Ramadan is a time when the community comes together to help those that are less fortunate. During this holy month, you will see many Muslims volunteering their time to put together food hampers for those in need, hosting community iftars for those who are alone due to being reverts or not having family around, or participating in fundraisers to raise money for charities.
While all of the above is beautiful and is exactly what needs to be done to not only gain rewards in Ramadan, but to also help out our community, it can make certain people feel like they are useless when they are not able to participate in any of these community events.
Personally speaking, I would feel slightly down whenever I saw one of my Facebook friends volunteering her time to help cook meals for the homeless in our city. Of course I was so very proud of her and all that she was doing to help others, but at the same time I was disappointed in myself. I mean, if she could do it, so I could I, right? We were both mothers, so how was she able to get involved in these community events and I wasn’t able to?
After a brief moment of putting myself down and feeling powerless, I had to remind myself that although we were both mothers, we were in different situations, therefore I shouldn’t compare myself to my friend, or anyone else for that matter.
I was in a situation where I didn’t have anyone to watch my children, for my husband works seven days a week, and getting a babysitter to watch my four children would not be something I could afford. Moreover, having a very active toddler means that I cannot take him with me to events, because if I did, I would be chasing after him most of the time rather than helping out. Having anxiety can also leave me feeling overwhelmed from time to time, so much so, that it has the power to prevent me from leaving my home sometimes.
There are many reasons why individuals may not be able to participate in community events, such as
- Mental illness- often times, mental illness, such as depression, prevents individuals from leaving their homes, as they may feel overwhelmed. Furthermore, some people are unable to be amongst a large group of new faces, it spikes up anxiety and may set off a panic attack.
- Physical illness- there are many illnesses that make it painful for people to be out in public for a long duration of time. Some individuals may not be able to stand or sit for a long duration of time, some may get intense migraines, and so on.
- Responsibilities of being a parent or taking care of an elder
- Lack of transportation
- Work or school commitments
We should never compare ourselves to others, nor should anyone compare us to each other. Sometimes, a person may look happy and healthy, but we don’t know that they may be struggling with something that we don’t know of. Remember, being kind and non-judgmental is always the right thing to do, especially in Ramadan.
Although some of us aren’t able to actively go out into our community and lend a helping hand, there are some things we can do from home, for instance
- Make dua for those who are suffering
- Donate to charities online, every dollar counts!
- Sort through your belongings and give away anything you no longer need
- Provide supplies and materials, like baskets for food hampers. If you are unable to drop off the materials, have someone pick them up from your home.
- Use your skills to create promotional posters or flyers online and send the file link to the organizers to print out and distribute
- Share community events on your social media pages
While we should encourage others to host or assist with events within the community and try our best to participate as well, keep in mind that every act that you engage in, whether it be outside of your home or within in, will be rewarded as long as your intention is right.