Sir, can you spare some change....

Well, you might not hear that anymore in the future. Not if how things are developing at the mosques in the Federal Territory have anything to show about the future of donating or in islamic terms, sadaqah. Ever found yourself in a situation where you forgot to bring your wallet as we all know, wallets are cumbersome things to bring to the mosque if you're going in your most comfortable worship garb which has no pockets (read: kain pelikat) Now, you can come to the mosque and donate without having to bring your wallet or a pocket full of heavy coins! All you need to bring along with you is your debit or credit card! You can even hide your card in your songkok! ;)

Last Sunday a friend of mine organised a "special" session for the Umrah I'm going to next week, with the Imam of the Muadh bin Jabal mosque in Setiawangsa. It was quite a while since I last went there and masyaAllah the mosque compound is very big, bigger than how I remembered it to be. It has an attached school and lecture rooms for seminars etc.... The Imam was a friend of a friend and he turned out to be one of the mentors on Astro's Imam Muda. On that day, the Imam was a little late due to some family matter so we had some time to check out the mosque. Not all mosques are the same mind you so if you've been to one, you haven't been to them all.  

After praying sunat Duha, we noticed a familiar sight right next to the entrance to the prayer hall. It was a credit card reader!! In a mosque?! Erm, really? This can't be true! Its a pretty novel thing this. One has the choice of channeling your donation for 1) The mosque fund, 2) Orphans, 3) The mosque renovation fund, or 4) The welfare fund. This is excellent as you know exactly where your money goes.

There are some down sides which I can see though. 1) It is rather slow compared to just dropping a few coins or some cash into a donation box. 2) the minimum amount of donation is RM10. This may be too much for some people. In Islam, donating less money frequently is more called upon than donating once in a while but in large sums. Of course donating large sums of money frequently is ideal but one must try to see the reason behind such calling. To me, I think Islam endorses a culture of giving. By giving often our character will be influence and giving will be second nature. Giving large sums of money once in a while is feared to promote arrogance and showing off, both traits despised in Islam. My father has always trained us since we were toddlers to put RM1 the a mosque's donation box everytime we go to the mosque. It may not be much money but It has been training for the young ones to be generous and donate money regularly, even if it is just 1 ringgit..  

Further out, I noticed another familiar sight. It looked like a bank ATM/Cash point but as I walked closer, the machine was another of (Majlis Agama Islam Wilayah Persekutuan) MAIWP's donation machines. This machine however accepts both cash and card! Okay, the same issues are evident here too with the cash machine only accepting a minimum of RM10 notes but hey, for those wanting to pay their zakat, or who have some extra cash at a particular time, these machines are a "god send" (sorry, couldn't resist the pun).  

All in all, this is a good development and I was pleased to see this type of convenience provided to the congregation. May it encourage us all to give more, more frequently. The only thing is that at the back of my head I can't get rid of this feeling that a portion of our donation will go to the giant corporations that are Visa, Mastercard and the likes....