Ramadan: A Month of Unity and Compassion

By Dr. Ali Al-Sallabi March 28, 2024 2942

Among the most prominent obligations ordained by Islam is aiding the distressed and assisting the poor and needy. Allah (SWT) says: “And they give food in spite of love for it to the needy, the orphan, and the captive, [Saying], 'We feed you only for the countenance of Allah. We wish not from you reward or gratitude.'” (Al-Insan 7-8).

The Prophet Muhammad ﷺ encouraged this by saying, “Whichever believer feeds a hungry believer, Allah feeds him from the fruits of Paradise. Whichever believer gives drink to a thirsty believer, Allah gives him to drink from the 'sealed nectar.'” (Narrated by at-Tirmidhi), and Abu Huraira reported that the Prophet ﷺ said, “If anyone conceals the faults of his Muslim brother, Allah will conceal his faults in this world and in the Hereafter. He who relieved a Muslim from hardship Allah would relieve him from the hardships to which he would be put on the Day of Resurrection. Allah helps His slave as long as he helps his brother.” (Narrated by Muslim).

Ramadan is considered a month of social solidarity and mutual support, meeting the needs of the poor and needy. One of its most significant purposes is to remind people of the condition of the needy, the poor, and the hungry. This is evident in Islam's requirement of Zakat al-Fitr to complete and validate fasting. Ramadan encourages pursuing to fulfill the needs of people, as it is the month where people’s ranks elevate, their sins forgiven, and their prayers answered.

In this noble month, Allah has opened doors of obedience that embody the concept of the Ummah as one body, deepening solidarity and cooperation among its members and strengthening bonds and connections among its groups. Cooperation and mutual support among Muslims are demonstrated through the aid and contributions provided by members of the Muslim community to their needy and poor brethren. Additionally, Ramadan manifests affection and mercy among relatives, friends, and Muslim families, including the noble meanings and refined sentiments that Islam seeks to instill in souls.

Ramadan's cooperation and mutual support contribute to enhancing the unity of the Muslim community and strengthening the bonds of cooperation and connections among its members. Muslims are keen to spread these aspects to comply with Allah's command in His saying: “And cooperate in righteousness and piety, but do not cooperate in sin and aggression.” (Al-Maidah: 2).

Among the most prominent forms of cooperation and mutual support among Muslims in Ramadan is providing Iftar for fasting individuals. It is considered one of the noblest forms of cooperation and solidarity in the Muslim community during Ramadan. Zaid ibn Khalid Al-Juhani reported that the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said, “He who provides a fasting person something with which to break his fast will earn the same reward as the one who was observing the fast, without diminishing in any way the reward of the latter.” (Narrated by At-Tirmidhi)

The righteous Salaf were keen on feeding others, prioritizing it over many acts of worship. Some of them said, “To invite ten of my companions and feed them a food they like is dearer to me than freeing ten slaves from the offspring of Isma'il.”

The cooperation in righteousness and kindness among Muslims during the blessed month of Ramadan is evident through the increase in charity and spending on the poor and needy. Muslims rush to perform such righteous deeds as charity and kindness, as well as various forms of goodness, seeking multiplied rewards from Allah in this noble month. These actions also have worldly benefits, as they strengthen bonds of affection and kinship among relatives, families, and members of the Muslim community.

In these blessed days, we must strive to seek righteous deeds that feed the hungry and the poor, bringing them joy by increasing spending and charity, according to our ability. Muslims should endeavor to promote the values of cooperation and mutual support, especially in light of the challenging conditions faced by some parts of the Islamic world, particularly our brethren in the besieged Gaza Strip. Muslims should not underestimate the value of small contributions, as even a little by little can grow into much. The Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said: “Protect yourselves against Fire even if with half a date. But if you fail to find it (then protect yourselves against Fire) with the help of a pleasant word).” (Narrated by Bukhari).

 

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