While watching the news with my mom the other day, a segment came on about the famine in East Africa. As we listened to the anchor share the stories of families coming to the refugee camps for aid, he highlighted one specific story of a father who walked for 30 days and 30 nights to save his three young sons. At one point in his journey, the children were too weak to walk so their father would carry them one by one – dropping one off at one point then going back for the other across the barren desert.
Then they shared another story of a mother. She was sitting quietly by the bedside of her child who just passed away. Her two other children passed away a few days before this baby. She sat there for hours, quietly, because she could not afford to bury her own child.
In the past 3 months, it is reported that nearly 30,000 children have died.
For us in the West, we cannot even imagine a situation like this. We cannot even comprehend the magnitude of what our brothers and sisters are facing due to this drought and famine.
AlhamdulilLah (Praise be to God), Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala (Exalted is He) has blessed us with food and water, and a way of showing our gratitude for this great blessing is to share it with others. Help your brothers and sisters who are literally starving.
On the Day of Judgment, Allah (swt) will say, “O son of Adam, I asked you for food and you fed Me not.’ He will say: ‘O Lord, and how should I feed You when You are the Lord of the worlds?’ He will say: ‘Did you not know that My servant So-and-so asked you for food and you fed him not? Did you not know that had you fed him you would surely have found that (the reward for doing so) with Me?” (Muslim)
- Donate Whatever You Can. I asked a crowd of youth during a halaqah what easy good deeds they can do in Ramadan. A young girl about 8 yrs old said, “We should save our change and donate it to Somalia.” You can donate through Islamic Relief: http://www.irusa.org/emergencies/east-africa-crisis/
- Pray. Make du`a’ (supplication) for them, for real. We’ve become a bit desensitized to this phrase, “make du`a’ for them/for me” because we hear it so much and then we respond with “insha’Allah (God willing)!” but never do it.
- Stay Updated and Raise Awareness. Keep up to date with the situation through the news, and share what is going on with your family and friends. Read about the effects of starvation on the body and what diseases the children are dying from.
- Don’t Waste Any Food. Keep a mental image of those starving children on the lap of their mothers in your mind.
- Seek Allah’s Forgiveness. Sometimes the calamities that happen on the earth are a result of our sins. This drought is a reminder that our sins effect the earth so we should seek Allah’s forgiveness.
- Help Your Local Community. Remember to help our neighbors here who are hungry and needy as well. Ask your local mosque if there are any families you can donate food to and get involved with a local soup kitchen. Feeding others softens our hearts and reminds us to be humble, charitable, and thankful.
O Allah we ask You, by Your beautiful Names and perfect Attributes, to shower our brothers and sisters in East Africa with Your Mercy. O Allah, help them for You Alone are the One who responds to the desperate. O Allah bless them with beneficial rain, O Allah bless them with beneficial rain, O Allah bless them with beneficial rain. O Allah grant them food and drink, O Allah feed and provide for them for You Alone are The One who Provides. O Allah bless them with health and protect them from sickness. O Allah grant the parents patience during their trials, and make the loss of their cihldren a means for their entrance into Paradise. O Allah if this is due to our sins, forgive us and have mercy on us. ya Rabb (O Lord) we implore You and beg You for You are the Beloved of the believers, You are the One who hears our supplications, and You are the One who we rely on and You are the Best of those who respond.