Responsibility and Charity – Paying school fee of maid’s children
Being a rich citizen of a poor country like Pakistan, giving donation or paying school fee of your maid’s children etc, will it be a charity or your responsibility?
You are probably distinguishing between responsibility and charity by considering all those tasks your responsibility which if you don’t do, you will be considered liable to be punished, whereas if you don’t do charity you will not be held responsible for it, even though doing it will earn you approval and reward from God.
Going by that understanding, it’s very difficult to make a clear statement on the question you have asked. It all depends on the sense of responsibility an individual has. When you feel helping out a poor person is important for you, just do it. Not doing it would clearly be a missed opportunity of earning God’s pleasure. That in turn might deprive you of some other good opportunities of doing higher levels of charity. That loss itself is immense.
I am sure we don’t help out the less privileged people because we feel it is strictly speaking our responsibility in the religious sense to do so. We do it because we feel inclined towards it. Going into the responsibility versus charity debate wouldn’t help. Personally, I feel that we should confine absolutely undeniable obligations to the minimum and let people get more inclined towards doing good things voluntarily, knowing them as acts of charity. The responsibility-charity debate brings in less good and more harm in the form of unnecessary debate.