I am a physical and spiritual mongrel! 
I am not a Muslim. My spiritual and physical make up are equally mixed. Call me a spiritual ‘mongrel’ if you will. That way no one has to be embarrassed or feel a need to disown me. I was born into the middle of the 20th century as the second son of a working class family in Vancouver Canada. Eventually I found myself In Haisla village being trained to be their Lepled. They trained me well for village life but radicalized me for mainstream life.
Now I live in the Philippines as Steward of a small temple/garden dedicated to the ‘Goddess of Mercy, Peace, Butterflies and Dragons’. My wife works in Peace and Development. Coming to grips with poverty, hunger, war, violence and all of the uglier sides of life is our day to day existence. 
One of those uglier sides is the belief of many that the poor are just lazy or that it is not my responsibility or even that it is their Karmic pay back. Another of life’s uglier sides found in the Philippines (and elsewhere) is that Muslims aren’t like ‘us’. They are vicious, uneducated, war mongering hate filled damn near sub human scary people.

So how about we address the question of ‘the poor’ from a perspective that some of you may not have considered? Islam! 

‘The Quran and helping the Poor

Indeed one of the greatest human acts of kindness is giving charity for the poor, the needy, and the weak. So what does the Noble Quran have to say about charity? A lot!

One of the main themes of the Quran is its emphasis on giving charity; in fact it is an obligation and command on the Muslim to do so! The Quran repeatedly commands the Muslims to give Zakat, which you can essentially call a charity tax, in which Muslims give a portion of their income to the poor.

Here are the many Quranic verses that command this Noble act of giving:

And be steadfast in prayer; practise regular charity; and bow down your heads with those who bow down (2:143)

The Believers, men and women, are protectors one of another: they enjoin what is just, and forbid what is evil: they observe regular prayers, practise regular charity, and obey Allah and His Messenger. On them will Allah pour His mercy: for Allah is Exalted in power, Wise. (9:71)

Believe in Allah and His messenger, and spend (in charity) out of the (substance) whereof He has made you heirs. For, those of you who believe and spend (in charity),- for them is a great Reward. (57:7)

And We made them leaders, guiding (men) by Our Command, and We sent them inspiration to do good deeds, to establish regular prayers, and to practise regular charity; and they constantly served Us (21:73)

and spend something (in charity) out of the substance which We have bestowed on you, before Death should come to any of you and he should say, “O my Lord! why didst Thou not give me respite for a little while? I should then have given (largely) in charity, and I should have been one of the doers of good”. (63:10)

Those who establish regular Prayer, and give regular Charity, and have (in their hearts) the assurance of the Hereafter. (31:4)

Not only does the Quran command the Muslims to give in charity, it also forbids the Muslims from doing this generous act just so he can be praised:

Not those who spend of their substance, to be seen of men, but have no faith in Allah and the Last Day: If any take the Evil One for their intimate, what a dreadful intimate he is! (4:38)

So the Quran condemns those who give charity just so it can be seen by everyone else, just so they can show off to everybody for their own big ego, the Quran is totally against this, and wants the Muslims to give charity out of pure sincerity!

Islam is often called the religion of peace, if anything, Islam can also be called the religion of giving charity

What is of interest to me is that the Quran, at least in these quotes, does not assign blame. Rather than assign blame it assigns responsibility. According to my understanding Islam demands that those who claim the faith also claim the responsibility of  charity. 
It should come as no surprise to you that Judaism, Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism and pretty much every other religion that is based upon compassion and wisdom place the same obligation upon their followers. 
Personally I agree with Jesus… the Poor will always be with us. 
The question is… How do ‘You’ help them? 

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