Ramadan is the month of giving in many ways. Allah (swt) mentions this holy month in the Quran with the verse:
شَهْرُ رَمَضَانَ ٱلَّذِىٓ أُنزِلَ فِيهِ ٱلْقُرْءَانُ هُدًۭى لِّلنَّاسِ وَبَيِّنَـٰتٍۢ مِّنَ ٱلْهُدَىٰ وَٱلْفُرْقَانِ ۚ فَمَن شَهِدَ مِنكُمُ ٱلشَّهْرَ فَلْيَصُمْهُ ۖ وَمَن كَانَ مَرِيضًا أَوْ عَلَىٰ سَفَرٍۢ فَعِدَّةٌۭ مِّنْ أَيَّامٍ أُخَرَ ۗ يُرِيدُ ٱللَّهُ بِكُمُ ٱلْيُسْرَ وَلَا يُرِيدُ بِكُمُ ٱلْعُسْرَ وَلِتُكْمِلُوا۟ ٱلْعِدَّةَ وَلِتُكَبِّرُوا۟ ٱللَّهَ عَلَىٰ مَا هَدَىٰكُمْ وَلَعَلَّكُمْ تَشْكُرُونَ
Ramadan is the month in which the Quran was revealed as a guide for humanity with clear proofs of guidance and the standard ˹to distinguish between right and wrong˺. So whoever is present this month, let them fast. But whoever is ill or on a journey, then ˹let them fast˺ an equal number of days ˹after Ramadan˺. Allah intends ease for you, not hardship, so that you may complete the prescribed period and proclaim the greatness of Allah for guiding you, and perhaps you will be grateful. (Al-Baqarah: 185)
This verse shows so many ways that Allah (swt) gives to us as part of this month: the revelation of the Quran was the greatest gift, which grants us guidance, which is also a gift. Knowing right from wrong is a gift, Allah’s forgiveness for those who are unable to fast is a gift, ease is a gift, lack of hardship is a gift, guidance is a gift… and for all this He tells us that perhaps we will be grateful. Perhaps! As we know, not everyone is grateful. We should show our shukr in as many ways as we can. This month let us show our thanks to Allah (swt) by acting in kind and giving to others.
Give Time. We live in a very busy time, and we wear our busy-ness as a badge of honor. It is true that wasting time is a sin but in the same vein we should be generous with our time for those who need it. Often we brush away those who are in need of us without realizing it. Our children, spouses, friends, and sisters who are in need of our time – give them. Give time to good work, volunteering and serving the community in any capacity we can.
Give Energy. Too often we spend time with our loved ones without paying them the slightest attention. Family gatherings are focused around a TV, or around a silent room with a device in the hands of each family member. It takes planning, brainpower, and energy to really be present with each other, and every person in our lives deserves not just physical presence, but thought and energy as well.
Give Emotion. It is sunnah to tell people you love them for the sake of Allah. And the Prophet (s) linked kissing children with having mercy. Smiling is a sunnah, and avoiding anger is a sunnah. Clearly, Islam is a faith that focuses our energy on creating and sharing positive emotions and withholding the negative ones.
Give Back. We need to think of those who have given to us, and think about how we can give back to them. It is easy to give to those who are in need of us, but often hard to give back to those whom we have benefited from, whether teachers, parents, or benefactors. When we find ourselves unable to return a kindness or a favor or financial support, the best way to give back is by a sincere show of thanks, kind words and actions, some concessions that we can make in the spirit of giving back, and finally, making sincere dua for them.
Give Money. The Prophet ﷺ said, “Everyday two angels descend and one of them says, ‘O Allah! Compensate the person who gives’; while the other one says, ‘O Allah! Destroy the one who withholds’. Islam is a religion of giving, and the way it is built ensures that every member of the community has enough to sustain them with a small portion of the wealth of those who have a surplus. Three types of material giving are specified in Islam:
- Annual Zakat: Each year, Muslims should pay 2.5% of their wealth (if it has reached a minimum amount and stayed there for 1 year). While it is not required to give one’s annual zakat during Ramadan, many choose to do so to gain the extra reward. You can donate your Annual Zakat to Muslim sisters through rabata.kindful.com.
- Zakat al-Fitr is an obligation that every Muslim must pay (if they have enough to sustain them for the night and day of Eid). This ensures that every Muslim is sustained through Eid at least. Mozaicdmv.org is a partner organization of Rabata which accepts Zakat al-Fitr.
- Sadaqah is that which one gives as an extra, non-obligatory giving. The Prophet (s) said that sadaqah erases sin like water quenches fire. Sadaqah can be paid to support students of knowledge by offering a scholarship through rabata.kindful.com.
In these ways and many others, we should show our thanks to Allah (swt) by giving forward, and Allah’s blessings will continue to flow, as He (swt) tells us,
وَإِذْ تَأَذَّنَ رَبُّكُمْ لَئِن شَكَرْتُمْ لَأَزِيدَنَّكُمْ
Remember that He promised, “If you are thankful, I will give you more” (Ibrahim: 7)