We live in a world of things; a world where actions and, nowadays, material items seem to speak louder than words.
Sometimes, we need to take a step back and remember one of our most major teachings:
Zakah is one thing, but what about sadaqah, voluntary charity? What have you done lately to fulfil your charitable duties as a Muslim?
It’s easy to think of charity as simply giving money to those less fortunate than ourselves, but this is a given. Excess wealth should be shared, but consider other acts you could undertake – they might not seem immediately like charity, but the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ saw them as such.
Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) said, "There is none amongst the Muslims who plants a tree or sows seeds, and then a bird, or a person or an animal eats from it, but is regarded as a charitable gift for him." Bukhari
Sadaqah mustn’t always pertain to money or even people necessarily. It doesn’t even have to involve actually ‘giving’ something to another being – no physical object is always required.
Consider a tree, planted in a region where water is hard to come by and life has a harder edge than here in the UK. Consider the oxygen you’re giving back to the planet; the nutrients you’re providing the earth itself with. Think about the habitat you’ve allowed some form of creature to make their home, and the energy source which will come forth as it grows, allowing many creatures and insects – maybe even humans – to eat and grow.
Giving charity in the form of your own time, experience and brainpower is something upon which not enough importance is placed. Consider tutoring a young family member who struggles on a particular subject, or donating specific skills you possess to helping an enterprise that one of your peer’s is building at present. Take the time to give advice and speak of your experiences to someone who’s struggling or going through hardships. Volunteer, where and whenever you can; there are projects further afield, but don’t forget to take a look around your immediate surroundings and neighbourhood too.
The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, "Your smiling in the face of your brother is charity, commanding good and forbidding evil is charity, your giving directions to a man lost in the land is charity for you. Your seeing for a man with bad sight is a charity for you, your removal of a rock, a thorn or a bone from the road is charity for you. Your pouring what remains from your bucket into the bucket of your brother is charity for you." At-tirmidhi
It may seem counterproductive, as a business who specifically provide physical gifts for Muslims, to talk about how we should be giving more of our time and less material items to be more charitable. But, rest assured, we are so proud to do our bit, having long worked with Islamic Relief to give what we can and when we can; over the years, MBCO has donated generously to multiple causes. Our founder, Vafa, has also undertaken numerous volunteering expeditions including time spent in The Gambia, whereby he uses his video editing skills to help bring a spotlight to the situation and living conditions of many young Muslim children who need help and education in the often dire circumstances in the country.
How ever you give charity, give generously and with an honest heart.
Watch this space for some exciting news from MBCO…