It has been said that the companions of the Prophet S.A.W would spend 6 months in the preparation before Ramadan. The most blessed month is upon us and we must remember there is no other month which carries the same blessings and rewards as Ramadan does.
Most of us remain focus on the preparing for the practical and spiritual aspects of Ramadan, whether that is storing food in our fridges and freezers, making food in advance or setting our charitable goals, yet in the midst of this time, we often tend to forget the burdens that families across the globe face during this month. Have we ever actually stopped to consider how those millions of malnourished individuals prepare for Ramadan? Have we reflected upon just how many individuals have little to no provisions to make Suhoor and Iftar meals? Have we ever wondered how they go about their day-to-day routines during Ramadan?
One of our beneficiaries, Summaya, a widowed mother of four young children took us on a journey through an average day in her life during Ramadan, and her experience is one that should be shared worldwide. “I wake up at 5 in the morning,” She told our team. “Just so I can search for some water.” After searching for water she arrives back to her home to send her children to work. “It pains me to see my children having to beg on the streets for our survival, but my ill health no longer permits me to do so.” Her children, those who spend all day on the streets, return during the evening and the whole family partakes in religious worship. She teaches her children to read Quran by the dim light of candles and an hour or so later she starts to prepare their meagre Iftar meal.
But despite such hardships, people like Summaya have not lost hope. People like her and her families remain steadfast and committed. They attain taqwa: “O you who believe, fasting has been prescribed for you as it has been prescribed for people before you so that you attain Taqwa.” (2:183). They read the Quran: “The month of Ramadan in which was revealed the Quran, a guidance for mankind and clear proofs for guidance and the criterion.” (2:185) They pray: “Allah (SWT) has made Ramadan fasting obligatory. I have made the night prayer (taraweeh) sunnah. He who fasts and observes night prayers believing the virtues and seeking his reward from Allah (SWT), He will be saved from his sins as a new-born baby.” (Nasai) They make dua: “Indeed there is for the fasting person, when he breaks his fast, a supplication which is not rejected”. (Ibn Majah, al-Hakim)
After hearing the stories of those who are barely hanging onto the threads of survival, we believe it is crucial that we send our support to those who have otherwise been forgotten. Your Sadaqah and your Zakat means we can combat poverty and nutritional deficiencies, one food pack and iftar meal at a time.
These food packs are enough for them to feel the contentment during Suhoor and Iftaar, which encourages them to remain steadfast and content and, continue to pray to Allah with devotion and sincerity, The Prophet S.A.W 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”.