It’s almost last ten days of Ramadan.
You look around and take a deep sigh,
Is it so late, you ask?
You meant to read more,
To be kind more, to give more,
To pray more, to seek more,
Here you are though, standing still,
Pondering on those young souls,
Who day in and day out,
Feed the fasting at the tent.
Pause now, say after me:
اللهم إنك عفو تحب العفو فاعف عني
O Allah You are The One Who pardons greatly, and loves to pardon, so pardon me.
You get up, you try, you reflect,
On the young people of Surah al Kahf:
نَحْنُ نَقُصُّ عَلَيْكَ نَبَأَهُمْ بِالْحَقِّ ۚ إِنَّهُمْ فِتْيَةٌ آمَنُوا بِرَبِّهِمْ وَزِدْنَاهُمْ هُدًى
Truly! They were young men who believed in their Lord, and We increased them in guidance.” Al-Kahf, 18: 13.
I can do this, you say so out loud.
That the depth of your nafs,
Pour out tears of repentance,
For its almost the last
Ten days of Ramadan,
And there you sense it
The peace and sense of solitude.
Behind the big white marquee at Ramadan tent, which hosts hundreds of people each night; you may not know that there is a small tent, which we call the “kitchen”. We don’t cook anything there, so Gordon Ramsey won’t be visiting anytime soon. At this small kitchen, there are a few volunteers who are stationed to prepare dishes of dates, fruits and desserts. When the hot meals arrive, vegetarian boxes are separated from the meat to accommodate our guests. You must be good at math to operate at this small tent, as you will constantly see the volunteers counting the food, dividing it to be equally shared and adding their loving touch to make it presentable for our guests.
We work under the ethos of food for all, to cater for the fasting, the homeless and individuals in need. Every night we remind ourselves that together we want to bring hope to the streets in London, that this tent is about welcoming communities, celebrating diversity and cultures. That is the spirit of Ramadan – to show gratitude for the blessing that are granted to us.
We live in a city where thousands of Londoners are at risk of food poverty due to low incomes and unemployment amongst other factors. So it is important we reflect on the essence of Ramadan as it is a month of giving and guidance to do the right thing. We need to show gratitude as we are blessed with warm houses, access to food and clean water.
We don’t have to worry if we will have something to break our fast with, but that isn’t the case for so many people both here at home and overseas. At Ramadan Tent, we operate mainly on the generosity of our community, support from our partners, kindness from our guests and our volunteers who together ensure we have enough food to serve our guests. While we always aim to serve each guest, sometimes we encounter challenges where the demand outweighs the supply. We reflect on the saying of prophet Mohammed, peace be upon him,”The food of one person suffices for two, the food of two persons suffices for four persons, and the food of four persons suffices for eight persons.” [Muslim].
This month be an agent for kindness and try these ways you can support others:
- Find your local food bank, check what items they are shortage of and donate it.
- Feed the fasting around the globe or here in UK as the best charity is that given in this month.
- Donate to food security project, check your preferred charities programmes and know that every pounds counts
- We also at Ramadan tent, accept food donation, contact us to see what items we are need for this blessed month.