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Empathy Towards The Poor

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God Almighty says in the Qur’an:

“Look how We have favoured [in provision] some of them over others. But the Hereafter is greater in degrees [of difference] and greater in distinction.”

In Islam, we believe that God Almighty has favoured in provision some people over others, by giving them more wealth, blessings and gifts. This is in fact a mercy and blessing in disguise from God, for those who do not have the material pleasures of this world will be recompensed with better in the Hereafter if they stood by the truth of the statement La Ilaha Illa Allah – There is no one worthy of worship except for God.

It also stands as a test for those with material provision, to see whether they will spend from their money and time for the sake of God Almighty and if they will show empathy and compassion towards the poor and destitute.

The month of Ramadan is the perfect opportunity to help the poor, as it is in this month that rewards are multiplied by great amounts. It is in this month that God Almighty’s mercy extends far and wide and is at hands reach. Therefore, the blessed month of Ramadan should be one where we empty our pockets by spending in the way of God. The Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) himself increased in his generosity in this month. He was known to be the most generous of people and he was the most generous in the month of Ramadan. He showed mercy to the poor and treated them with utmost kindness, and there was no barrier between them and him.

And through his many examples, we learn that generosity and compassion towards those who are less fortunate than us can be displayed in several different ways. From donating money so that they can provide for themselves and their families, to going out of one’s way to purchase goods, food and clothing which can be donated to those less fortunate in the neighbourhood areas. Perhaps even cooking a meal for them or sharing one’s futoor with them. Whatever it may be, God Almighty is Ever Seeing and will not let any of these deeds go unnoticed. Your acts of generosity will be rewarded in manifold and multiplied in this noble month.

Empathy towards the poor is limitless, it also includes raising your hands in the depth of the night, just before the break of dawn, and asking God Almighty to shower His mercy and aid upon these people, to remove their poverty, bless their wealth and grant them ease in all their difficulties. This is also a responsibility that we owe our fellow brothers and sisters suffering around the world. And indeed, supplication to God for another individual is from amongst the best gifts that one can give! God Almighty will respond to you and grant you in return the same or more, for the angels say Amen to every supplication you make for your brother or sister in Islam.

So, brothers and sisters, let this month be a month where you give, give and give more. Let it be a time where you reflect upon the plight of the suffering Muslims in all corners of the world. Raise your hands and make du’aa and supplicate for those who have not been blessed with the luxuries and wealth that you live with every day. Spend in the path of God Almighty sincerely seeking His Face, and He will grant you much more in return.


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When Adam () mistakenly ate from the tree in Jannah, he immediately turned to God Almighty in repentance. When Yunus (pbuh) was swallowed by the whale, he too turned to God in repentance. When Musa (pbuh) accidently killed a man, guilt caused him to turn back to God in penitence. In fact, all the Prophets of God and the pious predecessors that came after them would remind the people of the ample mercy and generosity of God Almighty. They would constantly be in a state of repentance, sincerely and humbly, for even the smallest of sins. They understood that their Lord was a Merciful one, who accepted their repentance over and over and over again.

So how does one repent in Islam? The word for repentance in Arabic is ‘’Tawbah” and linguistically means to turn. Repentance in Islam has several conditions attached to it and is not to be taken lightly. Firstly, one must feel remorse for the sin that they have committed, secondly they must make the firm intention not to return to the sin again, and should have an immediate renunciation of that sin, and finally if the sin took away the right of an individual, then the right must be given back to that individual, or they must compensate for it.

Repentance is a beloved act to God as it shows the humility and sincerity of those worshipping Him and their acknowledgement of their own mistakes and God’s infinite mercy. As Muslims, we should never feel that our sins are too big, or that we will never be forgiven or shown mercy. This is contrary to our belief, as God has many names such as Al-Ghaffaar – the perpetual forgiver, and Al-‘Afuww – the Pardoner, both of which describe His forgiving nature.

God Almighty speaks to us eloquently in the Qur’an when He says:

قُلۡ يَـٰعِبَادِىَ ٱلَّذِينَ أَسۡرَفُواْ عَلَىٰٓ أَنفُسِهِمۡ لَا تَقۡنَطُواْ مِن رَّحۡمَةِ ٱللَّهِ‌ۚ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ يَغۡفِرُ ٱلذُّنُوبَ جَمِيعًا‌ۚ إِنَّهُ ۥ هُوَ ٱلۡغَفُورُ ٱلرَّحِيمُ

“Say: “O My slaves who have transgressed against themselves (by committing evil deeds and sins)! Despair not of the Mercy of God, verily God Almighty forgives all sins. Truly, He is oft-forgiving, Most Merciful.”

