Charity should Not be Confined to Ramadan

Mehak Imtiyaz

The Holy month of Ramadan is characterized not just by its obligation on every Muslim to keep away certain things which are allowed in other months, but also by the weight of blessings attached to every good deed performed in this month. So, what are these unique features which make the month such a special and sanctified to Muslims? One among them is charitya voluntary giving. Giving has always brought best in the people. A significant increase in charity and charity work is seen in this holy month. The downtrodden people of society, to a large extent, get joy in this month. People engage themselves in charity works such as feeding, providing clothes and shelter for people that are less fortunate. Many mosques and community centers offer Iftar-the meal that breaks the fast.

A huge spike in corporate social programs in favor of needy people is seen in the month. Many companies get in touch, they tend to push funds during the holy month. At some locations, like shopping malls, collection boxes are established where people are able to drop off items they want to donate ranging from clothes to books and technical goods. The poverty hit people see a ray of hope that someday soon they too will get a good life. Everybody, from children to adults, donate some money to needy according to their strength and and prompt willingness. This whole enthusiastic charity cycle starts from the very first day of the holy month. Also, before Eid prayers, Muslims are supposed to pay obligatory charity, Sadaqah-al-fitr, to the poor people so that the latter too can enjoy Eid. This special charity is paid by almost cent percent Muslims. Worth billions of rupees of this special charity is paid throughout the Muslim world on Eid eve. With the offset of the holy month, the enthusiastic cycle of helping poor slows down and becomes less energetic.

A considerable percentage of people now do not donate or do not take part in charity work(s). No doubt, in the holy month of Ramadan, the reward for every good deed is comparatively large enough but assent of deeds by Allah remains same throughout the year. The same should be applied on charity and continued. If the holy month like charity work is continued throughout the year with the same enthusiasm, the day is not far when the poverty will just remain a concept merely in books. If a sensitive person wants to see his/her nation developed and progressed, he /she should keep doing the charity and allied activities exponentially or at least linearly.

The truth is, until we don’t educate poor children and terminate their nutritional, economical and psychological issues we, as a nation, can develop fully is just a day-dream. In J&K , nearly 10.35% of population falls below poverty line. The mission of defeating poverty here is not a big task enough, if we , wholeheartedly take part in this sacred cause. Hundreds of examples from developed areas and nations are before us which rose from more severe poverty conditions than our state. This can be started from individual level because the wellknown saying, “Charity begins at home”, holds a resonance here.

—The author, a student of Functional English can be reached