Like other community groups, Muslims are an inseparable part of their respective communities. According to Islamic teachings, every Muslim has an individual obligation to do good to his neighbours.
Doing good or charity towards fellow community members is also one way to strengthen social relations and help create an inclusive society.
One of the charitable activities carried out by Muslims during the Covid-19 pandemic is to provide much-needed assistance, namely masks.
Approaching International Day of Charity or International Charity Day which is celebrated every September 5, Islamic community leaders in Berkeley, California, donate hundreds of masks and other care packages.
The donation was handed over the day before to the Prescott-Joseph Center for Community Enhancement in Oakland.
Mana Nazeri, is a representative of the Muslim community who are members of the MTO (Maktab Tarighat Oveyssi) Center in Berkeley who handed over the aid.
“As International Charity Day approaches, we at MTO Oveyssi Center want to do something for our neighboring city, Oakland, to lend a helping hand,” Nazeri said in a report aired on ABC News.
MTO is an international non-profit organization that, among other things, organizes Sufi meditation teachings that serve all circles and not just Muslims.
Meanwhile, ABC News also quoted Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, who was present at the handover ceremony.
“I want to thank the Sufi community and in particular the MTO organization for your extraordinary charitable contributions,” said Schaaf.
The MTOs are just a handful of minority Muslim organizations and groups in Western countries who are working tirelessly to help provide the protective equipment needs of frontline healthcare workers.
In the UK, for example, Loft25, a manufacturer of interior and garden necessities that started in Birmingham. In collaboration with the city’s Green Lane Mosque and Community Center, Loft25 provided 1 million masks to frontline healthcare workers a few months ago.
Not to forget, British Muslim entrepreneur Yousuf Bhaliok, who at the beginning of the outbreak of the Covud-19 pandemic, last March, donated nearly $260 thousand to British health institutions. The amount kicked off his fundraising campaign with a target of $1.3 million.
Back in America, in April the congregation of the Hamzah al-Mahmood Foundation Mosque in Minnesota volunteered to sew 1,500 masks. These masks are intended for low-risk patients as well as non-medical staff at local hospitals around Minneapolis-Saint Paul, also known as the Twin Cities.
For the congregation of the mosque, sewing the masks is their way of meeting each other and helping their community. Around 40 families were recorded as volunteering to sew the masks.
As reported Sahan Journal, The imam of the mosque, Sheikh Muhammad Faraz said sewing masks was a substitute activity for worshipers who could not gather at the mosque. Apart from keeping the congregation excited, it turns out that such activities create a feeling of gathering that is greater than their usual gatherings in mosques, continued Sheikh Faraz. [uh/ab]