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Muslims Dedicate Food Hamper Fundraiser to Murdered Mosque Caretaker

Muslims believe that giving out free food is highly rewardable act. Allah says in the Qur’an:

{Let them worship the Lord of this House, Who has fed them, [saving them] from hunger and made them safe from fear.} (Quraish 106: 3-4)

Helping the vulnerable during COVID-19 pandemic, a Rexdale mosque in Toronto organized food hamper fundraiser this week to provide 400 hampers a month to families hurt by the pandemic.

The Table of Mercy is the result of cooperation between International Muslims Organization of Toronto (IMO) mosque, Muslim Food Bank and Community Services, and the Canadian Council of Ahlu Sunnah.

📚 Read Also: ‘Over 820m People without Food’… Here’s How Islam Fights Hunger

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“Only when we work collaboratively and collectively, are we able to ensure our aims and objectives to serve the community are being achieved in a more significant and effective way, especially at this time of crisis in the COVID-19 pandemic, when needs are greater than at any other time,” said Omar Farouk, IMO president, reported.

The weekend fundraiser is in memory of Mohamed-Aslim Zafis, the Toronto mosque caretaker killed in September this year.

Mohamed, 58, was sitting outside the front doors, controlling the access to the building to comply with public health measures, when the suspect approached and stabbed him once.

Omar Farouk, president of the International Muslims Organization of Toronto – Dan Pearce/Torstar
Omar Farouk, president of the International Muslims Organization of Toronto – Dan Pearce/Torstar

Kind Soul

Family and friends mourned Zafis, known as a “kind, gentle soul” who would hand out food to the hungry and keep his fellow worshippers safe.

“Mohamed’s special task, he wanted to be the leader in ensuring everyone who enters the mosque meets the pandemic protocols and health requirements by wearing a mask and properly sanitizing,” Farouk said.

“It was so refreshing and fulfilling for someone like Mohamed to come forward and ask for that specific responsibility. During hamper preparations and between services at IMO, he would jump up and do whatever he could.”

The Table of Mercy project has supported approximately 2,000 families since its inception in May.

“At the very beginning, we saw how desperate it was,” Habeeb Alli, community development manager with Muslim Food Bank and chaplain at a prison in Kingston, Ont., said of the pandemic.

“Everything was locked down. A sense of duty pulled us together to do this. I don’t think I had a clue how desperate it was until all the new people were coming through. There is a need.”

Muslims in Canada today number more than 1 million according to Statistics Canada.

According to Canada’s 2011 National Household Survey, 3.2% of the total population adhere to Islam. This makes Islam the second-largest religion in the country after Christianity.