Monday Column: In the spirit of the last week of Ramadan

Opinion Monday 17/April/2023 07:30 AM
By: Saleh Al-Shaibany
Monday Column: In the spirit of the last week of Ramadan

WE ARE in the last week of Ramadan and all of us are looking forward for the Eid holidays that are ahead of us but we may have missed a point or two in this holy month.

While we are planning a lavish Eid celebrations with festival meals and events, the question is whether we observed well the rituals in the past three weeks. The earthly bounties were the meals we ate in the Iftaar but the question is if we really raised our hands to be grateful.

But that is not all, have we really showed our appreciation to God by giving a “little something’ to the poor during the month. Not all the families are blessed with a good income. Some are struggling to make ends meet but we should not elaborate in the details of it.  Gratitude to God can be expressed in many ways and prayers are only a part of it.

We know, for some, to open their wallets to share the cash with the less fortunate is never easy. They are always worried that there may be some hard times ahead and they may need it in the future. But it does not have to be a lot of money because every little helps. As the Eid gets closer, this is the right time to reconsider it.

The spirit of Ramadan always culminate in the first day of Eid and we can a spare a thought in this last week of fasting to the less fortunate. I am not sure where I came across the words that the ‘spirit of Eid is empathy’. Whoever said it then deserves a medal. If we do not give to the poor then we do not show compassion to the world around us. And if we don’t have compassion, we cannot connect to the next fellow human being.

In simple words, giving is the best way to show gratitude to God. And why should we give? Because we want to see a better world around us. The world of togetherness and well-being. It is not an exaggeration that sparing a little cash save people from not only starvation but illness. If you think I am exaggeration, then think of what has been happening in Yemen, Somalia and Ethiopia, to give just a few examples.
Of course, charity begins at home but a few more rials further from home always help.

It is a humbling experience and it can bring together people from very different lives and circumstances, both home and far from home. To go with the current technology, online donation is very effective if you don’t know where to reach the needy. People don’t have to be physically present to still make a difference and be attentive to the true meaning and intention in donating.

It is the act of giving that we find joy in ourselves. So let us reach out in this last week of Ramadan to make the Eid celebrations of the poor more meaningful.