Living Below the Line Again

What’s that about when you do something you really don’t want, you get more barakah (blessings) for it? I hope so, because when my editor-in-chief Na’ima B. Robert asked if any of the SISTERS magazine crew wanted to do the Live Below the Line challenge, spending five days living on no more than £1 worth of food a day just as 1.2 billion people the world over who live in extreme poverty do… no, I really didn’t want to do that, again. I did the challenge last year and it was no fun, I even kind of sort of cheated a little, eating a few pennies worth extra one day. It is incredibly difficult to be a content, productive person when your stomach is growling and you feel light-headed and weak. This isn’t like Ramadan where at the end of the day I get an iftar spread with several of my favorite dishes available to satiate me and then in a few hours more I get another suhoor spread… this is a brutal, cruel reality for 1.2 billion people and is mostly ‘fixable’ if we just do a little work to undo the injustices which cause this extreme poverty.

That’s why this year I am doing the Live Below the Line challenge, again, and my sponsorship is going to an innovative organization which has a multi-faceted approach to alleviating extreme poverty: Made in Europe. MADE’s commitment to Live Below the Line is three-fold with the intention to “Gain a new perspective on our lifestyle choices, experiencing the simplicity of our Prophet’s (SAW) ways whilst raising funds to tackle poverty directly at its source. We train young Muslims to be campaigners to lead the fight against social injustice, hunger and poverty, moving beyond charity aid to sustainable solutions. By focusing on our young people, we’re creating a long-term and powerful movement for change.”

So that’s the plan: Increase my empathy and understanding, support an organization who is helping those in extreme poverty and educating folks about how to undo extreme poverty. You can do your lil’ part by donating any amount of money in any denomination here to the SISTERS Magazine team for MADE.

Love and Peace,

Here I Go Again…

In the last few years there have been some mostly exciting studies done in which it has been found that as a group Muslims give more in charitable monies than any other group. Of course this is likely due to the awesomeness of our obligatory annual alms, but the not-so-exciting bit of these findings is that a lot of these funds are mismanaged. It’s unclear how much of that mismanagement is gross abuse and how much is just well-intentioned folks not knowing what they are doing and spinning their wheels. What is certain is that some paradigm shifts need to happen and the work of MADE (Muslim Agency For Development Education) is one of the leaders in making those changes happen, insha Allah. That is why this year I am doing the Live Below the Line challenge, again, this time to support the work of MADE and their campaigns to build young Muslim leadership, green communities, protect workers’ rights and so on. You can read more about MADE here.

The Live Below the Line challenge is also personal for me, as I hope to continue to scale back the hedonistic consumerist ways I was raised with and work towards having better appreciation of my rizk and using it in ways that are more deen conscious, insha Allah.