Tag Archives: Philanthropic

Patience, Tolerance, and Compassion:

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Someone that I really respect, love, and care about was in the Hospital. I was really looking forward to seeing them; but, at the time I hadn’t known that they were in the Hospital. I tried calling & texting them. Yet, there was no response, and me being me, I thought that the person was straight-up ignoring me. However, when I did truly come to know of the condition of this person, I immediately began to realize how selfish, self-centered, and how “It’s all about Me”, I had been behaving, which is obviously a huge negative, all around. I’m merely just making the point that oftentimes, more often than not, Allah, the Creator/Lord of the Universe, puts us in positions where we’re tested as to how our behavior will dictate our actions. Unfortunately, I miserably failed this particular test. But, it’s a great lesson to be learned, to really get my act together, to exert more Patience, Tolerance, and Compassion, in the hopes that Allah will in turn exert His (Eternal) Patience, Tolerance, and Compassion upon me, because, I’m in such desperate need of it. I hope that I’m truly able to learn from such an important experience, that I keep the lessons learned from this experience, going forward throughout the rest of my life; and, to the person that I was such a jerk to: I’m truly sorry & for the Pleasure of Allah, please, forgive me…Amen

Paul Walker: How He should be remembered

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Author’s-Note:
“Every Soul shall taste Death. Then to Us, you all shall return.”(Noble Qur’an: Chpt.29, V.57)

“It is He who has created Death, as well as Life, testing which of you will do best. And, He is the All-Honorable, the All-Forgiving.”(Noble Qur’an: Chpt.67, V.2)

Paul Walker, A-List Actor, who made a signature-role for himself, as LAPD Det. “Brian O’Conner”, in the very popular “Fast & Furious” movie franchise, unfortunately, died in a car accident, in California, Nov. 30th, 2013. His death, of course, has shocked many. However, I don’t want to go too deep into his death, or how he died, because I personally feel that this would be an (unfair) infringement upon his respective loved-ones-I would like to simply focus more on how this Man had lived as opposed to how he died.

I’ve read some confirmed reports, by US Weekly, that he had came from a charity-event, for the typhoon-victims of the Philippines, prior to his untimely demise. Now, imagine that: realistically, this actor, much like many screen-stars like him, he could’ve been anywhere that night. Yet, he chose to be in the service of others, to help raise much-needed (monetary) relief-aid, for people whom he’s probably never met & would’ve probably never met; but, because they’re Human beings just like he is, he felt that it was that necessary to help them-It’s very ironic that had Paul Walker had not even died, we probably wouldn’t have even known that he was at a recent Filipino charity-event. To me, that actually speaks volumes about his sincerity, that he wasn’t looking to expose his own good-works just for the World to see.

This is what I’d like to really focus upon: this celebrity could’ve easily been at a party, or any other place on Earth that his status as an A-List Celebrity could afford him, which are so many/too many places to count; however, when called upon to help his fellow Man, he didn’t hesitate to respond. I have no idea what will become of him in the Hereafter, that is exclusively the Divine-Decision of Allah, his Creator/Lord. But, one thing that I can say, personally, as a Muslim, that I would rather have been like Paul Walker, doing something that will in fact enhance the Humanity of others via helping them in their darkest hours of need, than to die at a club, or in Jail/Prison, or on the streets of an Urban turf-war, or any other thing which poses no true benefit to anyone.

I think that it’s especially important, at this point, to be respectful to the sensitivities of those whose hearts are connected to this Man, like his family, friends, etc. Even Muhammad, the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him), had said, “Insulting the dead causes grief to the living and does not reach the dead.”(Companions of the Prophet, AbdulWahid Hamid) I’ve seen some pretty tasteless things made about Paul Walker, whether it’s memes, or any other photo-shopped gestures, or even statements, which people seem to be appropriate as soon as someone is confirmed dead, when it reality, it’s so not appropriate at any time, but, especially at the time of someone’s death.

Let’s not only remember Paul Walker as just “some actor”, but, rather as a great Humanitarian, who spent the last weekend of his life in the service of others, while the rest of us would’ve just spent our weekends having what we call “Fun” & just selfishly enjoying our limited time here in the Mundane, without any care in the World, about the life of the Other. This Man, this Human being, who was more preoccupied with the business of being an Actor than any of us could possibly imagine, spent the last weekend of his own life in the service of others. How many of us, who are not Celebs, whom are not wealthy, who have all the time in the World, purposely walk by a person who may need our help & we pretend like they don’t even exist, as if their existence has zero-value?

So, to conclude, I’ll just end-off with the following advice: if you really respect Paul Walker, if you really love Paul Walker, if you really miss Paul Walker, if you’re really a fan of Paul Walker, then, do what Paul Walker would’ve done & did do…go out there, wherever you are & help someone, be the cause of improvement & enhancement of the Humanity of your fellow Man.

Gareth Bryant/2013

A Necessary “Thank You” to Oxfam, for teaming-up with Muslims Giving Back:

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Oxfam, one of the best, well known, organizations, dedicated to Food-Justice, has agreed to work with Muslims Giving Back, to help us in our noble efforts, and to continually collaborate with any/all projects, involving Hunger-Prevention/Food-Justice that we have. The reason why this is so important is because Muslims Giving Back is just one step closer to more positive recognition. We’ve struggled to be where we are, a lot during the past year. And, fortunately, Allah has always been supporting & protecting the integrity of our work.

Also, He has sent people, whom are working towards many of the exact same goals which Muslims Giving Back are striving for (one particularly being) Hunger-Prevention/Food-Justice. We, at Muslims Giving Back are so happy, to be an infant-organization, receiving an audience, help, and alliance, from such a well-experienced, well-seasoned organization, such as Oxfam.

