A Muslim charity in the UK is holding a monthly event for the homeless and needy, where they can eat and get free haircuts, to spread the true image of Islam and Muslims.
The “Purpose of Life Charity,” which was founded five years ago in Yorkshire by 37-year-old Saj Hussain, is now branching out to other towns in the UK.
It will be holding its first event in Worcesters on Sunday, Jan. 26.
The effort is part of Islamic teachings urging Muslims to help the needy and neighbors, regardless of their faith.
Muslims are instructed to cooperate and strive for good causes in their communities.
“It is so important for me to support local communities here in the UK. I think some Muslim charities are guilty of focusing their efforts abroad. I am a Muslim but I am also a Yorkshire boy. It is very important to me that we help people here first,” Hussain told Hereford Times.
“Prophet Mohammed said, ‘He is not a Muslim who eats his fill when his neighbor is hungry.’ That doesn’t mean my Muslim neighbor. That means anyone. No matter who they are or what they believe in.
“We started doing events monthly in Yorkshire and we are now branching out to Birmingham and Worcester,” he said.
Hussain hopes these events will break barriers and counter rising Islamophobia.
“Our ethos is to break barriers within communities and make sure that everyone feels included. Especially now, with Islamophobia and negativity in the media, I think it is important to combat it with positivity.”
The Muslim charity also welcomes people suffering from anxiety and depression.
“It is not just the homeless, but people suffering with anxiety, depression, bereavement, loneliness, we will never turn anyone away, the people that need our support is increasing each year – it is very sad. I have had people come up to me and say: ‘I was suicidal before I came to this meal, and it has given me hope,’” Hussain recalled.
“That is why we do what we do. We have a team of amazing volunteers who have helped with the distributing of leaflets, fundraising and serving food. It is great to see so many people getting involved.”
The events are not the first effort led by British Muslims to help the homeless this winter.
Earlier this month, several Muslim organizations in Birmingham kicked off “Our Masjids with the Homeless” initiative to help the homeless. The groups include Al-Suffa Institute and the Great Barr Muslim Foundation.
Different mosques have already started welcoming the homeless to their shelters during the winter season.