A Precept of Charity in Different Religions of the World.

Concerning the property and riches in all ethical doctrines of the most different religions it is possible to see two main and constants motives: an interdiction on the assignment of the another’s property (larceny and a robbery); a Precept of Charity. 

To these general principles has paid attention M. Weber: ” The Maintenance of each religious ethics is caused, first of all, by two simple motives: fair punishment of the offender and the brotherly help to the friendly. That and another is requital. All public order as though is based on fair requital “. [1] 

It is possible to quite agree with its estimation of Charity as universal general human principle: «The Help rendered to the notable and rich widows and orphans, sick and deprived brothers on belief, in particular, a handout of the rich and notable, became the basic precept of all the ethically rationalized religions of the world “. 

Another matter, that M. Weber deduces disinterested aid and love to near from pragmatical interest. On his belief, these ” Precepts which had grown up from ethics of the neighbor’s unions have towered up to a feeling of mercy, love to near, to the person and, at last, to the enemy “. [2] 

As a whole the Precept of Charity can be formulated as follows: nobody should use egoistically surplus of the blessings to the detriment of near or aspire to take hold of all blessings. In many Indian doctrines as, for example, in Brahmanizm and Djaynizm, any good business by which the person does in relation to another, is finally the blessing in relation to himself, because singularity of each person – only illusion, and only one World soul actually exists.

In the Buddhism which denied the existence of such World Soul, charity is basically connected with a necessity to save up more merits for ” good karma “. Charity is offered to all laymen in relation to monks if only they do not wish to draw upon themselves horrifying consequences in the future embodiments. 

” Kindly and angrily – here the unique property which will take mortal with itself, leaving from here. Create goods! It – a treasury of the future, it – reliable ground for the future “, – the Buddha spoke, meaning the importance of kind acts for “good” karma. 

About that, how much charity was considered important in the system of Buddhist morals, it is possible to judge under a description of the Buddha’s life. In them, it is marked, that ” the missionary speeches he had built according to the order accepted by himself, that is, first of all, he spoke about the merits got by an alms “. [3] 

In the Chinese doctrines charity contacts with sincere health, wisdom, and nobleness. Here pertinently to recollect, that many Confucians, as well as Daoses, have been convinced of initially kind human nature which possesses ” five constancies “: humanity (jen); validity( i); wisdom (chji); sincerity (sin). These ” five constancies ” are potentially incorporated in everyone. The idea of congenital five qualities forms some kind of a skeleton of a structure of personal morals and principles of correct self-development of the person. Opening them in himself, the person becomes accomplished. If the person in any way does not show these kind qualities, then according to some Confucian’ s followers, nothing differs these persons from animals and birds. Thus, moral properties allocate the person from all natural world and put in a position of tsar of nature. 

A charity was organic virtue of the person with the “wakened” consciousness, the person who has realized that there exist original “humanity” (jen). On the contrary, with blacked – out, “unawakened ” consciousnesses connected with all forms of harm – both social injustice and illnesses. This fact was described in the Daos treatise “The Statement of hundred illnesses”, “Eulogy of hundred medicines” .” Having shared with the person to repent of it is it illness “. [4] 

To be mercy in relation to poor and to help to the requiring people by a handout is a medicine. To create mercy by secret virtue is a medicine. Doing kindly and not to hope for requital is a medicine. To aspire to share with made destitute is a medicine. Having riches and to be merciful is a medicine. Charity is necessary both for sincere, and physical health, according to the Chinese tradition which saw in a human body not ” a leather and hundred bones “, and a power clot. Charity, as well as any virtue, promotes correct circulation of energy in the whole organism. Therefore without the breadth of nature, it is impossible to achieve immortality.

