By Sajida Khadim

It is said that, “Charity benefits the giver more than the receiver.” If we look at the life of the philanthropists who dedicated their life to this work, we can relate to this saying. As, there must be something that kept them going even after facing so much hardships. What was the thing that kept Abdul Satar Edhi dedicated to charity that even while taking his last breath he donated his eyes? The mere thing that was his power booster was inner peace, the satisfaction that he is serving the purpose he is created for.

Sam Levenson, in his book, In One Era & Out the Other, beautifully elaborated this thing as he said,

“For attractive lips, speak words of kindness

 For lovely eyes, seek out the good in people

 For a slim figure, share your food with the hungry

 For beautiful hair, let a child run his fingers through it once a day

 For poise, walk with the knowledge you’ll never walk alone

These excerpts remind us that if we ever need a helping hand, we’ll find one at the end of our arm. As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands: one for helping yourself, the other for helping others. Charity is not just giving alms to others, it’s canvas is much broader and higher than this. It is not giving money but giving your heart out to others. It’s an ability to feel other’s pain than yours. It’s bringing your dead emotions to life. It’s about craving your name on hearts not on tombstones. As our Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said, "Charity is prescribed for each descendant of Adam every day the sun rises." He was then asked, "From what do we give charity every day?" The Prophet answered, "The doors of goodness are many...enjoining good, forbidding evil, removing harm from the road, listening to the deaf, leading the blind, guiding one to the object of his need, hurrying with the strength of one's legs to one in sorrow who is asking for help, and supporting the feeble with the strength of one's arms--all of these are charity prescribed for you." He also said, "Your smile for your brother is charity." - Fiqh-us-Sunnah, Volume 3, Number 98.

According to CAF World Giving Index 2015, 2.2 billion people helped a stranger, 1. 4 people donated money and 1.0 billion people volunteered their time. Charity is not just a term or a word, it is the core of humanity which should be inculcate in our children since the very beginning as it is the dire need of the time. Abdul Sattar Edhi since his childhood was bound to give 1 cent from his 2 cents of pocket money to someone in need, this is how the richest poor man came into existence. It’s not a one-day story.

Today, Pakistan is among the most generous nations among the world. Apart from the exception personality like late Abdul Sattar Edhi, we are blessed with people like Shehzad Roy, the president and founder of Zindagi Trust, a non-government charitable organization, that strives to improve the quality of education available to the average Pakistani. Roy has recently produced and hosted two documentary series, Chal Parha, about the state of public education in Pakistan, and Wasu aur Mein, which follows the travels of Shehzad and a villager and deals with issues like progress, poverty and patriotism in Pakistan. Similarly, our cricket super star, Shahid Afridi Khan was named among the top 20 most charitable athletes in the world by Do Something in 2015. Imran Khan, the cricket legend and a famous politician has also created one of its own example by building institutes like Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and Namal University.

If today we can all understand the real essence of the word “charity”, and play the role assigned to us as a human, the world will be turned out as a far better place as “Charity sees the need not the cause”.

Published in Young Nation magazine on October 8, 2016