From Academic Kids

Missing image
Alms Bag taken from some Tapestry in Orleans, Fifteenth Century.
You might be looking for alms, the album by Re:.

Alms or almsgiving, or, simply, charity, is the practice of giving money or other material aid to the poor. In many religions, charity is considered a mandatory element of ones spiritual practice.

For instance, although the practical applications differ, the Islamic and Christian scriptural rules on alms are quite similar:

If you give alms openly, it is well; but if you do it secretly and give to the poor, that is better.
(Qur-an 2:271a)
Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your father in heaven.
(Matt. 6:1)

In Islam, zakat, or the giving of alms, is the third of the five pillars of Islam. Various rules attach to the practice, but in general terms, it is obligatory to give away 2.5% of ones savings and business revenue, as well as 5-10% of ones harvest, to the poor. The recipients include the destitute, the working poor, those who are unable to pay off their own debts, stranded travelers, and others who need assistance, with the general principle of zakaah always being that the rich should pay it to the poor.

Whereas the rules of almsgiving in Christianity are less well-defined than those of Islam, giving to the poor was, at least in the past, considered a central duty of any Christian. Such donations are called a "love offering" and are in addition to the 10% tithe of "first fruits".

In the Jewish tradition, charity is secondary to tzedakah, or redistributive justice.

In (Theravada) Buddhism, many monks (or bhikkhus) go on a daily almsround (or pindabat) to collect food. This is often perceived as giving the laypeople the opportunity to make merit. Money should not be accepted by a buddhist monk, although nowadays not many monks keep to this rule (the exception being the monks of the Thai Forest Tradition and other Theravada traditions which focus on vinaya and meditationpractice. Giving is called Dana (Pali) , and is one of the 3 elements of the path of practice as formulated by the Buddha for laypeople. This path of practice for laypeople is: Dana, Sila, samadhi.

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