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Location: Home arrow Library of Articles arrow Articles arrow Daswandh: Charity of One-tenth Income

Daswandh: Charity of One-tenth Income   E-mail 

"That Sikh obtains much honour in the world
who earns by the sweat of his brow, and from that,
gives one-tenth to the Guru."

                              Bhai Desa Singh

Charity shows compassionate and kind disposition. A person who is in touch with his own inner self and who truly loves his fellow man will experience his heart spontaneously overflowing with the desire to care for others. Compassion dwells in the mind of the giver and he tends to be open-minded. The leaders of all religions have accordingly laid emphasis on charity. Some have urged their members to give a fortieth share of their incomes in charity. Others, like the Sikhs, are directed to spend one-tenth of their incomes for the same purpose.

This rule relating to the spending of one-tenth income is an ancient one. For instance, ancient records recovered in the East from Egypt to Afghanistan show that in the days of Prophet Abraham, all nations used to spend one-tenth of their income on charities. Arabs, Afghans, Carthegenians, Egyptians, Greeks and Turks were all well acquainted with this rule. The same was true of the early Jews and Christians. The saying was, ?Pay one-tenth and become rich?. Historical writings also show that ancient traders used to offer one-tent of their income to priests who used to present the same before the Lord.

Saxons used to offer one-tent of the booty from captives to the sea-god Neptune as a religious duty. Similarly, Xenophon, when he returned from his Asian conquest, offered one-tenth of the booty to Apollo. Prophets Abraham and Jacob acknowledged God as Lord of all and offered one-tenth of what they had to Him.

Seekers after spirituality have always felt the need to do charity. True spirituality consists in earning not only for our own subsistence, but also in spending it on others and for spiritual good. The giving of money, time, support, and encouragement to worthy causes can never be detrimental to the giver. The laws of nature are structured so that acts of charity will open an individual to an unbounded reservoir of riches. Everything in life has been created as the result of love and concern for others. When individuals give lovingly to their brothers in the family of man, they establish the basis for peace within every nation.

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