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Why you Should Diversify your Sadaqa and Help the Homeless

Along time ago I remember hearing some lines from an artist, who said “stop bein greedy, just keep it real partner give to the needy”. Simple lines but no doubt very powerful.

This immediately reminded me of the hadith by our beloved Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) who said “A believer is not the one who eats his full when his neighbor is hungry”.

I’ve come to the realization that at times we tend to focus on long distance charitable work while people in our own community continue to starve. Of course the best thing to do is help those who are near and far in order to maximize your rewards.

One day I was at Venice beach in California and I had some halal food leftover. I was getting the itch to not waste it so I start looking for a homeless brother to give the rest to. I spotted one guy who appeared to be homeless and offered him the food, he gave me a nasty look and basically said I’m not poor. Yup that wasn’t nice. Lesson of the story: Don’t judge people by how they look and make sure to prioritize charity for those who need it!

Another time, I saw a man digging in the trash and some people walked by and gave him a funny look. He replied “Man, what’s your trash is my treasure”.

There is no doubt that Islam is a religion of diversity and one of the best ways to diversify is in sadaqa. No need to do your risk analysis, Allah promises you your wealth will never diminish if you spend in his way.

Take a deep breath and smell your fresh bills, it’s in the Qur’an.

“And whatsoever you spend of anything (in Allah’s Cause), He will replace it. (34:39).

So what does this all mean for us? You know every time your about to drop some money in the donation box, shatan comes around and says “Chill, if you give that extra $20, you’ll be broke later on”. Well don’t let him fool you. Now is the best time to give sadaqa. All of the big devils are chained up which means it should be easier for us to spend for the way of Allah. We have heard scholars say over and over gain that by helping others your only helping yourself.

You probably have also heard that no matter how less you may think you have of something, there is always someone in the world who has less than you. So be grateful. This connects to one of the wisdom’s of fasting which is to feel the suffering of those who are less fortunate in the world.

Ibn Abbas narrates that “The Prophet was the most generous of all the people, and he used to become more generous in Ramadan when Gabriel met him. Gabriel used to meet him every night during Ramadan to revise the Qur’an with him. Allah’s Apostle then used to be more generous than the fast wind”.

We can read “Creating a world without poverty” by our brother Muhammad Yunus and take note that “Ninety four percent of the world income goes to 40 percent of the people, while the other 60 percent must lives on only 6 percent of world income”. Shocking indeed, but the question remains what are we going to do about it? As Muslims the Holy Quran and Sunnah lays out the blueprint for us on why we should help those who are helpless. Yes we are witnesses to mankind but until we individually participate in giving to those who have less than us in the world than we won’t even see the change we want to see.

We don’t like seeing people beg and we make dua that Allah protect us from ever being in that condition. Hazrat Ali (RA) said “It is better to die than to beg, when a man begs he loses his faith”. Let’s get the charity to those who need so they won’t have an opportunity to beg.

Alhumdulilah, I have the opportunity this year to volunteer for M100. M100 is a grant foundation that serves the Washington, DC metropolitan area and strives to pool funding from diverse donors, identify non-profits whose work fulfills unique sadaqa categories, and fund innovative projects which serve the local community.

Sounds cool right? Well you can be a part of it by donating and take advantage of giving sadaqa this Ramadan.  During each night of Ramadan, the foundation will give out a grant of $1000 to a different non-profit organization that fulfills a unique charitable category.

Mashallah, The first grant was given to d.c. central kitchen.

Well that wraps it up. May Allah swt make this Ramadan a success for all of us and grant us the health, wealth and time to reap the rewards of it. Ameen.