By Rakan Tarabzoni
Pay it Forward is a movement based on repaying good deeds forward to others rather than the original benefactor.
Islam, like many other civilizations, realized this from the very beginning and made sure of its implementation. Hence, giving to charity is one of the main five pillars of the religion, making Zakat obligatory for all Muslims.
Here are some ideas to get you started:
Set Aside a Certain Amount for Helping Others
In Islam, we are asked to give out 2.5 percent as Zakat, so why not make it a habit to give out 2.5 percent of any income you make. Personally, I adapted the idea, and made a monthly habit.
Don’t Just Give Out Your Old Clothes
Try setting a fixed number of items you have and always maintain that number. For example, if you have 15 pairs of shoes, make sure they remain 15, so if you buy a new one, you must give one out to charity. The point is to have a fixed number and not go over it.
Family Comes First
You will be surprised to know that often your relatives, close or distant, qualify for the help. And if that is the case, they come foremost.
It’s Not Always About the Money
Time is more valuable than materials, so taking time out and donating one hour a month is also considered a great act of giving. Some ideas off the top of my head would be to volunteer at a children’s hospital, or go out and visit the poorest parts of your town and help distribute food and clothes with one of the community charities. Or volunteer with the local high schools and teach some skills or career planning trainings to kids who would benefit from such practices.
What to do With the Extra Food?
Most of us face the issue of having ordered/cooked too much food that gets beyond the need of the family. I would suggest making it a habit to give away the extra food especially when it is extra food after a party.
In all cases, the act of giving is an enriching experience all by itself. So make it a habit, add one more reminder into your smartphone to give back to the community. One final note, always remember Prophet Mohammed’s saying: “The wealth of a man never diminishes by giving to the needy.”