Religious aspects

Christianity    In the New Testament Jesus posits charity as one of the pillars of religious life, (Matthew 6, 1-18) along with prayer and fasting. Charity must be practiced in an unselfish way (Matthew 6), without expecting anything in return (Luke 6, 27- 31) and even without limit (Luke 6, 30). The Christian model of true compassion is based on the parable of the Good Samaritan. Since the fourth century, monasteries began to apply this model of compassion in the most inclusive and comprehensive way, offer...

Judaism    JJewish philanthropy consists of two different ideas: tzedaqah and gemilut hasadim. Firstly, the meaning of tzedaqah can be derived from its root word tsedek, meaning justice. From this, it can be deduced that tzedaqah refers to the legal aspect of Jewish philanthropy. The term has been referenced in the two law books of Pentateuco, Deuteronomus ( i.e. Dt. 14, 28-29; 15, 7-11) and Leviticus. These works demonstrate that the term tzedaqah correlates to the public and economic spheres of the comm...

Islam    The Qur’an implies a connection between proper manifestation of belief and charitable deeds, by repeatedly praising and recommending charity to believers. Nevertheless, charity is not just recommended in Islam, but expected by every financially stable Muslim. The legal system of Islam makes extraordinary provisions for both voluntary charity (sadaqah) and obligatory charity (zakat). This system highly values giving, beyond the mere measure of the law. Out of the countless forms that the command ...

Cultural aspects / Issues

Pre Islamic civilization    The Sassanid Empire was founded in 224 A.D. by Ardašīr I (224-240 A.D.), after he defeated the last Parthian king, Artabanus IV. The official name of the new Iranian Empire was Ērānšahr, “The Empire of Iran”, and continued to be called so until the fall of the dynasty in 651 A.D. due to the Arab invasion and the consequent Islamization of the territory. The king of Iran is represented in Persian art and literature as an “initiator”, a ruler who introduced a new era in history, ...

Roman Empire    From the beginning of the II century, an intensive program of grants to children began in Rome. It was an actual project with economic and social implications that went by the name of Istituto Alimentari, translated to Food Institute (or also simply Food). The program was started by Nerva, but in fact was brought to completion by Traiano and was then continued by his first successors. Alongside this program, which was of a public nature, were other foundations who joined on with the same purpo...