The holy month of Ramadan is a significant time of the year in Saudi Arabia. It is a time of spiritual renewal, self-discipline, and community bonding. Fasting is a way to purify the soul and draw closer to Allah (God). Additionally, it is a time of increased charitable giving.
Sadaqah, a concept in Islam that refers to voluntary charitable giving, plays an important role in promoting kindness and compassion through donations to assist those in need. This act of worship is highly encouraged, especially during special occasions such as Ramadan, where Saudis are urged to increase their charitable acts.
Apart from monetary contributions, Sadaqah also includes the giving of one’s time, knowledge, and efforts to help others, promoting social welfare and reducing inequality. Consequently, Sadaqah plays a vital role in Saudi society, not only as an act of worship but also as a means to promote kindness, compassion, and social welfare.
During Ramadan, mosques serve as centers of charitable giving throughout the year, playing a vital role in facilitating charity and providing a central location for individuals and communities to donate money, food, and other necessities to help those in need. It is common for Saudi individuals and communities to increase their acts of charity, with one of them being the provision of Iftar meals for the less fortunate consisting of traditional Ramadan foods such as dates, juices, and Laban.
Saudi individuals and companies in Saudi Arabia donate these meals to either charities or directly to mosques, which organize and distribute them to those in need under the regulations of Saudi authorities.
These communal meals are typically intended for expats or those without families to join for Iftar, and men and women are equally welcome to attend. Traditionally, these meals are served on the floor as mosques are places of prayer where no furniture is available.
These charity acts foster a sense of unity and togetherness, particularly for the less fortunate during Ramadan. They also promote a shared sense of responsibility and a feeling of belonging to a community, reminding everyone that this is a time to be together, not alone.