3: The Race to Feed

3

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This Ramadan…

[Original photot credit: Visit Abu Dhabi]

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This Ramadan… I will race to feed the fasting.

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Whoever gives iftar to one who is fasting will have a reward like his, without that detracting from the reward of the one who fasted.

[Saheeh al-Tirmidhi]

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At a community iftar at our masjid, they asked us both to hand out dates to the sisters. And so, holding onto my box of dates, I looked around, scanning the room for sisters who hadn’t broken their fast yet, while my friend darted quickly around, greeting people at the door as they came in, handing them dates to break their fast with before I even saw them. At this rate, I wouldn’t get a chance to reach anyone before she did, and I smiled at my friend’s enthusiasm to feed people, to fill her day — not just with the reward of her own fast — but with the reward of all these other people’s fasts.

This Ramadan, I want to feed the fasting people, too. And I don’t just want to feed them — I want to race to feed them, like my friend did with her box of dates. I want to dart eagerly towards people who left their food and drink during the daytime only to please their Lord, I want to rush towards Allah’s pleasure and the promise of His reward.

This Ramadan, I want to hand out dates to the fasting whenever I can: I’ll pick up the pace of my feet, smile to greet people, and flying across the room, I’ll remember the example of my friend. This Ramadan, I want to cook iftar for my family: simple, delicious meals to help sustain them, bi’ithnAllah, during the long days of fast. Iftar parties will be more than just social gatherings. I’ll cook and help out, not as a chore, but because I want every bite of food consumed to count as a good deed.

I won’t let the time I spend cooking take away from my other worship — from praying on time and reading the Qur’an. I’ll spend my time listening to beneficial lectures or the recitation of Allah’s Book. I’ll remember Allah, with my heart and with my tongue, even while I’m in the kitchen.

This Ramadan, I want to remember the words of the Prophet salla Allahu alayhi wasallam, that “The fasting person will have two moments of joy: one, when he breaks his fast; and the other when he meets his Lord, when he will be pleased because of his fasting.” [Bukhari]

The long, summer days of this Ramadan may be difficult to fast. But I want to remember the reward waiting for me because of this difficulty. As I break my fast and experience the first joy of the fasting person, I want to look forward to the second, greater joy of meeting Allah ta’ala on the Day of Judgment. And as the day’s sun sets and Maghrib time comes in, I want to share in the joy of fasting with my family and my friends, with my fellow Muslims… and I want to share in the reward for racing to feed them.

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