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Islamic Relief USA Encourages Americans to Give More During Recession

Monday, May 17, 2010 General News J E 4
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Muslim charity says charitable giving is 'the best investment you can ever make'

WASHINGTON, May 17 /PRNewswire/ -- Islamic Relief USA (IR USA), a non-profit relief and development organization, today announced that it is calling on Americans of all backgrounds to give more, not less, to a charity of their choice during the current recession.

The Washington, D.C.-area relief organization said while cutting back on charitable giving is often seen as a logical first step in cost savings, increasing donations makes sense from both a spiritual and economical perspective.

"It's the best investment you can ever make," said Abed Ayoub, CEO of IR USA. "Our faith teaches us to spend our wealth in the way of God as it will not only enrich oneself spiritually but will also be returned to us multiple times over.  In a recession, economists also call for increased public spending to stimulate economic growth."

Islam has a long-standing tradition of charitable giving. One of the religion's five pillars is zakat, which calls for giving 2.5 percent of one's wealth to the needy.  The money is collected and distributed on a yearly basis and plays a significant role in the successful circulation of wealth within a society.

In the Holy Quran, it states:

"And the parable of those who spend their property to seek the pleasure of Allah (God) and for the certainty 'of their souls is as the parable of a garden on an elevated ground, upon which heavy rain falls so it brings forth its fruit twofold but if heavy rain does not fall upon it, then light rain (is sufficient); and Allah (God) sees what you do." (2:265)

Giving is also associated with reward from God in the Holy Quran. It urges individuals to offer God "a beautiful loan," which through His bounty will be multiplied many times over. Since God is deemed to be the ultimate giver, such offerings are seen merely as acts of returning to God what is ultimately His generosity. (2:245)

Inspired by Islam's values on charitable giving and community development, IR USA is a relief organization dedicated to alleviating poverty through disaster relief and development projects in the U.S. and globally for communities regardless of color, race, religion, or creed.

Its domestic programs include "Day of Dignity" (www.dayofdignity.com), an annual campaign to provide thousands of homeless and underserved people in cities across America with food, clothing, blankets, medical care, first aid, and other social needs.

Islamic Relief also provides grants to other non-profit organizations throughout the country that address issues relating to family, healthcare, and education.

For the sixth consecutive year, Islamic Relief USA has been awarded four stars by Charity Navigator, the largest charity evaluator in the country. This prestigious award puts Islamic Relief among the top 2.25 percent of charities in the nation. To learn more, visit, http://www.islamicreliefusa.org.

MEDIA CONTACT: Rabiah Ahmed, at 202-439-1441, rahmed@islamicreliefusa.org

SOURCE Islamic Relief USA

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