There are 132 million children who have been orphaned because of a disaster, war, disease and poverty (Source: http://www.worldorphanweek.org/)
There are nearly 1 billion people suffering from hunger (Source: http://www.thehungerproject.co.uk/?gclid=CNn-v7yz87ACFQwjfAodMxxFPQ)
Cholera outbreaks in Asia and parts of Africa increasing to kill thousands (Source:http://www.who.int/topics/cholera/en/)
So this then makes me think ‘Where should my money be going?’ even though I already know the answer: to family first.
In Islam it is so important that you take care of your family and relatives first before reaching out to others, and this also applies to giving to charity. If you have poor family or close relatives who are struggling, then why should you not give in charity to them? Why try to feed and clothe the world first when someone who is related by blood is suffering?
There are so many charity organisations that are sending us emails for appeals and Ramadan is less than 3 weeks which makes us count our pennies and choose carefully where we give our donations, which a great thing! But at the end of the day, charity should start from home and although you may be trying to help the world, you should first look around your immediate circle.
I have very poor family and relatives in Bangladesh. Some of them live in huts and they can only eat rice 4 times a week with a bit of vegetable, if they’re lucky. I don’t feel comfortable giving money elsewhere when I don’t know how my relatives are doing first.
Charity is part of Islam so never stop giving whenever possible. But my point is simply that you shouldn’t give to those who need it, but first give to those who have PRIORITY. The world can come later, so long as you don’t forget those who should have a bigger right over your charity than others. Give to the world too, but don’t forget FAMILY.
Too often I’ve asked people about their poor relatives, but they seem to not care for them or even know how they are surviving. Unfortunately, I have more poor relatives who live in huts with no electricity or heating for the winter, so mum has always encouraged me to give my donations to her to send back home.
If you brother or sister in Islam is important, so should your blood brothers and sisters be.
Hadith (saying of Muhammad (PBUH):
Abu Huraira (radi Allahu anhu) reported Allah’s Messenger (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) as saying: “Of the dinar (money) that you spend as a contribution in Allah’s path, or to set free a slave, or as charity given to a needy, or to support your family, the one yielding the greatest reward is that which you spend on your family.” [Sahih Muslim]