The Prophet’s Birthday: Starting Point for Good Deeds
The birthday of Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, is a joyful occasion for all Muslims, the day of gratitude to Allah. On this day Solidarity Foundation initiated charity events for Dagestanian orphans and young patients at the oncology unit of Russian Children’s Clinical Hospital in Moscow. As our Prophet said, “If you like your heart to become soft, be merciful with the orphan, pat his head and feed him from what you eat”.
Comfort, feed, help
In Dagestan, Prophet Muhammad’s birthday has long been a traditional festivity. On this day the Prophet is honoured with prayers, and stories of his life – an ideal for all believers – are told. Everyone strives to earn Allah’s favour through righteous deeds – giving alms, feeding the poor, caring for and attending to the deprived.
On this blessed day activists and volunteers of Solidarity Foundation in Dagestan, together with Insar Foundation organised under the auspices of the Grand Mosque in Makhachkala a festive meal for the orphans. Our Prophet was an orphan himself and always emphasised the importance of being kind to children who grow up without parents.
Over 50 children who lost their father or both parents attended our event. They are exposed to exceptionally harsh living conditions and have to dwell in trailers or old dilapidated apartments and houses.
“These children have to endure great misery. Only rarely do they have a chance to have some joy. We are glad that we have been able to bring some happiness into their lives”, says Ibrahim Makhtibekov, the head of the Solidarity office in Dagestan.
The meal started with the Quran recital. A little shy at first, a student of the Huffaz residential school in Buynaksk recited several surahs from the Holy Scripture.
Then Ibrahim Makhtibekov and Muhammad-Rasul Saaduev, imam of the Makhachkala Grand Mosque, told the children about Muhammad, his virtuous life and his prophetic mission.
“We are thankful to Allah that more and more people are ready to help the deprived. We appeal to everyone not yet involved in charity to join efforts with us”, said Muhammad-Rasul Saaduev.
At the end of the event all children received presents – toys, colouring books, sweet treats and books “The Prophet and the Children”.
But the festivities in Dagestan did not stop at that. Our volunteers are going to distribute 30 gift parcels among the orphans who could not take part in the event.
“Our greatest achievement is the fact that people came up to me after the event, willing to help and asking me how they could get involved”, says Ibrahim Makhtibekov. “And that is our main aim: to help the poor and to call upon the parishioners to do good deeds, just as the Prophet used to do”.
Bringing sunshine into the wards
On such a joyful occasion sadness had to be eliminated from the day’s schedule. Especially from the day’s regimen at the hospital. That is why our volunteers in Moscow decided to surprise the little patients from Russian Children’s Clinical Hospital and pay them a surprise visit. Laden with toys, balloons and gifts, they arrived at the hospital – only to discover that their coming was expected.
“How did we know? Well, we just felt you’d want to come on such an occasion”, says Luisa, mother of a sick girl from Grozny, smiling broadly.
However, parents at the hospital prepared for the Prophet’s birthday as well. They had baked some pies and had made sweet treats for the little patients at the oncology unit and their parents.
Solidarity volunteers took all the children to the playroom, and the fun began! A kid was drawing spaceships surrounded by stars and different planets (all this in colour!) on a huge sheet of paper, another one was crafting fantastic animals from plasticine, while other children were doing puzzles. The older girls made bead necklaces with the help of volunteers.
Full of games, tea time and friendly chats, the afternoon was happy and entertaining. The volunteers told the children about the life of the Prophet. At the end of their visit it was time for presents – car models and plasticine for the boys, colouring books and stitching sets for the girls. And books, of course. Haroon Yahya’s colourful book “The Creation” about the prophets and Allah’s Messenger was the children’s favourite.
“It was a pleasure to spend the day here and bring joy into the lives of the children who have to face hardships and pain and cannot open the door into the world. That means the world must open this door, taking the hospital wards by storm, and that’s exactly what we did. It was a bit sad to say goodbye, but we promised the kids that we would come again. Mercy and compassion cannot be single-serving. It is a need of the soul”, says Irana, a volunteer of the Foundation.
“I visited children at the hospital for the first time. It was a highly positive experience. I was glad to see the happy smiles on their faces, and it was a double pleasure to know that it was us who brought about this joy. I am now planning to visit them more often, Insha Allah”, says Nana, another Solidarity volunteer.
“My heart sank when a little boy said, “It’s so nice out there in the street. The sun is shining there. In here, we don’t see the sun”, says Kamilla, a volunteer of the Foundation. “But then his face lighted up with a smile, just like a little sun. It is wonderful that on this holy day we had the opportunity to bring sunlight into the hospital and inspire many little patients. I think that the more we visit them, the better. It is a joy for the kids and a great support for their parents. They can see that they are not alone with their sorrow – their brothers and sisters do not neglect them and are always ready to lend a helping hand”.