Ramadan is a time for prayer, fasting and gratitude. But the Islamic holy month is not only about giving up food and water between sunrise and sunset. It’s also about giving back to the community.
One way this happens is through zakat, one of the five pillars of Islam, which asks Muslims to contribute a portion of their wealth to those in need.
“During Ramadan, there’s often lots of opportunities and challenges to participate in that charitable giving,” said Maimona Afzal Berta, a school board member in the San Jose area who became the first hijabi Muslim elected to office in California in 2018.
But it’s not just about financial charity.
“From a religious aspect, even a smile can act as charity,” she said. “So it’s about finding ways to promote charitable acts, whether it’s giving your time, giving resources or donating money — your excess wealth — to causes.”
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