Drought in Africa and Charity

As-salámu ‘alaikum wa rahmatul láhi wa barakátuh!”
“A-úthu billáhi minash shaytánir rajeem.  Bismilláhir rahmánir raheem.
Al hamdu lillahi nahmaduhu wanasta’eenahu, wanastagh-firuhu, wanatoobu ilayhi, wana’oothu Billaahi min shuroori an-fusinaa, wamin sayyi aati a’maalinaa. May- Yahdillahu fa huwal muhtad, wa may- yudlill falan tajidaa lahu waliyan murshida. Wa ash-hadu an Laa ilaaha ill-Alláh, wahdahoo laa shareeka lah, wa ash-hadu anna Muhammadan ‘abduhoo warasooluh”
In the Name of Allah, Most Merciful, Most Compassionate.

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

The drought which has spread over Africa has reached new heights as we are informed that one in five children die every five minutes. The vulnerable families in Somalia are wrestling not only for their own lives but for the lives of their children. Somalia has become a broken country with no means of salvage for our suffering brothers and sisters out there. Today’s khutbah will be about charity and what Islam says we should do to help.

Safwan ibn Salim related that the Prophet (SAV) said: Anyone who looks after and works for a widow and a poor person is like a warrior fighting for Allah’s cause, or like a person who fasts during the day and prays all night. (Bukhari)

As Muslims it is our duty to watch out for our brothers and sisters’ wellbeing and to help them at times of difficulty. A brother or sister does not only mean your sibling in the literal sense but means your brother or sister in Islam, if not in humanity. Allah is All-Seeing and All-Hearing and knows when you help the needy or intend to do so. We should want for others the same as what we want for ourselves.

On the authority of Anas bin Malik, the servant of the messenger of Allah, that the prophet said:

“None of you [truely] believes until he wishes for his brother what he wishes for himself.” related by Bukhari and Muslim.

Giving charity is a big part of being a righteous Muslim. As believers we should know that everything in this world belongs to Allah, he gives as he pleases and he takes as he wills. Wealth and the means in which it is spent is actually a big trial from Allah (SWT). We will all be questioned on the day of resurrection on how we used our wealth during our lifetime. We should not feel weak to the whispers of the Satan and the encouragement screaming from our own nafs (alter ego). We must tame our wants and use the money towards others’ needs.

Give to the near of kin his due, and also to the needy and the wayfarers. Do not squander your wealth wastefully; for those who squander wastefully are Satan’s brothers, and Satan is ever ungrateful to his Lord. (17:26 – 27)

It is our duty as humans and Muslims to think of the communities around us and help them in any shape or form. Numerous charities, organisations and individuals have donated money to Somalia and neighbouring countries, may Allah bless them and reward them with Jennah inshallah. However, there are some brothers and sisters who would have liked to have helped and intended to but did not have the financial means to do so. Allah knows your intentions and the reward for wanting to give if you were able to is just as high as if you did.

On the authority of Abu Hurairah, who said: The messenger of Allah said:

“Each person’s every joint must perform a charity every day the sun comes up: to act justly between two people is a charity; to help a man with his mount, lifting him onto it or hoisting up his belongings onto it is a charity: a good word is a charity, every step you take to prayers is a charity and removing a harmful thing from the road is a charity.”

From this hadith we understand that charity is not through giving money alone but through other actions also. Many brothers and sisters have put their efforts towards fundraising; they have written articles and have used social media to spread the word. Striving for charitable causes is one of the most beautiful things we can do in the name of Islam. Please do not neglect your vulnerable and needy brothers and sisters at times of distress. Pull out a helping hand and Allah (SWT) will help you insallah.

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