I always wonder and perhaps ask many questions without answers when I think about the situation and conduct of Muslims these days. Not only in Malawi but also in other parts of the world. But in this write-up I will dwell much on Malawi Muslims.
I remember when I was a little boy; I used to see how our beloved parents used to handle matters concerning Deen. Yes, of course many of them were illiterate but very intelligent and wise. They were observing five times obligatory prayers in the thatched bamboo or reeds built Mosques. And during Ramadhan they were taking us to the nearest Mosque where we could break our fast (Swaum) at one place together; in my case I remember we used to do this at late Village Headman Chithumbwi’s house in Nkhotakota, few meters away from the Mosque.
When I was picking up my age, I started asking my parents’ questions like; who build for us this Mosque? The answer was very amazing “our hands” they claimed proudly. One day I asked the Village Headman that who gives us this iftar, (Uji)? He hold me by his hand and replied softly, “my son, your parents and all the villagers do this”. Immediately, I flashed back my memories to the time of Rise harvesting period when parents were sending us with Rice and other food stuffs to deliver to the house of the Village Headman. Then he finally said yes “my son this is what we eat today”.
I believe this was happening all over the Muslim community in the country. Now, will I be wrong to call them ‘Givers’? I think you unanimously agree with me that yes they were. But who are we today? Ah! It seems a bit difficult to answer. But, anyway let me say without fear or favor that we are ‘Receivers’. It is pathetic that today we receive what we grow with our own hands. Is it not against the prophetic authentic words “blessed is the hand that gives, and indeed blessed is the upper hand than the lower”? It seems to me that we have not inherited anything tangible in this aspect from our parents.
Today a good number of local Malawi Muslims are working but still Mosques in our villages are in bad condition. Our fellow Muslim brothers prostrate on bare ground without even a piece of Mkeka while mats in our houses are decaying because we have more than one. Furthermore, we have rubbish pits few meters away from our residences/houses wherein food is dumped not because it is spoiled but because our stomachs are filled up while our fellow Muslim brothers and sisters somewhere in the country even in our own villages are sleeping empty belly.
It is also striking these days to see a Muslim brother or sister going to orphanage to visit the so called an orphan who happens to be a son or daughter of his or her own blood sister or brother! Coming all the way from a three or five roomed house with rubbish pit beside wherein food is daily dumped to visit the so called an orphan; I think the Muslim Ummah is going astray.
How can one become an orphan and seek help from orphanage while his/her uncle or aunt is enjoying the free air and blessings bestowed by Allah upon him/her and he/she does not think about such kind of helpless children? Is it because we love to be called Mr. or Mrs. Receiver and not sister or brother Giver? Remember Allah will never change a situation of this Ummah unless we prepare to change by ourselves. Let’s change then from Receivers to Givers, let’s say we have received enough and now it’s time to give. Believe me, if we do this tears will never be in our ayes again crying for donations for something that we can do for our own benefit in this world and hereafter.
Allah said in glorious Qur’an 2:215 “They ask you about giving: say, “The charity you give shall go to the parents, the relatives, the orphans, the poor, and the traveling alien, any good you do, Allah is fully aware thereof.” Again Allah said; “Those who spend their money in the cause of Allah, then do not follow their charity with insult or harm, will receive their recompense from their Lord; they have nothing to fear, nor will they grieve” Qur’an 2:262. Your one Kwacha that you can give in the cause of Allah is worthy enough than what you receive.