Communities iftars at masajid and centers across the country ceased under social distancing restrictions. For many Muslims, masjid iftars were a staple of the month.
To continue their masjid’s tradition of community iftars, Islam launched a program that afford Muslims and non-Muslim members of the surrounding Mastic-Shirley community a chance to come to the center and drive-thru a meal. The center’s recent program offers help for people struggling economically.
“We started a food pantry with nonperishable items (canned foods, cereal, etc.) donated to the mosque. People would come and collect them as we have been advertising the pantry in our newsletter and social media.”
“We began a Drive-thru iftar program after seeing other masjids and churches offering drive-thru programs. During a time of silence and no physical presence at the masjid, we wanted to show some activity.”
Islam stated that the Drive-thru iftar meals are not exclusive to Muslims. “We advertised it for everyone. Sometimes, people come and walk by and Drive-thru a box.”
New York governor, Mario Cuomo recently announced the extension of the state’s, P.A.U.S.E. pandemic restrictions from May 15th to May 28th for New York City, Long Island and the Mid-Hudson region , limiting the ability for resident Muslims to enjoy large gatherings for `Eid prayer.
Most Long Island mosques will continue to adhere to state restrictions, including the Islaamic Center of Mastic-Shirley.
Islam told AboutIslam that while the center’s leaders appreciate the upset of some community members, they want to keep everyone safer.
“It’s hard to contain such a large crowd and make sure everyone adheres to mandates to wear masks and stay six feet apart,” said Islam. “It may seem plausible on paper, but the risk to the health and wellbeing of our community is too great.”
Islam encouraged Muslims to prioritize the gravity of the apparent dangers presented by viral transmission and not overlook science and what is in front of them to fulfill an emotional part of their lives.
“If we suspended Jumu’ah, which is a mandatory prayer, how in the world do we have an elective like `Eid prayer for the sake of celebrating? We are not in the mode for celebration. It is not the time to celebrate. It is the time to work together and fix the issue, not create another one.
“COVID-19 has taught us a lesson about completing part of the Deen. We can adapt to any situation, any time, to fulfill our connection to Allah.”Pages: 1 2