Ramadan is the month of fasting, peace, happiness and compassion. Muslims across the world observe fast from dusk to dawn to boost their spirituality and to help needy, destitute and poor sections. And this holy month ends with the celebration of the biggest festival of Muslims: Eid-ul-Fitr.
Once again, the wonderful Ramadan is nearing its end with few days remaining for Eid Al-Fitr. This has been the second Ramadan in the pandemic. The pandemic in India is in its worst shape and has wreaked havoc in all the states. There is no hustle bustle in mosques, no iftar gatherings and markets too wear a deserted look.
Thousands of people have died in the last two months while hospitals too are witnessing full occupancy due to the fast spread of the dreaded virus. A lockdown is being imposed in the majority of the states due to which offices, markets and other business establishments are being temporarily shut.
The halt in economic activities due to COVID-19 have further deteriorated the condition of people particularly those who belonged to the financially weaker sections. As mosques and markets too are closed, the plight of beggars and destitute has intensified, who due to the lockdown can’t move out to ask for alms. In short, the indigents and poor are in need of you this Eid.
There is no second thought to the role of NGOs who are working day and night during the current pandemic for those in need. Now it is our individual responsibility as well to come forward and help the people in our neighbourhood and surroundings who are currently suffering due to the ongoing crisis. Let we all Muslims make efforts to help others celebrate this Eid.
Reach out to those around you
Is there a family in your neighbourhood that you haven’t seen in a while? A student in a strange new city? A new Muslim who is fasting for the first time? Let us find out how our neighbours, relatives and poor people are preparing to celebrate the Eid-ul-Fitr. Why not take a few minutes to make a phone call, drop in for a visit, or invite someone to iftar (dinner to break the daily fast). Even the smallest gesture of kindness can make a huge difference in someone’s life.
A lot of people can’t venture out due to the restrictions and are in dire need of money. Let’s reach to them and help them so that they can feed their children and families on this Eid-ul-Fitr.
Give those who can’t ask
As mentioned, the pandemic has cost many people their jobs. Their earnings have stopped for the last two years so one must find those who are in need but could not ask out of their self-respect. Our world abounds with such people. Finding them this Eid and giving them whatever little we can, is the noblest of the acts. The essence of fasting is to remind Muslims of the poor around the world who don’t have enough to eat. This encourages actions of generosity and charity. It is also a reminder of the blessings that are provided to the people by Almighty
Volunteer your time
Even more valuable than money is a gift of your time. During these remaining days of Ramadan, we the Muslim must visit to the families who have sick patients and pray for them. We can help them in their work like cleaning the house or washing clothes. Let us also investigate whether any local charity is raising funds for humanitarian aid. We can make better use of social media platforms to call for financial help to the poor , sick and destitute.
This is a key time for the Muslim Ummah to demonstrate unity and come to the aid of those who need assistance. There are millions of people around the world in dire need of some of life’s most basic necessities such as food, water, clothing and shelter. As citizens of humanity, it is our moral responsibility to come to their aid and assistance.
Fitrana is obligatory on every Muslim adult Muslim who maintains food above their needs must pay zakat al-Fitr (Fitrana). Moreover, the head of the family can also pay Zakat al-Fitr for his children, servants, and any relatives.
The Zakat al-Fitr is to be paid during Ramadan or before Eid al-Fitr prayers; so that the needy ones can relish the day of Eid. The minimum amount due is the equivalent of around 2 kg of rice, wheat flour, etc; this becomes early £5/US$7 per head.
This is how to pay your Zakat ul Fitrana vigilantly so that the real needy ones get to appreciate your Zakat.
Furthermore, generally, Islam orders us to take care of those in need. Besides, Islam discourages showing while aiding others.
Emotional support to COVID patients
The covid patients are advised to be in isolation till they complete their quarantine period. During these two to three weeks, they mostly feel alone, which impacts their psychological health. A person is advised not to come into contact with such people, but at least we can manage a phone call, a video call to them to boost their morale to fight the disease bravely.
We must see whether a family needs anything and manage groceries or other essentials for them. Let’s maintain social distancing but not socially isolate the people who are suffering due to the COVID-19.