HALIFAX, Nova Scotia – In the early hours of the New Year, a group of young Muslim volunteers from the Ummah mosque in Halifax got up in the early hours of the morning to serve a hot breakfast to people struggling with poverty or homelessness, CBC News reported.
“It was good. Especially for the guests, it was a lovely day for them,” said Abdallah Hussein, the imam of the Halifax’s Ummah Mosque.
“We heard that the Brunswick Street Mission, they may be the only place that’s open today to give food.”
About 15 volunteers between the ages of 15-25 served eggs, pancakes, and sausages to about 70 clients of the Brunswick Street Mission.
After breakfast, which was also served in another event in the fall, the volunteers presented the clients with gifts of gloves, hats, and socks.
“It’s good for us to have these kind of events, to work with the church, work with the communities, to build bridges between the communities and create understanding. So it was great to have this kind of initiative. I hope that we can do more in future,” Hussein said.
Muslims make up 3.2 percent of Canada’s population making Islam the second largest religion in the country after Christianity.
As one of the Five Pillars of Islam, zakat or donating and 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 was used in the Holy Qur’an and Sunnah for both zakat and charity.