[(39): 53]

God Almighty created His slaves and knows them well, knows their every thought and every action, knows that they will sin and loves when they turn back to Him. And so He provided them with the act of Tawbah, something so beautiful, which if they practice, will not only wipe away their sins, but will increase them in blessings and bring them closer to God! Such is the mercy of God.

So Muslims are advised to repent all the time, but in Ramadan this is emphasized because it is a great opportunity to reflect upon ones deeds, actions and speech and ask for sincere, heartfelt forgiveness. For it is in Ramadan that the rewards of deeds are multiplied and God’s Mercy extends far and wide over His worshipping slaves. The door of repentance is always open and is never closed. Not until the soul reaches the collarbone, for then there is no going back.

In fact the Arch Angel Gabriel once appeared before Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him), saying:

“Woe to him who found the blessed month of Ramadan and let it pass by without gaining forgiveness. “ Prophet Muhammad replied: Amen.

So dear brothers and sisters, let Ramadan be a month where you turn back to God Almighty, in a humble state, and cry and beg Him to forgive you your sins, for your Lord is awaiting your repentance. He loves when His slave turns to Him for a need. So turn to God, with a heart full of remorse, for His door of forgiveness is always wide open.

May God Almighty give us the ability to recognize when we err and allow us to immediately turn to Him in sincere forgiveness. May He forgive us and have mercy upon us and allow us to be amongst those that have our Tawbah accepted, ameen.


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Shukr is a quality and characteristic that mankind as a whole have yet to master. It is often overlooked in the lives of many and is rarely given its due importance. This lack of having Shukr is recurrent in history and will continue till the end of time, and has brought many nations to their dreaded end. You are probably wondering by now what exactly Shukr is.

Shukr is an Arabic term that is often translated as ‘thankfulness’ and ‘gratitude’. Shukr has been defined by scholars of Islam as the mentioning of God’s blessings upon the slave’s tongue, the slave’s recognition of these blessings in his heart, and obedience of the limbs due to these blessings. Therefore, Shukr stems from acknowledgement of God’s blessings upon you, and this is then shown in the form of gratitude and appreciation through actions of the heart, tongue, and body, and sincere worship to God.

Shukr helps us to focus our minds on God, something that has unfortunately become so difficult in today’s day and age, with the hustle and bustle of life and the various distractions and attractions in this world. It helps to correct our perceptions and serves as a reminder to us that everything we have in life comes from God and will inevitably return to God. Our health, our wealth, our youth, our time, and our lives are all gifts granted to us by God Almighty and we must constantly remember Him and thank Him for the uncountable blessings showered upon us, and doing this will only increase us in more blessings as God Almighty tells us in the following verse:

وَإِذۡ تَأَذَّنَ رَبُّكُمۡ لَٮِٕن شَڪَرۡتُمۡ لَأَزِيدَنَّكُمۡ‌ۖ وَلَٮِٕن ڪَفَرۡتُمۡ إِنَّ عَذَابِى لَشَدِيدٌ۬

“And (remember) when your Lord proclaimed: ‘If you give thanks (by accepting Faith and worshipping none but God Almighty), I will give you more (of My Blessings); but if you are thankless, verily, My punishment is indeed severe.” [Ibraheem 14:7]

How Merciful is God Almighty! From this verse, we learn that showing Shukr will increase us in even more blessings, and so even when we thank and praise God for His many blessings, He continues to increase us in them, and this is from the vast bounty of our Lord.

Amazingly, Ramadan is connected to Shukr as well. In fact, one of the main purposes for the fasting in Ramadan is so that we may learn to be grateful, and so that we may do Shukr.

In Islam, we are taught to not only show gratitude and appreciation to God, but also to the people, for their favours upon us as well. The Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) would often stress on practicing Shukr and say: “He who does not thank people, does not thank God.”

Looking back into Islamic history, we see the examples and stories of the legends that came before us, our Prophets and pious predecessors, and can derive numerous lessons from their lives – including those of Shukr and Sabr.

Shukr and Sabr, the Arabic terms for gratitude and perseverance, often come hand in hand with one another. As Muslims, we are advised to show Shukr in times of good and Sabr in times of bad.

The Prophet Muhammad ﷺ explained this lesson to us eloquently in his saying:

“How amazing is the case of the believer; there is good for him in everything, and this characteristic is exclusively for him alone. If he experiences something pleasant, he is thankful, and that is good for him; and if he comes across some diversity, he is patient, and that is good for him.”

So, dear brothers and sisters, we must take care to be grateful and exert patience at all times, as we will continuously be put through tests in this world by God, and only through beautiful Shukr and Sabr will we be able to achieve the status of true believers.

We ask God Almighty to grant us a beautiful Shukr in this blessed month and the months to follow, to make us from those who show Shukr at all times, and to gift us with a beautiful reward in this world and the Hereafter.