Brand new experiences today!
For the first time in my life, I volunteered at a soup kitchen. Some women at my mosque organized a group of us to bring food to a local church for their soup kitchen Sundays where they offer a meal to the homeless. I have done similar work in the past, but it always involved preparing the food ahead of time. This was the first time I ever actually interacted with the recipients.
I admit, I woke up this morning not even wanting to get out of bed, but I had already committed to this project. It has always been an unwritten tradition that my mom, my sister and I do some sort of service for the poor during Ramadan. So, without really thinking about how tired I was or how behind on internship stuff I was, I just went.
And I loved it.
First of all, the people at the church were so nice. Mashallah, they were so nice and friendly and welcoming. While we were putting the silverware together, I was working with a woman at least thirty years older than me, but we got along great. It turns out way back when, she went to the same university that I am currently at. 🙂
The women from my mosque were really sweet as well. As a kid, I was always a little afraid of the Masjid Aunties, but now working alongside them, and for a good cause, they are pretty nice. Plus I think I’m getting better at understanding Urdu!
Finally, there were the people we were serving. I encounter homeless people all the time by my school or on the way to the bus, and while I try to offer at least a smile every time I pass by, I don’t honestly give them the same attention as I do other people. I have seen and “liked” countless Facebook posts and YouTube videos encouraging people to be kind to the homeless and treat them like actual people, and today I was so thankful to finally be able to follow through with that message. I really hope they received our smiles and efforts and felt the love and shared bond of humanity.
It completely boggles my mind how within the same country we can have entire TV shows dedicated to single people showing off their multi-million dollar mansions and streets full of people without a roof over their heads. We served almost 100 people today, but I have a feeling that was only a fraction of the people in my city who are without a physical home.
*Quote of the Day*
Another new name today. Chapter 4 of my Companions book was dedicated to Abu-d Darda’. I’ve never seen a name written like “Abu-d” before, but I guess when looking at the Arabic, أبو الدرداء , that is the best way to write it.
Sorry, on to the quote.
His chapter was very short, so I can’t really pick out one thing that he would most be known for, but from what I read, he was one of the last people in his district in Medina to become Muslim.
My quote is a lesson that we all could use today. One day Abu-d Darda’ came upon a group of people beating a man who they claimed “committed a grave sin.” In response to what he saw, Abu-d Darda’ said,
“‘Don’t insult him and don’t beat him. Instead, admonish him and make him aware of the consequences of what he had done. Then give praise to God Who has preserved you from falling into such a sin.’
‘Don’t you hate him?’ they asked Abu-d Darda’.
‘I only detest what he had done and if he abandons such practice, he is my brother.'” (Hamid 45-46).
I say this to myself before anyone else: We really all need to be a little more forgiving of one another. Yes, sin is sin, but in the end, God is The Judge.
“Hate the action, not the person.” Wise words from my dad. Hope everyone had a nice Fathers’ Day 🙂