Jun 27, 2011

Missing That Warm Fuzzy Feeling

By Amal S

This time, I just had to write about it. This was the third time, the third time I had tried offering a ‘poor’ person food, and the third time it backfired.

Let me take you on previous journeys.

Last Ramadan, there was a homeless person on the main street in my neighbourhood whom everyone loves. I went to buy him a sandwich and give it to him, but he kindly and politely refused. There was something wrong with the ingredients, I think he didn’t eat or couldn’t eat one of them. That plan didn’t work out. Okay I thought, at least I tried - it’s my intention that counts.

This year, at a bus stop on the way to university, I saw a homeless man and a McDonalds across from him. I was in the process of memorizing from Juz Amma at this time (around Surah #107) and the ayah was in my head, and I saw this as an opportunity to act upon the ayaat I was memorizing alhamdulillah.

And does not encourage the feeding of the poor. (107:3)

So I come out of McDonalds with muffins etc. to find out that the man is gone! Subhan Allah! Anyway, I accepted that was the way it was meant to be, and ended up giving the muffins out to friends.

Recently, I had another similar incident. I was making my way to the grocery store, and I was walking very briskly and on a mission, so quickly that when a man outside the quick grocery store said as-salamu ‘alaykum, the speed I was walking at didn’t even allow me to stop – I could barely turn around and just zoomed forward, and couldn’t reply. But as I turned into the shop entrance and by now had slowed myself down, I remember seeing a blur of a man standing with something in his hand. I felt bad. Not only had I missed his salaams, I thought he was begging. At this point I was memorizing further into Juz Amma and the theme of charity is everywhere. I bought him a bag of groceries – bread, a sandwich, ready made pasta, granola bars – and as I saw him upon departing from the shop, I greeted him, and said ‘sorry I don’t have cash but you can take this’…he was selling some magazine and kind of politely said that he just needs to pay the rent. I felt really awkward and scurried away before he barely finished his sentence.

Subhan Allah! And then at this moment, with the two previous incidents flashing in my mind, I couldn’t help but just laugh at myself. I was finding this funny. Why was I never able to properly and completely feed a poor person!? I thought as I crossed the street, and I thought some more. And I realized insha Allah it was as if I had fed a poor person because I had the intention and put the money forth. What difference would it have made if he did in fact accept the food? I might have felt extra good that he would be smiling and saying thank you, and get a warm and fuzzy feeling with a sense of accomplishment. But as we are told, we give for the sake of Allah and not for anyone’s thanks so this really opened my eyes into how our hearts and minds, intentions and actions should be.

Anyway, things turned out for the best. My dad was returning for a trip last night and could give him the prepared food I bought.

So I hope you can take a few lessons from my diverted plans:

Feed the poor – for the sake of Allah
Do a good deed without expecting thanks
It’s okay to laugh at yourself
Apply the ayaat you know into your life – The Qur’an came as guidance to be acted upon. “(Saying): we fed you, for the sake of Allah only. We wish for no reward nor thanks from you” (translation, Ad-Dahr 76:8-9)

I'd love to hear your views on this article. Please tell me in the comments section below :)


mashaAllah it's good that you did not become dejected as we often tend to become when the good deed we are trying to do does not end up as we want to. Indeed, the intentions should be the seeking face of Allah subhanawatala, not fuzzy feeling inside which, as a matter of fact, muslims and non-muslims get alike

Asalaamu Alaikum

I guess we have to take ourselves out of the equation when we do good.

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