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US Muslims and Christians Donate to Support ‘Soup Kitchen’

This is not about nationality, religion, race or gender. It is all just about collaborating to help needy Springfielders

Different faith-based groups from and around Springfield city in Ohio came together this week to help people in the area through a biennial tradition of creating 500 bags with food and hygiene products to donate to the ‘Springfield Soup Kitchen’ which coincides with Ramadan this year, Springfield News Sun reported.

“It’s the 3rd consecutive year Al-Madina Mosque of Miami Valley Islamic Association has hosted the effort. And it’s the first cooperation with Central Christian Church and Nets of Arukah Ministries. The gesture is always appreciated,” said Fred Stegner, who operates the Soup Kitchen.

The mosque members are in the second half of Ramadan, a time of fasting and introspection. As one of Islam’s Five Pillars is helping the poor, this charity activity helps meet that obligation.

“Charity never diminishes your wealth. The message of Ramadan is simple: connect with your Lord and with humanity. This is a wonderful program to support,” said Imam Yunus Lasania of Al-Madina Mosque.

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Stegner informed that “the Soup Kitchen has seen fewer people recently due to the stronger economy and higher standard of living. The hygiene packs especially help in those interviewing for jobs, and hearing of their successes is his reward.”

Around 50 people, including children, helped pack razors, feminine hygiene products, soap, snacks, and other items to be donated, working side-by-side Sunday until the 500 packs were collated, boxed and ready to go.

Continuous Efforts

Two of the participants are Amy Lauber and her husband Tom who previously participated in packing supplies for ‘Soup Kitchen’ at Al-Madina Mosque with another church.

The couple recently began the non-profit ‘Nets of Arukah Ministries’ and wanted to remain involved in the effort, helping, donating and experiencing the fellowship.

“We fell in love with what the Muslim community was doing. We feel loved and accepted here in the mosque,” Lauber expressed.

In fact, this is the second time members of Al-Madina Mosque and Central Christian have interacted recently. The Muslim community attended the church’s Sunday morning service on May 5 in a show of support following the Easter Sunday terrorist violence in Sri Lanka.

“We appreciate the friendship and relationship between the two faiths and hope this is just one of several opportunities to work together,” Pastor Carl Ruby of Central Christian expressed.

According to a 2008 Pew Forum poll, 76% of Ohioans identified as Christian, while 17% are atheists. On the other hand, Muslims represented as few as 1%.

In Ramadan, adult Muslims, save the sick and those traveling, abstain from food, drink, smoking and sex between dawn and sunset.

Generosity and charity are generally blessed in Islamic Shari’ah, however, it’s specially blessed during the month of Ramadan. Multiplies rewards, for one thing, Ramadan is a blessed month where the rewards for all of our good deeds are multiplied.

Beyond that, there is the fact that our generosity at this time helps those who are fasting and engaging in extra worship during this special month.