Charity Beyond Faith

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This article is a tribute to the kindheartedness of my non-Muslim friends who never wasted a single minute to help my fellow Muslims in need  of help sometime in June of 2011, when a natural calamity hit the province of Maguindanao and City of Cotabato . My heart shall always remember them as long as I live.

Ingersoll said: We rise by lifting others. I submit.

The Book: Real Life

Real life is an excellent book authored by my dear friend, Dolly Palisada. The photo shows that Dolly featured my personal message,  to convey the importance of doing charity amidst the challenges that confronted the team of the Tabang Maguindanao Bayanihan– an online group which I created on Facebook to help the poor flood victims.

My message spoke of the need for the initiative of the private sector to assist those in need and do it without delay. Hence, we must not depend on the government to help when the need arises if we can act decisively for the helpless.

The book also shares the wonderful stories of great individuals who went out of their way to touch lives.

Doubts?

I was expecting the response of some peope to doubt my motive and color it politically because I come from a family of politicians and those threatened by the popularity of my cause will not see me as an ally.

However, it did not deter my determination to prove that even without the resources of the government, we can deliver help, no matter how small.

Perhaps, it was the impetus needed for everyone to start doing their share, more so because they are obligated to do it for they have sufficient funds from the government’s coffer.

Objective minds need to prevail over small mindedness. Great minds as we all know seek to solve problems and not dwell in it.

Beyond Qatar

After creating Tabang Maguindanao Bayanihan (TMB) on Facebook on June 4, 2011, My Kuya Ben Leano, a brother beyond blood and one of my truest friends, assisted me by linking up with the Reform the Arm Movement (RAM) of Danny Tan. RAM decided to use their office to receive donations from Metro Manila. Truly touching.

Dolly,  and another equally committed friend, Ruby Dapitan, helped me collect relief items such as old clothes and other things needed by the flood refugees. Ruby is based in Qatar  but despite the geographical distance, nothing stopped her to help the victims who were ninety percent Muslims. What truly impressed me about Ruby, Dolly and my other Non-Muslim friends, was their unconditional support to the victims.

Those two friends of mine truly represented the beautiful spirit of humanity.

The group was joined by Joel Ganibe, Mike Portes, Marlene Damolo-Howe and other great friends and we bonded as one for the plight of the Muslim and non-Muslim flood refugees. Our group effort and solid commitment found its way to the refugee centers of Cotabato City and Maguindanao where we distributed the relief goods for the people urgently needing help.

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Beyond Faith

I will forever be grateful to my Tabang Maguindanao Bayanihan family for crossing the borders of faith and helping me unconditionally. I am of the belief that there is no border nor a boxed definition of what kindness should be. Allah (swt) has made everything possible because He wanted to remind everyone, regardless of faith, that humanity is an inclusive reality.

I have been doing my private works in 2012 until the present, but not as a group representing Tabang Maguindanao Bayanihan.  The group stopped its activity before the end of 2011. I decided to work privately  knowing that the other members are also preoccupied with their individual tasks. But I know they will always be there again for another collective action.

Allah (swt) has been helping me with the personal funds I  need. Not much but at least, I can feed not more than thirty poor children when I have to. Sourced from the donation of my own family members. It is now a family activity in the name of dear Allah (swt). Alhamdullilah.

No matter how small my effort is, it is the joy of knowing that I can touch lives, and seeing the smile of the recipients of my charity works– mothers and kids from the poor sector.

Charity is a part of Islam and every Muslim is obligated to do their share.

The Holy Quran [9:60] says:

Charities(Sadaqaat) shall go to the poor, the needy, the workers who collect them, the new converts, to free the slaves, to those burdened by sudden expenses, in the cause of Allah, and to the traveling alien. Such is GOD’s commandment. GOD is Omniscient, Most Wise.

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Serve Allah (swt) more

Serve Allah (swt) more than yourself..

What I want to say is a loving sisterly advice as your partner in elevating the consciousness of every Muslim to a higher level with the guidance of the Holy Quran.

Have you notice how many of us look forward to a new dress in anticipation of the Eidl Fitr after a month of fasting? How much does one new dress cost in the Philippines? Probably a minimum of five hundred pesos. If you use the money to buy foods for the needy, you will serve not only the needy but also our dear Allah (swt) as well. As a Muslim, are you willing to spend your money for selfless endeavors?

Islam preaches strongly about selflessness–to think beyond yourself. To use the chance you get to touch other lives. To use your personal resources if you have the means to feed the hungry.

But in many societies of humankind, we see only charity when the motive is for personal vested interest. Sadly, we only see the passion for personal gains, but not for the betterment of the entire community, unconditionally.

I do not like to sound like a hypocrite, not needing funds for my daily needs. We are all wanting what we do not have, but as a Muslim, we need to remind ourselves that there are many people who could not eat on time, if not at all.

Many people are living below poverty line and they have chosen to die in their abodes because they have no money for hospital fees. They just decided to spend their few pesos for the cost of their interment. Look at how poverty scars the fate of the poor.

Islam worries so much for the poor that is why the last Prophet of Islam, Nabi Muhammad (pbuh), told his wife, Aisha, not to stay away from the poor for in the Akhira, they are the chosen and most favored ones.

So my fellow Muslims, let us spend our extra money for the poor for Allah (swt) will reward you in the Akhirah, Insa`Allah.

Pray with your heart and worry not if you have to use the same clothes last year for the next Eid. 🙂

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