Fostership – the act of parenting, or raising up or taking care of someone like your own child has forever been revered as a great act of humanity and kindness.
In today’s highly connected world with disconnected minds, where everyone worries about setting their comfort boundaries, wary of their conveniences, sharing their likes and dislikes, the basic act of humanity is oft set into it’s limited boundaries. We convince our conscious by remembering to ‘give donations to xyz charitable organization, give alms to the beggar on the streets, send blankets for relief funds, go for blood donation camps’. These acts of charity, as in Islam must be done compulsorily; taken as a duty of every human being. But, how often do we talk to our neighbors, have conversations with old couple in the building, talk to the widows, or interact with the financially troubled families living in our neighborhood. How often do we ask them how they are doing? Do we make a conscious effort to see if they need any repairs in their house which they cannot afford, have high medical expenses, are they living in unhealthy conditions. How often do we think about uplifting the conditions of our neighborhood families.
Prophet Muhammed SA always metaphorically instructed to ‘make more gravy when we cook meat. So that we can give our neighbors.’ He always asked us to lookout for our neighbors, treat them like our own, foster them.
The Dawoodi Bohra spiritual leader, our beloved Dr. Syedna Aali Qadr Mufaddal Saifuddin Saheb has raised a call for action. Asked us to take time off from our busy lives, away from the endless stream of world news flooding through our facebook, twitter and whatsapp feeds and look around our neighborhood. Look at the state of our neighbors, how many live in damp homes, live in unhygienic conditions, have medical ailments, need help schooling their children, going through some financial hardships, or have adamant children who fight and argue, need some shoulder to cry on, need counselling to tackle some situation, need constant help, see how you can help uplift them. Efforts can start from small like repainting their walls, changing their old beds, forming small groups to collectively meet financial costs of gifting them new kitchen ware, replace a broken fridge, or help them take care of their children’s school fees.
Dont stop at financial help, foster them, tell them you will help them to collectively solve their problems continually, hug them and keep them close.
The call from Maula is not to jump out from our comfort zone, complete an act of charity and dust our hands off. The call is to raise your conscious to forever look out for someone who might need your helping hand. The dua/blessing received from the deepest recesses of these hearts will bless your life in ways you cannot imagine.