Donating food is a virtue that is promoted by Islam and this good gesture is mentioned in the Surah ‘Al-Insan’ of the holy Quran. The verse (Quran 76:8) mentions that they feed food to the needy, to the orphan and to the captive despite the scarcity of food and their love and need for it.
Donating food is a key aspect of Islam and feeding the hungry is considered a noble deed. In fact, this charitable act is key to being a devout believer.
Prophet Muhammed ﷺ, in his first speech at Medina said, “O people, Spread the greeting of Salam, feed people, support the ties of kinship and pray at night when people have fallen asleep and you will enter the paradise in peace.” This Hadith clearly indicates that giving food is one of the greatest deeds. In another one of the Prophet’s Hadiths, a man asks him of the best Islamic traits. And the Prophet ﷺ said, ,”Feeding the poor and greeting those whom you know and also those whom you do not know.”
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An-Nakha’i has commented on another verse (Quran 90:14) in the Quran saying that they feed the hungry at times when the food is not ample.
Abu Moosa Al-Ash‘ari reported the Prophet ﷺ saying that you should feed the hungry, free the captives and pay a visit to the sick.
Mohammed ibn Al-Munkadir has said that feeding hungry Muslims guarantees the forgiveness of sins. He also said that feeding food to the hungry and speaking kind words to others takes you to paradise.
The Prophet has shown that what is actually given in charity and what is fed to the poor is actually what remains. In many of the Prophet’s Hadiths, the importance and the benefits of donating food are glorified. It is believed that those who indulge in the good deed of donating food are among the ‘companions of the right’.
However, the good deed in this regard is not just limited to the act of giving food but also in the act of showing hospitality to guests. This can be done by meeting the guests with a smile, offering them food and speaking kindly to them. Along these lines, Abu Dharr narrated the message of the Prophet ﷺ saying that when you make some soup, add plenty of liquid to make a good amount of it and feed some to your neighbors.
In this respect, it is a duty of Muslims to not just offer food to other fellow human beings but also to the other living creatures including the birds and animals.
The Fruits of Donating Food
It is believed that the food that is given in charity is the eternal reward. It is what actually remains as opposed to the food that we consume.
This act of donating food or feeding the hungry or poor actually gives rise to many other acts of worship like showing affection to fellow Muslims who are fed. This act also gives rise to being in the company of other righteous people. It is also described that those who feed others are granted paradise or Jannat.
All in all, donating food is a very important aspect of Islam. The holy Quran and several of the Prophet’s Hadiths encourage this act. In fact, the righteous predecessors have always favored this act whether it was feeding a hungry person or a righteous Muslim. All of this tells us how amazing a deed feeding food to others is, not just for us but also for the others.
And keeping all of this in mind, it is important that we all work hard and do our best to feed the poor as well as the needy. Moreover, it is also important that we show love, respect and gratitude to our neighbours by feeding and sharing food with them.
We must also remember to spread this message as much as we possibly can and also encourage our friends and family to do so. This can be done by making it a point to feed the food to the needy or poor ourselves or even by supporting the organizations that are donating food.