Nelson Mandela International Day

 

Introduction

Nelson Mandela International Day, also known as Mandela Day, is held on July 18 each year. The day remembers Mandela’s achievements in working towards conflict resolution, democracy, human rights, peace, and reconciliation.

Nelson Mandela International Day 2018 marks 100 years since the birth of Nelson Mandela (18 July 1918). The Centenary is an occasion to reflect on his life and legacy, and to follow his call to “make of the world a better place.” The Nelson Mandela Foundation is dedicating this year's Mandela Day to Action against Poverty, honoring Nelson Mandela's leadership and devotion to fighting poverty and promoting social justice for all. 

What do People do on this day ?
Nelson Mandela Day not only celebrates Nelson Mandela’s life, but it is also a global call to action for people to recognize their ability to have a positive effect on others around them. The day hopes to inspire people to embrace the values that Mandela shared. These values include democracy, freedom, equality, diversity, reconciliation, and respect.

Many people and organizations around the world take part in many activities to promote Nelson Mandela Day. These activities include volunteering, sport, art, education, music and culture. Various events are also held on or around July 18 to honor Nelson Mandela’s works and to promote the different projects that were inspired by Mandela’s achievements.

May be Nelson Mandela was great influence on the world , but before 1400 years , Islam has ordered us help others , serve our society and above all to give charity ( Zakkah) to the needy ones .Helping others is not optional but a religious duty.



Helping Others is a Core Principle of Islam

One of the central principles of Islam is helping others, the Qur’an and especially the hadith highlight how helping another human being is a fundamental aspect of Islam. Muslims’ primary goal is to worship God, but this is done not only through rituals like prayer and fasting but also through treatment of other people.

Before the Prophet Muhammad started to receive revelation, he would spend a great deal of time meditating in a cave outside of Mecca. One of the issues that he reflected on was how some members of his society–like women, orphans, and those without tribal protection–were treated. It is for this reason that there are many hadith that emphasize the importance of helping others.

One hadith in particular that underscores this message comes from a collection called An-Nawawi:Whosoever removes a worldly grief from a believer, Allah will remove from him one of the griefs of the Day of Judgment. Whosoever alleviates [the lot of] a needy person, Allah will alleviate [his lot] in this world and the next. Whosoever shields a Muslim, Allah will shield him in this world and the next. Allah will aid a slave [of His] so long as the slave aids his brother. Whosoever follows a path to seek knowledge therein, Allah will make easy for him a path to Paradise. No people gather together in one of the houses of Allah, reciting the Book of Allah and studying it among themselves, but tranquility and peace descends upon them, mercy envelopes them, the angels surround them, and Allah makes mention of them amongst those who are with Him. And whosoever is slowed down by his actions will not be hastened forward by his lineage.

It is clear from this that helping others is connected to a believer’s worship of God. In other words, the hadith connects responsibility to people to other acts of worship like reading Qur’an with other Muslims and seeking knowledge. Moreover, there is a clear reward for a person who aids another, both in this world and in the next. This is important for Muslims, because they believe that each person will face God on the Day of Judgment and be asked about all their deeds. It is clear from the above hadith that

The Prophet Muhammad is considered by Muslims to be the highest example and he would very often help others, even if it meant that he had to sacrifice something. So by his example also, Islam is a faith that makes helping others and society a core principle.

Charity is so important in Islam
You know that zakkah, or charity, is the third Pillar of Islam, a major teaching. Being charitable and providing for the needy are important features of the Muslim character. Why is charity so important?

The existence of countless starving, poor, hungry and destitute Muslims and non-Muslims in the world points to the need for this essential teaching to be put into practice. Affluent Muslims may not realize how their wealth could strengthen whole communities. Giving charity correctly is crucial to both the well-being of the needy as well as the ultimate happiness of the wealthy. The Prophet emphasized this principle repeatedly.


The Forms of Charity

Several different categories of charity are defined in Islam, the two most important being zakkah (obligatory charity) and sadaqa (voluntary charity). Zakkah is a specific, standardized percentage of one’s extra wealth (over and above the necessities of life) that must be given to the poor and those in need. Sadaqa can be given to anyone in many forms including a smile, wise advice, or helping to build a home or masjid.

The Prophet said: “Your smile for your brother is a charity. Your removal of stones, thorns or bones from the paths of people is a charity. Your guidance of a person who is lost is a charity.” (Bukhari)

Another Hadith illustrates the importance of every part of a person’s body performing a charity:

“A charity is due for every joint in each person on every day the sun comes up: to act justly between two people is a charity; to help a man with his mount, lifting him onto it or hoisting up his belongings onto it, is a charity; a good word is a charity; and removing a harmful thing from the road is a charity.” (Al-Bukhari, Muslim)


Shade on the Day of Judgment

The Prophet said: “The believer’s shade on the Day of Resurrection will be his charity.” (Al-Tirmidhi)

On the day when all other shade will be gone, Allah will shade and shelter those who give charity and care for the poor. The Muslim’s sacrifice in this life will be their protection on the Day of Judgment.



A Protection from Calamity

By sacrificing part of one’s wealth and giving it in charity, the individual is guaranteeing protection for themselves from tragedy and misfortune.

The Prophet said: “Give charity without delay, for it stands in the way of calamity.” (Al-Tirmidhi)

Better to Give Than To Take

It is considered better to give charity than receive it. One should be wary of repeatedly soliciting and taking from sadaqa and zakkah funds. Those who refrain from taking these funds (so that more will be left for the other needy) will be provided for by Allah and be made self-reliant by Him.

The Prophet said: “The upper hand is better than the lower hand (he who gives is better than him who takes). One should start giving first to his dependents. And the best object of charity is that which is given by a wealthy person (from the money left after his expenses). And whoever abstains from asking others for some financial help, Allah will give him and save him from asking others, Allah will make him self-sufficient.” (Al-Bukhari)


Relieving a person in debt is charity

The Prophet said: “If anyone would like Allah to save him from the hardships of the Day of Resurrection, he should give more time to his debtor who is short of money, or remit his debt altogether.” (Muslim)

If someone owes you money, it is considered charity if you show mercy, give the debtor more time to pay back his loan, or even cancel out the person’s debt. If charity is a person’s shade on the Day of Judgment, canceling a person’s debt will also serve as a protection.


Helping Family in Need

It is acceptable to give one’s charity to those in need in one’s own family.

The Prophet said: “To give something to a poor man brings one reward, while giving the same to a needy relation brings two: one for charity and the other for respecting the family ties.” (Al-Tirmidhi)


Charity That Keeps On Giving

If a person performs a deed that continues to benefit others in a good way, the performer of the deed will continue to collect the rewards for her single act for as long as it benefits others (even after the person passes away). This is referred to as sadaqa jariyah, or perpetual charity.

The Prophet said: “When a person dies his works end, except for three: ongoing charity, knowledge that is benefited from, and a righteous child who prays for him.” (Muslim, Al-Tirmidhi, others)

The degree of the reward is dependent on the degree and significance of the benefit of the charitable act, and to what degree the charity was given for the sake of Allah.
Charity serves as a way to bring justice, balance and kindness to every society and community. It is our hope that the Muslim community fulfills their charitable duty correctly and does their part to eliminating poverty in communities everywhere.

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