On Thursday, June 12th, we helped to prepare the food for the homeless shelter, Columbus House, in New Haven.
The kids were so exciting. They never saw or been in the homeless shelter. When we got there, first we helped to prepare the food in the kitchen. Everyone got to wear gloves. We met the person who was in charge in the kitchen.
We started to get very busy.
- Cutting the meatloaf.
- Spread the bread on trays.
- Put together all the vegetables.
- Make sure everything is warmed up.
- Put the salad dressing on salad.
Now we had to put the foods on plates. There were more than 75 people. We had to make foods for them all. We got their plates ready to be served.
Sister Jamilah said, "Don't forget to give the big smile to them."
When preparing the plates :
- First the kids put one scoop of groundbeef or one meatloaf.
- Then they put rice, vegetables, salad, and bread.
- Last, the boys helped by giving them the cookies to everyone in the room where the people were eating together.
The kids said that helping as volunteer made them happy to see other people very happy eating their foods. The people were so hungry at that time. The kids also said that they love doing this and they want to do it again. Insha Allah.
The other thing that the kids also said to me, was that most of that people are healthy and strong. Why do they have to stay in homeless shelter? That was what the kids were wondering why? why? and why?
I said to them that it could be because maybe:
- No job or hardship.
- No place to live.
- Economy is going down.
- Don't have anything to live.
It's very different when you see the homeless in third world countries.
The kids said that the homeless people in America should help themselves to find the job so they can help themselves to survive. There are so many things that they can try to do. They can work as long as they want to work hard. The kids also knew that there are so many place to get the free training before finding the job. Jobs that are granted from government.
I think the kids are right. We have to work hard and think.
Then I remember and share the hadiths that talked about it to the kids. The hadiths are as following:
- It is related from Abu Sa'id al-Khudri, "Some of the people of the Ansar asked something from the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and he gave it to them. Then they asked him again and he gave to them until he had used up everything he had. He said, 'If I had anything more, I would not withhold it from you. If someone refrains, Allah will spare him from needing to ask. If someone wants to be independent, Allah will make him so. If someone shows fortitude, Allah will increase him in it. No one can be given any better and greater gift than fortitude.'"
- It is related from Abu Hurayra that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "By the One in whose hand my self is, it is better for one of you to take a rope and carry firewood on his back than for him to go to a man to beg from him who then gives to him or refuses to."
- It is related from az-Zubayr ibn al-'Awwam that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "It is better for one of you to take a rope and bring a faggot of firewood on his back and sell it so that Allah gives him what he needs than for him to ask people who then give to him or refuse."
- It is related that Hakim ibn Hizam said, "I asked the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and he gave to me and then I asked him and he gave to me and then I asked him again and he gave to me. Then he said, 'Hakim, this wealth is verdant and sweet. Anyone who takes it in a generous spirit will be blessed in it but anyone who takes it in an avaricious way will not be blessed in it, like someone who eats and is not satisfied. The upper hand is better than the lower hand.'" Hakim said, "I said, 'Messenger of Allah, by the One who sent you with the Truth, I will never again ask anyone for anything until I leave this world.'" Abu Bakr called Hakim to take his share and he refused to take it from him. Then 'Umar called him to give to him and he refused to accept anything from him either. 'Umar said, "I call on you to testify, company of Muslims, that I offered Hakim his share of this booty and he refused to take it!" Hakim did not take anything from any person after the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, until he died.
- It is related from Abu Hurayra that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "It is better for one of you to take a rope and go in the morning (I think he said "to the mountains") and get firewood and sell it and eat and give sadaqa than for him to go to a man to beg from him."
In conclusion that we, as Muslim, should learn that:
- We have think smart and work hard in this worldly life.
- Do not be lazy because laziness is part of shayateen's job to get the Muslim go to hell.
- Upper hand (giving charity) is better than lower hand (begging).
- We have to educate ourselves to be good Muslim.
- We always have to pray and ask to Allah, Al-Kareem - The Generous.
I said to my kids that this activity was just for da'wah. Give Big Smile......(Smile is also charity).
May Allah guide us to be good Muslim all the time. Ameen.