5 million lives.
To put that number into perspective, imagine the largest stadium of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, the Maracana stadium in Brazil. That’s a lot of people right? But that’s only 71,000 people, nowhere close to 5 million.
The largest concert in history is said to be Rod Stewart’s concert at Copacabana Beach in 1994. But that’s only 3.5 million people. That is a lot of people, but it is still not 5 million.
The largest mosque in the world, the Masjidil Haram, has the capacity to hold up to 4 million people. That is a mind-blowing number, but it is still short of a million people.
5 million lives is a very huge figure to wrap our heads around, and I don’t want to disrespect these 5 million lives by just mentioning them as a number. Each of these 5 million people has a face, a name, a background, a family, a story, and most important of all, each of these 5 million people has a life.
Just like us.
So if you think about it that way, we can actually relate to these 5 million people directly, since as members of humanity we have so much in common. But there is one thing that we most probably don’t share with them and that is the blessing of asking, “What should I eat today?”
They can’t ask that question. The question that they ask is, “Do I eat today?”
They don’t enjoy the luxury of choice, the luxury of options. We have so many food options sometimes we spend a lot of our time trying to figure out what to eat.
For some people, Allah tests with having little to no food at all. For others, Allah tests with having an abundance of food. Indeed, it is a blessing to have all this food around but it is also a test. Do we show gratitude? If we are grateful, do we show it?
The best way to show gratitude is to give what we have to those who don’t have it.
In Ramadan, we at least get a tiny bit of taste of what it’s like being in their shoes. Hopefully we will be more sympathetic with them because of that and we will try to do something to help them out.
Charity Right is doing a campaign called Save 5 Million Lives, where they’re trying to provide basic, regular food to people who need them, especially people with chronic malnourishment – which, by the way, 1 in 8 people are suffering from.
I am trying to do my small part in helping their initiative. What I am hoping to do is to raise at least RM900 within the remaining days of Ramadan. Why RM900? Because that is the estimated amount of money it takes to feed an entire family, not for the month of Ramadan, but for the entire year.
Imagine that. For some of us, RM900 is the price of our smartphone. But for others, it could mean providing food on the table for their family, for the entire year.
Our smartphone could feed an entire family for an entire year.
So I hope you can join me in raising this sum of money.
No amount is insignificant. In the eyes of God, the magnitude of the action doesn’t matter. What matters is that you are sincere.
A friend of mine once said to me, “You know Aiman, you have thousands of views in your videos, you have thousands of followers on Twitter, you have thousands of fans on Facebook. If you were to ask them to come out and help you out with a cause, how many of those thousands will actually join you? Are all these numbers on your social media worth anything? Or are they just empty numbers?”
I simply answered him, “I don’t know.”
Honestly, I still don’t know.
But now, I guess we’re about to find out.
Updated 22/07/2014: RM900 ($300) has been raised. We have reached our goal, Alhamdulillah!