Imagine not having enough food and so having to decide which one of your children you are able to feed, or being so thirsty that you are forced to drink water you know is contaminated with infection-causing bacteria. Nevertheless, you hear stories of a land hundreds of miles away where the grass is greener on the other side and you decide to make your way there.
You travel miles upon miles barefoot, without shoes through lands that are inhabitated by wild animals and other lands where tribal warfare is rampant. You put your heart and energy into this journey for the sake of your family and when you finally arrive at your destination, you realize the situation is not any better than it was back at your own home. There are thousands of people around you and they are all starving without any food or clean water. Disease and infections are raiding your community and everyday you wake up you wonder whether or not you will be alive come the evening time.
And yet it could have been quite possible that you would have had a better outcome if only your fellow brother or sister overseas had decided to dip into his or her pocket a bit and donated a little something towards your situation. The situation discussed above was very real and is a description of the people that experienced the famine in the East African Crisis!
Alḥamdulillāh, brothers and sisters, many of us are not being left to die in the desert or having to decide which child of ours has the better chance of survival. Instead, we live in a world of comfort and ease. We can turn on the A/C in the summer time with the flip of a switch and we can do the same with a heater in the winter time when we feel just a tad bit chilly. We can set our thermostats to within a degree of our desired temperature and we can decide which brand of bread we prefer or how much fat we want in our milk! Indeed, how many of our blessings do we take for granted!
“So which of the favors of your Lord would you deny?” (55:13)
However; there are many of our brothers and sisters worldwide who are not as fortunate, and they struggle with survival on a daily basis. And these brothers and sisters of ours in East Africa and everywhere else, they are part of us. They are part of the Ummah of the beloved Prophet Muḥammad (S.A.W.). The Muslim Ummah is like one body. If a body's head hurts then the whole body will suffer, and, similarly, if the stomach aches then the whole body will suffer.
And so if our brothers and sisters in Africa are hurting, in turn, we are also hurting! It does not matter if the people in Africa are not the same skin color as us, or the same ethnicity as us, or speak the same language as us. Indeed, their religion is our religion and they are our brothers in faith.
“The believers are but brothers” (49:10)
So donate O dear reader! Indeed, whatever you spend on yourself is only for your own temporary sustenance and enjoyment but whatever you spend on your brothers for the sake of Allāh is an investment that will pay dividends and provide eternal and everlasting sustenance and enjoyment in the life to come. Therefore, seek to invest in your brothers overseas not only for the benefit of your fellow brothers and sisters, but for your own benefit.
“Loan Allāh a goodly loan. And whatever good you put forward for yourselves – you will find it with Allāh. It is better and greater in reward” (73:20)