As The Curtain Draws To A Close: Ramadan Winding Down To Its Conclusion
02 July 2016
By Tariq A. Al-Maeena
The holy month of Ramadan is winding down to its conclusion. With less than a
week to go, many worshippers will be seeking God's mercy in earnest before the
rising crescent signals the end. It is also a time of seeing beyond one's self
and focusing not on one's own deeds but on actions to others.
It remains a special time of year – a time when Muslims around the world take
a step back from their daily routines and focus on community, charity, fasting
and prayer. It is recounted that Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was the
most generous of people, and even more so during the holy month of Ramadan. It
is a month to show your compassion to people who endure all levels of
suffering and isolation.
This generosity is not confined to money or gifts. It can come in the form of
many variants, such as being generous with your time to a family in your
neighborhood that you haven't seen in a while or to someone in a strange new
city. It could be helping out a new Muslim who is fasting for the first time
or assisting an elderly couple who cannot get to the mosque. Even the smallest
gesture of kindness and charity can make a huge difference in someone's life.
It is in this month that high profile charitable causes are undertaken in the
form of monetary gifts or contributions to social causes. Some choose to free
prisoners locked up for blood money or loans to creditors. Others pledge a
considerable portion of their fortune to global charitable causes over the
coming years. Such generosity serves as a philanthropic pledge that will help
build bridges to foster cultural understanding, develop communities, empower
women, enable youth, provide vital disaster relief and create a more tolerant
and accepting world.
Prince Al-Waleed Bin Talal is one such individual who is committed to what
matters most — helping to build a more peaceful, equitable and sustainable
world for generations to come. Last year, he committed the bulk of his fortune
to charity. The focus of his charitable activities will be toward causes, such
as disease eradication, intercultural understanding, women's empowerment,
disaster relief and the provision of electricity to remote and isolated areas.
In recent years, his charity has invested in $3.5 billion worth of projects in
more than 92 countries and has contributed to research studies at a number of
leading world universities. Within the country, Al-Waleed's projects include
providing 10,000 housing units to Saudi citizens as part of his development
housing initiative, in addition to granting Saudis 10,000 cars, bringing the
total number of beneficiaries among Saudi men and women to 100,000 in 10
''What I possess is a gift from Allah. I was born and brought up in this dear
country, the most precious place for me to give and share with its people. In
whatever I do, I am thankful to and seek the countenance of Allah,'' Al-Waleed
Al-Waleed is to be highly commended for his charitable deeds. But there are
millions of others who also perform acts of charity albeit on a much smaller
scale that often go unnoticed. The rewards for them are no less.
The Holy Qur'an says: ''Those who spend their wealth by night and day, in
secret and in public, shall have their reward with their Lord. On them shall
be no fear, nor shall they grieve'' (2:274), and ''By no means shall you
attain righteousness unless you give freely from that which you love. And
whatever you give, Allah knows it well.'' (3:92)
Charity does indeed matter. Exercise it with generosity this month before it
flees away, for there are many who are deserving of your bounty.
— The author can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @talmaeena