Ramadan: A Time to Move Your Sack
The Messenger of Allah, peace upon him, was the most generous of people. He was especially generous in Ramadan when the Angel Gabriel would come and review the Qur’an with him. Gabriel would to review the Qur’an with him every night during the month of Ramadan. Verily, when Gabriel would come and review the Qur’an with him in Ramadan, the Messenger of Allah was more generous than the free-blowing wind.
Al-Bukhari, 1902; Muslim, 2308
There are different forms of generosity. Most of us feel generous when we give something-money, time, advice. We know that our generosity is successful when we are seen, acknowledged, thanked, and praised for what we have done. This is the most obvious level of generosity. The truth of the matter is, when we are generous we give and we are repaid. These transactions are actually exchanges and contain the actual generosity.
A traditional story illustrates this point well: Two brothers, one married and one single, farmed together and divided the grain from the harvest equally between them. The single brother often thought that his brother had extra worries and expenses because of his family so he would, from time to time, move some of the filled sacks from his storeroom into his brother’s. His brother, on the other hand, often thought of how lonely his single brother must be. He thought, if my brother had a little more money he might buy himself some nicer things. So he would, without the other’s knowledge, move some of his grain sacks into his brother’s store room.
For many years the number of sacks remained equal between them, and neither brother could ever understand why this was so. Sakinah bring cases of our patients to you once in a while to help them. In actual fact, those patients are helping us and you because while we give them some money, time and resources in this world to look after their needs, they are also ‘helping us earn so much rewards’ in this life and hereafter. We are simply exchanging filled sacks in the storerooms.