LONDON – British Muslim worshippers attending East London mosque have donated ten tons of food to local homeless people, in partnership with a British Muslim charity.
“This compassion is truly reflective of what Islam stands for,” Sheikh Abdul Qayyum, who is the chief Imam at East London Mosque, was quoted by Ilmfeed.
“In the cold winter months when we have the luxury of a home and hot food, it’s easy to forget about others that are in dire need around us. So it is in that spirit we take part in this big food drive.
“Muslims are inspired by their faith towards helping others in need. It is a religious duty for Muslims to try to help others, irrespective of a person’s faith or background,” he added.
The food drive was organized in cooperation with British Charity Muslim Aid, encouraging the local community to donate food for the UK’s homeless and needy.
Gathering at East London Mosque, worshippers donated non-perishable items such rice, pasta and tinned food after Friday prayers at stalls set up by Muslim Aid outside the mosque.
The food will be given be distributed to food banks through the homeless charity Crisis which will help those struggling to make ends meet in the UK.
In a live broadcast on the IlmFeed Facebook page, Muslim Aid representative Abul Kalam said it was a duty for Muslims to think about the local needy population, quoting the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) who said:
“He is not a believer who eats his fill whilst his neighbour beside him goes hungry” (Bukhari).
“With austerity cuts and the housing crisis, more and more people are ending up on the streets – destitute,” he told The Evening Standard.
“We, as a Muslim charity, want to do everything we can to help the most vulnerable people in this country this Christmas, regardless of faith or background.”
More than 90 per cent of the food, which will be given to homeless charity Crisis, will go to non-Muslims, with Christian Reverend Gary Bradley describing the drive as “all faiths working together for a common humanity.”