Listen to Austin 360 Radio

In Ramadan, we feed our community with acts of goodness

By Islam Mossaad
Special to the American-Statesman
Islam Mossaad serves as Imam for the North Austin Muslim Community Center.

“Work, O family of David, in gratitude.” 

This divine imperative from the Quran still echoes centuries after it was revealed to Prophet Mohammed (Peace be upon him). It links the Abrahamic tradition from the lines of Ishmael and Isaac with the call to good works to truly express gratitude. 

Are we up to the call as Austinites to come together in all our beautiful diversity to do good? 

Whatever we are given is a test from God and only counts in our favor when we marshal that blessing in a way that pleases our Creator.  Whether it is wealth, health, or time, we are to find ways to say “thanks” with our actions in real time and space. 

We are blessed in the city of Austin, but are we finding ways to extend our hands with grateful hearts to our brothers and sisters suffering all around us?   

There is a teaching that God will say, “I was hungry and you did not feed me….”  

When we do good, we will find that with God Himself. Giving out of love heals our hearts and strengthens our filial bonds.

We are becoming more connected through technology but disconnected spiritually and in the flesh. While much appreciated, an online donation is not the same as holding the frail hand of an elderly woman in her final moments in this world. 

We are to find ways to truly connect deeply at a human level whether it is showing empathy by gazing with care and concern into the windows of a soul in pain and loss, or simply giving the time to hear a child tell their story and really listen. 

During the month of Ramadan, which begins the evening of April 2, Muslims will be fasting from food and drink from dawn until sunset. They are encouraged to feed those who have been fasting as well as the poor. 

The value of self-discipline in obedience to God and awareness of the plight of the most vulnerable amongst us brings forth all that is beautiful in our shared humanity. 

Ramadan is a month of spiritual enlightenment as an individual but also experienced in community with sisters and brothers. We share one soul in many ways and once we breakthrough self-centered covetousness, only then do we triumph as a species.  

In the end, God does not look to our projected personas or our exterior embellishments; but rather, He looks to our hearts and deeds.  Let us come together as proud (not arrogant) Austinites to do any and all forms of good big or small; and let us do it today before tomorrow.  

Sheikh Islam Mossaad is a long-time Austinite who serves as Imam for the North Austin Muslim Community Center and on the board of Interfaith Action of Central Texas, interfaithtexas.org.