But what type of Charity is described in this speech? “Absolutely wise” person should be charitable in everything. In it he becomes similar to Dao who gives a life and kindly to all essences irrespective of, they are kind or not. Such representation about Dao completely coincides with representation about the God in The Bible and The Koran. He also loves all alive essences without dependence from their moral qualities. Likening of charitable person to Dao conformably as we shall see below to The Bible tradition to a heritage in which the philanthropist was done by “imitator” of the God in Its blessings to all real. So, in the main of Daoses ” Daode dzin ” it was told that the Person does not accumulate the wisdom. The more the person does for others, the more this available for himself. Giving to another, he multiplies to himself. [Dao de dzin, verse 81]. 

Daos sages, as well as Christian thinkers, warned of possible temptations which are grown with riches and about the inadmissibility of a concentration on material benefits which destroys the person: If in riches and eminence You had become proud, You create problems to yourself in the future. The success comes – the personality recedes. [Dao de dzin, verse 9].

However, it is an eternal problem with which mankind had collided from immemorial time up to now. How much sharply it costs in modern Azerbaijan, it is obvious to everybody.

The attitude to the charity in monotheistic religions. 

In monotheistic religions, charity is considered to be the most important as one of the basic religious virtues. So, in the Talmud it is told, that ” charity is equal to all other precepts taken together “. God’s allowance can be seen in it. In The Old Testament on behalf of Supreme it is told that: ” Do not harden your heart and do not compress your hand in the face of your poor brother “( Vtor. 15,7)

” If your brother will grow poor and will come in decline, support him… 
… do not give him some silver to growth and breads to him for reception of profit ” (Levit.. 25, 35-37). 

Judaic tradition sees the best form of charity in granting such help which will deduce the person from a need forever (the loan, the credit, granting of work or acceptance in a share in business). 

The attitude towards charity in world religions 

The Moslems’ attitude to the charity 

The Islam distinguishes charity which the person creates on the allowance of his heart, and obligatory charity which is offered to each Moslem having a certain minimum of the income – “Zakat”. It is a legally adjustable practice of the alms, one of ” Pillars of The Islam “. As a matter of fact “Zakat” represents the tax to some kinds of property and riches. The collected means go on a support of all required, including sick and poor, debtors, travelers, prisoners of war. The idea of this “tax” consists that with its help the property and riches of the one who it pays “are cleared”. 

Monotheistic religions have the idea that all earthly blessings we receive from The God “on loan” that’s why we must use our riches as His “ kind managers”, but not proprietors in full sense of this word. Therefore, it is not surprising, that The Koran assimilates “Zakat ” as the loan, given out to the God for which it will pay back by stories. The God had allocated the creations by the property and riches, in particular, that these would have been returned to Him by acts which support a community of Moslems. In The Koran it is spoken more often both about “Zakat”, and about spontaneous charity: 

Not in that lays the devout, 

That on the east or the West the face to turn, 

And the devout in that,

To believe in Allah

… And from love to Him the goods to share 

And with that who is close by blood, 

Both with the orphan and with the beggar, 

Both with the traveler and with those who appeal, 

And to give to the slaves on a payoff,

And pray in time, 

To pay Zakat,

The execute a fastened contract. 

The Holy’ faces in those – betrayed to Allah! [5] 

It is interesting, that in The Koran charity follows from desire to return to The God a part of the blessings received from Him as a token of gratitude that is why The Koran calls to share with near that is dear for you: ” And by no way you will find the devout, until you will not give that is dear to you and that which you would not expend from your blessings, the Lord really knows about it “. [6]

The attitude towards charity in Christianity.

The Christianity is guided by the New, Evangelical Law as the perfect execution of God’s Law. Jesus speaks about it in His Upland sermon which has become by the main moral reference point for Christians. This sermon not only cancel and not depreciate moral instructions of the Old Testament but, on the contrary, reveals all its latent opportunities, bringing to their perfection. Releasing from the observance of ceremonies and legal instructions of the Old Testament, the Gospel induces us to operate spontaneously under influence of love. The special feature of the Evangelical Law that it changes a root of acts, addressing to the heart of the person from where grow belief, hope, love, and with them and all other virtues. All Evangelical Law is concluded in Jesus’s ” new precept ” (In. 13, 34) – to love each other as the God had loved us. In this light, it is necessary to understand Jesus’s words from Upland sermons ” blessed gracious for they will be pardoned ” (Mf. 5, 7) and His appeal ” give to the person asking from You and don’t stay the hand off the person who wants to borrow from You. ” (Mf. 5, 42). He speaks about universal love which wins a harm and conflicts that is why ” create blessings to the people who hates you “. Christians are called to become ” The God’s sons ” Who blesses both to kind, and malicious, ” rules to the Sun to ascend above malicious and kind and sends a rain on just and unjust ” (Mf.. 5, 45). 

