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You Don't Do This To People...


As Salamu-Alaykum, my lovelies!

What is it with humans and a general disregard for basic morality? I ask, because we are presumably the only species to receive set guidelines (through The Qur'an, Bible, Torah, etc) of how to live here to secure a home in Heaven, and yet, we never run out of reasons to turn a blind eye.

First of all, I need to say this - I am not an anti-consumerist. At least not yet anyway. However, I'm finding it extremely difficult to reconcile the fact that there are individuals, and groups, and corporations and governments out there who deliberately support starvation.

I understand how the system works. You have money - You buy things. You have more money - You buy more expensive things. That in itself is fair enough. I think everyone has a right to earn money, and with that money, buy whatever pleases them. In fact, I find it in poor taste when people who are priviledged enough to be born with a silver spoon are made to feel guilty for their blessings. You do not choose what situation you're born into.

But on that note, let's flip the coin and address this issue from a different perspective. If you happen to be born into extreme poverty, you've already lost a battle you never signed up to fight. You and I don't know the true meaning of starvation (Alhamdulillah), so I can only assume. But I think if you're deprived of food, you're deprived of everything else. You're too weak to work and your brain can't function enough to allow you to go to school, so you become trapped in a cycle that is practically impossible to break out of. 

Back to my original point - that of consumerism. The notion that at the end of the day, the only thing that matters is the profit that you make. I'll elaborate. There are supermarkets and restaurants, for example, that would rather throw food away at the end of the day than donate to a shelter or food bank. So basically, unless they are making a profit off you, a bin is more worthy of their food than a hungry person. Also, under the guise of 'health and safety', there are also governments who make it illegal for homeless people (at their own risk) to go through a supermarket bin scrounging for food. In most parts of the world, there are rats who eat better than people.  

Girls, we can't do this to people!

We can't ignore the fact that in 2015, people are still dying of hunger. Don't get me wrong. I'm not suggesting that supermarkets need to start giving away free food, or that you and I ought to start buying groceries for the poor. Although both would be great, there is no escaping the fact that we are in a capitalist society and we can't be responsible for everyone. However, we really need to address the psychological reasoning behind our preference to throw food away than donate it.

If you take anything from this, I want you to always bear in mind that food and water, though we take both for granted, are two of the most basic necessities of life. If you can, please give generously. Don't wait until your food expires. Donate anything you don't need directly to people in need, or indirectly through food banks. I know millions of people donate clothes every year, and I think that's great. But always remember - what's a clean shirt to a child who has no energy to wear it?
 

Finally, I just wanted to add that this entire post was inspired by Nadda (over at Nadda's Narrative),  who wrote a very thought-provoking post on her blog about global food shortage. I've been mulling over this topic for almost a week now!


May Allah (SWT) continue to provide us with the means to help others. 
And may He soften our hearts enough to want to do so.



8 comments:

  1. This issue bothers me so much because I have had friends that have worked in the food industry and quit because they couldn't handle how much food was being thrown out especially when absolutely nothing was wrong with it. Like, because you couldn't sell it, its garbage!!?? I understand there are food safety laws and they are afraid of being liable if something happens but still, it can be done in an organized fashion that would still help out homeless people while being safe. They just don't want to do it because its too much effort.

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    1. I completely agree.

      There are so many ways this could be structured to ensure food is provided to the homeless without jeopardizing their health. Supermarkets won't press the issue because it doesn't present a financial benefit to them. However, there must be some sort of incentive for them to be socially responsible (for example, some beauty companies have loyal customers because they refuse to participate in animal testing).

      The government also contributes to the problem by creating all these legal barriers. It almost deters supermarkets (etc) because they are terrified of lawsuits. It's all just very unfortunate!

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  2. Thank you so much for writing this post! I am so glad more people are addressing this issue and hopefully your blog post and many others like it can inspire more people to take action!
    Your engaging and inspiring writing style i'm sure will reach a wide audience, may Allah (swt) reward you for your efforts

    Nadda x

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    1. Thanks Nadda - you are far too kind!

      Ameen to your prayers, and may He reward you for yours also. Looking forward to your future posts! Xx

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  3. Assalamu alaikom. This post is thought provoking. I hope many bloggers write posts such this because I believe soon the world will realize this. I have friends who worked in restaurant and they told me stories about how the restaurants they worked at prefer to throw the food than to give it to their staff. It's crazy. By the way Im your new subscriber. Cool blog! Mashaa Allah. I saw yout blog from twitter, I'm @bintnasr_ :)

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    1. Wa Alaikum Salaam Najmah

      It's such a widespread problem and I find it so difficult to understand how people can rationalize these actions. It makes no sense whatsoever.

      Thank you for your very kind words btw :-). I've also just been on your blog and there's sooo much good content, Masha Allah. I will be indulging myself very soon :-) Xx

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    ReplyDelete