Ramadan is a month where the rewards for good deeds are multiplied. This is the Month of Mercy where the gate of hell is closed, and doors of paradise are wide open. It is a month where we increase our acts of worship and are in the state of deep spirituality.
As we seek to transform our relationship with God in this holy month of Ramadan, this month also offers us splendid opportunities to do good to others. Our spirituality is not confined to just our relationship with Allah s.w.t, but also extended through our service to His creation.
This Month of Mercy, let us take the opportunity to maximise our efforts in attaining Allah’s pleasure by performing good deeds to others. Even as we are into this circuit breaker period, with movements being restricted, the path to do good is wide open for us to walk in.
Here are 5 things we can do this Ramadan:
It has been part of our tradition to share food with our family, friends, neighbours and the community-at-large. Annually, we have seen our community organise communal break-fast sessions, inviting both Muslims and non-Muslims to join the festivities. The joy and love of Ramadan are being shared with everyone, with neighbours exchanging food with each other.
This year, we are not able to do these as we have used to in the previous years, due to COVID-19 pandemic. However, this does not deter us from sharing food with others. We can use various food delivery services for us to order and send food to our loved ones, neighbours and friends.
As we are not able to meet our extended family members who do not live with us for buka puasa (breaking of fast) or organise it with friends and neighbours, sending food through delivery is an option that we can all consider. The rewards of feeding the other fasting person will continue to be applied even if we do not give the food physically.
Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. said,
مَنْ فَطَّرَ صَائِمًا كَانَ لَهُ مِثْلُ أَجْرِهِ غَيْرَ أَنَّهُ لَا يَنْقُصُ مِنْ أَجْرِ الصَّائِمِ شَيْئًا
“Whoever helps to break the fast of a fasting person (giving food), he will have the same reward as him without decreasing anything from the reward of the fasting person.”
For many of us who are not living with our parents, this is one of the most challenging Ramadans. We miss them. We yearn to meet them, eat with them, and pray with them. This Ramadan, let us make it up the best we can, by constantly checking on them. We can call them and where necessary can even organize a virtual buka puasa with our family members.
Ramadan is about family, and our family ties will not be affected even as we are not able to physically meet for this year’s Ramadan.
We can also use this moment to volunteer in helping others. The SGUnited Buka Puasa is an initiative by various organisations in providing food for the healthcare workers and their families. It is also offered to the poor and needy, including recipients of zakat.
They are opening up opportunities for people to come join as volunteers in managing the food distribution. You may register your interest here and they will get back to you.
You may also wish to consider joining SG Healthcare Corps. They are calling for former and current healthcare professionals to be on standby, and welcome non-healthcare professionals to provide additional support in COVID-19 operations and in community care. Find out more here.
As Muslims, we believe that by giving, we are gaining rather than losing. We give parts of our wealth, that Allah s.w.t has given us, by sharing with others. Companions such as Abu Bakar r.a, Umar r.a. and Uthman r.a. are known for their generosity and are good examples of this virtue.
Allah s.w.t mentioned in the Quran,
آمِنوا بِاللَّهِ وَرَسولِهِ وَأَنفِقوا مِمّا جَعَلَكُم مُستَخلَفينَ فيهِ ۖ فَالَّذينَ آمَنوا مِنكُم وَأَنفَقوا لَهُم أَجرٌ كَبيرٌ
“‘Believe in Allah and His Messenger, and spend (in charity) out of the (substance) whereof He has made you heirs. For, those of you who believe and spend (in charity), for them is a great Reward.”
(Surah Al-Mu’minun, 57:7)
In this trying time, if we are blessed with more, let us share it with others who need it more than us. Let’s support one another and lift each other up. Many people are or will be affected by COVID-19, directly or indirectly. Its economic impact is already felt by some. For instance, many local businesses are already affected by the measures needed to flatten the curve. Therefore, where necessary, when we have more, we can support our local businesses by buying their products and using their services.
With regards to making donations, we can help feed those in need by pledging our donation to SG United Buka Puasa initiative.
We can also continue to help our mosque even as their doors are currently closed. They still need to maintain the mosque and continue paying the salaries of mosque workers. Even as our mosques remain closed, the religious services that they offer have been shifted online. Free classes, lectures and other services are available online for us.
Let us play our part to help our mosque in this difficult time and help them sustain their operations and services. You may contribute any amount to any mosque of your choice. Visit OurMasjid.Sg for more information.
We are also aware that many of those who are affected are our migrant workers. Thousands are being infected by COVID-19. We can help and support them by making contributions through various initiatives to help them. They are part of us and we ought to take care of them. One of these initiatives that we can participate in is #HomeForAllMigrants.
#HOMEFORALL Migrants is an initiative by the Collective of Migrant Efforts (COME) - a cross-sectoral partnership across NGOs, government agencies and citizens. They aim to raise $800,000 to provide 20,000 migrant workers with rations over 10 days. Their focus areas are food, hygiene and internet connectivity for the workers.
Zakat forms the third pillar of Islam. As Muslims, it is our obligation to pay zakat when it is due. This year, we can pay zakat through various virtual platforms. As the mosques are closed, zakat can continue to be paid online.
You may pay through eNets online at www.zakat.sg or through PayNow, DBS/POSB iBanking, CIMB clicks or send a cheque to Muis or make payments at AXS machines islandwide. Do visit www.zakat.sg for more information.
Remember to also check with our parents who may not be aware of how they can fulfil their third pillar of Islam. Help them to make their zakat payments online. Reassure them that the rewards and blessings for paying zakat online is similar to the rewards and blessings of paying in-person insya’Allah.
The practice of making the payment online may not be something they are comfortable with as many of them are used to pay zakat at mosques in-person. However, with the COVID-19 outbreak, this is the best way for them to fulfil their zakat obligation and let us support and help them to do this. The amil will continue to make dua (prayer) for their generosity in paying zakat, Insya’Allah.
One of the things that many of us can do during this Circuit Breaker Ramadan to get ourselves more involved at home and be with our loved ones. Use these moments to do household chores together more extensively than before.
For the gentlemen, this is the moment to be more involved in the kitchen if we haven't been doing it previously. We can prepare meals for sahur and buka puasa, after all the rewards of feeding those are fast is the reward of a fasting person. So, imagine getting the reward for your own fast, and the rewards of preparing it for our loved ones at home.
Rasulullah s.a.w. said,
خَيْرُكُمْ خَيْرُكُمْ لأَهْلِهِ وَأَنَا خَيْرُكُمْ لأَهْلِي
“The best of you is the one who is best to his family, and I am the best of you to my family.”
We may also use this Ramadan to enhance our spirituality together with our loved ones. Use this opportunity to pray together, such as performing Terawih and Tahajjud prayers. Let’s enlighten the spirit of Ramadan in our own homes, Insya’Allah.