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The Religion of Peace

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It's much easier to act as if critics of Islam have a problem with Muslims as people than it is to accept the uncomfortable truth that Islam is different


The Quran


List of Attacks

Last 30 Days
2001 (Post 9/11)

What can we learn about
Islam from this woman?

What Does Islam Teach About...

Charity and Aid

Why do Muslim charities generally attend to the needs of Muslims only?

Also, why are Muslims in need more likely to receive help from Western and Christian charities?

Muslims are not encouraged to assist non-Muslims. To do so is a waste of money, because unbelievers are going to Hell anyway. The Quran and Hadith describe money as flowing either between Muslims or from non-Muslims to Muslims (the jizya in Quran 9:29).

Neither is the Islamic community particularly keen on disaster relief, even for Muslim victims. This is because the Quran teaches that the disasters which befall communities are a punishment from Allah.


Natural disaster is ordained by Allah:

Quran (9:51) - "Nothing will afflict us save what Allah has ordained for us"

Quran (11:117) - "Nor would thy Lord be the One to destroy communities for a single wrong-doing, if its members were likely to mend."

Quran (28:59) - "...And never did We destroy the townships unless the folk thereof were evil-doers." 'We' refers to Allah. This verse refers to natural disaster.

Quran (57:22) - "No misfortune can happen on earth or in your souls but is recorded in a decree before We bring it into existence: That is truly easy for Allah." Allah wills misfortune in advance.

Quran (42:30) - "Whatever misfortune happens to you, is because on the things your hands have wrought" Your sin is solely responsible for any misfortune in your life.

Quran (28:17) - "O my Lord!... never shall I be a help to those who sin!" Taken with the above verses (57:22 and 42:30), this provides the logical argument that helping victims of disaster is actually against Allah's will, since the unfortunates are merely suffering Allah's punishment for sin and Muslims are not to help those in sin.

Quran (64:11) - "No calamity befalleth save by Allah's leave..."

Quran (90:4) - "Verily We have created man into toil and struggle."

Those who are blessed by Allah insult Allah by giving away their "gifts" to those whom Allah has not favored:

Quran (16:71) - "Allah has bestowed His gifts of sustenance more freely on some of you than on others: those more favored are not going to throw back their gifts to those whom their right hands possess, so as to be equal in that respect. Will they then deny the favors of Allah?"

Charity to non-Muslims? No. Muslims are told that non-believers are the "vilest of animals" and commanded to be ruthless toward them:

Quran (8:55) - "Surely the vilest of animals in Allah's sight are those who disbelieve"

Quran (28:86) - "Never be a helper to the unbelievers."

Quran (48:29) - Muhammad is the messenger of Allah. And those with him are hard (ruthless) against the disbelievers and merciful among themselves

Hadith and Sira

Sahih Bukhari (71:665) - The Prophet said, "No contagious disease is conveyed to others without Allah's permission..."

Sahih Muslim (1:153) - The best of all good deeds, according to Muhammad is "jihad for the cause of Allah" (not charity toward others).

Sahih Bukhari (55:558) - The Prophet said, "I give to them so as to attract their hearts to Islam." The only example of Muhammad ever providing charity to non-Muslims was when it served the purpose of expanding personal power, either to buy conversions or loyalty (see Sahih Bukhari 53:373 and Sahih Muslim 6022).  Charity is thus a tool of manipulation rather than a genuine endorsement of human value.

Abu Dawud (41:4832) - The Messenger of Allah [said] "Do not keep company with anyone but a believer and do not let anyone eat your food but one who is pious."

Reliance of the Traveller (Sharia) - "It is not permissible to give zakat to a non-Muslim" (h8.24).  The same text goes on to list the legitimate targets of charity, which include "those fighting for Allah, meaning people engaged in Islamic military operations."

Numerous hadith also mention giving to the poor (within the Muslim community). This is the zakat, or almsgiving, that has become one of the "five pillars" of Islam.

al-Tabarani, Hasan - "The most beloved of deeds according to Allah the Mighty, the Magnificent, is that you bring happiness to a fellow Muslim, or relieve him of distress, or pay off his debt or stave away hunger from him.” In Christianity, charity is for those in need, with exceptionalism noted in cases in which the grantee is an enemy (ie. Parable of the Good Samaritan). In Islam, targets of the highest virtue are from within one's own identity group.

al-Tabari 8:40 - "Aisha, the Mother of the Faithful, was asked, ‘How did the Messenger of Allah behave?’ She replied, ‘His eye did not weep for anyone." In real life, Muhammad was not a compassionate man.


It is common for Western multiculturalists to project their own values onto others. If Western religion instills virtues such as kindness and universal charity, then surely Islam must do the same... right?

Not really. The number of verses in the Quran that define and advocate virtue is far less than those promoting hate and violence. Likewise, historical accounts of Muhammad acting or speaking in a manner consistent with Judeo-Christian values are so scarce that Islamic scholars have had to explicitly authorize the dissemination of fabricated hadith: "Mildly weak hadith can be freely used to establish the virtues of deeds." (Islam Online)

In fact, Islam discourages universal charity, particularly for disaster relief. Muhammad routinely used natural disaster as a threat to compel others into accepting his claim to be a prophet. The Quran specifically says that earthquake and famine are sent by Allah as punishment for the sin of the people (usually unbelief). There is no theological basis for helping those whom Allah is trying to hurt.

In the wake of a 2015 flood in Pakistan, Christians were bluntly told by Muslim charities that they must either convert to Islam or agree to become slaves of Muslims in order to receive help. 

