The word Charity is generally used in the sense of almsgiving, but it has a broader significance. It means liberalmindedness, and giving money to relieve the distress of the poor people is only one form in which we can show it.
We should always be charitable towards others, viz., should show toleration for others’ views and consult their interests. It should be borne in mind that there are other views than ours and that ours need not necessarily be the right ones. The difference of opinion is quite natural and must be tolerated, especially in matters of religion. Religious antagonism arises from narrow-mindedness. Every man thinks that he is the chosen one of God, and others are all in the dark. This is wrong.
Charity should make us sympathetic towards others. We should learn to put ourselves in the position of those whom we criticize. We must take a broad view of things, and remember that others have as much right to live as we have. We should avoid giving unnecessary offense to others. The harshness of temper and an offensive manner indicate lack of culture. We should show due regard for the feelings of others.
In the matter of alms-giving. also, great care should be exercised. Indiscriminate charity proves harmful in the end. It encourages sloth and degrades society. The number of paupers will increase if we support them all without thinking about whether they deserve help or not. Able-bodied men, who go about begging must be discouraged, and by law made to work to earn their living. The reason why there are so many fakirs and sadhus in Pakistan is that the Pakistan people are careless in bestowing charity. thousands of these drones lead an idle and wicked life, eating much and doing nothing. A major part of the bhang, charas, and other intoxicating drugs consumed in Pakistan is used by these men, and the money which is given them is so much money thrown away.
Only the deserving poor should be helped. True charity, says the Quran, is that which is given after fully considering the time, the place, and the occasion, and the worthiness of the person receiving it.