You Don't Do This To People...


As Salamu-Alaykum, my lovelies!

What is it with humans and a general disregard for basic morality? I ask, because we are presumably the only species to receive set guidelines (through The Qur'an, Bible, Torah, etc) of how to live here to secure a home in Heaven, and yet, we never run out of reasons to turn a blind eye.

First of all, I need to say this - I am not an anti-consumerist. At least not yet anyway. However, I'm finding it extremely difficult to reconcile the fact that there are individuals, and groups, and corporations and governments out there who deliberately support starvation.

I understand how the system works. You have money - You buy things. You have more money - You buy more expensive things. That in itself is fair enough. I think everyone has a right to earn money, and with that money, buy whatever pleases them. In fact, I find it in poor taste when people who are priviledged enough to be born with a silver spoon are made to feel guilty for their blessings. You do not choose what situation you're born into.

But on that note, let's flip the coin and address this issue from a different perspective. If you happen to be born into extreme poverty, you've already lost a battle you never signed up to fight. You and I don't know the true meaning of starvation (Alhamdulillah), so I can only assume. But I think if you're deprived of food, you're deprived of everything else. You're too weak to work and your brain can't function enough to allow you to go to school, so you become trapped in a cycle that is practically impossible to break out of. 

Back to my original point - that of consumerism. The notion that at the end of the day, the only thing that matters is the profit that you make. I'll elaborate. There are supermarkets and restaurants, for example, that would rather throw food away at the end of the day than donate to a shelter or food bank. So basically, unless they are making a profit off you, a bin is more worthy of their food than a hungry person. Also, under the guise of 'health and safety', there are also governments who make it illegal for homeless people (at their own risk) to go through a supermarket bin scrounging for food. In most parts of the world, there are rats who eat better than people.  

Girls, we can't do this to people!

We can't ignore the fact that in 2015, people are still dying of hunger. Don't get me wrong. I'm not suggesting that supermarkets need to start giving away free food, or that you and I ought to start buying groceries for the poor. Although both would be great, there is no escaping the fact that we are in a capitalist society and we can't be responsible for everyone. However, we really need to address the psychological reasoning behind our preference to throw food away than donate it.

If you take anything from this, I want you to always bear in mind that food and water, though we take both for granted, are two of the most basic necessities of life. If you can, please give generously. Don't wait until your food expires. Donate anything you don't need directly to people in need, or indirectly through food banks. I know millions of people donate clothes every year, and I think that's great. But always remember - what's a clean shirt to a child who has no energy to wear it?
 

Finally, I just wanted to add that this entire post was inspired by Nadda (over at Nadda's Narrative),  who wrote a very thought-provoking post on her blog about global food shortage. I've been mulling over this topic for almost a week now!


May Allah (SWT) continue to provide us with the means to help others. 
And may He soften our hearts enough to want to do so.