Therefore ” if you will love you, what will be your award? Whether the same do the tax-gatherer? So, be perfect, as the Father your Heavenly is perfect ” (Mf. 5, 46-48). 

Thus, charity is understood first of all, as the display of love to the God and people, not only to “near”, but also to “enemies”. The actions directed to the aid of each person in its spiritual and corporal needs concern to charity and mercy all: to feed hungry, to shelter homeless, to dress torn off, to visit patients and prisoners, to bury dead, to submit to the beggar, and also to learn, advise, console, support, forgive and show patience. 

Unlike others Monotheistic religions, Judaism and The Islam where the charity served as the important proof of piety and it was made in public, The Christianity recognizes the true, perfect charity and an alms as ” secret business”. Jesus calls ” to not create your alms in the face of people who see you: otherwise, there will be no an award to you from the Father your Heavenly. At you when you create an alms, let the left-hand does not know, that does right in order that your alms was secretly, and the Father you are, seeing the secret, will render to you obviously ” (Mf. 6, 1 – 4). 

For Christianity especially important is the internal prompting of the one who blesses. If kind business are made, for example, for the sake of glory it costs nothing. In this respect the Christianity sharply misses with Judaism for where the most important is what is really done, instead of internal prompting. As in The Old Testament , and, especially, in modern Judaism the aspiration of the person to glory is not condemned, when it forces to act well, that is actively used by the charitable organizations. [7] 

In charity The Christianity sees a way of imitation The God Who is generous on favor to all people. In the Gospel Jesus speaks: ” The person who has two clothes, give one to the deprived and who has a food, do the same ” (Lk. 3, 11). 

In generous charity, Earlier Christian Fathers of Church saw imitation to The God. For not in that certificate consists to have authority above others, either to be stronger than the weakest or to be rich and oppress the lowest, thus, nobody can imitate to The God; it is unworthy to His greatness. But the one who takes up the burden of the near, who has the superiority in something, blesses to another who is the lowest or who distributes to requiring all gifts which he had received from The God… that is an imitator to The God ” was spoken in ” the message to Diognet “. Such imitator will be also the one who ” will give to the requiring all the blesses which he had received from The God and become The God to the people who receive these bless from his hand” [8]. In ” the Doctrine of Twelve Apostles ” charity gets the form of an imperative: ” Divide all with your brother, and do not say, that this is your property, because if you have dialogue in immortal, whether that the is more and in mortal things? “. [9] 

As a whole, it is possible to tell, that the principles considered by us are general for all religions with the developed ethical system, served as a starting point for all further reasonings on the property and riches which specificity depend on all complex of dogma in this or that religion. 

The attitude to the property and riches in Monotheistic religions. 

For all three Monotheistic religions – Judaism, Christianity, and Islam – is characteristic a row of the general views which follow from a recognition of The God as the Creator of the world and the person as the Mister of the Universe. Some of them have the direct attitude to a problem of the property and riches, About The God as The Creator spoke also other doctrines, as, for example, Gnostics and Platoon’s followers. However the matter was represented to them as a harm, and a body – as ” a dungeon of soul “. All material benefits in a counterbalance to the spiritual blessings, thus, were no more than displays of a harm which admitted for the only kind thing. on the contrary, in Monotheistic religions, our visible material world and the material beginning in the person (body) are considered to be the blessing. Whether it means that earthly blessings, the property, and riches are unconditionally admitted as the expression of such goods?