We live in a fast-paced world, where we are constantly juggling responsibilities. The time we have at our disposal is invaluable. We dedicate it to various parts of our life, from the precious moments we spend with our children, to the time we spend at work. To give someone your time is a gift; we choose wisely whom we offer it to.
There are a select few among us who gift their time to those who are struggling in our midst. They do not seek any recognition or praise; often many around them are unaware of their volunteering practices. They do it solely to please their Creator. Like the rest of us, they too have responsibilities to juggle, yet they find it within themselves among the hustle and bustle of their daily lives, to take time out to support those in need.
One such individual is Abdullah, a 20-year-old young man currently enjoying university life. He is studying a degree in Economics and Accounting, with his heart set on a career in finance. Outside of academia, he enjoys football, gaming and going to the gym. It’s plain to see, Abdullah’s life is full on. However, in his spare time, he chooses to help others. He volunteers for HHUGS.
Abdullah has always been invested in helping charities within his locality. He believes it is duty to do his part to support his Ummah. Abdullah was introduced to HHUGS, one evening in Ramadan, after the Taraweeh prayer had ended, when he visited some charity stalls outside the mosque. He was drawn to the work HHUGS does, and its unique approach to helping those closest to home. He speaks of why he believes the work of HHUGS is important within today’s society and how it resonated with him personally.
“The work of HHUGS is important because people don’t understand the importance of local charity, they give away money and charity abroad. However, in Islam the general concept of charity is that you look after those in your community first and then branch out; not that one should neglect the wider community, but how could one live the best life, and down the road someone is living their worst life and you have nothing to do with it? This is not what Islamic etiquettes teach. That’s why I find the work of HHUGS extremely important as they don’t just look after the local community for no reason, there are many reasons. It’s not like it chooses random individuals, it has chosen specific individuals who are under stress, those who have been oppressed for no reason.”
Blessings we take for granted
Abdullah immersed himself immediately into the work of HHUGS. He has supported the charity in various ways, always ready to make a difference to improve the lives of others. Whether it’s bringing a smile to the face of children at our Eid parties, shaking a bucket at our mosque collections to raise the funds to sustain our work, or delivering Qurbani meat after Eid ul Adha to remind HHUGS families that they’re not forgotten. Alongside developing skills, his volunteering has helped him spiritually too. It reminds him to be grateful for his blessings. By working with HHUGS families, he can see how women and children within his local community, a stone’s throw from his own home, are struggling silently.
“It has allowed me to appreciate everything I had more. It has made me think about my actions and my whole concept and perception of Islam. If I am doing such a job I can’t be a deceiving, or a wretched individual. It has always allowed me to think about my actions and makes me want to improve. It has allowed me to understand my wider community – people down the road from me who can’t feed their children. It has opened my eyes and (allowed me) to be more grateful.”
Gifting Hope and Happiness
One of Abdullah’s volunteer roles has been to deliver Qurbani meat after Eid ul Adha. He explains the process, and the reaction of the families to whom the Qurbani was delivered.
“It is straight forward. You go pick up your collection and then you have your list of addresses to deliver to. It has been smooth, haven’t had any problems Alhamdulliah. It was always nice, the families were always supportive and it’s always been something quite joyful to do, Alhamdulliah.”
The response from the families is what helps motivate Abdullah to continue working for HHUGS. He witnesses first-hand the immediate impact of volunteering his time on those within his own community. He talks of bringing joy to the children within HHUGS households when volunteering during Eid events.
“Eid parties are amazing. The kids are joyful and they all had Noor (light) on their faces. The families were all beautiful. It was an amazing experience, having these children feel happiness and joy – this is not something they may be used to and I’d love to do it again.”
Fulfilling a Duty to the Ummah
As Muslims, helping others is a pinnacle to our faith. We are encouraged to support others and to lift those who are in need. The Prophet (SAW) said:
“Whoever relieves a believer’s distress of the distressful aspects of this world, Allah will rescue him from a difficulty of the difficulties of the Hereafter. Whoever alleviates
[the situation of]
one in dire straits who cannot repay his debt, Allah will alleviate his lot in both this world and in the Hereafter. Whoever conceals
[the faults of]
a Muslim, Allah will conceal [his faults] in this life and the Hereafter.” (Muslim)
Abdullah firmly believes that is completing his duty to the Ummah by helping others, and this drives him to volunteer his time by doing charity work.
“I need to benefit the Ummah, I needed to do something for the actual Ummah, it was my way of repenting. I have always been interested in helping those who were less fortunate. I enjoy my life to the fullest, why should someone else be refused this luxury?”
Be part of the change
The gift of Abdullah’s precious time has benefited HHUGS families profoundly. Due to his decision to volunteer, he has helped bring ease and happiness to numerous families who are struggling to feed their children. He has brought smiles on the faces of children and has helped HHUGS to raise funds to sustain our services, through mosque collections. Each second that he spends volunteering has benefited someone less fortunate. Through his work he aims to draw closer to Allah, and fulfil his duty to others, whilst also having the opportunity to meet new people and develop his skills.
Abdullah continues to support HHUGS by volunteering whenever the opportunity arises and by encouraging others to donate and by raising awareness for HHUGS. He talks about why he is passionate about HHUGS charity.
“HHUGS, as a charity, is very important. They benefit the community with their work. Every individual’s role within the organisation is important, and it has helped the community so much. It’s just amazing to see their work become successful and grow.”
Abdullah’s drive to help others within his own community is an inspiration to us all. Although many of us are busy within our own lives, he is an example of how one can balance their daily responsibilities whilst helping others. His journey with HHUGS is a beautiful example of benefiting one’s own soul whilst benefiting others.