Time to read
Written by: Tooba Nizami
Assalamualaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakaatu!
This past month I had the privilege to volunteer with Penny Appeal Canada for the first time at a grocery hamper build Alhamdulillah. With a team of committed volunteers, we were able to build 240 packages filled with groceries that were delivered to families in need across the GTA. I had a great time working with old friends and making new ones. It felt great to be around others who shared similar interests and passions. After six (very fun) hours, a lot of laughter, and of course pizza, we were able to finish loading the truck with 240 hampers. At the end of this experience, I learned that I needed to go back to the gym, bring gloves next time, and that driving a pallet jack is harder than it looks (which I have to say I mastered by the end of the 6th hour Alhamdulillah).
Volunteering is a form of charity in itself!
Sometimes with all that goes on in the world, we forget to look at our own community members and their difficulties. What I love about Penny Appeal Canada is that they truly embody what it means for charity to start from the home. There is a sense of empowerment you get when we make a direct impact on our own community members who are going through struggles that we are unaware of.
As a university student, it can oftentimes feel like the world is centered around us so it’s always refreshing to partake in something that’s not for our own self-interest. As we grow older, we have more and more freedom to choose what we do in our free time and I think these opportunities should be taken advantage of as a way to not only grow as a person, but become a better Muslim, and make a difference.
It’s very easy to count our own hardships in life, but by volunteering, we get to see first-hand hardships of others. It serves as a reminder of the privileges we live with and sometimes they can be as simple as getting groceries without having to stress about not being able to pay your credit card bill. Every opportunity to do any good is a blessing from Allah SWT. People in need don’t need us, they have Allah SWT to take care of them. It’s us who need them as a means of salvation and to make up for our own sins and shortcomings.
Volunteering is often overlooked as a form of ibadah as it does not fall directly within our five pillars of faith. We need to remember helping others is a pivotal part of our deen and as Muslims, it is our duty to help others, especially our neighbors.
Narrated `Abdullah bin `Umar: Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, “A Muslim is a brother of another Muslim, so he should not oppress him, nor should he hand him over to an oppressor. Whoever fulfilled the needs of his brother, Allah will fulfill his needs; whoever brought his (Muslim) brother out of a discomfort, Allah will bring him out of the discomforts of the Day of Resurrection, and whoever screened a Muslim, Allah will screen him on the Day of Resurrection.” [Sahih al-Bukhari 2442]
I would highly recommend partaking in these volunteering experiences to anyone that has the opportunity. I look forward to working with Penny Appeal Canada in all their future initiatives Insha’Allah. Jazakallah Khair to all the organizers for putting in the time and energy into facilitating these initiatives. May Allah SWT make it easy for you, grant you success, and elevate your status in this world and in the Hereafter. May Allah SWT reward all the volunteers for their sincerity and put barakah in all their hard work and efforts. Ameen!