If you are reading my blog then this question is for you. Who feeds whom?
I hope this question will ask us to give some food for thought and make us ponder over what we are doing to address the problem of hunger in our society. While hunger in the land of plenty is not a new phenomenon, the last few years of economic turmoil have worsened matters for the poor on this planet . As unemployment has soared and bankruptcies and foreclosures have increased, the ranks of the poor have swelled in alarming proportions. So we find ourselves in the anomalous situation that one out of every six people in the richest nation on earth, is today living below the poverty line. Let me tell you a short story to prove the topic.
Once during the time of the Prophet Solomon(pbuh), there was a big famine in Palestine. He came out with his people and proceeded to an open place in the desert to pray for the rains to come. Suddenly, he saw an Ant standing on its two legs, raising its hands up towards the sky and saying, “Oh Almighty God! We are but very small among all the creatures. We cannot survive without Your grace. Please bestow upon us Your sustenance and do not punish us because of the sins of human beings. Please send down the rains so that trees can grow, farms become green and grains become available and we have our food to eat.” After hearing this Prophet Solomon told his people, “Let us go home. The prayer of this Ant is enough.” It then rained heavily and all the land became green and productive.
The Ant is an intelligent creature. During warm days it collects and stores grain inside the holes. It knows that during wet and cold months, it would not be able to go out to search for food. For fear that grain may start growing because of wetness, it splits it into two or more pieces. At times, during moonlit nights, it brings the split grains out of the stores for drying and preservation against decay. The holes under the ground are made very carefully and covered with shelter to prevent the rain water from getting inside the holes. The Ant, unlike the other animals, can lift a burden twice its own weight. It is not a selfish creature. When an Ant finds some store of food grains, it runs up to its group and takes its fellow Ants to that place. It shows everyone of them its own find of the store. They always behave in this manner. They work and live in co-operation with each other.
This shows how the Ant works for the group and how each of them fulfils the needs and livelihood of its fellow-beings. How shameful it is for a man, who has no regard for another man; who has no concern for his fellow human beings who could be starving because of want of food.
Feed the hungry, feed not only human’s but animal’s and every living thing on this planet. The word “feed” should not be limited to the actual feeding by making meals for the poor and the needy. The scope of feeding is much wider.Make it a daily habit to give something in charity. Spending on the poor gets you closer to God. Do not forget that spending on your family is more important than spending on others. The former is obligatory while the latter is supererogatory.
In conclusion let me draw your attention to the saying of the Holy Prophet ( pbuh ) , in which he has reported to have responded to someone who asked him about the best of deeds in Islam, as, “Spread the peace and feed the people …… “
Let us all become people who follow the above advice of the Messenger of God Almighty.
-Wish you a good day!