Paper Planes

It’s the night of Layl al Qadr. The mosque is packed with worshippers, and those who want to spend the night and the early AM focusing on God and asking Him for forgiveness. Not only is it the most popular night of worship, it’s also the most popular night for donations.

How is this donation money accepted?

A common practice at mosques is asking donators to write their credit card details on a piece of paper, later collected by volunteers to manually type in the details into the system to record the donation.

So why is this practice bad? Why should we care that we are encouraging users to manually write down their credit card information, and hand over this sensitive information via paper to a stranger? What if the paper is accidentally left in an open space? What if the papers fall in to the wrong hands?

We are told to trust in Allah, but to tie our camel. In this case, that means educating people with protecting their assets. We have a duty to teach others to be more mindful of providing sensitive bank account information.

I’ve heard the counter argument, “Oh just cancel your credit card. They’ll refund you the money and it’s fine.” Have you ever been through the process of canceling a credit card?? It sucks. You have to call in, explain what happened, if there’s theft involved, police report might need to be filed etc. What happens if the credit card company denies your claim? Not to mention how long it might take to receive a replacement credit card.

Here are good examples of mosques that have gotten it right, and links to how people can get this set up within their own mosques. These are not completely foolproof options, but they are a step in the right direction.

Purchase a Square POS sale system, and enlist the help of a few brothers and sisters to walk around the prayer areas and swipe people’s credit cards in front of them.

Setup a venmo account, and ask folks to add the venmo account as a friend, and once verified, send money away!

Setup a credit card machine outside of the prayer area, like this one at Islamic Center of Boulder:

Donation kiosk

Tie your camel, and trust in Allah.

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