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Sudan: Religious Text and Teachings

This is a list of some religious texts and teachings that speak to the need to act in response to the crisis in Sudan. Please let us know of the verses and teachings that have inspired you on this issue.

This is a list of some religious texts and teachings that speak to the need to act in response to the crisis in Sudan. Please let us know of the verses and teachings that have inspired you on this issue.

Jewish Biblical Commentary

Maimonides
“The eighth and most meritorious degree of charity is to anticipate charity by preventing poverty.”

Midrash Tannaim 28:2
“God says to Israel, ‘My children, whenever you give sustenance to the poor, I impute it to you as though you gave sustenance to Me.’ Does God then eat and drink? No, but whenever you give food to the poor, God accounts it to you as if you gave food to God.”

The Hebrew Bible/Old Testament

Isaiah 58:6-10
“Is not this the fast that I have chosen: to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke? Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house?–when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him, and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh?

“Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily; and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the LORD shall be thy rearward.

“Then shalt thou call, and the LORD shall answer; thou shalt cry, and He shall say, ‘Here I am.’ If thou take away from the midst of thee the yoke, the putting forth of the finger and speaking vanity, and if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry and satisfy the afflicted soul, then shall thy light rise in obscurity and thy darkness be as the noonday.”

Micah 6:8
“He hath shown thee, O man, what is good: and what does the Lord require of thee but to do justly and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?”

Proverbs 31:9
“Open thy mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy.”

Psalm 146: 7-8
“Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the LORD his God,
who made heaven and earth, the sea and all that therein is, who keepeth truth for ever;
who executeth judgment for the oppressed, who giveth food to the hungry; the LORD looseth the prisoners.
The LORD openeth the eyes of the blind; the LORD raiseth them that are bowed down; the LORD loveth the righteous.
The LORD preserveth the strangers, He relieveth the fatherless and the widow; but the way of the wicked He turneth upside down.”

The Bible – New Testament

Matthew 5 3:10
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.
Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled.
Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God.
Blessed are they that are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.”

Mark 12:29-31
“And Jesus answered him, ‘The first of all the commandments is: Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord.
And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength;’ this is the first commandment.
And the second is like, namely this: ‘Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”

Matthew 7: 9-12
“Or what man is there among you whom, if his son ask for bread, will give him a stone?
Or if he ask for a fish, will give him a serpent?
If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father who is in Heaven give good things to them that ask Him?
Therefore, all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them; for this is the Law and the Prophets.

“Therefore, all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them; for this is the Law and the Prophets.”

Qur’an

Chapter 2, verse 83
“And when We made a covenant with the children of Israel: You shall not serve any but Allah and (you shall do) good to (your) parents, and to the near of kin and to the orphans and the needy, and you shall speak to men good words and keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate.”

Chapter 2, verse 205
“But whenever man prevails, he goes about the earth spreading corruption and destroying [man’s] tilth and progeny: and God does not love corruption”

Chapter 4, verse 114
“There is no good in most of their secret counsels except (in his) who enjoins charity or goodness or reconciliation between people; and whoever does this seeking Allah’s pleasure, We will give him a mighty reward.”

Chapter 6, verse 141
“For it is God who has brought into being gardens – [both] the cultivated ones and those growing wild – and the date-palm, and fields bearing multiform produce, and the olive tree, and the pomegranate: [all] resembling one another and yet so different!  Eat of their fruit when it comes to fruition, and give [unto the poor] their due on harvest day. And do not waste [God’s bounties]: verily, He does not love the wasteful!”

Chapter 30, verse 41
“[Since they have become oblivious of God,] corruption has appeared on land and in the sea as an outcome of what men’s hands have wrought: and so He will let them taste [the evil of] some of their doings, so that they might return [to the right path]”

Sayings and actions of the Prophet Muhammad (circa 7th Century AD), from Al-Bukhari

“If the day of judgment comes and all you have is a small tree in your hand, then plant it.”

“In times of battle, Muslim armies should never cut down trees or burn palm trees as a tactic.”

“Any Muslim who sows the seeds of or plants anything from which birds, animals or humans eat will have that (which was eaten off his plantation) rewarded as if he has given it in charity.”

Buddhist

An excerpt from the 14th Dalai Lama’s Acceptance Speech, on the occasion of the award of the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo, December 10, 1989 (From Nobel Lectures, Peace 1981-1990, Editor-in-Charge Tore Frängsmyr, Editor Irwin Abrams, World Scientific Publishing Co., Singapore, 1997)

“The problems we face today, violent conflicts, destruction of nature, poverty, hunger, and so on, are human-created problems which can be resolved through human effort, understanding and the development of a sense of brotherhood and sisterhood. We need to cultivate a universal responsibility for one another and the planet we share. Although I have found my own Buddhist religion helpful in generating love and compassion, even for those we consider our enemies; I am convinced that everyone can develop a good heart and a sense of universal responsibility with or without religion.

“With the ever-growing impact of science on our lives, religion and spirituality have a greater role to play by reminding us of our humanity. There is no contradiction between the two. Each gives us valuable insights into the other. Both science and the teachings of the Buddha tell us of the fundamental unity of all things. This understanding is crucial if we are to take positive and decisive action on the pressing global concern with the environment. I believe all religions pursue the same goals, that of cultivating human goodness and bringing happiness to all human beings. Though the means might appear different the ends are the same.

“As we enter the final decade of this century I am optimistic that the ancient values that have sustained mankind are today reaffirming themselves to prepare us for a kinder, happier twenty-first century.”