Which path to choose?

May 24, 2011 at 11:52 am Leave a comment

By Usman Mir

The Prophet (PBUH) was the personification of moderation. He taught us to be moderate in everything we do, even to be moderate in our good deeds. Extremism is an alien character trait to a Muslim and the religion of Islam.

At the risk of trivialising the issue, I would like to demonstrate the need for moderation in everything we do. It is a well know fact that eating carrots promotes overall eye health. However an overindulgence of carrots can result in a condition called Carotenemia, which can lead to skin discolouration. Simply put, too much of anything (even good things), is bad for us.

How is this related to my previous blogs you may be wondering? The easy answer to that is – competition. Competition when practised moderately is a wonderful aspect of human nature. It allows us to excel, reach new heights, expand our horizons and innovate – basically competition makes us better. This applies to every walk of life, be it sport, academia, business, technology. However, unhealthy levels of competition are just as destructive if not more, in every walk of life– resulting in drug taking, cheating, corporate espionage, nuclear arms races and war. Too much competition, as per the golden rule is bad for us.

Muslim charities find themselves in a situation, where the competition for funding and resources is a fact of everyday life. It goes with the territory of being a Muslim charity. In moderation this competition, can bring out the best in the organisations, promoting transparency, cost efficiency, and innovation. Within this environment of moderate competition, collaboration amongst charities could flourish as a legitimate manner of innovation and improvement.

However, moving beyond the realms of healthy competition, would be like “moving over to the dark side”, to pinch a quote from Star Wars. It will lead to the ‘us and them’ mentality; organisations will become territorial beasts, looking to ensure they always receive the lion’s share of the funding pot – irrespective of whether they actually need it or not. This overzealous attitude will eventually annihilate any possibility of constructive collaboration and most of all destroy the atmosphere of striving to excel in helping those less fortunate than ourselves.

Entry filed under: Charities, Donating, Funding. Tags: , , , , .

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