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Who are the truly needy?

We are always told to “feed the needy”, but Charity Right’s Azim Kidwai asks this Ramadan who is really in need?

“And they are those who give food—in spite of their own need—to the needy, and the orphan, and the captive, [saying in their hearts]’We only feed you for the sake of Allāh, and we desire nothing in return from you, not even a word of thanks’.”[1]

These are very thought provoking verses for believers in Ramadān. Ramadān is a time for giving, and unfortunately with the world the way is today, the opportunities for that sometimes seem overwhelming. However, this is actually the time to reflect on them.

Allāh the Lord of the worlds, identifies the people of belief to be the ones that give, ‘in spite of their own need’, and this is a real point for us to consider. Despite the complains of charity fatigue, the battle for local versus national and the challenge from prominence in pictures helping fire victims, how many of us are actually giving, in spite of our own need? This forces two points to really consider:

Giving When You Are In Need Yourself.

This is a very important paradigm. How many of us are actually finding ourselves in need from our giving? How many of us have given all like Abu Bakr, or half like Umar (may Allāh be pleased with them)? If we have not, then how is it we talk of ‘fatigue’?

Ramadān is a time of blessings and giving, so if we are not giving until the point we feel own needs a little, then are we truly giving? Feeding the poor is an amazing proposition, and a key part of the prophetic tradition of community cohesion. The Prophet, upon whom be Peace, has countless injunctions calling the believers to feed the people, and we as such need to be conscious of this when considering how much we are truly giving.

FINAL CHANCE TO FEED THE NEEDY THIS RAMADAN

Giving In A Way That Redefines Your Own Need.

Today what we often see as our “needs” turn out to be the desires or dreams of others, and this is why even what we see as our own needs is worth reflecting on. Do we need a new lease car or extension to the home? Do we need an annual laptop or phone upgrade? The issue of recognising our true needs has a major bearing in our ability to be true to the verses. We as a people have increasingly become preoccupied with the self, and as such the needs of others are at best entertained from what remains from a debt-ridden consumerist lifestyle.

“Have you seen the one who denies the [Day of] Judgement? Then such is he who repulses the orphan and encourages not the feeding of the needy…”[2]

Reading a verse like this should really help us reflect on and consider to what degree the poor feature in our lives. Satan sometimes deludes us into thinking we can only get behind complex community development and income generation programs, which are undoubtedly important. However, we cannot underestimate the value of the simple act of feeding the needy.

What is suggested here is that the irony of feeding the ‘needy’ is that those who provide the means for the poor to eat, are actually even more in ‘need’ of doing that, than the poor are of the food itself. This may seem a little strange, but if one is to align the intention of feeding the poor with wining the pleasure of Allāh, then unquestionably, the actual act of feeding is a priority. This is truly seen from the life of our Habīb and his companions and the understanding they had in feeding the people. `Aishah (may Allāh be pleased with her) reported:

The Messenger of Allāh (upon whom be Peace) had slaughtered a sheep and distributed major portions of its meat. Then he (upon whom be Peace) asked, “What is left of it?”

I replied, “Nothing remains except its shoulder.”

Thereupon he said, “All of it remains except its shoulder.”[3]

If this article has inspired you to help those really in need in these final moments of Ramadan then follow your inspiration up by an action and support on of causes currently being focused on by Charity Rights food programs to fight hunger one child at a time. We will providing regular meals to children who are poor, orphans and refugees. A 100% Zakah donation policy applies.

Source: www.islam21c.com

Notes:

[1] Al-Qur’ān 76:8-9

[2] Al-Qur’ān 107:1-3

[3] Tirmithi

About Azim Kidwai

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