It is important to begin this month right!
So, with great hype and resolutions we started Ramzan. Weather has been amazing in Islamabad, I’ve had days without fans even. Yes, I know, it has touched forties in Karachi and other parts of the country. Anyhow, as usual, it is miraculously possible to keep the fast, and we actually manage pretty well.
Then suddenly, you realize that you have to be careful. After the first thrill you realize it is not so easy either. Specially the sleep pattern is very disturbed.
Your charity resolutions need to be executed properly. The most important thing is that you’ve got to start quickly with whatever you have planned. What happens is that ‘the early bird is already there!’
Last year, around the last few days of Ramzan, I went to Noori hospital (the cancer hospital in Islamabad) to offer iftari for one day for all patients. I went to find out how many patients are there. I was sent to the Administration officer in-charge, and he told me that before Ramzan begins, usually, a particular philanthropist comes and pays for all iftaris throughout Ramzan. Can you believe it? I realized, how much our people are doing for others, and no one knows about it.
Then some times, I’ve wanted to get gifts for children, and it was started so late in Ramzan that it fizzled out. So, this time, I’m starting early. I’d suggest you do the same.
So, if you want to do Charity work in your community, here are some points:
- Decide on which organization to help. Or just start with your own staff, and those in your community.
- Break the project into a time-line and clarify steps to follow. So, everyone is on same page.
- Gather some friends along, or start on your own, and offer others. If they join, it is fine, if they can’t, it is okay. Just carry on.
- Work at a scale that you can easily manage. (If it is too huge, it may fizzle out.)
- Use all your resources, intelligently: zakat, sadqa and donations can all be used.
- Starting from being able to give iftari to one poor person in your community, to being able to help orphans, elderly, travelers etc. in nearby mosque or orphanage.
- Use social media to gather resources and for information.
- If you have no funds, you can go to hospitals and give time to patients who have no one visiting them. (Do not take children to hospital with you.) Do your reading of Quran, in presence of a patient. Who may find the words very soothing. Make sure to read with meanings.
As far is Ramzan and fasting is concerned we need to keep these points in mind:
- Make sure to have eight glasses of water between Iftar and Seher. Yes, count it.
- Eat less! Control the food intake. Focus on fruit and veggies, instead of pakoras and parathas. This is not for me, I can indulge! 😉
- Speak less. (That’s also only for you!)
- Avoid all extra chores. (This is important, just remain focused on making time for things that matter.)
- Remain focused on spiritual growth rather than getting diverted in too much socializing (online or off-line).
- Try to say Taraviya prayers, (it isn’t compulsory, so keep it comfortable, ) say at least one Salat-e-Tasbeeh. Prepare for
- Read and try to complete the Holy Quran, and start again to read throughout the year. Concentrate on meanings and how you can apply it in your life. Find a translation that clicks with you. Read out Holy Quran to other members in your family and community who find it difficult.
- Give out trays of goodies to your neighbors and friends, by sharing your iftari. (Thank you Ayesha for those amazing gulab–jamuns yesterday!)
- Give Zakat. (Pay the major amount now, but do not finish it off, do pay throughout the year also. This can be done by sponsoring a child’s education in PEF (Professional Education Foundation) or CSS school, Shawkat Khanum, Edhi or any other such charity organization.
- Remember to keep some funds aside for Eid. It gets rather tough during that time.
- Avoid having iftar parties at home. It is extremely unkind to your staff and yourself.
- Look after yourself and be kind to yourself too.
Stay blessed lovely and handsome readers, this surely is a month full of blessings!