By Myra Ahmed
Pakistan is a country that was built on the foundations of Islam, a religion that revolves around peace, empathy and togetherness. Throughout thick and thin, Pakistan has remained one of the world's most charitable countries. Often, Pakistan as a nation, as well as Pakistanis as individuals, have sacrificed their own well-being to contribute to the greater good. At Land of the Pure, we felt that there is no better time than the month of giving to pay homage to the sacrifices people have made throughout their lives for a better world.
One of the five pillars of Islam is 'Zakat'. 'Zakat' is the word used to refer to the yearly charity Muslims give as a way of supporting the needy. Muslims, who are financially stable enough, are required to donate 2.5% of their wealth to the poor each year. This practice is fundamental to the faith of Islam and reiterates the concept of empathy and brotherhood within the religion. Pakistan is one of the few countries in the world where Zakat is mandatory to all who can afford it, showing how regardless of the nation's own economic circumstances and difficulties, helping others remains at the forefront of its policies.
Pakistan, collectively, contributes more than 1% of its GDP to charity. This is a huge proportion, similar to that of much more economically developed countries and much greater than that of its economic equals. Pakistan is also home to many of the world's few free treatment hospitals. For example, Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital, with hospitals in Lahore, Karachi and Peshawar. The hospital has a simple set of guidelines that make an individual eligible for supported treatment. The Indus Hospital in the Korangi district also provides care that is completely free to everyone. Furthermore, in the current situation, Pakistanis have donated an massive amount of money and food to the needy, who are struggling to make their daily wages amid lockdown. Foundations across Pakistan have been distributing Ration bags made with people's donations to ensure no one goes to bed hungry.
While the above were more large-scale examples of Pakistan and its devotion to charity, Pakistanis across the world make an effort each and every day to help bring a smile to someone's face. Whether that be through charity, through their own work or just through a word of kindness, we strive to make the world a better place. Our will to give is rooted partly in humanity, partly in religion and partly in the objective that our forefathers set for us in 1947; faith, unity and discipline remain at the core of our every action and with our every effort, our goal is to make them and Pakistan proud.
Note: We wanted to say a huge thank you to all our readers and followers who have made this Ramadan series such a success. Ramadan may be over but at this time more than ever, it is absolutely imperative that we continue to observe the values central to the Holy Month to ensure the world makes it through this difficult situation. We hope this series gave you a deep insight into a Pakistani Ramadan and Eid Mubarak in advance!