Note: This is post #18 in our series on Tafseer of Juz ‘Amma (click the link to see all posts in this series). Insha’Allah we’ll be kicking up the post frequency to three times a week in order to finish before Ramadan.

Allah says, in Surah Ma’oon:

أَرَأَيْتَ الَّذِي يُكَذِّبُ بِالدِّينِ

فَذَلِكَ الَّذِي يَدُعُّ الْيَتِيمَ

وَلَا يَحُضُّ عَلَى طَعَامِ الْمِسْكِينِ

Translation: Have you seen the one who denies the Repayment? For that is the one who drives away the orphan, and does not encourage the feeding of the poor. [Surah Ma’oon, verses 1-3]

Notice the connection here–verse one, the one who denies Ad-Deen, the Day of Repayment. And verse two and three? He drives away orphans, He doesn’t encourage feeding of the poor.

It’s not that he doesn’t feed the poor. It’s that he doesn’t encourange feeding the poor.

If you’re a Muslim, and you practice your five pillars, you’re giving zakah, and chances are it’s going to poor poeple (two of the eight categories of eligible zakah recipients).

But are you encouraging feeding of the poor?

This is something very serious we need to think about. It’s not enough just to feed the poor; Allah is linking denial of the day of Repayment, the greatest day that will ever be …

… with not encouraging feeding of the poor. So we all need to take a long, hard look in the mirror and ask the question:

Are you encouraging feeding the poor, and goodness in general?

Man looking at his reflection.

Action Items:

  • Start Giving Back. Find some community project–a soup-kitchen, a Feed The Streets (if you’re in Canada), a food-drive, clothing-drive … something, anything. This will, at least, get you to the level of helping the needy. Be consistent in it.
  • Call Others To It. Tell your friends, your family, your relatives, about the cause and how they can help. Sometimes, you’ll be surprised at who helps out.
  • Comment. If your cause is especially easy to contribute to from the safety of your home computer (like donating to an Islamic school), please drop a comment to let us know so we can help out, too. How’s that for calling to good? (Or, if you know other ways to call to good, add a comment with those, too.)

Wallahu ta’ala ‘alam.


  • Touched by an Angel: Tafseer of Juz ‘Amma. By Muhammad Alshareef. 2009.