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"The charity you give will be your shade on the Day of Judgment."
Assalamu alaikum: I stumbled across a touching narrative which served as a reminder to me towards my duties to Allah (SWT) and humanity. I would like to share it with you because many times we often get caught up with our worldly "life schedule". We are so consumed with taking care of ourselves and the needs of our family that we may not remember to put aside time on a consistent basis to give to others who are less fortunate and needy. Sometimes we only give charity at a certain time of the year (Ramadan, Eid ul Adha, or when there is a disaster and groups are reaching out to appeal for aid). While these are indeed important instances to give charity; we should be consistent in giving aid, being charitable and offering goodwill. The following story entails doing good now, knowing that your kindness may help someone at some time, somewhere. Story: We enter a little coffeehouse with a friend of mine and give our order. While we’re approaching our table two people come in and they go to the counter: Five coffees, please, two of them for us and "three suspended’. They pay for their order, take the two and leave. I ask my friend: "What are those ‘suspended’ coffees?" My friend: "Wait for it and you will see." Some more people enter.
Two girls ask for one coffee each, pay and go. The next order was for seven coffees and it was made by three lawyers - three for them and four ‘suspended’. While I still wonder what’s the deal with those ‘suspended’ coffees, I enjoy the sunny weather and the beautiful view towards the square in front of the café. Suddenly a man dressed in shabby clothes who looks like a beggar comes in through the door and kindly asks, "Do you have a suspended coffee?" It’s simple - people pay in advance for a coffee meant for someone who cannot afford a warm beverage. Others came in and paid for "suspended sandwiches" or a whole meal." In other words, these kind folks, did not only buy food or drinks to satisfy their hunger, but also pre-paid for drinks and meals for those who may walk in homeless, hungry and needy. These kind deeds became a daily ritual with many customers at the café and many of the poor and needy benefitted from these random acts of kindness. The Prophet Muhammad (saw) tells us that "Allah loves most those deeds that are consistent, even if small." [Sahih al-Bukhari]. These acts of charity done in advance, is described as "paying it forward." We should not wait to hear about a disaster, or wait until someone falls flat on their backs, or wait until we’re having a good day to share a smile or listen to someone else’s problems, in order to give of ourselves , our wealth, our labor or our time. Not everyone needs our money, but everyone can benefit from our time and effort. We thank Allah (SWT) that we do not need "suspended meals", but there are many who need not just "suspended meals, but suspended time spent with them, suspended smiles, suspended donations, suspended care.
I remind myself and then others to consistently give of your labor, your wealth, your time and your effort to make a difference in someones’ life.
When we "pay it forward" by selflessly helping others in need; solely for the pleasure of Allah (SWT), Insha Allah; He will reward our charitable deeds in this life and will also "forward our payment for our good deeds" to the hereafter when we will need it most. May Allah (SWT) always guide us and our children to the path of goodness (Ameen).
Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W) said: "visit the sick, feed the hungry, and set free the captives." [Bukhari]
"Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier.~Mother Teresa"
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