One day, my brother and I went to a restaurant around our neighborhood and had some leftovers. It was just a bit of salad and a small piece of bread. Although it was not a lot, we felt guilty throwing it out. We were going to walk back home, so we thought it would be a good idea to leave it at a bus stop or give it to a homeless person if we passed by one.
During our walk home, my brother and I were thirsty, so we stopped by a convenience store to get some soda. We noticed that there was a homeless man nearby. He was not asking for money or anything, but just sitting there. My brother and I were both hesitant at first to approach him, since he was not asking anyone for anything. We went into the store and bought our drinks, and the man was till out there, so I decided that it would not hurt to ask him. I went up to him and asked if he would like some food. He responded, “Oh, yes, thank you so much…I am starving”. I gave him the bag and my brother and I left.
When we looked back, we noticed that he began eating it right away. Although we both felt happy at first, my brother and I still had this sense of guilt because we knew that the food was not a lot. It was a very hot day, and we both knew that the amount was probably not enough to keep him full. However, we continued our walk, and did nothing about it.
The reason why I wanted to share this encounter, because even though it was a small interaction, it still stuck with me. My brother and I should have not only given the leftovers, but we should have bought him something else as well because the poor man was starving. Not only that, but we were right next to a convenient store that had fresh food and drinks. In the Qur’an it says, “Be steadfast in prayer, practice regular charity, and bow down your heads with those who bow down (in worship)” (2:43). Additionally, Ibn Abbas reported: The Prophet (pbuh) said, “He is not a believer whose stomach is filled while the neighbor to his side goes hungry.” This teaches us that we cannot be proud of ourselves just for giving some charity, but we should always be encouraged to give more if we can. If we have an opportunity to perform and act of goodness, we should take complete advantage of the situation because we may not be given the opportunity in the future. May Allah (swt) provide us all with ample opportunities to increase our iman and serve him in the best manner possible. Ameen.
Please share any similar situations or encounters that you have had so that we may all benefit insha’Allah.