Thus begins the Holy month of Ramadan
A perfect opportunity to help those in need!
By M Ahmad
The religion of Islam preaches some of the most fundamental socio-religious ideas that, if followed, could bring about a revolution and ensure equality among all. No human being is superior to another- Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) stated on Mount Arafat in His last sermon:“No Arab has superiority over a Non-Arab and no Non-Arab has superiority over an Arab,” he said making it clear to the followers of Islam that there exists no superiority or inferiority on the basis of caste, color, creed, race, region etc.
If one studies the concept of charity in Islam, it becomes clear that the various methodical and systematic processes introduced by the holy prophet were designed for the very purpose of eliminating the gap between ‘have’s’ and ‘have not’s’ and helping those who cannot support themselves or their families. This motivation could be achieved by way of charity and alms giving and elevating the standard of life for those who live on the margins. This is what was achieved during the times of prophet and even during the times of the first four Khileefa’s of Islam.
The month of Ramadan which fills our hearts with great piety, sympathy, respect for others and also invokes in us the feeling of seeking the mercy of almighty, must also arise the feeling of helping others in a profound way. It is this month that promises mercy from the almighty in abundance and we, as the believers of religion of Islam, also have some added responsibilities in this holy month. We must be sensitive to our neighbours and relatives and also to general masses around us who may need our help. Although helping those in need is also a thing of great importance anytime during the year but the pious month of Ramadan is holds a special position and good deeds done during this month have far greater rewards that are promised by almighty.
Among the different categories of people that Sharia permits Zakat for- the needy, the disabled and those who are in debt are included. People with disabilities are often in greater need of humanitarian assistance compared to those who might be poor and needy but have some privileges when it comes to physical mobility etc.
There are hundreds of people with disabilities who are confined to rest houses or even their own homes for longer stretches of time and nobody goes around them to engage them in conversations. It is a tragedy that in some cases, the members of the families often ignore them and don’t realize that such behaviour may prove detrimental to their psyche.
People with disabilities, in most of the cases, are living, but don’t feel alive. One of the best things we can do is to immediately stop by and visit them, ask about them, their history, help them to feel important again. There are several cases which require peoples help and the month of Ramadan is definitely the best opportunity for such a noble cause. If we can’t pay, we can take care of their medical requirements, education, monthly financial requirements, necessary living assistive device, pay their electricity and water bills, catering to home, home barrier environment and improvement of residential evaluation.
The other ways to help such needy persons is to support them financially or through such welfare institutions and organisations involved for the welfare of these persons. One must not blindly go about making contributions and rather ascertain the details of organisations that claim to be working for the welfare of the disabled people.
“Whoever relieves his brother of a hardship from the hardships of this world, Allah shall relieve him of a hardship from the hardships of the Day of Judgement. And whoever makes things easy for a person in difficulty, Allah will ease for him in this world and the Next. Allah is forever aiding a slave so long as he is in the aid of his brother.” – Prophet Mohammed (PBUH).
The writer is Principal (I/C), Abhedananda Home, Higher Secondary Institution for Specially-abled Children, Solina, Rambagh, Srinagar. Email: [email protected])