For a lot of people, especially the non-Muslims who aren’t heavily involved, Ramadan is just about fasting and praying. While these are important aspects of the Holy Month, they are not the whole point of Ramadan. The spirit is what the whole month is really about.
Ramadan is seen as a month of control, self-restraint, challenges, acceptance, goals, purification, and most importantly, it is known as the month of giving. Giving to those in need and sharing what you have, and distributing the excess to try and make sure everyone around is happy and satisfied.
People do see Ramadan as an opportunity to cleanse their mind, body, and soul and resort to activities that don’t just put a smile on their faces, but also on the faces of others. And there is no better way of doing that than through charity. When people voluntarily offer help in terms of tangible products such as food, clothing etc. and through intangible acts such as mental and emotional support, is when they have truly fathomed the spirit of the Holy Month.
While there are some who do it actively only during the month of Ramadan, there are some people and organisations that are committed to doing this round-the-clock, 365 days a year. These are Oman’s warm and generous charitable organisations and they deserve a shout out for their noble works and deeds and also for encouraging and facilitating others from the community to take up such works.
What started as a small community of a few people just coming together to raise funds and helping people on a small scale locally, has grown and expanded to become Oman’s best known non-profit organisation that was formally registered in 2006. Today, Dar Al Atta’a doesn’t just cater to the needs and requirements of the destitutes in Oman, but has also been actively providing aid to those in need in the neighbouring countries. Over the years, they’ve branched out to more people and more charitable activities including family welfare, educational care, disaster relief, and promoting positive habits such as reading, selfless giving, etc.
Every year during Ramadan they are active, out and about, making sure they bring smiles to as many faces and leave more and more people physically and emotionally content. Iftar, the time when you break your 12- to 13-hour fast after offering prayers and getting together with family and friends is extremely important. Many enjoy lavish Iftars, with an array of dishes and meals to choose and devour from. Unfortunately, there are some who can’t even afford a square meal and are forced to starve. These are the kind of people who need to be provided with the basic necessity of food. This year, during the Holy Month, Dar Al Atta’a will be providing Iftar meals for 300 fasting people per day in three mosques across the country. Apart from this, as part of their adoption of abandoned families programme, they will be distributing essential Ramadan supplies to nearly 600 families. Zakat is an important element of the Islamic culture, which is a religious obligation for Muslims who meet the wealth criteria to donate a sum from their savings to those in need. Dar Al Atta’a has voluntarily taken up the responsibility of distributing this Zakat money to the needy families across the country.
During the Holy Month, Dar Al Atta’a also resorts to various other activities such as the distribution of clothes, payment of debts, etc.
It is paramount to indulge in activities that are selfless deeds and will help the people around you during the time of Ramadan, but it doesn’t just have to be limited to the Holy Month. And this is one thing that charities such as Dar Al Atta’a teach you and encourage you to do. When charity becomes a habit and a part of your being and not just a momentary activity, that’s when you know that you are on the right path, the path of good.