Sunday, February 24, 2013

Living Consciously

There was a post on Instagram around a week ago that has stayed fresh in my memory, it was a photo of a young lady showing off some of her favorite fashion designer purchases with a comment beneath that said 'At some point in her life every girl buys a Chanel purse...'. These words hit my chest like a ton of bricks. I sat and wondered if there really are people who believe that every girl on this planet can afford or even wants a Chanel purse or was this person just caught up in the moment of admiring the prestige that goes along with the brand name of the handbag she held cradled in her arms. Doesn't it seep into their minds that most of the   population on this planet will never even be able to afford a tube of Chanel lipstick that costs around $34?

"Love for worldly possessions is primarily a disease of the heart while the purpose of sadaqa is to act as its antidote or cure. Sadaqa serves as a form of dhikr to remind us that all forms of wealth come from Allah and what we possess is .simply a short term loan for which we will be held accountable when our contract expires. This loan is meant to cater for our personal needs and family needs and those of the wider society."

"Say: if it be that your fathers, your sons, your brothers, your mates, or your kindred; the wealth that you have gained; the commerce in which you fear a decline; or the dwellings in which you delight are dearer to you than Allah, or his Messenger, or the striving in His Cause - then wait until Allah brings about His Decision: and Allah guides not the rebellious. [at Tawba 9: 24.]"

Some people are so wrapped up in their quest for money, fame, and all the material things that they can attain and buy that they totally forget about all the people around them that are less fortunate and even how their actions and needs may be permanently damaging our planet. None of us possess absolute certainty that our lives will remain the way they are right now, they may change weeks from now, years from now or even tomorrow. We must never forget that Allah is the only thing 100% certain thing in our lives and everything else could vanish at any given moment.

It is our duty as humans to look after and care for all the other human beings that inhabit earth with us. That means putting aside all of your misconceptions, stereotypes, and psuedo traditional nonsense to make sure you are making a positive impact on other peoples lives instead of using them for your own personal gain. Always remember to want for others what you want for yourself, no one is beneath you.

When you sit and eat a meal are you aware of how lucky you actually are? Do you think of families in Africa whose bodies have practically become mere skin and bones. These African countries spend their money and resources growing cotton which is then made into new clothes for 'wealthier' countries while those people literally wear rags and die. Do you know about the valley in Mexico that grows tomatoes and roses for the US instead of growing food for their own people? At least 20 million people in Mexico suffer from malnutrition and it could easily be fixed by letting them grow food for themselves in that valley! Instead greedy consumers want their red roses for valentines day, does it make you feel good that by showing your affection to your loved one and buying them a red rose you contributed to the starvation and death of a Mexican child? For the ones that bought a dozen roses grown in Mexico they contributed to the starvation and death of 12 Mexican children. Is that really love? Killing someone else's child? When you eat the tomatoes grown in that valley you are eating food that could have kept someone else alive. Doesn't taste as good now does it? It is a sad fact that most farmers all around the world are poorer than the ones buying the crops and livestock they produce and usually treated as being of a lower class. This person works their life away so that you can have food on your table and you think you are better than them? Every crop that farmer puts in the ground he or she Allah will reward them for:

“Whenever Muslims plant a tree, they will earn the reward of charity because of the food that comes from it; and likewise what is stolen from it, what the wild beasts eat out of it, what the birds eat out of it, and what people take from it is charity for them” (Muslim).

We should all be educating ourselves and others of the injustices that go on in our world no matter how near or far they may be. Media will not show us the negative impact our actions may have on the planet, we must remember that media and most publications that we encounter everyday are concerned with making their own fame and revenue and would not dare show us the dark underside that lurks around us therefore we must search out the truth and information for ourselves. Let your mind be hungrier than your stomach and wallet and let it crave all the information it can find.

"Lend unto God a goodly loan. Whatever good you shall forward on your behalf you shall find it with God, as better and richer in reward. [al-Muzzammil 73: 20.]"

Charity is a good place for us to all start being aware of the conditions of the other people who live around us near or far and is a great tool for bringing justice back into societies that may have strayed into materialistic mindsets.

5 Charities Helping To End Hunger

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