The Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam has termed Ramadan, ‘the Month of Compassion’ (Shahru al-Muwasah) which means that it is a month for human beings to show kindness and concern for each other to help each other, and sharing their problems, especially to alleviate any difficulties or hardships faced by a person in the search and maintenance of a livelihood.
The Messenger of Allah salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “One of the best deeds is to bring about happiness unto the believers through settling their debts, fulfilling needs for them, and averting adversities from them.”
The Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “By his good character a believer can reach the same rank as someone who fasts and prays at night.” [Sunan Abu Dawoud: 4798]
By experiencing hunger himself, the one who fasts during Ramadan, gets the opportunity to empathize with the hunger pangs of those who live on empty stomachs. His heart softens to their suffering and he tries to fulfill their needs.
To earn the pleasure of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala, the previous generations of pious Muslims would load their mosques with food during Ramadan in order to feed the poor. As Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala says, “And they give good in spite of love for it to the needy, the orphan, and the captive,” [al-Insaan-Dahr: 8].
Aisha radhiAllahu ‘anhu narrated that a (cooked) iguana was sent to the Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. He neither ate from it nor stopped others from eating it. I said, “O Messenger of Allah! Can we not feed the poor with it? He said, “Do not feed them what you would not eat yourself.” [Musnad Ahmad: 24736]
Things to Do:
– Think of ways to benefit the creation of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala during Ramadan. Strive to help all people and create an environment of mutual love and harmony.
– Let the fast breaking meal (iftaar) be a time for the whole family to get together. Invite friends, neighbors, and relatives to join in this meal as well.
– Make an effort to tend to the needs of the widows, orphans, poor and sick
– Visit hospitals in order to help the sick as well as their dependents
– Visit prisoners and provide them any assistance possible
– Do not turn away a beggar empty-handed
– Ease the workload for servants and employees
– Show more respect to elders and kindness to children as compared to normal days
– Join ties of kinship with close relatives and inquire about their needs in order to help fulfill them
– Help resolve grievance between estranged relatives and re-establish good relations
– Cleanse your heart of grudges, make peace with those around you, and forgive their excess if any, so that you can deal with everybody at the level of excellence (ihsan)
– Partner with somebody while doing any good deed as it will create ease in many ways
– Enlist the help of friends and colleagues to distribute items of necessity, food, clothing, educational audio and reading material, etc.
– During their menstrual cycle, women often become distressed by their inability to fast or pray. Instead, they can redirect their energies by listening to the recitation of the Qur’an or some other educational lectures, remembering Allah (dhikr), or engaging in social work.