Article – Embracing Charity: A Cross-Religious Perspective

Across this symphony of beliefs found amongst the world’s religions, charity emerges as a universal melody, harmonizing individuals’ actions with the rhythms of compassion and selflessness.

All religions agree that charity is an important act of kindness and compassion that can benefit both the giver and the receiver with many rewards, both material and spiritual. It can help to alleviate poverty and suffering, and it can also make us feel good about ourselves and connect us to something larger than ourselves.

Regardless of one’s religious affiliation, embracing the spirit of charity promotes unity, empathy, and the betterment of society as a whole.

“Charity given to a worthy person simply because it is right to give, without consideration of anything in return, at the proper time and in the proper place, is stated to be in the mode of goodness.”
– The Bhagavad Gita (17:20), Hindu scripture

“The example of those who spend their wealth in the way of Allah is like a seed [of grain] which grows seven spikes; in each spike is a hundred grains. And Allah multiplies [His reward] for whom He wills.”
– The Qur’an (2:261), Islamic scripture

“One who works for what he eats, and gives some of what he has, O Nanak, he knows the Path.”
– Guru Granth Sahib (1245), Sikh scripture

“Tzedakah (charity) is equal to all the other commandments combined.”
– Jewish proverb

“Give, and it will be given to you”
– The New Testament (Luke 6:38), Christian scripture

“If beings knew, as I know, the results of giving and sharing, they would not eat without having given, nor would the stain of stinginess overcome their minds.”
– Itivuttaka (26), Buddhist scripture

“Charity–Dāna–subdues the passions that torment the mind; it makes possible the renunciation of the transitory, and thus leads to liberation.”
– Acaranga Sutra, Jain scripture

“O SON OF MAN! Bestow My wealth upon My poor, that in heaven thou mayest draw from stores of unfading splendor and treasures of imperishable glory.”
– Bahá’u’lláh, Baha’i prophet

“This also (is) revealed, that Ahura Mazda said to Zarathushtra : Whatever charitable men give, I give them twofold in return, and I store it up.”
– Pahlavi Rivāyat, Zoroastrian text

See All Commonalities Across Religions