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Why Should We Feed Hungry People?

Questioner

Anonymous

Reply Date

Jul 06, 2017

Question

I wanted to know what are the virtues of feeding people, why is this such a good act to focus on?

Consultant

Answer


feeding poor

Salam alaykum,

Thank you so much. This is such an excellent question and a great reminder for us all.

The rewards of feeding people are immense, as highlighted in many verses and hadiths.

Allah’s Promise of Reward in the Quran

One of the most moving messages Allah sent to us regarding the rewards of feeding those who are hungry can be found in the 76th chapter of the Quran, Al-Insaan. 

Allah says what means:

The righteous truly drink of a cup tempered with camphor —a fountain from which the servants of Allah drink, making it flow in abundance. They fulfill vows and fear a day, the evil of which is widespread.

And they give food, out of love for Him, to the poor and the orphan and the captive, [saying] “We feed you, for Allah’s pleasure only — We desire from you neither reward nor thanks. Surely we fear from our Lord a stern, distressful day.”

So Allah will ward off from them the evil of that day, and cause them to meet with splendour and happiness; And reward them, for their steadfastness, with a Garden and with silk. (Qur’an 76:5-12)

Elsewhere, Allah described those who feed needy people as those who will be among the “companions of the right” and those who will inherit Jannah, as in the following verses:

“Or feeding, on a day of severe hunger, an orphan of near relationship, or a needy person in misery. And then being among those who believed and advised one another to patience and advised one another to compassion. Those are the companions of the right.” (Qur’an 90:14-18)

The Prophet also encouraged feeding people

The rewards of feeding people extend beyond verses from the Quran. ‘Abdullah bin Salam (May Allah be pleased with him) reported:

I heard the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) saying, “O people, exchange greetings of peace (i.e., say: As-Salamu ‘Alaikum to one another), feed people, strengthen the ties of kinship, and be in prayer when others are asleep, you will enter Jannah in peace.” [At- Tirmidhi].

Along those same lines, Abu Dharr (RAA) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said:

“When you make some soup, make a good amount by adding plenty of liquid, and give some to your neighbors.” Related by Muslim. [Bulugh al-Maram]

Food Given in Charity is Eternal Reward

The Prophet (peace and blessings upon him) also showed us that what is given in charity and what is being fed to the poor is what actually remains (eternally in terms of reward with Allah), as opposed to the food we consume.

‘Aishah (May Allah be pleased with her) reported:

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) had slaughtered a sheep and distributed major portions of its meat. Then he (peace be upon him) asked, “Is there anything left?” She replied, “Nothing, except the shoulder.” Thereupon he said, “All of it is left except its shoulder.” [At-Tirmidhi].

Feeding the Poor is Serving Allah

On the authority of Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him), who said that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said:

Allah (mighty and sublime be He) will say on the Day of Resurrection…

“…O son of Adam, I asked you for food and you fed Me not. He will say: O Lord, and how should I feed You when You are the Lord of the worlds? He will say: Did you not know that My servant So-and-so asked you for food and you fed him not? Did you not know that had you fed him you would surely have found that (the reward for doing so) with Me?” [Muslim]

So, keeping all of this in mind, we must work hard to feed the poor and needy, as well as our neighbors, and collaborate with our family and friends to do so.

As a matter of fact, my own Qur’an and Hadith teacher has started a Whatsapp group for this specific purpose. It’s called “Feeding the Poor.” All members steadily contribute a monthly amount for feeding the poor in certain areas.

Every month, the sum is collected from all members. This money goes to making food and feeding groups of poor people in impoverished neighborhoods.

You can start similar projects and you will feel the effect of this on your overall spirituality, health, and wellbeing insha’Allah.

Insha’Allah, this answers your question. Please keep in touch.


Satisfy your curiosity by checking out these other helpful links:

Part 3: How Islam Fights Hunger (30 Verses and Hadiths)

 

Muslim Shop Feeds Hungry for Free, People Pay Back

 

Feed, Greet and Pray

 

US Muslims Feed the Hungry in Ramadan

 

ShareTheMeal App Feeds Syrian Refugees in Ramadan

 

Muslim Restaurant Offers Free Meals to Needy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 




About Dina Mohamed Basiony

Dina Mohamed Basiony is a writer based in Cairo, Egypt. She is the Chief Editor of ProductiveMuslim.com. She specializes in Islam and spirituality. Dina holds an MA and BA in Journalism and Mass Communication from the American University in Cairo.

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