In 2017, needy Hindu orphans were offered food and shelter by Muslim agencies - but only if the would embrace Islam.  Apparently they were of no value in Islam if they did not.

Sudan actually topped this the same year by forcing Christian children to recite Islamic prayers to receive food that was actually donated by Christian charities!

When the Coronavirus hit the world in 2020, one imam candidly stated, "Who cares about the world's health?"  During the crisis, a Muslim charity in Karachi openly denied food to needy Hindus and Christians.

In 2016, a Muslim doctor had to flee Pakistan over death threats after saving the life of a Christian with $20 worth of donated dialysis medicine.  A year later, giving zakat to hospitals was forbidden by fatwa (267380).

When a tsunami struck Indonesia in 2004, Christian and Western aid agencies rushed in to help the victims.  Yet, even as late as 2017, the government of Indonesia and Muslim NGOs openly ignored the needs of indigenous tribes unless they converted to Islam.

Much of what is given today ($1725 or 2.5% of an increase in wealth) funds mosque operations or groups like CAIR, and never finds its way to "the poor." A 2011 audit of one of Canada's top Islamic charities (run by ISNA, no less) found that less than 25% of the "poor tax" actually found its way to the needy. The vast majority of zakat funds went to mosque maintenance, private Muslim businesses and even perks to the family members of charity officials.

Charity is technically an important part of Islam, but this does not mean that it is defined as Westerners generally understand it. In Christianity, charity means giving to your fellow man in need. In Islam, it means giving either to support holy war or to a fellow Muslim - and usually through the mandated poor tax (zakat) which is precisely calculated. As Robert Spencer puts it, "Islam makes a distinction between believers and unbelievers that overrides any obligation to general benevolence."

The zakat (almsgiving) may be one of the five pillars of Islam, but the Hadith only speaks of it as a requirement to help fellow Muslims ("taken from among you and distributed among you"). Non-Muslims are not entitled to the zakat by virtue of their need, and mainstream Islamic teaching forbids Muslims from giving this to unbelievers. The Fiqh-us-Sunna lists unbelievers along with the wealthy, strong and healthy as being prohibited from receiving zakat (although some Muslims may personally disagree with this).

While Islamic scholars forbid giving zakat to non-Muslims in physical need - including the victims of Islamic terror - it is acceptable to use zakat in defense of accused Muslim terrorists.

Interestingly, the Quranic verse that is said to be the basis for zakat (9:103) comes from the most violent and intolerant of suras. Its context also appears to be that of a penance taken from the property of 'hypocrites' for their sinfulness and failure to participate in battle against unbelievers.

Islamic charities that raise funds openly in the West are savvy enough to downplay the fact that beneficiaries of their assistance are selected by ethnicity, which would not go over well with non-Muslim donors. They are also known to advertise "window dressing" projects on their websites or literature, in which they claim a role in prominent disasters or causes (in disproportion to their actual contribution and concern). It is usually enough to fool others into not looking deeper.

Generally speaking, international Islamic charities are better known for funding terrorism and hate than in meeting the actual needs of natural disaster victims (bankrolling Jihad through charitable giving is mandated by the Quran 9:60). In 2014, the UAE determined that fifteen well-known Muslim charities - including the world's largest - were actually sponsoring Islamic terrorism.

Even at its most legitimate, Muslim charity to the poor is heavily tainted by ulterior political and racial agenda, such as lopsided support for Palestinians to the exclusion of Darfur victims, who suffer much worse. The latter are also Muslim but they don't count since they are Africans being oppressed by an Islamic-Arab regime. (The rule is that Muslims generally ignore the suffering of other Muslims unless non-Muslims can be held responsible).  Arab states worked to block aid to victims in Darfur, while the generosity of Christians inspired grateful Muslims to build a church.

When a devastating earthquake struck Haiti in 2010 and killed 160000, the religion that claims 1.5 billion members contributed a whopping one tenth of one percent of all donations or, as Andrew McCarthy put it, "basically, a rounding error for a Saudi sheikh’s weekend in Vegas."

In 2015, the tiny country of Malaysia alone threw away 270,000 tons of food during the holy month of Ramadan. This was enough to feed 180 million people - six times the country's population. Western countries waste food as well, but they are also very active in feeding and caring for people in other parts of the world who are hungry and hurting. Not so with Islam.

That same year, Europe took in millions of war refugees displaced by the Islamic State at great monetary and cultural expense. The Vatican ordered churches and believers to open their homes. At the same time, wealthy Arab nations in the Gulf (which vigorously fund mosques, Islamic propaganda and - sometimes - terrorism) took in zero war refugees. This includes Saudi Arabia, which has 100,000 air-conditioned tents sitting empty in anticipation of 3 million Haj pilgrims. Islam is truly a religion that puts religion first.

Although bragging one-fifth of the world's population, there are no international Islamic charities that take money from Muslims to help non-Muslims in need*. There is no equivalent of the Red Cross in Islam (the Red Crescent is actually a part of the Red Cross and is active only in Muslim countries). Charity is truly an in-house institution, and, even then, the impetus is largely superficial. The greatest contribution to disaster relief for victims in the Islamic world has always been (and always will be) non-Islamic organizations and nations with a Christian heritage.

*[Note: Some Muslim charities, such as Islamic Relief, say that they don't discriminate by creed. This is quite dubious, however, given that over 99% of their aid goes toward projects in Muslim countries or in the majority Muslim regions of non-Muslim countries. They also take in far more from non-Muslim donors than they provide to non-Muslim recipients. See Islamic Relief and the Myth of Non-Discriminating Muslim Charity]

Recommended Reading: Islamic Charity: For Muslims Only

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