The Act of Giving


Who is it that will lend unto Allah a goodly loan, so that He may give it increase manifold? Allah straiteneth and enlargeth. Unto Him ye will return.
Surah Al-Baqara – Verse 245 (English Translation: Pickthal)

This is not a fictional work but a real incident. A story about a kitchen help/dishwasher woman in Lahore, Pakistan. A poor woman. One day, in the holy month of Ramadan (i.e. the month of fasting), she ran out of flour (atta) for her family. The family started the day by fasting and the woman left for work not knowing where her next meal would come from. She didn’t ask her employers for help. Her predicament remained. Out on the road, she came across a flour van/truck. In the month of Ramadan, people are more generous and give food items such as flour bags. There were others on the road, but for some reason, the man in the van singled her out and gave her a sack of flour. She put the sack on her head and headed home breathing a sigh of relief. On the road, she met a woman with a crying child. It turned out that the woman and child were hungry and had no food. Moved by the sight, she handed over the flour sack to the other woman. (She had a family, husband, children of her own to feed. She was poor and yet she helped someone she deemed more needy than her. Put yourself in her shoes. How many can make such a decision when hunger threatens you and your loved ones?) She resumed her journey home empty-handed fraught with worry. What would her children, her family say when they found out what she had done? How would she feed her family?

She entered her house and what did she see? There were TWO sacks of flour. “HOW?” She asked. Turns out, her husband, who was a laborer on daily wages, went to work. Being the month of giving and charity, the man who hired the laborers for work only took labor for half a day instead of the full day, gave the laborers Rs 250 apiece as well as two sacks of flour to every one.

A poor woman in need found the generosity to make such a big sacrifice and she was rewarded and fed in such an unexpected way. When we give, we get returns in this life in so many ways even if we may fail to recognize those returns. The returns can come in many forms and manners. But, the reward that awaits the sincere charitable people in the after life – one can only imagine their wonderful returns.

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