“Ramadan has come to you: a month of blessing in which Allah (SWT) covers you with blessings, sends down mercy, decreases sins, and answers prayers. In [this month], Allah (SWT) looks at your competition in good deeds, and boasts about you to His angels. So show Allah utmost goodness from your souls.”
– Prophet Muhammad (SAW) as narrated by Tabarani
For millions of Muslims around the world, the blessed month of Ramadan is a time of reflection, reverence, fasting, prayer, patience, and charity. For us at Islamic Relief, Ramadan is THE month that defines who we are and what we are about.
Too many of our sisters and brothers struggle to find food for iftar; parents painfully realize that they will not be able to give their children a festive Ramadan or Eid. And with resource depletion and restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic, food availability and financial resources are even harder to come by for our already-vulnerable sisters and brothers. Honoring the traditions of the blessed month of Ramadan unfortunately turn into hardships for too many families in need.
That is why your donations this month are so powerful. Not only do you fulfill the charitable obligations Allah (SWT) has set for us, but you also help relieve at least a little of the burden that a struggling family faces.
Read on to learn more about how you can make this your most charitable Ramadan yet.
“Establish prayer and give zakat, and whatever good you put forward for yourselves—you will find it with Allah. Surely Allah sees what you do.”
—The Holy Qur’an, 2:110
More than just a percentage of our income, zakat is a core pillar of our faith. And when you give through Islamic Relief, it has the potential to impact lives in big ways for years and years to come.
“He is not a believer whose stomach is filled while his neighbor goes hungry.”
—Prophet Muhammad (SAW) as narrated by Ibn Abbas
Sharing nutritious food with a person in need is one of the core components of Islam, and of Islamic Relief.
Food packages for Ramadan 2020 were only $50—that’s right: only one low price for any Ramadan food package. Please note: Ramadan Food Package donations are now closed, but you can continue to support food aid efforts all year long by giving to IRUSA’s Food Aid fund. Here is a list of countries served this past Ramadan:
Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mali, Niger, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Sudan
Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Myanmar*, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka
Albania, Bosnia, Chechnya, Kosovo, Macedonia, Turkey
Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine*, Syrian refugees, Tunisia, Yemen
This fund provides food aid to those in most need across the U.S., including refugees.
What’s inside a food package?
Good stuff: Food that is important to the local diet and is designed to expand easy access to vital nutrients for families. Packages differ from country to country, but many include rice, wheat, lentils, oil, sugar, canned fish or meat, and dates. Connect with us via 1-855-447-1001 or email@example.com to learn more.
Why are food packages so important?
In addition to extending the amount of food a family has access to, your food package donations help the local economy because the food is purchased locally. Our Ramadan food program is specifically designed to complement projects that provide sustainable ways to improve living conditions—it’s a major part of IRUSA’s campaign to end hunger and poverty.
We are partnering with Chef José Andrés’ World Central Kitchen to bring more than 100,000 fresh, nutritious meals to communities in need across the country through the #ChefsforAmerica initiative!
You can help support this work and more by donating today.
In some circumstances, a Muslim is not able to fulfill his or her religious obligation to fast during the month of Ramadan, or may want to recompense for an intentionally broken oath.
Fidya and kaffara are two solutions built into the religion of Islam that can help a Muslim compensate for not fasting or breaking other obligations—paying of fidya or kaffara also benefits members of the community who live in impoverished conditions.
The following answers are meant to provide a basic understanding of fidya and kaffara, and were derived through the consultation of imams who follow the Fiqh Council of North America. It is advised that you consult with your local imam or scholar for more detailed or localized inquiries.
“Fidya” is a donation type within the Islamic tradition paid by individuals who cannot fulfill the obligation of fasting due to illness or old age. Fidya payments are meant to feed a miskeen (person in need) for each of the fasting days missed.
The estimated cost, on guidance from the Fiqh Council of North America, is $10 for each day missed or $300 for all of Ramadan.
In addition, if the donor is from a low-income family, he or she should then care for the family’s needs first before considering giving a separate fidya donation.
“Kaffara,” within the Islamic tradition, provides individuals who deliberately miss or break a day of fast during the month of Ramadan without a valid reason an opportunity to recompense for it. According to Islamic guidelines, if a person misses a day of fasting unnecessarily, he or she should either fast for 60 consecutive days or feed 60 masakeen (underprivileged people) per day. The estimated cost is $10 per person for 60 people, which equals $600 a day for each missed or broken-fast day.
Beyond Ramadan, kaffara may also be given to recompense for broken oaths or promises. In these cases, 10 masakeen (underprivileged people) should be fed for each occurrence. The estimated cost is $10 per person for 10 people, which equals $100 per broken promise. If the donor is from a low-income family, and cannot afford the payment, it is recommended that he or she should fast for three days, and make sure to “protect your oath,” meaning he or she should stay true to his or her word going forward.
Members of Congress, including Rep. Rashida Tlaib, Rep Daniel Kildee, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rep. Jim McGovern, and Rep Cheri Bostos, sent us this special message for you this Ramadan. We also have a Ramadan Kareem greeting just for you from our IRUSA staff.