Three Different Religious Views on Serving the Homeless

Category: Culture, Islam
Last Updated: 28 Jan 2021
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Devin Felder Miss Coles World Religion 8 December 2011 Three Different Religious Views on Serving the Homeless People who practice Buddhism believe that giving is a major foundation of their lifestyle. They believe that being generous is very important and to be taken seriously. “Compassion and love are not mere luxuries.? As the source both of inner and external peace,? they are fundamental to the continued survival of our species” (His Holiness the XIV Dalai Lama). They see serving others as a vow or commitment they have made with their faith.

They view this subject as if you can see yourself in others, who is there for you to hate? Buddhist monks “beg” for a living to make themselves dependent upon the compassion of others. “If you do not tend to one another, then who is there to tend you? Whoever would tend me, he should tend the sick” (Vinaya, Mahavagga 8. 26. 3). They believe that you harm no one, help anyone you can. “Just as a mother would protect her only child at the risk of her own life, even so, cultivate a boundless heart towards all beings.

Let your thoughts of boundless love pervade the whole world” (Sutta Nipata 149-150). They believe in considering others as yourself. Jewish law mandates helping the poor and that specifically includes housing. Jews feel that the word "charity" implies that your heart motivates you to go beyond the call of duty. They also feel that the word “tzedakah," however, literally means righteousness -- doing the right thing, and a "tzaddik," likewise, is a righteous person, someone who fulfills all his obligations, whether in the mood or not.

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Helping the less fortunate is very important to them and helps them to feel complete. “Abraham gave Malki- Tzedek one-tenth of all his possessions” (Genesis 14:20). Jews believe that it is their duty to help others in need. “Jacob vowed to give one-tenth of all his future acquisitions to the Almighty” (Genesis 29:22). They believe that rightfully that God commands them to help the poor. It is their right. If there is a needy person among you…you must open your hand and lend him sufficient resources for whatever he needs.

For the poor will never disappear from the earth, which is why I command you: open your hand to the poor and needy kinsman in your land” (Deuteronomy 15:7-8, 11). They have a sheer compassion for helping those in need. Muslims believe that it is part of our human nature to help, support, and be generous towards those who cannot cover their own needs. Which is how I feel about the subject. “He who sleeps on a full stomach whilst his neighbour goes hungry is not one of us” (Prophet Muhammad). They try not to think about the homeless as being any lesser than them, they that they are people too who may have just lost their way. He (Allah) has set up the balance (of justice), in order that ye may not transgress (due) balance. So establish weight with justice and fall not short in the balance” (The Qur’an 55: 7-9). They believe that Allah is testing their love for him when they encounter the unfortunate. They think that if you are patient, caring and forgiving towards others, no matter what you’ve done, Allah will have mercy on you. “Whoever relieves his brother of a trial or a difficulty in this life, God will relieve him of a trial in the next life” (Prophet Muhammad).

They feel that in order for them to move on into the next life they must keep Allah happy by helping out others. They believe that one wants for his brother what he wants for himself. Homelessness and poverty and how we handle is a very touchy subject all around the world. All of these faiths all basically have the same concept on homelessness. They all feel that it is their purpose on Earth to help others who cannot sometimes help themselves. We al want the satisfaction of knowing that we helped a person in need.

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Three Different Religious Views on Serving the Homeless. (2018, May 30). Retrieved from

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