With the month of fasting upon us, most of us are now getting accustomed to refraining from food and drink during the daylight hours.
However, alongside the fasting element of this month, there is a great opportunity to gain reward from Allah SWT through acts of charity. One of these acts is to feed someone else that is fasting.
The imam reminded us of those referred to in the Quran who gave food to others. In Sura Al-Insan, ayat 8&9 it is translated to say:
and give food—despite their desire for it—to the poor, the orphan, and the captive, ˹saying to themselves,˺ “We feed you only for the sake of Allah, seeking neither reward nor thanks from you.
Dear brothers, if we think about it. This year more than others, this is a challenge for us to do. Covid has got us social distancing and taking all sorts of measures to prevent the spread of this virus. However, we must look amongst ourselves in order to find the balance between being safe and fulfilling this duty of ours.
It is only the wicked that deliberately strive to avoid this task, they are referenced in the Quran by Allah SWT in Sura Al-Mudathir in which ayat 42-44 is translated to say:
“What has landed you in Hell?” They will reply, “We were not of those who prayed, nor did we feed the poor.
And so, dear brothers, with the extra constraints on us this year, this reminder ends with 3 practical tips we can take away from this reminder.
- Feed others through donation of their food. We don’t need to physically make or provide the food. There are charities that offer to feed the poor and needy from food banks in the UK to relief efforts overseas. Use this reminder to donate money to them and help their projects to feed the needy.
- If you offer cooked food to neighbours usually for their iftar and are unsure whether this year you should do so due to Covid then an alternative is to provide them with packed food. Even a punnet of grapes or a small packet of dates are both sealed and yet provide them with food for their iftar and reward for you. It may not be the same but lets not let the tradition that some of us have for our community love be hampered by the restrictions we have on us this year.
- Put effort into charities that are feeding the poor. From our local Myriad Foundation to Food banks that cater for the poor in our communities, there is an opportunity to gain reward not just from providing the food, but to facilitate the delivery of the food to the poor and needy. These charities welcome volunteers to what better time to donate some time and energy instead of food or money to this worthy cause.
Dear brothers, we have a great opportunity again this year to reap the full potential of this blessed month. The imam reminded us in the following hadith that the prophet SAWS said:
“He who provides a fasting person something with which to break his fast, will earn the same reward as the one who was observing the fast, without diminishing in any way the reward of the latter.”
And so lets use todays reminder in order to gain the most for ourselves with Allah SWT in this blessed month.