Home Quranet Chapter 4 What can we say to someone who steals from a charity box?
What can we say to someone who steals from a charity box?
Chapter 4

إِنَّمَا الصَّدَقَاتُ لِلْفُقَرَاء وَالْمَسَاكِينِ وَالْعَامِلِينَ عَلَيْهَا وَالْمُؤَلَّفَةِ قُلُوبُهُمْ وَفِي الرِّقَابِ َالْغَارِمِينَ وَفِي سَبِيلِ اللّهِ وَابْنِ السَّبِيلِ فَرِيضَةً مِّنَ اللّهِ وَاللّهُ عَلِيمٌ حَكِيمٌ (سورۃ التوبة, آيۃ 60)

Alms are for the poor and the needy, and those employed to administer the (funds); for those whose hearts have been (recently) reconciled (to the truth); for those in bondage and in debt; in the cause of Allah; and for the wayfarer: (thus is it) ordained by Allah, and Allah is full of knowledge and wisdom. (Surah 9, Verse 60)

Ahmed is one of the leading teachers in the school when it comes to educational initiatives. Recently he launched the collection of funds to help families whose children could not afford notebooks and textbooks. He explained the importance of the project to the pupils and let them share in collecting the funds. They responded enthusiastically, visited all the families in the village and people gave as much as they could afford.

Asi, who is a hard-working boy, was not idle for a moment and collected a large sum. He boasted to his friends about his achievement. Fadi told his older brother, who asked for more details. That evening Fadi's brother tried to persuade Fadi to steal the money from Asi, and promised him his old cell phone as a reward. In the recess, Fadi tried to filch the money from Asi's school bag but he was seen and the incident was reported to the teacher. He summoned Fadi and his brother and explained the gravity of their actions. "To attempt to steal money from a friend is not only betrayal of the friend," he said. "What is worse: this money was earmarked for people who need it, including orphans who have no parents to buy them a cell phone like yours." He concluded by reading them Verse 60 of Surah 9: "Alms are for the poor and the needy, and those employed to administer the (funds); for those whose hearts have been (recently) reconciled (to the truth); for those in bondage and in debt; in the cause of Allah; and for the wayfarer: (thus is it) ordained by Allah, and Allah is full of knowledge and wisdom".

Fadi and his brother were deeply ashamed.

Explanation: The Quran has no equals in reinforcing the sense of mutual responsibility. Fund-raising is aimed at all the needy members of the community, including the traveler who passes through. That is the spirit of the Quran - concern for the other and the weak even if they are not relatives. The teacher, Ahmed, was acting in this spirit when he organized fund-raising for needy pupils, and his pupils cooperated with him in the same spirit. The teacher scolded Fadi and his brother not only for stealing but, what is worse - for undermining the spirit of mutual responsibility and concern for the weak. He quoted the appropriate verse from the Quran to illustrate that they were acting in violation of the commands of the Quran. Perhaps he would have done well to allot them an educational task involving concern for the weak, for example to coach weaker pupils or to collect money for some other project.