We are truly humbled at the fact that such a well-renowned organization, with such a noteworthy reputation, has agreed to align themselves with us…this is truly an honor, as well as a very big-deal. This opportunity to work with Oxfam, will never be forgotten by any of us, from Muslims Giving Back. This is one of the best ways for Muslims Giving Back, to showcase our noble-efforts to embody our self-made slogan “No Human Left Behind”, on a much grander scale.

So, to Oxfam, you have given us, here at Muslims Giving Back, a grand chance to expand our work, experience, influence, in combating Hunger & Food-injustice, and we are most-thankful to you for that.

For more information about Oxfam:

http;//www.oxfam.org

For more information about Muslims Giving Back;

http://www.muslimsgivingback.org

I speak, on behalf of all members, volunteers, and supporters of Muslims Giving Back: Thank You.

Gareth Bryant,

National-Spokesperson, Muslims Giving Back

Gareth Bryant/2013

Oxfam is Awesome!!!

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Kristin Davis, popular actress, of the world-wide critically acclaimed T.V. & movie series, “Sex In The City”, very recently did a commercial for Oxfam, an internationally-renown non-profit organization, geared towards establishing food-justice in under-developed countries, particularly. When I had seen this commercial on TV, I immediately told my mom that I had & still do work for this organization. Actually, this is the very first time that I’ve actually seen a commercials in which I actually have a legitimate relationship with, via actually working with/for them. It was such a great feeling that I had seen this commercial, it was really awesome; I had actually felt that the work which I had & still do for Oxfam actually goes a really long way.

Also, to see a celebrity, with such a powerful reach, like Kristin Davis, is very inspiring. She has a great opportunity to encourage, not only fellow celebrities, but, also, regular people, to go above & beyond, for the other, to help Humanity, in any/every capacity possible. I am very proud, as a Muslim, of being a part of an organization, such as Oxfam, which is so ambitious to helping people whom they’ll probably never even meet. As Muslims, we are, thetically, taught that being of good-service to others, regardless of orientation, ethnicity, nationality, language, gender, political-allegiance, etc. is a must-do, Islamically. Allah tells us that, “By Time. Verily, Humanity is lost (misguided, spiritually/religiously). Except those who believe (in Allah & his revelation) & do good, encourage one another via truth & encourage one another via patience.”.(Noble Qur’an: Chpt.103) This chapter displays, very clearly, that in order to be saved from misguidance, we, as Human beings must first help ourselves, by being obedient to Allah, the Creator/Lord of the Universe, then, by being good-people. And, ensuring that people have food, and good-quality food at that, to eat, and preventing starvation is most definitely one of the best things that someone/anyone can do. Saving lives, preserving life is actually of of the Maqasid/General-Maxims of Shari`ah/Islamic-Law: the Preservation of Life, which Allah makes very clear, as to the great merits of the preservation of life, within the Qur’an, itself.(Noble Qur’an: Chpt.5, V.32)

Every March, in honor of Women’s-Day, there’s an annual awards ceremony, in New York City, honoring individuals, dedicated to Oxfam & all that it does for the world. Over 20 independent organizations, including an organization which I am a part of, Muslims Giving Back, the Muslim version of City Harvest, in New York City, came together, to celebrate & honor the immense accomplishments of 3 distinguished individuals, whom have dedicated their lives to food-justice…they are the following:

1. Leticia Alanis-

Co-Founder/Executive-Director of La Union in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. La Union is an organization of people of the global south working to advance the socio-economic and socio-cultural rights of communities where they live as well as communities which they’ve left behind, many within the state of Puebla, Mexico…One of these very important rights are access to healthy-food/healthy-food choices. Alanis states, “My goals are to advance social-justice goals, through dialogue and common-action, through my service to the empowerment of those affected by policies, but that rarely have a voice on their creation or implementation and working with those that have decision-making authority, to make systems work better for people.”.

2. Tanya Fields-

Executive-Director of the BLK Project, an organization seeking to address food-justice, public & mental health issues, as they specifically relate to under-served women of color, through culturally relevant education, beautification of public spaces, urban gardening, and community programming. She has worked with Mothers on the Move’s Environmental Justice Committee, and has served as an Outreach-Coordinator at Sustainable South Bronx, as an advocate for residents. Simultaneously, she is building a media company that seeks to unite women of the African Diaspora, through media, entertainment, and community projects. Recently, after being disinvited to speak at a conference on the food movement, she organized an event on February 16th, 2013, entitled, “Not Just Talk: Food in the South Bronx”. Her vision includes a democratic system that gives power back to communities and promotes sustainability.(http://www.ebony.com/news-views/activist-tanya-fields-on-race-class-and-the-food-justice-movement-406)

3. Winnifred Lee-

A former Co-Leader of Oxfam Action Corps, from 2009-2010, worked on a variety of farms, including: Wassaic Community Farm, along side memebers of the Malcom X Grassroots Movement & others from New York City communities, targeted by racism. As a former member of Oxfam, she had lobbied U.S.-Senators & U.S-Representatives, on Climate-Change, support for small-scale food producers, food-aid, and a global development strategy.

Oxfam is one of those pristine organizations, with an immaculate reputation for getting things done, as well as being very transparent, being able to see for one’s self all the boots-on-the-ground, frontline-work, which Oxfam, its workers, patrons, supporters, advocates, are 100% committed to. So, please, when it comes to Oxfam, give them your unyielding support, anytime/every time that you can.

Gareth Bryant/2013