Recently, I had a discussion with friends on an interesting topic: should we accept charity from wrongdoers? Imagine a thief who brings a portion of stolen money to a mosque and donates it to help the poor. Or imagine they send a large sum to a cancer treatment charity. On the surface, it seems like a good deed. These funds would be used to save lives and improve health. However, on the other hand, these are illicit funds, earned through theft and deceit. Can we accept them? Can we thank such a sponsor, praise them, include them in the list of honorary patrons of the foundation, or name them in the mosque? Isn’t there hypocrisy in this?

It’s a complicated question. On one hand, if we accept good deeds from thieves and criminals, allowing them to atone for their guilt, it may encourage them and new criminals. Any of them might think they can commit a crime and then “redeem” themselves through charity to God, to people, and their conscience. However, on the other hand, if all mosques and charitable foundations were extremely scrupulous and did not accept money from criminals, they might lose a significant portion of their income. They say there are no sinless rich people. If we don’t accept charity from them, they’ll just spend all their stolen money on themselves and their pleasures. They won’t benefit society. At least this way, some of the criminal money will go to good deeds and save people’s health and lives.

That’s the dilemma. Honestly, I haven’t found an answer to this question for myself yet. I wonder, what do you, dear readers, think? Is it okay to accept charity from criminals?

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