Shaping the minds of the Maranaws: On wealth without morals; the common aspirations of men

By : Alexander Mangorsi Mindanao Today/03:02:17pm 08/18/2021


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Alexander Mangorsi | Bangsamoro Policy Caucus


(2nd of 4 parts)

Charity, relieving the pain of others

“A MAN’S true wealth is the good he does in this world.” Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.)

“A man is not a believer who fills his stomach while his neighbor is hungry.” Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.)

“Charity is the act of extending love and kindness to others unconditionally, which is a conscious act but the decision is made by the heart, without expecting a reward.”

“Charity begins with the inward recognition of a need to show compassion to others whether consciously or unconsciously. Everyone has problems, troubles, and griefs of some sort in life but charity starts with those who learn to downplay their own problems, in order to extend compassion, kindness, and love to help others. Hence some people set aside their own pains to relieve the pain of others.”

For public benefit

Charity is essential and therefore meant to be done for public benefit, relief and to provide assistance to people at times of need in any part of the world, especially those who are the victims of war, natural disaster, catastrophe, hunger, disease, poverty, orphans by supplying them with food, shelter, medical aid, and other fundamental needs.

The greatest gift to our community would be when we contribute to making lives better; when we touch lives by the dint of donations or charity, spreading light to the neediest and enlighten our souls in the process.

“The example of those who spend their wealth in the way of God is like a seed [of grain] which grows seven spikes; in each spike is a hundred grains. And God multiplies [His reward] for whom He wills. And God is all-Encompassing and Knowing.” [Quran 2:261]

Zakat, one of the Five Pillars of Islam

The faith of Muslims is built on the five pillars of Islam. One of those pillars is giving wealth to charity, or zakat.

In accordance with Islamic law, Muslims have to deduct certain amount of their income to support the Islamic community, and it usually about 2.5% of an individual’s income.

Zakat means purification which indicates that a payment makes the rest of one's wealth legally and religiously pure

Many rulers and wealthy Muslims build mosques, drinking fountains, hospitals, schools, and other institutions both as a religious duty and to secure the blessings associated with charity.

In fact, in the Quran charity is often mentioned as going along with prayer.

“[True] righteousness is [in] one who believes in God, the Last Day, the Angels, the Book, the Prophets and gives of their wealth, in spite of love for it, to relatives, orphans, the needy, the traveler, those who ask [for help], and for freeing slaves; [and who] establishes Prayer and practices regular charity…” [Quran 2:177]

In the time before Islam, the pagans would kill their children in fear of poverty. After Islam was introduced, the companions who used to practice this tradition began to abstain from it.

“[D]o not kill your children out of poverty; We will provide for you and them,” [Quran 6:151].

God is the provider of all. A true believer should not fear poverty because God will provide for them. Some believers say that fearing poverty is the same as not trusting in God.

When one spends his wealth in the way of God there is no decrease in wealth. Charity increases wealth because God replaces it with something better and greater.

These are just a few examples of the many ways Muslims are taught to think about and handle their wealth.

Your wealth should always be gained through lawful means if you wish to be considered a true believer.

And you can avoid the pitfalls of greed by giving charity as often as you are able after bills, debts and other obligations have been met.

Islam teaches that the wealth a Muslim spends in charity will never decrease.

The dynamic Maranaws

As earlier contended, the Maranaws are a highly active, ambitious, pro-active, determined, friendly, self-motivated and are very dynamic individuals.

They were gifted with the most enterprising and resourceful minds (baraakal) and the dexterity and talent to scout for every smell and aroma of opportunity wherever feasible and possible.

And as earlier described, the Maranaws, as individuals, are so passionate with the idea of “success, triumphs and accomplishments such that they would do everything to make the necessary breakthrough in order to sustain their desires for financial and pecuniary progress and improvements.

At present, a vast majority of the Maranaws are still on track with the immensely permissible and halal compliant economic activities and economic actions.

They are engaged mostly in import and export industry, in pearl, diamond, cellphones, golds, dry goods and all other exchange of goods, products, merchandise and services which are feasible for profit, consumption and commerce.

Amidst this outbreak which had infected millions, shut and paralyzed millions of industries, trades and businesses, or laid off millions of workers, crushed government and private savings, the Maranaws, however, are people with plenty of throbbing experiences with the myriad of social devastations and calamities either as a result of men’s destructive adventurism or by their deliberate acts of tampering the natural order of mother earth such that whenever the Maranaw were put to a corner where collective choice is not even an option, their talent for survival has become their most priced character as a people, always ready for the challenge.

And, thus, making serious strategic business readjustments to balance the need to comply with intermittent government regulations and the urge to survive in this most difficult history of humanity are just equally valuable for the Maranaws.

Indeed, challenging and disparaging the effect of this disease on every living soul on the planet, the Maranaws have always been ready for its most reproachful hurdle and its most realistic advantage, the rise and growth of e-commerce, virtual transactions, online trade and businesses.

The evolution of Internet as a powerful platform for all human transactions – in business, education, policy exchanges, government actions and so on.

And, thus, where Maranaw’s resiliency have been tested, today, even those who are without formal education can now take part in this huge, gigantic, and massive online sales, shopping and trades.

Somehow, this e-commerce has helped the Maranaws and the rest of the Filipinos to face and confront the brunt of this epidemic and mitigate its disapproving outcome. (To be continued)

(Alexander Tomawis Mangorsi is the admin of the Bangsamoro Policy Caucus Facebook page. The Bangsamoro Policy Caucus is an internet-based policy advocate for issues of indispensable relevance and significance to the common welfare and collective good of the Moro People.)


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