Friday, April 15, 2011

Different Views Concerning Relationships and Money

Financial issues are the most difficult thing I have experienced in discipling MBBs.  I found the table below to be very helpful.  I wish I would have seen this a couple years ago.

From the new Perspectives edition (2009), page 483, by Joseph Cumming:

Muslim and Western views on money can be very different.  These observations apply not only in Muslim cultures, but in many places of the non-Western world.

Muslim

Westerner

All true friendships involve a financial element. The healthiest, happiest friendships are those where money does not change hands.
The way to refuse giving should not be by saying, “No.” The refusal must be indirect, so there is no embarrassment to the one asking. It is appropriate to be truthful and say, “No.”
Rules should be honored, but to show mercy is more important because of the high value of maintaining good relationships. Rules are rules. Period.
When you request and receive financial assistance or help with a job or strings pulled with government bureaucracy, this places certain obligations on you.  You must become a loyal supporter of your patron. A supporter only within ethical and moral boundaries.
If a needed person receives gifts for a particular need, and then an even more pressing need arises, then it is legitimate to use those gifts for a the more pressing need. This is morally wrong unless explicitly authorized by the donor.

From an article by Joseph Cumming of Yale University, inspired by David Maranz’s book African Friends and Money Matters.  Cumming has lived 15 years in a Muslim country.

3 comments:

Chris and Kim Todd said...

Great article. I'd love to learn more about this and other such cultural issues. It is especially helpful when you link to online articles and epubs.

Ellen Appleby Keim said...

I have to quibble with the first point, that for Muslims all friendship involves a financial element. Or maybe I just don't understand what is meant by it.
Could you elaborate?

Warrick Farah said...

Hi Chris and Kim, sorry I couldn't find the actual article this was from. But there are other good articles on money in the Perspectives book. I like to point to good articles, glad you like them! :)

Hi Ellen, the table says "Muslim" but it should acutally read "African/Arab." It is a cultural comparison, not religious per se.