We live in a country that has one of the largest number of mosques in the world. And with more mosques springing up everywhere, one cannot help but notice that there are few worshippers in many of these houses of worship. I think this warrants a shift in the way we do things as there are other avenues of charitable acts that need our attention.
At present, the Kingdom is in dire need of social charitable services, such as free medical coverage. I wish that all benevolent people would help construct shelters for the needy, including the poor, widows and divorcees. This would help tackle the housing crisis as well provide accommodation to families that cannot afford it.
Such shelters should be built throughout our neighborhoods and a portion should be rented out to businesses. Then, the revenue collection in the form of rent from these businesses, should be spent on the maintenance, cleaning and other miscellaneous costs associated with running the shelters.
Is it possible for the compassionate among us to carry out such charitable projects? In case of a person or group’s inability to continue to maintain these shelters, they can hand over the task to one of the societies registered with the Ministry of Social Affairs.
Also, offers of charity should be subjected to a thorough review by the concerned government agencies, such as the Ministry of Islamic affairs, Social Affairs and Municipal and Rural Affairs, with the objective of ensuring proper coordination as well as giving proper guidance to donors and philanthropists. These departments should examine the required services in areas such as healthcare, education and housing.
Proper planning and organization of charity work is essential to diversify the services and meet the requirements of society. There should be a fair distribution of charitable services in both quantity and quality, through a scientific and practical methodology that meets the requirements of society. The Islamic principle of social solidarity is what should generate our keenness in taking care of the helpless!