Ramadan is the month of generosity and charity, as fasting allows us to realize how much we have and how little others have. It helps us understand the suffering and the pains of the poor and the needy and gives us a greater sense of responsibility towards others in general.
Here is a glimpse of how regular people can be thoughtful and kind throughout the holy month of fasting.
1. It starts with Ramadan donations
Every Ramadan, Muslim youth around the world help distribute donated foods to less fortunate families. They make sure the bags are ready before Ramadan so that the families are able to welcome the holy month with enough food for iftar and suhoor.
2. Free iftars at mosques are a must-attend
Iftar is a time for breaking one's fast, but above all, it's about sharing food with people, friends, and yes, complete strangers. It's all about sharing the love.
3. Saudi Arabia's holy cities, Mecca and Medina are in a league of their own
Just look at how excited this man at the prophet's mosque in Medina is! He is inviting people for iftar and greeting each one of them with a kiss on the forehead (a sign of utmost respect and humility).
One of the things I remember from my days in Saudi Arabia is seeing a man stand with his children at the grand mosque in the heart of Mecca, offering food and drinks to fasting worshipers during iftar. Heartwarming to say the least!
4. Tables for everyone
One of the best things I love about Ramadan in Egypt is Mawa'ed El-Rahman (Tables of the Most Merciful).
Mawa'ed El-Rahman are charity restaurants. They offer food free-of-charge after sunset to all people, rich or poor.
They are common in Egypt, as they are in many places around the world where Muslims celebrate Ramadan.
5. Running late for iftar? No worries!
If you happen to be driving home during iftar, It's not uncommon to be stopped on the road by people offering you bottles of water, and most importantly, dates. Both Muslims and Christians alike participate in such acts of kindness.
6. Invitations for iftar and suhoor
Families throw mouth watering iftars and suhoor gatherings for immediate and extended family members. It's totally fine to host 30 people all at once if your house can accommodate.
If not, people tend to gather in smaller groups throughout the month, or just meet at restaurants where they can fight over the iftar bill afterward!
It's crucial though not to waste food - we must remember that moderation is key.
Happy Ramadan everyone!