Ramadan, the month of generosity, the month of giving, and the month that knows no limits! This is the month wherein we truly experience a taste of what the less fortunate struggle with on a daily basis; hunger and thirst, thereby we become more thoughtful and benevolent towards them.
Charity, or sadaqah, is an integral aspect of a Muslim’s life, during and beyond Ramadan. From repelling calamities to healing the sick, to the forgiveness of our sins, the virtues of sadaqah extend beyond one’s imagination, highlighting the encompassing mercy of Allah . Charity is without a doubt more special during Ramadan as rewards are multiplied without measure; hence, spending in the way of Allah is a greatly recommended act during the blessed month, one that we should not miss out on!
Five rewarding ideas for charity this Ramadan
1. Donate money and items not needed: Donate money to organizations of different causes, it can be an orphanage, or your local mosque, or search for those who are less fortunate in order to give them your sadaqah, regardless of how little it may seem, for it is the intentions that matter. A small amount in your eyes may seem like a fortunate for those who struggle to put food on the table, so do not underestimate what you give. Moreover, take the time to declutter your house from the items you no longer use or need, whether it is clothes, kitchen utensils, books, or other items; it is a much-preferred scenario that someone else might be making dua’ for you when using them rather than to have these items collect dust on the shelves of your house!
2. Host an iftar meal for the poor: This can be done by taking a meal to the mosque and distributing it to those who do not have the means of making their own iftar. Indeed, it is a great deed to give iftar to the one fasting, many of the salaf were keen to provide food and at times would give up their own iftar for other people and would sit and serve them, subhanAllah. Imagine a construction worker who has been battling the summer heat and working tirelessly for countless hours under the merciless sun, only to come to the masjid before the adhan to find that iftar has been prepared for him by a generous person, YOU! Surely you will be rewarded immensely for putting a smile on his face, food in his stomach and spreading the spirit of love and brotherhood all around! For the sisters, you are rewarded for feeding your families, but if you would like an extra dose of hasanat then you can share your food with your neighbors as well! We learn the virtue of this act from this hadith:
It was narrated that Zayd ibn Khaalid al-Juhani said: The Messenger of Allaah said: “Whoever gives iftaar to one who is fasting will have a reward like his, without that detracting from the reward of the fasting person in the slightest.” 1
3. Buy Eid clothes for the less fortunate: Whilst many of us have fallen victims of materialism, many others struggle to put food on the table, let alone buy new clothes for Eid. A simple gift to them like buying elegant outfits could really brighten their day. Surprise a little girl with a lovely colorful dress for Eid, and watch as her smile grows from cheek to cheek and her eyes sparkle with excitement. Oh, how great it would feel to be the reason for the happiness of a little girl who has witnessed much hardship and struggle at her very young age, it’s priceless! Allah says:
“Never will you attain the good [reward] until you spend [in the way of Allah ] from that which you love. And whatever you spend – indeed, Allah is Knowing of it.” 2
4. Sadaqah Jariyah: Donate mushafs to your mosque, place a water fountain somewhere, stick a dua’ on one of the walls of the masjid, indeed, there are numerous ways to do Sadaqah Jariyah. The rewards for these actions are immeasurable, where a person’s scale of good deeds continues to increase even after their death. For every word that is recited from the mushaf that you placed on the shelf of the mosque, and for every person who quenches his thirst by drinking from your water fountain, and for every passerby who recites the dua’ that you placed on the wall and remembers Allah because of you; *your* scale of good deeds will be made heavier! You will be earning enormous rewards without even realizing it, only imagine how greatly these rewards will be multiplied during the month of Ramadan, it is truly mind-blowing!
5. Involve the kids: This is where you train your children to care for others by teaching them the importance of giving sadaqah and the ample rewards that await the generous person, especially during Ramadan. By giving them a small jar or bottle that they can decorate themselves, ask them to donate whatever little amounts they can, even if it is just one or two coins, for it is Allah who puts barakah in our deeds:
“The example of those who spend their wealth in the way of Allah is like a seed [of grain] which grows seven spikes; in each spike is a hundred grains. And Allah multiplies [His reward] for whom He wills. And Allah is all-Encompassing and Knowing.” 3
At the end of the blessed month, they can gift their colorful filled jar to a poor family in order to give them an opportunity to buy new clothes for Eid. The children will be overexcited to see that they made a family happy, a beautiful memory that they shall never forget in sha Allah!
- Do not overwhelm yourself with one big charity activity, instead go for small yet consistent sadaqah throughout the month.
- Have multiple intentions prior to any task in order to maximize your reward. For example: I am donating this item so that others may find it useful, to bring happiness to them, to have someone else make dua’ for me etc..
- Try to give sadaqah both privately and publically, doing good in secret is a noble deed that helps to ensure sincere intentions!
Ramadan is a gift from Allah to bring us back to Him, to have Him clean our slates and purify our hearts. This is the long-awaited month that we have been praying to witness one more time, so let us utilize every second to earn Allah’s pleasure and forgiveness and to be generous contributors for the well-being of our societies.
May Allah allow us to witness this month and may He accept all our sadaqat and good deeds and multiply our rewards without measure!