…And whatever good you may spend on others is for your own good, provided that you spend only out of a longing for God’s countenance: for, whatever good you may spend will be repaid unto you in full, and you shall not be wronged.

[And give] unto [such of] the needy who, being wholly wrapped up in God’s cause, are unable to go about the earth [in search of livelihood]. He who is unaware [of their condition] might think they are wealthy, because they abstain [from begging]; [but] thou canst recognize them by their special mark: they do not beg of men with importunity. And whatever good you may spend [on them], verily, God knows it all.

Those who spend their possessions [for the sake of God] by night and by day, secretly and openly, shall have their reward with their Sustainer; and no fear need they have, and neither shall they grieve.

AL-BAQARAH  (272 -274)


Yesterday I attended a tea fashion event in aid of the GAZA cause!

It was definitely a gathering of ladies of leisure and pleasure and perhaps those high enough in the office hiearchy to take an afternoon off for a fundraising event.

The tea was OK and the fashion show SO SO!

An interesting feature was the parade of models who were the faces of eras gone by, of the 70s and 80s. Some were still outstanding on the catwalk, many had retained their good looks and shape. All in all they are to be applauded for their achievements in the world of  fashion. The few male models were far inferior!

While I enjoyed the company of my friends, I couldn’t help feeling out of place! Not because I don’t like fashion – which I really do for its creativity and colour – but because I thought the event was not relevant to the cause! It was incongruous!

GAZA has been oversold and oversubscribed to! Each of us has contributed to the GAZA funds in some way or other – at bazaars, book launches, dinners. But to my small mind, a fashion show attended by the affluent seems so incongruous to the suffering men, women and children out there.

There are many causes closer to home that are worthy of being championed! It’s so easy to give in cash and it requires just a little thought to give in kind. Of course funds are all-important but they need not be the only consideration in charity efforts. 

Contributing our ideas, sweat and toil seems so much more fulfilling!

Just last week I was impressed by a French lady, Flo, who went around collecting used items for a bazaar sale organised by the Titiwangsa mosque. The collection is going to the poor and needy in our deprived inner city. It took me a couple of days to dig deep into my cupboards and my soul, to put together some things for the sale. Next week, a young wife and mother, Emi,  is helping to organise a party for children in the cancer ward of a local hospital!

Little gestures no doubt, but done with a lot of love and concern!     

But I’m still thinking seriously of that one special cause that will mobilise great teams and efforts; that will go down to the ground and move people’s hearts and souls; that will be hands on and move their minds; that will move mountains!

For this you and I need BELIEF and FAITH!


3 Responses to “”

  1. April 3, 2009 at 1:11 pm

    A very good article indeed as you have rightly pointed out that charity events must be relevant to its cause. Many fund raising events are social events that see more money going to hotels, entertainers, models and decorations as these things are seldom free even if for charity! Very little actually go to the charities. But we cant fault them because the intention is still noble but perhaps the execution could have been different. I don’t see why charity can’t take form in small personal efforts that directly or in a large way see money or assistance go to the charities or cause without much grandiose. I personally like doing my small bit in small ways, perhaps not glamorous but indeed personally satisfying.

    My heart and love goes to the young mother and wife for her small efforts and big heart for the cancer kids at a local hospital…

  2. 2 ol' zai
    April 3, 2009 at 3:20 pm

    Good posting Nini! The fitting preamble from Surah Al-Baqarah is appealing, and so is the lovely photograph of the ‘grannies of leisure’ who were amongst the beautiful people, the well-heeled ladies invited to attend the STYLO Fashion Grand Prix yesterday!

    The charity event, a fund raising effort for the GAZA cause,(again!), was a commendable effort on the part of the organisers. Being sponsored by influential organisations, the event attracted the right crowd who willingly rallied forward to support the cause. Why, the people who attended the function took the trouble to come fashionably dressed (the theme being ‘Style & Sensitivity’!)since they knew that they would be seen hobnobbing with society ladies, with fashionistas, and that they would be in full view of the camera! And this is all in the name of charity!

    Like you, I also wonder whether the show was not incongruous to the cause! Especially in dire times like these! Do we really need to be seen, to seek public attention,(amidst the dazzle of flash bulbs), to effectively donate to charity? And shouldn’t we do more to help the poor and needy on home ground, to verily support a local cause?? I do think Florence and Emi are equally sincere and noble in their respective efforts and gestures. To be charitable of heart is also to help family, your neighbourhood, community and state in specific causes. Certainly your ideas, your passion, your time and dedication, your trust and commitment, your faith and belief towards a worthy cause are just as good a show of altruism and charity as fundraising efforts on a mega scale! And charity should first and foremost begin at home..!

  3. 3 ninitalk
    April 4, 2009 at 9:27 am

    Thank you my real-time friends rizal and ol’ zai for your resounding support and well-articulated views!

    Yes, I’ve always wondered about the concept of “charity” just as I’m obsessed with defining “integrity”.

    Organised charity is very much a Western/ Christian development which has achieved tremendous success in building up huge funds through well-crafted publicity. Whole communities and societies respond well to attractive campaigns, including fashion shows. Hollywood celebrities are now outbidding each other to become UN ambassadors of charity!Malaysians are no less inspired by them!

    While my leanings are more towards the Islamic practice of “sadaqah” starting with the needy in your own family and community, I must admit big charities are more impactful if well organised and managed.

    I suppose we all do what we can in our own way, big or small. If we have the clout of Oprah and the network of Susan Taylor (see my posting on VOLUNTEERISM), we can move mobilise a really fat “dream team” and move mountains!

    The day will surely come for ONE MALAYSIA!

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