Over the past few weeks I am embarrassed to say that I have begun to watch Man V Food. A program that appears on one of the cooking channels, the presenter essentially wanders around America eating gigantic portions of food, not necessarily for the purpose of the tasting but rather, for sport. The objective is, I guess, Man v Food and man won. Initially, I was in awe of the quantities that he would eat in one sitting. How could one person eat so much for no actual purpose other than to have a tv show? I thought to myself, as I watched another episode and then another. Until finally one day the presenter ate so much that he looked physically sick, stuffing himself further and further until finally he was sick. After that I never watched the program in the same way.
With Ramadan just around the corner it got me thinking to the iftari parties I have been to where people have just done that, they too have had there own moments of man v food. Often at iftari the food has been enough to feed not just the people at that iftari but double, triple or even quadruple the number of people present. Surely the objective of Ramadan is not gorge ourselves to excess for a month. We, as muslims, have not been directed to eat to excess and then to the excess which causes pain. Time and time again, I have read that the Prophet (swt) would eat what was available. It is humbling to read how little there was to eat at times for the Prophet (pbuh), Anas bin Malik narrates:
“The Prophet (pbuh) performed Iftaar with fresh dates, if there weren’t any then with dried dates and if there weren’t any then with water.” (Abu Dawud).
How many of us can say that we have eaten just dates for iftari? How many of us eat just our normal portion? How many of us have quantified the left over food at iftari in terms of feeding a family poorer than ours. With so many people left with absolutely nothing in Pakistan, Somalia, Kenya, India, Morocco, Algeria, Indonesia and Worldwide would it really hurt us, who are wealthier in every single way, to remove one extravagant dish from our iftari table and replace it with something simple, whilst sending that money that we save over to our brothers and sisters who are truly dire need, to benefit them in the present and us in the hereafter.
In the Qu’ran in verses 1 – 3 of Surah Al-Ma’un, Allah(swt) says :-
“Have you seen him who belies the rewards and punishments of the Hereafter? He it is who drives away the orphan and does not urge giving away the food of the poor.”
A good charity that is committed to a 100% donations poicy and one I feel will spend the money wisely is the Ummah Welfare Trust, details below inshallah :-