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5 Random Acts of Kindness That Change the World

Today is National Random Acts of Kindness Day, and this year the theme is #MakeKindnessTheNorm.

Here at Islamic Relief UK, we’re also nearing the end of what has been our second and biggest winter food drive! We’ve worked with over 17 partners across the UK to deliver over 8,000 food packs and reach an estimated 30,000 people struggling with the effects of poverty. This year, we have certainly witnessed the kindness of the community.

To celebrate the incredible dedication and kindness of everyone who’s made our winter food drive a reality, we’ve put together a list of random acts of kindness throughout the project that has meant so much to us, and that you can implement throughout the year to #MakeKindnessTheNorm.

1. Volunteer your time 

The Felix project kitchen creates ready meals from surplus food and provides them to those in need. Whilst we were volunteering at the project, one of our volunteers decided to share this with us:

“I was planning to watch the telly all day, and I did not realise an opportunity like this was available. It gives you such a great mix of feelings – I’m sad that people in our local community are really struggling, but happy that I am playing my little part to make a difference.”

As Prophet Muhammed ﷺ said:

“He is not a believer whose stomach is filled while his neighbour goes hungry.”

Time and energy are some of the most sacred forms of charity. Volunteers are often at the very frontlines of incredible projects like these. With everyday life to contend with, it can be challenging at times to show up, time and again for the causes that mean the most to us. Volunteering is truly one of the kindest things you can do for others. Start your volunteering journey here.

2. Make a conscious decision not to throw away food


Wasting food is harmful to the planet and against the Sunnah, so let’s minimise our food waste this Ramadan.

During our time at East London Mosque packing the food items, the staff there had mentioned witnessing those struggling with homelessness having to rummage through bins for food in the area. For many, accessing every-day necessities is just out of reach.

A random act of kindness such as purchasing food for those in need and selecting food items carefully to avoid waste has a compounding effect on the world. It not only helps our sisters and brothers in need, but it also helps our environment and the animals we live on this earth with.

Opt for better choices when shopping for food items; choose less and choose loose to save on excess food and packaging.

In the Holy Qur’an, Allah ﷻ says:

“…Eat and drink however not to waste as verily Allah does not love those who waste” – Qur’an | 7:31

3. Sow a seed


Trees are an important part of Allah’s Creation. You may not have green fingers or be an expert, but planting something, even if it’s small, can have an incredible impact. Our partners Sufra NW Food Bank and Kitchen have done just that, by bringing together the community for an amazing edible garden that incredibly, supports their food kitchen and gets the community involved. You can watch our Tik Tok on Sufra’s amazing garden here.

Prophet Muhammad said in a famous hadith:

“There is none amongst the Muslims who plants a tree or sows seeds, and then a bird, or a person or an animal eats from it, but is regarded as a charitable gift”.

This may be a random act of kindness tip for you, but it will bring a multitude of kindnesses to so many.

4. Check up on others

The winter months can be very difficult times for many. People tend to stay inside to keep warm during the harsh winter season, here in the UK and across the world. With rising energy prices and the cost of living, however, many are navigating some incredibly hard times.

As a side effect of staying indoors, many have fewer opportunities for touch-points with others, and for some, this can be detrimental to mental health. In fact, during the Covid-19 pandemic, our partners Muslim Youth Helpline (MYH) saw an increase of over 313% calls to the centre.

We have continued to support the MYH and their amazing work carving safe spaces for others. We can support this fantastic work by making sure that where possible, we also reach out and check in with those who we think may need it. A random call of kindness can make a world of a difference to somebody’s day, week, or life.

In Islam, keeping good ties with kin, looking after our neighbours, and extending kindness and greetings to strangers are precious guidelines for how to look after our sisters and brothers everywhere.

Prophet Muhammad said:

“The Muslim has five rights over his fellow-Muslim: he should return his salaams, visit him when he is sick, attend his funeral, accept his invitation, and pray for mercy for him when he sneezes.”

5. Donate to a local cause


Zakat and Sadaqah are forms of obligatory and voluntary charity in Islam, and some of the ways we as Muslims have been guided to look after humanity. These days, a click of your mouse can create life-changing opportunities for many who are struggling and we all know the importance of giving. Alhamdullilah our loyal supporters have continued their generosity for the sake of our sisters and brothers across the world, battling horrendous climate crises, and the impact of war and disease.

However, we ask you to also remember those who are facing great struggles here at home in the UK. Your local charities are working hard to provide for those who are suffering from the effects of poverty here in the UK, and by donating to your local charity, you are extending an act of kindness that could change somebody’s life. We work with 17 partners across the UK to support their fantastic work, and you can too.

Director of Islamic Relief UK, Tufail Hussain said recently:

“We are seeing a crisis intensifying across the UK, families are being plunged into poverty at an alarming rate. The safety net of services that were in place during the beginning of the pandemic is no longer available and many more people are suffering as a result.”

However, we can help those in need right now. These random acts of kindness can make an undeniable difference to the lives of so many in or heading for a crisis of poverty. Take the decision to extend a random act of kindness today, and support our winter food drive across the UK.

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