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Gifts of Iftar

by Musa Bukhari

“O ye who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, that ye may (learn) self-restraint.” 2:183

During the sacred month of Ramadan, we willingly abstain from food and water, a practice that instills within us a deep appreciation for the blessings we enjoy. It serves as a poignant reminder that many individuals across the globe do not share the same luxuries that we often take for granted. Many organizations, such as Human Appeal, play a pivotal role in extending aid to those in need, utilising the generosity of donors like yourself to provide sustenance to individuals worldwide.

This year, one of the primary campaigns spearheaded by Human Appeal focuses on aiding the people of Gaza. This region is grappling with dire circumstances, marked by severe starvation and famine. Your contributions are instrumental in alleviating their plight, as they enable the provision of essential food supplies that are crucial for survival. One of the initiatives of Human Appeal is to deliver 20,000 food packages and 1,000,000 meals to the people of Palestine.

Through your generous donations, you are actively participating in the noble endeavor of combating hunger and ensuring that those in distress receive the nourishment they urgently require. Your support not only offers sustenance but also embodies the spirit of compassion and solidarity that defines the essence of Ramadan.

The Importance of Iftar

There are so many abundant rewards for those who feed other people. One such reward is stated in this hadith.

The Prophet Muhammed (SAW) said,

‘Whoever feeds a person breaking his fast will earn the same reward as him, without anything being lessened from the reward of the fasting person.’ [Tirmidhi]

Indeed, the rewards of fasting during Ramadan extend beyond personal spiritual growth. It's said that by simply feeding someone during this sacred time, you can reap double the rewards of fasting. This beautiful concept emphasises the importance of generosity and compassion towards others, especially during a period when the act of fasting itself teaches self-discipline and empathy.

In Islam, the act of feeding someone who is fasting holds significant value. Not only does it fulfill a basic human need, but it also reinforces the sense of community and solidarity that lies at the heart of Ramadan. By sharing your blessings and providing sustenance to those in need, you not only fulfill a noble deed but also enhance your spiritual journey.

This teaching underscores the interconnectedness of humanity and highlights the profound impact of small acts of kindness. It serves as a reminder to look beyond ourselves and extend a helping hand to others, thus multiplying the blessings and rewards of our fasting efforts.

What Constitutes as Charity?

Abdullah ibn Umar reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, "The upper hand is better than the lower hand. The upper hand gives and the lower hand takes." (Bukhari)

Frequently, we confine the concept of charity to monetary donations, which indeed serve as a vital means of assisting others. However, what occurs when you are unable to donate? In such instances, it's crucial to recognize that charity encompasses a multitude of avenues beyond just monetary contributions.

One significant alternative is the donation of time. Volunteering at local shelters, community centers, or charitable organizations allows individuals to directly engage with those in need, offering invaluable assistance through their time and effort. Whether it's serving meals, tutoring, or simply lending a listening ear, the impact of giving one's time can be profound.

Acts of kindness also constitute a form of charity. Something as simple as offering a helping hand to a neighbor, comforting a friend in distress, or showing empathy towards strangers can brighten someone's day and make a meaningful difference in their lives. These small gestures of kindness ripple outward, fostering a culture of compassion and support within communities.

Furthermore, providing sustenance to others, as mentioned earlier, is another powerful way to practice charity. Sharing food with those who are hungry not only meets a basic human need but also embodies the essence of generosity and empathy.

These examples represent just a fraction of the many ways one can engage in acts of charity. The possibilities are endless, limited only by imagination and willingness. Whether it's donating clothes, participating in environmental cleanup efforts, or even simply spreading positivity and goodwill, each act, no matter how small, contributes to the greater good and amplifies the benefits of charity.

The idea is that by being intentional, everything we do is rewarded. In fact, by anchoring our intentions for the sake of Allah, we infuse every aspect of our lives with purpose and meaning, ensuring that even the smallest of deeds contribute to our spiritual growth and earn us reward in this life and the Hereafter.

Rewards of Giving Charity

Quranic verses and teachings of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) emphasise that charity multiplies blessings, purifies the soul, and protects it from harm. For instance, giving to charity does not decrease wealth, and even small acts of giving are highly rewarded. Ultimately, charity brings both material and spiritual benefits, reinforcing the principle that generosity is a pathway to divine favor and eternal reward. In fact, the Prophet Muhammed (SAW) said

“Allah, the Exalted, says, ‘Spend, O son of Adam, and I shall spend on you.’” – (Al-Bukhari and Muslim).

Shaytaan tricks us into believing that when we spend for the sake of Allah we will become poor. But in fact, the opposite happens. Allah increases your wealth even more.

Run to the bounty of virtue this night contains, before it passes, as tomorrow is not promised. May Allah allow us to give wholeheartedly and accept our deepest duas and accept our ibadah for the entire month of Ramadan,


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