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The influence of the Muslim religion in humanitarian aid

  • Jamal Krafess


Acts of humanitarianism are an essential element of religious practice for the Muslim. The Quranic and prophetic texts calling for humanitarian action, defining and ordering it are numerous. They are either of an obligatory or an inciting nature and do not exclude the non-Muslims from humanitarian aid. For the Muslim to undertake a humanitarian act is a way of receiving help from heaven, of erasing sins, and of meriting Paradise. The mechanisms established by the religion (e.g. zakat, waqf, kaffara) had an unprecedented impact on the lives of the population: the freeing of slaves, a significant support for the most vulnerable, and the expansion of the educational and health-care system. Nowadays faith based Muslim NGOs follow these texts to launch varied humanitarian programmes in different domains.



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1 The author does not limit humanitarian action to humanitarian assistance, but presents a very broad view of it as social welfare, emergency aid and sustainable development. The quotations are taken from Arabic books; other than those from the Quran, their translation into French and English is by the author.

2 A hadith is the words of the prophet reported by his companions. The Quranic verses and the hadiths constitute the principal source of Islamic legislation.

3 Al Bukhari, Aladabon Al Moufrad, Hadith No. 1020.

4 Sahih Al Bukhari, Sahih Al Jami'e, Vol. 4, p. 90.

5 Blik, Azzeddine, Minhaj Assalihin e (The path of the pious), Dar El Fatah, Beirut, 1985, p. 513.

6 Al Hakim, Almoustadrak.

7 Baïhaki, Al, Chouab Al Iman (The paths of the faith), Dar El Koutoub Al Alilmya, Hadith No. 3319, Vol. 3, 1990, p. 199.

8 Quran, Sura 103, Verse 3 (the translations of Quranic verses are from the Quran edited by the Islamic Scientific Research Direction on Fatwa of the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Islamic Affairs).

9 Quran, Sura 13, Verse 29.

10 Rajab, Ibn, Jamie Alouloum wa Al Hikam (Encyclopaedia of Sciences and Wisdom), Arrissala, 3rd edition, Vol. 2, 1991, p. 5.

11 Al Bukhari, Sahih Al Jami'e, Hadith No. 2951.

12 Quran, Sura 5, Verse 89.

13 Al Sayuti, “Al Jami'e Al Kabir” (The Great Index), Dar Al Koutoub Al Massria, Hadith No. 9, Vol. 1, p. 409.

14 Tabarani compilation.

15 Al Kafi compilation, Vol. 4, p. 27.

16 Zubaidi compilation, Vol. 3, p. 21.

17 Sayuti, Al Jamie Saghir, Hadith No. 4804.

18 Quran, Sura 1, Verse 245.

19 Quran, Sura 1, Verse 261.

20 Baïhaki, Al, Chouab Al lman, Dar El Koutoub Al Alilmya, Vol. 3, Hadith No. 3347, Beirut, 1990, p. 212.

21 Quran, Sura 9, Verse 35.

22 Quran, Sura 69, Verse 34.

23 Al Hakim, Al Moustadrak, p. 124.

24 Tabarani, Al Mouajam Al Kabir, (The Great Index), Vol. 4, Hadith No. 4402.

25 Baïhaki, Al, Chouab Al Iman, Dar El Koutoub Al Alilmya, Vol. 3, Hadith No. 3351, Beirut, 1990, p. 213.

26 Tabarani, Moujama'a azzawaide, Vol. 3, p. 63.

27 Hafid, Al, Fath Al Bary, Vol. 3, Beirut, Hadith No. 1388, p. 325.

28 Baihaki, Al, Chouab Al Iman, Dar El Koutoub Al Alilmya, Vol. 3, Hadith No. 3367, Beirut, 1990, p. 217.

29 Quran, Sura 1, Verse 184.

30 Baïhaki, Al, Chouab Al Iman, Dar El Koutoub Al Alilmya, Vol. 3, Hadith No. 3389, Beirut, 1990, p. 226.

31 Quran, Sura 107, Verse 3.

32 Quran, Sura 4, Verse 10.

33 Hamid, Salih Ben, Nadratou Naim, Dar Al Wassilah, Vol. 8, p. 3254.

34 Albani, Al, Sahih Targuib wa Tarhib, Al Maktab Al Islami, Vol. 2, p. 676.

35 Hafid, Al, Fath Al Bary, Hadith No. 5304, Vol. 9, Beirut, p. 549.

36 Al Bukhari, Alfath, Hadith No. 5304

37 Quran, Sura 17, Verse 26.

38 Muslim, Sahih Muslim, Hadith No. 1305

39 Baïhaki, Al, Chouab Al Iman, Hadith No. 3447, Vol. 3, p. 247.

40 Tabarani compilation.

41 Albani, Al, Sahih Al Jam'ie, Hadith No. 3602, Vol. 1, p. 476.

42 Sayouti, Al Jamie Saghir, Hadith No. 8873.

43 Al Bukhari, Sahih Al Jami'e, Hadith No. 5757

44 Al Hafid, Al Fith, Vol. 5, p. 510.

45 Bukhari, Al, Lou'loue wa marjane (Treasures and Pearls), Hadith No. 599, Vol. 1, p. 211.

46 Al Hafid, Fath Al Bary, Dar Al Koutoub Al Ilumia, Vol. 3, Hadith No. 1388, p. 325.

47 Baïhaki, Al, Chouab Al Iman, Dar Al Koutoub Al Alilmya, Beirut, Hadith No. 3563, Vol. 3, 1990, p. 284.

48 Al Mundiri, Targuib wa Tarhib, Dar Ibn Kattir, Beirut, Hadith No. 1324, p. 687.

49 Ibid., Hadith No. 1329, p. 690.

50 Nissab is property equivalent to 85g of gold, currently at 900 euros.

51 Quran, Sura 31, Verse 4.

52 Quran, Sura 9, Verse 103.

53 Quran, Sura 73, Verse 20.

54 Al Hand, Fath Al Bary, Beirut, Hadith No. 2778, Vol. 5, p. 510.

55 Quran, Sura 51, Verse 19.

56 Quran, Sura 70, Verse 24.

57 At the beginning of the Muslim Era five schools of jurisprudence, which were inspired by the Quran and the traditions of the Prophet Mohammed, developed to legislate on all questions concerning religion and the economic, political and social life of Muslims. They are the Maliki, Chafi, Hanafi, Hanbali and Jafari schools.

58 Abu Ubaid Al Kassim, Al-Amwal (wealth), p. 565.

59 See op. cit. (note 39).

60 For more details see Subai, Mustafa, Mm Rawaie Hadaratina (Marvels of our Civilization), Dar es Salaam, Cairo, 1998.

61 For more details see Subai's book.

62 Alms that a Muslim must give at the end of Ramadan, a sum equivalent to 5 euros.

63 Al Bukhari, Sahih Al Jami'e, Hadith No. 1390.

The influence of the Muslim religion in humanitarian aid

  • Jamal Krafess


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