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US Muslim Students Help Pack 20K Meals for Families in Need

Members of the University of Maryland Muslim Students’ Association have volunteered with students of other faiths to pack and prepare 20,000 meals for families in need, The Diamondback reported Wednesday.

“The people that are receiving them won’t have a chance to thank us or give us anything, but besides that, these small bags of morsels and grains and vegetables and what not … this will bring joy and a smile to another person’s life and knowing that makes me really happy and makes me proud,” Adnan Zaber, the former president of the Muslim Students’ Association, said.

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Zaber was one of about 150 student volunteers who gathered inside the University of Maryland’s Memorial Chapel Tuesday evening to pack more than 20,000 meals for families in need in the Washington, DC, area.

The packed meals, which include rice, soy, dried vegetables, and dried vitamins and minerals, will be sent to local food banks in Washington, D.C., as well as Prince George’s and Montgomery counties.

Zaber, a senior computer engineering major, added that it is important to have students of different faiths and backgrounds unite for a common cause, describing the event as a unifying experience.

Along with Muslim students, the event welcomed volunteers from Maryland Hillel and The Terp HUB.

So far this year, Terps Against Hunger has packaged more than 350,000 meals. And since its first event in 2013, Terps Against Hunger has packaged almost 3 million meals, according to its website.

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.