By Noor H. Salem
I faced so many different perspectives this Ramadan, and walked away with a different contemplation from each. Ramadan began while I was still in Turkey, and Iâ€™ve experienced something thing that Iâ€™ve never seen before. The generosity and love that spills from the hearts of the people in Kahramanmaras, Turkey was astonishing. We would be invited into their homes, treated like long time friends, feel comfortable and have an amazing time, and even receive a gift at the end. The people of Turkey have something the rest of the world lacks, that is their generosity.
A week later I flew back home to Michigan and enjoyed two days with family and friends before I began packing for yet another adventure. Iâ€™ve prayed taraweeh at the local mosque, and realized how easy it was for fundraisers to gather donations. Random ladies walked around passing out mamoul cookies and snacks to those around them. Others would simply smile, and I realized how people change during these nights. Peopleâ€™s hearts open up, smile at by passers, and give to those in need. Little did I know this was the least I would see.
We drove down to Charlotte, North Carolina, my hometown, where my uncle and many old family friends live. We went to their local masjid and again, donations between and after prayers were very successful as Muslims invested in their hereafter bank accounts. The third night there we went to a Syrian Fundraising Dinner, where they auctioned off flags and other novelties at a great donated deal. The fundraising was successful unsurprisingly, and Muslims did not fail to help those in need across the globe.
We continued our road trip down to Florida to see my brother who was invited to lead prayers in a masjid for the month. I was amazed at the welcoming community and enjoyed praying in different masjids. Again, the organizations that sponsored orphans, Syrian refugees, and hungry Muslims worldwide were uncountable.
Via the web, my email and Facebook stream flooded with different fundraisers and groups, the one that touched me most was the Joplin Mosque Fundraising. This mosque was burned down in Missouri August 6, 2012. They had a goal of raising 205,000 over a period of approximately 50 days. Within days they far passed that goal, and the unity of the Muslims shined. It saddened me to know the true figures of hungry Muslims across the globe, and the statistics of the Syrian refugees distressed me even more.
It truly amazes me how generous people become during this month, and I find it important for us to understand how our dollar can stretch into a meal for another family out there. We as Muslims know it is to our greater benefit to give, as the prophet Muhammad (s) taught us and was a great role model of giving. Whether itâ€™s sponsoring an orphan, or simply giving someone a date, every deed is taken into account. We are aware it is Ramadan, and deeds are multiplied, so it would be unwise of one to be stingy during this time. It is as if the stock market is promising a great boost, and we decide to not invest. We are given an opportunity for great reward, and we must not let it bypass.