Donate What You’re Giving Up in Ramadan to Islamic Relief USA

Social networking is a fast-moving creature, and loads of good can come of it. Consider this status update I read yesterday from comedian and “30 Mosques in 30 Days” project co-founder Aman Ali:

“This blew my mind when I did the math. The average American spends $6,129 a year on food. Well, Muslims fast for one month, so basically going without lunch for a month means we save $170.25 a year. There are roughly 4 million Muslims in the United States, so if we each donated that lunch money to charity, we’d collect 681 BILLION DOLLARS!!!! 5.6 billion people on this planet live on less than $10 a day, meaning during Ramadan we could feed those people every day for almost two straight weeks. #30days”

I shared this status and added my own comment, that we should all donate $175, or however much we can, to Islamic Relief USA’s Ramadan campaign. (I had the pleasure of working for IRUSA as its website content editor in 2010, and thus know how hard they work to get food, healthcare, clean water, and education to those who need it most, domestically and internationally.) Aman put up another status update a little while later that he did just that and urged everyone to do the same.

Now, you can dispute Aman’s numbers or his math, but the basic concept is a great one. We are giving up food and drink when we fast. Let’s say sahoor (the pre-dawn) meal, is the equivalent of our breakfast in Ramadan. Iftaar (the fast-breaking meal) becomes our dinner. The time between both meals is long, and what we are skipping is lunch and any snacking in between.

What do you spend on lunch? Or on your daily coffee/cappuccino? If fasting is meant to teach us, among other things, what it means to go without, how it feels to go hungry (like so many millions in the world do on a daily basis), then as we are experiencing (in some small degree) that hunger, how about we turn that feeling into action?

Aman gives the figure of $170.25. Can you donate that to Islamic Relief USA’s Ramadan campaign (or any of their campaigns) this month? Or, add up what you think you spend on lunch and snacks during the day, times that by 30, and donate that to IRUSA. They will put it to good use, trust me. Or, donate however much you can. We’ve got an Islamic Relief USA donation box set up at home by our daughter, and we’re collecting our lunch money there.

Our hunger ends at sunset. Others less fortunate then us don’t have that blessing. Earlier last week I read another status update about how a Somali Muslim (and I apologize if I’m not relating this 100 percent accurately) sent in a question to a Mufti on a television program, asking that if he has no food for his suhoor and no food for his iftaar, is his fast valid?

Think about that.

Then, think about your own temporary hunger. We can do something. We can help those who need our help. Donate your lunch money to Islamic Relief USA.

About Dilshad Ali

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