VIENNA – A Muslim group in Vienna, Austria, is distributing hot meals to the needy and homeless to help them cope with the freezing weather, Anadolu Agency reported.
“With projects like this, Muslims can give the message ‘we are living in this country and we are in a search of solutions to common problems of this country’ to the society they live in,” deputy head of RAHMA Austria association Omer Batur said.
Batur said they provide hot meals to around 100 homeless people in a day.
He added that RAHMA Austria association has been providing aid to many needy people around the world for 25 years, including Syrians, Rohingya Muslim, and Palestinian refugees.
Of the country’s 8.75 million people, an estimated 700,000 people identify as Muslims.
As one of the five pillars of Islam, Zakat or ritual charity is a religious obligation for all Muslims who meet the necessary criteria of wealth. It’s a mandatory charitable contribution, the right of the poor to find relief from the rich, and is considered to be tax or obligatory alms.
Islamic Shari’ah also has another type of optional donation called Sadaqah. This term is used in the Holy Qur’an and Sunnah for both Zakat and charity.
Earlier in February, the oldest mosque in Canada opened its doors to shelter the needy and homeless of all faiths between 6 pm and 10 am as temperatures were expected to reach a chilling low of -43°C overnight
In the UK, a Birmingham mosque opened its doors this week to help homeless and rough sleepers during freezing winter temperatures.
Another Seattle Muslim group also bought rooms for the homeless last weekend to escape snow and freezing weather.