of manners and ignorance on how to address other Muslims. What is our world coming to?