The month of blessings and giving, the Holy month of Ramadan, is here! As Muslims, it is our duty to remember that we might be fortunate enough to associate our Ramadan with food and festivities but there are millions of people in the world who have nothing but hunger and poverty to associate with Ramadan. Just as Allah (SWT) has blessed us in this life, it is our moral duty to help the poor and the needy.
The whole act of fasting is a reminder of the suffering and pains the poor go through every day of their lives where they have nothing to eat or drink on a daily basis. The purpose of fasting is to first empathize with those who are not as fortunate as us and then to act upon that empathy and help them. It is by the grace of Allah (SWT) that we have been lucky enough to have food on our table every day, which is all the more reason for us to feel a certain sense of greater responsibility towards the people around us.
There is no bigger incentive for a Muslim to give back in Ramadan than the fact that all rewards and blessings for good deeds are multiplied double fold in the Holy month of Ramadan. The rewards that we can earn in just one month can become equivalent to the rewards we may be able to earn in a lifetime.
This Ramadan, it is your opportunity to give back to society and earn Allah’s (SWT) blessings and rewards. When you prepare iftar at home, it would not hurt to make some extra food, which you can then distribute among the people in your community.
There are various types of people that you can help at the time of iftar in Ramadan, not necessarily those in need of charity but regular people around you, some of which include:
1• People in Hospitals (patients and attendants)
This Ramadan, you can visit hospitals and distribute food amongst the patients, their waiting families and the attending staff at the hospital. Hospitals usually do not have good cafeterias or food choices for either the patients or the attendants, hence, you can make small food bags with the essentials for iftar and give them out – they will wish you well for it.
2• Traffic police officers
While we are busy opening our fasts with lavish feasts for iftar at home, people like the community traffic police officers are serving their traffic duties almost 24/7 and they may not get the time to even open their fasts while they’re on the road. So perhaps this Ramadan, you can drive around and hand out iftar food bags to the traffic police officers so that they may also open their fasts and enjoy a good meal while on duty.
3• People stuck in traffic
In Ramadan, around the time of iftar, people are often stuck in traffic while trying to reach home to their loved ones. Always keep some extra dates in your car during Ramadan and if you see people around you stuck on the road during Maghrib, distribute these dates or some other food/drink item among them so that they are able to break their fast on time because at the end of the day, Ramadan is all about sharing with others and caring for them.
4• Ambulance drivers
Ambulance drivers need to be on call 24/7 – they do not have the luxury of choosing their work timings, their duty is dependent on the arising emergencies in the locality and they need to be vigilant. Moreover, hospital food is not always the best food option hence you could take this opportunity to distribute food for iftar amongst the ambulance drivers as well.
5• Street children
Prepare food bags for street children this Ramadan; drive around the city and distribute the food bags to the children who are roaming the streets. If you remember areas in the city where you have seen street children selling small toys and stickers etc. or even begging, visit those places and instead of money, give them food.
Almost every shop, every school, every street that you see has a guard patrolling it. You can give out the food bags to them as well – they will really appreciate it. Their monthly incomes are usually extremely low and with their monthly bills and family expenditures, they barely have anything left. Hence, share your food with them - they also deserve your kindness, just as much as the rest of mankind.
There are plenty of people that can use your help this Ramadan, all you have to do is make the intention and then work towards helping them. Allah (SWT) loves those who are kind to His creation and what better way to earn Allah’s (SWT) love than by being good to His creation.