Monday, 22 September 2008

On The Selfishness in Giving

They say that the gates of Hell are locked in Ramadan, and that Angels roam the skies and earth delivering God's mercy and His blessings. What brings my sanity that already hangs by a thread to the brink is how some among us use this "season" to promote their "Good doing" when they're shown eating with the poor or delivering groceries to a poor family with flashing cameras and fake smiles of compassion all around.

Ya 3ammi good doesn't need promotion, nor is it a fan of publicity, and if we were to put our selfishness aside for a while -the selfishness of giving on Live Television and the colored pages of newspapers- and think about the dignity of those people who's poverty is hidden with their solid pride and unwavering dignity, we'd be closer to God, Who's mercy is delivered without promotion, and salvation is bestowed without publicity.

Ramadan Kareem.


  1. It is highly preferred that Sadaqa be done in secrecy. however, particularly when wanting to promote a certain cause and encourage others' participation, it is done in the open and even publicized. I see no problem with that.
    But i still do see the picture you're describing which most likely is what public figures do.

    Ramadan Kareem :)

  2. very true if you're looking at this from a religious point of view. the problem ya ammar, is that islam also teaches us about intentions and how God is the only one aware of them on an individual level. we, as human being cannot judge others to have "fake smiles of compassion" as we do not have the power to draw such conclusions.

    on the other hand, publicizing such events can be the most helpful part of generating genuine interest and concern. that is, if it's done with the intent of raising public awareness and encouraging activism: pushing more people to partake in the process of making their communities better.

    i won't speak for anyone but based purely on my own experience, any homes i've visited or people i've met with that live in such abject poverty in Jordan will not only give permission for you to document, they'll go out of their way to help you shine a spotlight on their condition if they feel there's a chance others will see it and pitch in as well.

    ramadan kareem bro :)

  3. Ramadan Kareem Ammar : )

    I have to agree with bonbon lover and Nas, sometimes you have no choice. you see how much need there is and how oblivious people are to it, so you go out of the way for people to see that, and to see what they can do about it.

  4. I'm with the others, too. Some people honestly have no clue of what lies outside of their circles of comfort. I grew up poor and could not have imagined folks taking pictures of me while giving me bags of hand-me-down clothes; however, being on the 'other side' now I think that some of the things we have done are to promote awareness...
    And Allah knows best.

    Belated Eid Mubarak .