By Sarah Schroeder
Ramadan Kareem everyone! It’s that time of year again – bright Ramadan lights and lamps in the streets of Qatar, sharing sweets, consuming great amounts of Vimto, tamar hindi and jellab, busy and lively nights filled with delicious smells, and quietly slow days.
In Islam, performing good deeds is as vital as fasting, charity, and performing prayers – as goodness and righteousness are highly valued. There are big and small acts of kindness and deeds that carry rewards for the doer, as well as the person who encouraged them towards their act of charity. Fruitful good deeds can make up for some bad deeds, and like everything else in life come in different sizes. Some good deeds are grand, whereas others are small and simple.
While different people in Qatar experience Ramadan differently, good deeds are rewarding for everyone and help increase our emotional well-being, sociability, level of self-worth, and the happiness of others. So why not try ILQ’s weekly acts of kindness to give back to friends, family, the community –and even yourself! Let’s challenge each other to 7 good deeds every week for one month, and harvest the rewards together!
1. Give someone a compliment
Yes – an act of kindness may be as small as a compliment. For the first week of Ramadan, see what you notice and like about others. Once noticed, let this person know! Is it a lipstick colour? A quality they possess? Or their smile? Just make sure it comes from the heart!
2. Plant a vegetable garden
Whether you fast or not, fresh fruit and veg are the best during hot summer days. Especially if they come straight from the garden. If you don’t have the space for a whole allotment, try planting a couple of herbs to place on your windowsills.
3. Bring food over to a neighbour
When was the last time you spent some time with your neighbour? Do you know your neighbour very well? Bringing over food to a neighbor is a simple act of kindness, but one that goes a long way. Maybe your neighbour is going through a rough time at the moment, or is very busy with work. You would never know if you don’t go over and ask how they are, and let them know that someone is thinking of them.
4. Take part in a literacy program
Charities like Reach Out To Asia frequently look for volunteers to take part in literacy programs – such as computer and internet literacy for construction workers. Even without an official program, you might find an elderly person you can teach. Take the time and give back to them.
5. Finish that book you were meant to read
Is there a book you bought or were gifted but still haven’t found the time to read? We’ve all been there. With the shorter working days, take some time for yourself to pick up where you left off and read what you were meaning to!
6. Save electricity
This week, be extra cautious of all electricity used. Unplug all devices you’re not using, such as your toaster, laptop, phone-charger, night lamp – everything!
7. Write a thank-you card to someone who won’t expect it
The last good deed for this week is a simple one. If you think about who has recently helped or inspired you, been there for you, or just been their awesome self, does anyone come to mind? Thank this person with a hand-written card. You can even craft your own card for a personal touch!
Let’s see if you can complete the list! Let us know how you get on and how this contributes to your Ramadan. Your comments and feedback keep us going! Also share this list with your friends and family if you want to complete these acts of kindness together, and check back in next week for more good deeds to perform!
Want to know more about the Holy Month in Qatar? Be sure to visit www.ramadan.qa!
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