In the month of Ramadan, many of us strive to do acts of sadaqah or charity to help the vulnerable around us. Traditionally, we may volunteer to give out food at communal iftar sessions or help out with events at mosques, but the COVID-19 lockdown has left many of us stuck at home instead. However, we can still help the community around us and shine a light in the lives of the vulnerable - without leaving our house! ?
Sadaqah can take many forms, and Abu Dhar reported that the Prophet (pbuh) even said:
“Your smile to your brother is a sadaqah for you. Your commanding the right and forbidding the wrong is a sadaqah. Your guiding a man in the land of misguidance is a sadaqah for you. Your seeing (showing the way) for a man with bad eyesight is a sadaqah for you. Your removing a stone or thorn or bone from the road is a sadaqah for you. Your emptying your bucket of water into your brother’s (empty) bucket is a sadaqah for you.” [Tirmidhi]
So here are 5 simple ways you can do sadaqah from home - let us know if you can think of anymore!
1. Start with small acts of kindness at home
Salman bin Amir Dabbi narrated that the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said:
“Charity given to the poor is charity, and that given to a relative is two things: charity and upholding the ties of kinship.”
There's a saying that acts of charity begin at home - and it's definitely true! Sadaqah doesn't have to involve huge sums of money, but rather the sincerity to do good behind the action. As we're spending so much time with our family members or housemates while under lockdown, tensions might be running high. However, in times such as this, it's even more important that we remember to weave compassion and kindness into our everyday actions.
Take the initiative to do more chores around the house
, or volunteer to cook or order dinner to give the main 'chef' in the household a break. Surprise your significant other by doing 'their' chore for them and giving them a break, or help to carry the groceries for your parents
when you're done with your weekly supermarket run.
Sharing knowledge about Islam is also a form of sadaqah, so if you know of any online lessons or programmes
, suggest watching it together after iftar. If you have young kids in the household, why not teach them some simple surahs
? It will come in handy when they start praying, and these surahs also have meaningful messages behind them.
P.S. Remember to celebrate milestones too - such as Mother's day which is just around the corner! Thank your mum for everything she's done with a heartfelt and personalised gift
❤️ Even if you're not living together, it can be a sweet reminder that she's in your thoughts. Small actions like these don't just build and strengthen good relationships but create a ripple effect when it motivates your loved one to do good for others too. ?
2. Reach out to your friends and family
We haven't seen our friends or extended family in a while - but we can still find ways to show them that we're thinking about them. ☺️ Surprise your friend by ordering their favourite drink or snack and have it delivered to their door with a heartfelt message. It'll make their day, and if they've been fasting it'll be a great after-iftar sweet treat!
For friends that are having special occasions soon such as anniversaries, birthdays, or milestones such as graduations, it might feel extra lonely to celebrate during the lockdown. Order a cake or sweet treat for them, or order them a specialised care package
so that they can treat themselves to a special day without leaving the house.
Hari Raya is also coming up, and while we may be spending Raya at home this year we can still spread the festive joy! Order a round of Raya kuih and cookies
or Ramadan bazaar goodies
for your family, and keep the festive spirit going through these unusual times. ?
3. Do acts of kindness for strangers
We can also find ways to reach out to others in the community we may not know but interact with on a daily basis. ? If you have any elderly neighbours nearby, check in on them and make sure they're safe and taken care of right now. If they need help getting groceries, meals, or other essentials, see if you can volunteer to do it or reach out to a local organisation that can help handle it for you.
Leaving positive reviews for businesses (especially independent or home-based businesses) and eateries you've enjoyed may take just 5 minutes of your time, but means the world to them. If you're ordering delivery to your house, add a tip for the delivery riders if you can - even a small amount can go a long way! ?
If you're ordering in delivery for your iftar you can also leave small care packages of drinks, dates, or crackers for Muslim delivery riders who are still fulfilling orders when it's time to break their fast. ? Many Muslim delivery riders may not get to break their fast until much later, so giving them a care package can give them a needed boost after a long day. ?? Even non-Muslim riders may appreciate a small treat as a token of appreciation.
If you know any front line workers, essential workers, or volunteers who are now busy around-the-clock, don't just stop at asking them what you can do to help. If they're having trouble getting groceries, ask them for a shopping list and order some essentials online
for them. ? You can also donate to initiatives that are providing food for frontline workers, and spread the word so that more people can learn about it and help!
4. Volunteer or donate to community initiatives
"I heard the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, say, 'A man is not a believer who fills his stomach while his neighbour is hungry.'" (Ibn 'Abbas)
If your nearby community centre is organising food drives or other initiatives to help the needy, see if you can sign up as a volunteer or help them in any way. Food drives and meal distributions are even more crucial during Ramadan as they help families ensure they receive proper meals for sahur and iftar.
Credit: Roses of Peace on Facebook
In Singapore, the #SGUnited Buka Puasa Initiative
is going on at community centres around the island and you can sign up to volunteer to give out the meals
. In Malaysia, you can visit the #KitaJagaKita
website to look for volunteer opportunities
or check out these 10 ways to help others around the country
. In Indonesia, there are many initiatives listed on Kitabisa
including their #BisaMakan
program that provides meals for healthcare front liners, essential daily workers, and vulnerable groups such as the homeless.
5. Help others around the world
Lastly, if we have the means to we should definitely try to do good for others around the world as well. In times of crisis such as this, many non-profit organisations and charities are stretched thin more than ever to provide essential aid on the ground to their beneficiaries.
Organisations such as the UNHCR are hosting Ramadan donation drives right now to help Muslim refugees receive basic needs this Ramadan
and start new lives in their host countries
. Islamic Relief
also helps Muslims in communities worldwide, and you can also donate to secular organisations such as Doctors Without Borders
, Amnesty International
, and Oxfam
whose global programmes help change the lives of millions.
If you have a specific interest such as supporting wildlife or caring for the environment, look up organisations dedicated to those causes! Many zoos worldwide allow you to adopt and name animals as part of their fund-raising, or you can find an organisation that plants trees worldwide. Did you know that so long as the tree provides shelter or food for someone else your 'donation' continues to live on? ?? Launchgood
is a platform for Muslims to host crowdfunding campaigns for passion projects and charitable causes - you might even find out about causes you didn't know about before, or help to contribute to groundbreaking projects like building mosques!
No matter how you choose to do sadaqah, what matters is your genuine intention behind it as well as the impact it has on beneficiaries. ? During this month of Ramadan, may we remember the vulnerable around us, and do our best to help them out as much as we can.