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10 things families can do to fight poverty

by Sound VIsion Staff writer

1. Make sure to pay Zakat

What is Zakat? It is one of the five pillars of Islam. It is also an obligation which primarily benefits the poor and the needy.

Find out today what you are required to do to fulfill this Islamic obligation, and what assets you and your family have which are Zakatable. Whether it's the family business or your wife's jewelry Also, educate your kids about this necessary pillar of Islam in a family meeting.

2. Start a family Sadaqa (charity) box

Wouldn't it be great to give charity as a family? You can do this in a systematic way by setting up a family Sadaqa box in a particular spot of the house. Then, convince each person to put a portion of their allowance or salary in this box.

One of the older kids will keep track of how much is collected. Once a month, hold a family meeting to decide exactly where the money will go, whether it's to the needy family who lives next door, the homeless shelter in the city or poor relatives abroad.

3. Have a "secret Sadaqa box"

Ideally, your left hand should not know what your right hand has given in charity. Keeping this in mind, to encourage secret charity, put a secret Sadaqa box in the home.

Make it clear why it's there and tell the kids the rule is no one can give Sadaqa in this box when other people can see them. Decide as a family where the money should be given.

4. Be in regular social contact with community members

Do you think the only people who are really living in poverty are those who ask?

Wrong. Allah says in the Quran says: The ignorant man thinks, because of their modesty, that they are free from want. Thou shalt know them by their (unfailing) mark; they beg not importunately from all and sundry (part of verse 2: 273)

There are a number of people who, due to their sense of nobility and self-respect, cannot and will not ask from others, even if they are in need. The only way such individuals can be taken care of is if community members keep a watchful eye and note how they are really doing.

It may be evident in how they dress. Or in where and how they live. Either way, the only way to really know that such people are in need is to be close to them, knowing their condition after having seen it with your own eyes.

A note of caution though: once you know someone like this is in need, don't advertise their difficult situation to others.

5. Use food wisely at parties

Where do you see so much good food wasted? Usually at dinner parties and social occasions.

Next time you have a dinner party, encourage guests in a discreet and polite manner not to waste food. Then, once the party's over, if there is plenty of leftover food, drop it off at a shelter for the homeless, a soup kitchen, or a family you personally know who is in need.

If you've got a family wedding coming up, then serve the food buffet style so people take only as much as they want. Then donate the rest of the untouched food to a shelter for the needy.

6. Have a family garage sale and donate the proceeds to the poor

Are your kids getting bored as the summer wears on? Then try out this great idea they can have fun with while helping those living in poverty.

Get everyone to take out any unwanted toys, clothes, etc. from their closets. Then organize and tag all items and hold a garage sale in your back or front yard.

All of the money should go to a shelter or soup kitchen.

7. Visit a homeless shelter or soup kitchen as a family

We become so used to just opening up the fridge when we're hungry, we forget there are countless millions who don't have this luxury.

Call up the local soup kitchen and ask if you can make the food there for one meal. Nothing fancy. Just pasta for instance. Get the family and some friends to help too. This is a good exercise not just in food preparation, but in learning the proper etiquette of dealing with the poor: with kindness, care and compassion.

8. Make it a habit to meet with people of all socioeconomic backgrounds

Have you noticed that all of your friends and social contacts are from the same economic class?

If so, make a point to meet with those who don't necessarily have as much as you and your family do. Friendship must never be based on the size of a house or bank account. Teach yourself and your kids this valuable lesson.

By socializing with the poor, you'll not only develop a sensitivity to their needs, but you will learn to relate to them with respect, not in an arrogant manner.

9. Make one "poor" meal a month in the home

What do you usually eat for dinner as a family? If you've been eating rich, heavy food, give it a break for just one day out of the month. Make a very, very simple meal. This will give everyone a real live example of what it feels like to live with much less for a day. Remind everyone that for many people, such a meal is not an unpleasant reality that happens once a month. It's a way of life.

10. Fast and make Dua for those living in poverty

One of the great things about fasting is that it makes you more aware of what it's like to live with hunger.

Do a Nafl (optional) fast for a day. Get a friend to do it with you. When it's time to break your fast, make Dua for those who are living in poverty worldwide and ask Allah what you can do to help alleviate their suffering.

 


A JIHAD AGAINST POVERTY & WASTAGE:
See Page on Poverty
Statistics on Poverty & Food Wastage
Aisha, the Mother of Homeless in Chicago

Quran and Hadith on Helping the Poor
Jihad Against Food Wastage: How tos
9 Things Families can do for the Poor
Tips for Imams on How to Help the Poor
12 Tips for Teens on How to Help
Start a Zakat Clinic
Five Tips for your Zakat Committee

See our Money Page


 

 

 



Your Comments

fathima, kandy - wrote on 7/20/2011 3:01:13 AM
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Comment: im really inspired by this article and insha allah i will implement these points in my real life, .jazakallahu khairan. we should educate our Muslims regarding the charity giving.because millions of people whether Muslims or not are being suffering presently without even food.but it is a heart worrying point that most of the rich does not see this as an important point. may allah give us the chance to do good deeds.aameen


Adam Abdulkadir, Zaria-Nigeria - wrote on 12/28/2005 11:37:03 AM
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Comment: Assalamu alaikum to all soundvision family, this write up makes an exciting reading. it's reflective of the Islam's stand on the welfare of mankind irrespective of socio-economic pedigree.


ella, uk - wrote on 12/18/2005 1:21:42 PM
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Comment: excellent article, has some great points on charity,stracture of the article well laid out, good examples given on how to go about proceding charity activities with families. makes us all aware of the importance of giving and teaches the little ones too.this should be implemented by all.make proverty history


Abdulkader Hamadeh, Duxbury, Mass - wrote on 7/1/2005 9:18:02 AM
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Comment: I wonder if there is a way to help the lady from Pennsylvania? Please let me know. Your article was an eye openner.


BELLO K. TAJUDEEN, WARRI, NIGERIA - wrote on 10/27/2004 8:10:23 AM
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Comment: It is an eye opener article that brought out what you know before in your mind but which you are yet to implement.


tanm, Bangladesh - wrote on 8/18/2004 7:48:03 AM
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Comment: Great advice. I'll spread the word to my family.


khairiya, pennsylvania - wrote on 7/25/2004 9:38:13 PM
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Comment: salaam alaikum, as a recently widowed mother of 4 yr. old son and jobless i find this article to be wonderful and hope that people take heed to it, inshallah. i know how it is to wonder how your going to pay your rent, or electric, or clothe your child, as i feel it everyday. im looking very hard for a job, and where i live in such small town it sometimes seems impossible, but i know with allah alll things are possible. also with not many muslims where im at, and non understanding christians it is very hard. so this is a great eye opener for people to help the needy, inshallah. may allah reward you for your article.


K, US - wrote on 7/20/2004 2:50:26 PM
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Comment: As Salaamu Alaikum! These are very good tips. Insha Allah I will work on implementing some of them in my home.


Arif, Mohammed - wrote on 7/2/2004 2:10:57 AM
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Comment: May Allah SUT give all of us toufique to implement this rules in our daily practical life.


Akin-Tijani Noonrayn Akintunde, Ibadan, Nigeria - wrote on 6/14/2004 8:35:55 PM
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Comment: salaam, how i wish this article is best understood and followed. may Allah make it possible for me, part or all of the ways mentioned above.


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