بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ
In the name of Allah, the All Merciful, the Ever Merciful
So we walked along. Another period was coming to an end, the month of Ramadan was nearing towards the finish. And we were in the last ten nights of the blessed month, a time to increase in worship, obedience and goodness.
وَلِكُلٍّ وِجْهَةٌ هُوَ مُوَلِّيهَا ۖ فَاسْتَبِقُوا الْخَيْرَاتِ ۚ أَيْنَ مَا تَكُونُوا يَأْتِ بِكُمُ اللَّهُ جَمِيعًا ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ
And to each is a direction towards which he turns, so race with each other to good. Wherever you may be, Allah will come up with you (i.e., bring you) altogether; surely Allah is Ever-Determiner over everything.
We were a diverse group. From the University of Melbourne, RMIT, and another educational academy. Allah had brought us together for this beautiful campaign, and we walked along towards the food shop as the sky darkened to the night.
قُلِ اللَّهُمَّ مَالِكَ الْمُلْكِ تُؤْتِي الْمُلْكَ مَن تَشَاءُ وَتَنزِعُ الْمُلْكَ مِمَّن تَشَاءُ وَتُعِزُّ مَن تَشَاءُ وَتُذِلُّ مَن تَشَاءُ ۖ بِيَدِكَ الْخَيْرُ ۖ إِنَّكَ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ
Say, "O Allah, Possessor of the Kingship, You bring the kingship to whomever You decide, and You draw (Literally: pluck out) the kingship from whomever You decide, and You render mighty whomever You decide, and You humiliate whomever You decide. In Your Hand is the good; Surely You are Ever-Determiner over everything.
If this project is properly advertised there would be many people who would take part in it. Said one of the volunteers. When he spoke of the project to others, he received good feedback. I agreed with him. This was a noble cause, and something that draws the hearts inshaAllah.
فَاجْعَلْ أَفْئِدَةً مِّنَ النَّاسِ تَهْوِي إِلَيْهِمْ وَارْزُقْهُم مِّنَ الثَّمَرَاتِ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَشْكُرُونَ
So make hearts among the people incline toward them and provide for them from the fruits that they might be grateful.
Yet there was the skeptics and the doubters, and we do not blame you at all beloved ones if you are one. Even if you think many of the homeless do not deserve the help, that their own actions brought them there, that the government gives them payments through centrelink, they are still homeless. They still have no roof, and the comforts and convenience we take for granted. Shouldn't there be groups that extends to them hands of compassion and mercy?
We arrived in the foodshop, and I ordered 15 pizza (slices). The person seemed shocked. "15..?" He asked. Yes, and I explained to him this was for charity, and that the owner had given us discount. I spoke to him from my mother tongue, a language he also spoke. As I took the food it was clear he was affected and touched. Truly, what a beautiful project this was, and truly we ask Allah for acceptance and protection from the Fire, and admittance into the gardens of delight.
تَحِيَّتُهُمْ يَوْمَ يَلْقَوْنَهُ سَلَامٌ ۚ وَأَعَدَّ لَهُمْ أَجْرًا كَرِيمًا
Their greeting the Day they meet Him will be, "Peace." And He has prepared for them a noble reward.
We also met the owner and he once again confirmed the same discounted price as last year. May Allah reward him for this! For he had raised his price, yet he gave us at the same cheap price as before.
Now one volunteer stood by, and the others stood around him, and listened, as he reminded them why they were doing this project. So he recited to them the words of Allah, the Mighty and Majestic:
وَيُطْعِمُونَ الطَّعَامَ عَلَىٰ حُبِّهِ مِسْكِينًا وَيَتِيمًا وَأَسِيرًا
إِنَّا نَخَافُ مِن رَّبِّنَا يَوْمًا عَبُوسًا قَمْطَرِيرًا
And they give food in spite of love for it (or love for Him) to the needy, the orphan, and the captive,
[Saying], "We feed you only for the Face of Allah . We wish not from you reward or gratitude.
This was why we were doing this project. It is not for some payment, or thanks. Not for the attention of the people or the readers who is reading this. We are seeking Allah's pleasure. Wanting that Allah is pleased with this effort of ours. And we needed to renew our intentions, and remind ourselves of it.
And with this the food distribution began. One brother, who was doing this for the first time gave food to someone and he said it felt good. I understood what he meant. Yes, for as we do this, inshaAllah (God willing), our own hearts are affected.
We started distributing packet. An elderly man was sleeping, and I left besides him one. We walked along, as 15 packets were distributed. And now it was time to head over to the Masjid, for the night prayers in Ramadan.
وَإِذْ يَرْفَعُ إِبْرَاهِيمُ الْقَوَاعِدَ مِنَ الْبَيْتِ وَإِسْمَاعِيلُ رَبَّنَا تَقَبَّلْ مِنَّا ۖ إِنَّكَ أَنتَ السَّمِيعُ الْعَلِيمُ
And as Ibrahim raised up the foundations of the Home and Ismail (with him), (saying), "Our Lord, accept (this) from us. Surely You, Ever You, are The Ever-Hearing, The Ever-Knowing
بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ
We shook hands and the Homeless man said something like 'youre a very good person.' If he had reasons to be grateful, than how many reasons do we have brothers and sisters to be grateful?
رَّبَّنَا إِنِّي أَسْكَنتُ مِن ذُرِّيَّتِي بِوَادٍ غَيْرِ ذِي زَرْعٍ عِندَ بَيْتِكَ الْمُحَرَّمِ رَبَّنَا لِيُقِيمُوا الصَّلَاةَ فَاجْعَلْ أَفْئِدَةً مِّنَ النَّاسِ تَهْوِي إِلَيْهِمْ وَارْزُقْهُم مِّنَ الثَّمَرَاتِ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَشْكُرُونَ
"Our Lord, I have settled some of my descendants in an uncultivated valley near Your sacred House, our Lord, that they may establish prayer. So make hearts among the people incline toward them and provide for them from the fruits that they might be grateful."
In the name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful.
Our volunteer, who was dressed in a yellow thobe that night, recounts his story:
The Imam continued the beautiful recitation of the Quran. The only problem was I was locked in and couldn't get out. Some Psycho kid maybe had locked me into the room as a Prank. But later I found I hadn't unlocked the door properly. Lol, I got out. Our adventures began Alhamdulillah.
How many of us, living in countries where people are wealthy, never think of feeding the poor. As I walked, I saw what appeared a man taking food packet from the trash bin. I gave him the food.
An Asian looking lady was eating something. She smiled broadly as we gave her the food.
As I passed by, I heard someone saying they have to pay some money for busking (he wasn't a music player. Rather some other expert). And I realized that it is not the people sitting saying they are homeless who are needy, or people selling the Big Issues, but the people selling, performing, etc in the street. Many of them, or most of them, or all of them are needy. But they are trying to do something to earn a living.
Later that night, I thought someone stole my wallet, and thought what a great opportunity to earn some good deeds by forgiving the thief.
أَلَا تُحِبُّونَ أَن يَغْفِرَ اللَّهُ لَكُمْ ۗ وَاللَّهُ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ
Wouldn't you like that Allah should forgive you? And Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.
So I forgave him, but found the wallet wasnt stolen at all. I had just left it somewhere."