Ramadan Diaries

Climbing the Steep Hill

I haven't personally attended the iftaars organized in luxurious restaurants with crowded groups, but as I hear more and more about the amount of food that goes to waste in these so-called charity events, I can't help but write about the irony that such iftaars create with some anger-tinged sorrow.

When attendees in these events organized by this charity or that foundation see that kilos of meat and appetizers are about to end up in the garbage dump and offer to collect the left-over food and deliver it to those in need, their offer is rejected by the organizers on the grounds that "it wouldn't be chic." When we realize that it's these very people who are in charge of the charitable works of our community and that the little sums collected as charity have fallen into their hands, we can't help but be astonished and worried.

In Suratu'l Balad, where helping those who have lost their freedom, orphans, and the poor lying in the dust was described as climbing a steep hill, our Lord says that those who fail to live up to this are the ones that brag about having spent a lot of wealth (Balad 1-20).

When we normalize such acts of waste in the name of "classiness" and sanction those who feel entitled to unlimited wealth and luxury and are in charge of the paltry sums that have been donated by hard-working people, we have to think about where this lands us within the categories described in this surah. Are we in this case People of the Right or People of the Left?



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