Ramadan is a blessed month in which we strive to do as many good deeds and acts of worship as possible. We eagerly try to deepen our relationship with Allah and develop our iman. Be it through additional units of prayer, reading more Qur’an, spending time making dua. Ramadan for many is also a time to give their zakah. Many of us strive to increase the amount of charity or sadaqah they give. Sometimes, we want to give more than what our bank account allows us! Or, sometimes, we are not rich enough and have a number of responsibilities that simply do not allow us to give large portions of money!
Narrated `Umar bin Al-Khattab:
Messenger(pbuh) said, “The (reward of) deeds, depend on the intentions and every person will get the reward according to what he has intended. So whoever emigrated for the sake of Allah and His Apostle, then his emigration will be considered to be for Allah and His Apostle, and whoever emigrated for the sake of worldly gain or for a woman to marry, then his emigration will be considered to be for what he emigrated for.” [Sahih Bukhari]
We should not look to the amount others give and belittle what is in our hands because what counts the most is the intention behind it. Our reward lies with Allah and He is the one Who is aware of our intentions. Whether you give $1 or $1000, the bounty of this donation lies with Him.
We often view charity as equaling to money. Though this is the traditional way in which many of us will offer our sadaqah, this is not the only thing a person can do. Regardless of our situation, there is always something that we can do to benefit others in sha’ Allah. In a hadith narrated by Abu Dharr the Prophet Muhammed(pbuh) said:
“Your smiling in the face of your brother is charity, commanding good and forbidding evil is charity, your giving directions to a man lost in the land is a charity for you. Your seeing for a man with bad sight is a charity for you, your removal of a rock, a thorn or a bone from the road is a charity for you. Pouring what remains from your bucket into the bucket of your brother is a charity for you.” [At Tirmidhi]
So, here is a list of 6 charitable acts you can do this Ramadan to enjoy the blessings of spreading goodness.
“There are three whose supplication is not rejected: The fasting person when he breaks his fast, the just leader, and the supplication of the oppressed person; Allah raises it up above the clouds and opens the gates of heaven to it. And the Lord says: ‘By My might, I shall surely aid you, even if it should be after a while.’” [Jami` at-Tirmidhi]
When you know of someone in hardship or see someone is suffering, the best gift you can give them is to make dua for them. This is the most powerful weapon we have as believers, especially in the month of Ramadan. The way in which your dua may aid someone is something outstanding; it is one of the only tools many of us have to help those who are in dire need around the world. There are also personal benefits to making dua for someone else as demonstrated by this hadith:
The Messenger(pbuh) said, “The supplication of a Muslim for his (Muslim) brother in his absence will certainly be answered. Every time he makes a supplication for good for his brother, the angel appointed for this particular task says: ‘Ameen! May it be for you, too’.” [Sahih Muslim]
Take some time out and volunteer somewhere in your local area. With so many natural and man-made disasters across the world, sadly it becomes easy to forget the needy close to you. Find a community center that works with the disabled, old, young and offer your time. Offer to clean your local masjid. Find charity shops that are in need of helpers. There are so many options and often you can easily fit these into the busiest schedules.
Take care of children or the elderly
So many people comment on how difficult it can be to do acts of worship in Ramadan when they have small children or elderly relatives to look after. There is always someone in your own family or local community whom this applies to. Offer to look after and entertain someone’s children for a few hours per week to give mothers, fathers and carers time to themselves to focus on additional worship. In sha’ Allah, the reward for helping others further their development in their deen is deeply fulfilling.
Spread the word
In Ramadan, there are always charity projects and fundraising schemes that friends, family, and acquaintances are raising money for. While you may not be able to offer much financially yourself, you can help by spreading the word for the work others are doing. Use your phone, email, facebook and other methods of communication to promote and allow others to reap the benefits of donating.
Give away items
Ramadan is a perfect time to declutter your bedroomand donate these items to a charity shop, to send abroad or simply to give to those in your life who you know are struggling. We all accumulate many things we do not use anymore; by donating to charity, not only are you helping others, but you are also helping yourself detach from material possessions that you may be hoarding.
Jabir bin Abdullah narrated that the Messenger(pbuh) said:
“Every good is charity. Indeed, among the good is to meet your brother with a smiling face…” [At Tirmidhi]
We underestimate the power of a smile as it is a form of communication that is universally accepted. Smile at those who you do not know because we do not know the effect this smile can have on a person. Perhaps they are going through a difficult time, struggling and feeling alone or just having a bad day. Our act of kindness could be the one thing that lightens their heart and gives them joy.