In Nigeria of today, we have seen a rise in online fundraising by different organizations and individuals in the past decade. While the rate of poverty necessitates this, the advent of social media has helped in the achievement of the cause.
However, some concerned Muslims are worrying about the rate at which these fundraisings keep growing. Also, with the mentality of criticizing our own, e-fundraisers has been given a derogatory nickname, “beggy beggy” with the claim that it portrays us as beggars.
ISLAM AND CHRISTIANITY
In previous articles, we have written against the parallelization of Islam and Christianity and how making some comparisons may be false equivalence. Islam, unlike Christianity has no tithe concept, rather, Zakat and Sadaqah. It is also important to note that Christians also organize online fundraising campaigns too. This is not just a Muslim problem.
AFRICAN VERSUS THE WEST
On my Facebook page, I cannot count the numbers of videos I have come across where foreign prominent Muslims seek financial aid from Mosque projects to providing relief to people in Yemen, Syria etc.
I have seen Abdur-rahman green, Yusuf Estes, Yasih Qadih, Bilal Phillips and a host of others raising funds online for projects. These people are not in Africa yet they still organize online fundraising campaigns.
The West also has different online fundraising platforms as in gofundme. On these platforms, funds are raised for different reasons, yet, they are not Africans.
The purpose of writing this piece is to sensitize us and call our attention to the fact that we do not necessarily need to jump to criticize what is from us especially when it happens elsewhere.
In a country where the poverty rate is high and lots have no access to grants from the government, many of these fundraisers have saved people’s lives, made people smile, given them hope and given assurance.
While it is important and necessary to verify stories we see online, we need to be guided and know that as it is in Nigeria, so it is in America.