So, who are you helping out in Ramadan? – Part 1
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
Once a upon a time, Ramadan was a month of giving. Today, it seems to have become a month of taking.
During Ramadan, we all become so busy with our own ibaadah (worship) like fasting, praying and reciting the Quran, that we sometimes forget that helping others is also a great act of ibaadah.
It was something that the Prophet (salallahu alaihi wasallam) practiced all the time and he increased in it during Ramadan.
كان رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم أجود الناس ، وكان أجود ما يكون في رمضان حين يلقاه جبريل ، وكان يلقاه في كل ليلة من رمضان فيدارسه القرآن ، فلرسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم أجود بالخير من الريح المرسلة
Narrated Ibn Abbas (radiallahu anhu): “Allah’s Messenger (salallahu alaihi wasallam) was the most generous of all the people, and he used to reach the peak in generosity in the month of Ramadan when Jibreel met him. Jibreel used to meet him every night of Ramadan to teach him the Quran. Allah’s Messenger (salallahu alaihi wasallam) was the most generous person, even more generous than the strong uncontrollable wind (in readiness and haste to do charitable deeds).” [Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume No. 1, Hadeeth No. 5]
Here are some pointers for those who want to follow the sunnah (way of the Prophet (salallahu alaihi wasallam)) of helping out others:
1) Please don’t look at the size of your project.
Even if you’re helping out just ONE person, then go ahead and do it. Too often, we mislead ourselves into thinking that bigger is better and due to this, we don’t do anything because we think that it’s pointless to start such a small project.
If each of us helped just one person, then believe me, everyone would be taken care of!
2) Today it could be one, tomorrow it might be two.
I remember something that a friend of mine told me. She pointed out how each person has a circle of influence. As a person does more, his/her circle of influence will grow.
So, today you might just be helping out one person. In time, you might start helping out more people so perhaps in a few Ramadans time, you could be helping out a thousand people, insha-Allah. You never know.
[And anyway, the point is not how many people we help. It’s whether or not Allah accepts our efforts because that is the most important thing.]
3) Do something that YOU are interested in.
You’d be amazed at how any people work on things that they’re not interested in.
[Don’t ask me why they do that because it does not make any sense to me.]
Note to parents: Don’t bully your children into doing projects of YOUR choice. Let them choose what they want to do. This way, you won’t have to push them into working on the project.
4) Be practical.
Yeah, we all want to save the world but Ramadan will be over in 40 days.
We’ll try to save the world next year, insha-Allah. In the meantime, we’ll work on a nice doable, project this year.
5) Work with others. Don’t compete with them.
For example, suppose you want to prepare Eid gifts for the orphans in your area, and you find out that there are a few people already doing that.
Why not try to find out if you can work with those people rather than doing something on your own?
Too often, we don’t want to work with others because of our huge egos. [Sorry, but it’s the truth.]
6) Don’t overdo it.
“How can one overdo helping others”, you ask?
Well, some people become so involved in this that they forget their own ibaadah and their own priorities. So, for example, they help every poor person that they can but forget their own priorities.
I recall a sister asking me about a man who gave charity to everyone that he possible could yet did not give his own wife enough money for her needs!
7) You could work on dawah, charity, health, etc projects.
Yes, I have plenty, alhamdulillah, but that’s for Part 2, insha-Allah.
To be continued…