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︎ redefining charity / 2017

The purpose of the project is to enable new attitudes on the perception of charity among people, allowing a deeper understanding that charity is not just giving money but anything from a kind gesture, to something as big as building a school. The key value behind the concept of charity in our project comes from the Arabic word Sadaqah, which incorporates many different meanings.

Sadaqah is defined as the concept of voluntary giving in Islam. It is the Arabic word ‘Sadaqa’ that really defines our project. The meanings of the word Sadaqah will be used to redefine and expand the meaning for the English word ‘Charity’. When the word Sadaqa is taken to English, it is defined as ‘voluntary charity’ which flattens the concept. In English, Charity is the voluntary giving of help, typically in the form of money, to those in need. The flattening of the concept really takes away from the selfless beauty of the concept to the wider Global Audience who use English. The term Sadaqa stems from the Arabic root word ‘sidq’, which means sincerity. So giving sadaqah is considered a sign of sincere faith.
Sadaqah encompasses any act of charitable giving done out of compassion, love, friendship or generosity. It can be given to anyone, and it has no limits or guidelines. Even something as small as a smile is considered sadaqah in Islam. The research of this project deals with interviewing people about what they would like to receive from someone else and what they would like to give. The cycle of giving and getting also comes from the idea of the Sadaqa Jariyah, an Islamic term for rewards that are continuous, each time someone performs an act of charity.