In honor of the upcoming month of Ramadan, where we should be striving to increase all of our good deeds and earn multiplied reward, I thought I would share some of my favorite ways to spend in the way of Allah swt. Charity doesn’t only have to be money, there is so much more to it than that!
1.Buy food for the next homeless person you find, whether a small coffee or a full meal, whatever you can afford. In this day and age, you never know where your money is going to go, but you can know you are doing good by helping someone hungry to get some hot food into their body.
2.Lend a helping hand to someone you see struggling with something. Help that old woman carry her groceries, help that kid fix his bike, help the disabled person access the building you are going into. Help your wife with the housework, help your kids with their school work. Even just holding a door open with a smile can be a great way to brighten someone’s day.
3.Smile at your brothers in Islam, stop for a conversation. I’ve talked about it before, but a smile can go a long way! And if you have time, why not actually stop to say salaam to that sister in the queue at the post office with you, ask how she is, have a little human connection? During Ramadan hosting iftar can also be a great way to connect and get the blessing of feeding other fasting people.
4.Pick up trash or other debris from walkways and roads; especially try to pick things up from natural places like beaches or meadows. You will be doing something good for the earth, and in shaa Allah being rewarded at the same time!
5.Feed the animals! I can’t tell you how many cats we have hanging around our house because they know my husband and I are the suckers that will always give them some food, even if it is off of our own plates, but kindness to animals is almost as important as kindness to humans in Islam. We have a responsibility to take care of Allah’s swt creations that are less capable than us, so what harm will it do if you leave some of your iftar leftovers outside for the stray cats or dogs? Maybe don’t put food out if you live somewhere where it will bring bears or mountain lions…but cats, dogs, birds, and small animals will all sure appreciate the meal!