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My Parents Get Angry When I Give Money to the Needy

Questioner

Muhammad

Reply Date

Oct 31, 2017

Question

AOA Brother. I have a question. I am Alhamdulilah Muslim by birth and my parents are both Alhamdulilah Muslims too but sometimes they get angry or get irritated when I give money to poor in front of them or they show signs of irritation and they might not scold me or they sometimes stop me and sometimes they don't stop me from giving money to anyone who is a beggar. But as they are my parents and I can't disobey them so I mostly give money to poor in their absence as i don't want them to get upset. What should I do when my parents are around and I see a needy person whom I want to give money but I am afraid my parents will get either irritated or won't appreciate my act of giving money to poor like this?

Consultant

Answer


Money needy

Short Answer: Talk to your parents and find out exactly why they are against you giving money to the needy. Try to consider their perspective, but remind them of the virtue of giving charity as a Muslim, and try to come to a compromise by, perhaps, agreeing as a family on a trusted organization to donate money to. Remind your parents that we should always assume the best of people, and remember that charity encompasses many kindnesses, not just giving money. “People begging on the street often feel ignored and humiliated by others, and simply showing them a bit of human kindness and interaction can mean a great deal to them.”


Wa alaikum salaam, and thank you for your question.

Charity: Ordered by Allah

Masha’Allah, your commitment to helping needy people is commendable.

Allah mentions many times in the Qur’an how important it is for people to give charity.

Below are a few verses about giving from what we have:

You will never achieve righteousness until you donate some of what you cherish. And whatever you give is certainly well known to Allah. (Qur’an 3:92)

The metaphor of those who spend their wealth in the Way of Allah is that of a grain which produces seven ears; in every ear there are a hundred grains. Allah gives such multiplied increase to whomever He wills. Allah is All-Encompassing, All-Knowing. (Qur’an 2:261)

Those who give of their resources by night and by day, in secret and in public, have their reward with their Lord. On them will be no fear nor shall they grieve. (Qur’an 2:274)

Respect for Parents

Besides your charitable acts, I am very impressed by your keenness to show respect to your parents.

Parents are a great gift that Allah gives, and because they do so much for us Allah urges us to give them the reverence they deserve.

Your Lord has commanded that you should worship none but Him, and that you be kind to your parents. If either or both of them reach old age with you, say no word that shows impatience with them, and do not be harsh with them, but speak to them respectfully. (Qur’an 17:23)

Considering Other Perspectives

An example of showing respect to people, including parents, is considering the opinions and mindsets of others and trying to recognize why they may feel or think a certain way about things.

This does not mean that we must agree with or condone these opinions or mindsets, but it can be useful in understanding how people carry themselves in the world.

In this case, you may want to think about why your parents show opposition to you giving money to people begging on the street.

Perhaps they think that others are taking advantage of your generous nature, or that you are spending too much of your money on others (especially if they think that you are struggling financially).

A common concern people have about giving money to strangers on the street is that these people are not actually in need and are just pretending to be poor to receive charity.

Others may worry that they actually are needy but might use the money on drugs, alcohol, or something not deemed “necessary” instead of using it for food or survival items.

Your situation involves balancing two obligations: giving charity and respecting one’s parents.

Rather than feeling like you must choose one over the other, there are ways that both can be honored.

Talk To Them

My first recommendation, if you haven’t already done this, is to have a conversation with your parents about their thoughts and feelings about this matter.

Ask them why they feel irritated or upset when they see you giving money to people on the street, and acknowledge their concerns.

You can share with them Qur’anic verses on the importance of charity, including the verse where Allah says “And do not drive the beggar away” (Qur’an 93:10).

You can also remind them about the virtues in giving people the benefit of the doubt and assuming the best in people; we should presume that the money we give to people will be used for noble purposes.

Sharing your reasons for giving to people may encourage them to do likewise, or at least understand where you’re coming from and not oppose you.

Consider Giving To Parent-Approved Organizations

Second, besides giving charity to people on the street, you can also let your parents know that you also give charity to organizations that help people in need.

Organizations have resources and connections that individuals don’t have, so giving at an institutional level can have a much greater impact than simply giving to one person.

Perhaps you and your parents could research charities and choose one (or several) to give regular donations to as a family.

This way, you are involving your parents in your giving habits, and by pooling your resources you can give larger gifts than as individuals.

If your parents still object to your donations while out with them, you may wish to refrain from doing so while in their presence to respect their wishes.

This is out of courtesy to them, and not as a rejection of the importance of charity.

When you are not with your parents, you can give as freely as you want.

Kindness is Charity: Beyond Just Giving Money

Even if you are with your parents and not giving money to people begging, you can help them in other ways.

You can give them a smile, make eye contact with them, ask them how they are doing, and wish them a nice day.

People begging on the street often feel ignored and humiliated by others, and simply showing them a bit of human kindness and interaction can mean a great deal to them.

Finally, you (and your parents) can make du’a for them, asking Allah to grant them ease, comfort, provisions, and blessings in this life and the Hereafter.

May Allah bless you for your generosity and kindness to your parents and people in need, and may Allah grant you the best rewards in this life and the Hereafter, Ameen!


Read more…

Giving and Receiving: Lessons from Charity

Prophet Muhammad’s Care for the Poor

Why Should We Feed Hungry People?

10 Ways to Help the Poor and Needy




About Anne Myers

Anne Myers is a proud Wellesley College graduate and holds a Master of Divinity focusing in Islamic studies. She has experience in pastoral care in hospital and university settings. Her passions include Islam, feminism, traveling, reading, watching cooking competitions, and her cats.

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