News / USA

US Muslims Focus on Charity During Ramadan

Muslims Fast While Feeding Families in Needi
X
July 26, 2013 9:46 PM
Muslims who observe the holy month of Ramadan refrain from eating or drinking from dawn to dusk for one month. Many also take the time to volunteer because one of the five pillars of Islam is Zakat, charitable giving. VOA's Julie Taboh reports for VOA.
Muslims Fast While Feeding Families in Need
Muslims who observe the holy month of Ramadan refrain from eating or drinking from dawn to dusk for one month.

Many also take the time to volunteer because one of the five pillars of Islam is Zakat, charitable giving.

Volunteering

Ehsan Baig, a practicing Muslim, is observing Ramadan with prayers and fasting.

And on this day, at a high school cafeteria in Herndon, Virginia, he and his family are helping to prepare bags of fresh fruits and vegetables for distribution to families in need.

“It’s a wonderful opportunity for us to come here and help out, to give the community back something, and plus bring all my kids, my children, so they can learn how the food is distributed among the unfortunate people,” he said. “This is a huge, huge part of our religion, especially during Ramadan it is said when you give something, God multiplies it 70 times or more.”

Baig’s daughter Rabia, 15, seems to have taken that lesson to heart.

“I’m here because, I mean it’s Ramadan. I want to emphasize the giving not just the praying. I want to feel why I am fasting. I want to feel these other people, how they’re living their lives without food, without water,” she said. “When you give the food and you give anything you’re giving them, they’re always saying ‘thank you’ with huge smiles and you feel so good about yourself.”

Food drive

The food drive, called “Herndon without Hunger” is run by a non-profit group called FAITH (The Foundation for Appropriate and Immediate Temporary Help),  which has organized this event in Herndon every week during Ramadan for the past nine years.

The mission of the organization is to provide social services to members of the local population, from all faiths and backgrounds.

“On my way to the school today, I saw people walking -- it’s about 97 degrees outside today -- with their children, with umbrellas just to come and stand for about two, three hours in a line to receive food,” said Somayyah Ghariani, who coordinates the program. “So that within itself I think explains how important it is for these families to come out here and receive the fresh produce that they may not be able to find anywhere else.”

Volunteers, both Muslim and non-Muslim, work side-by-side to distribute basic food staples such as oil and rice and fresh fruits and vegetables. The food comes from local businesses, food banks and grocery stores.

Community effort

Rizwan Jaka and his family have attended the food drive for the past several years.

"We're here to participate in this wonderful program… to help those in need, to help our neighbors and friends to make sure that we're providing and sharing of our wealth and sharing of our food," he said.

Mikaeel Jaka, 12, who has been volunteering at the event for the past four years, says the recipients at the food drive are “people just like me.”

“And so I want to make sure that they’re treated equally also," Mikaeel said. "And giving them food and seeing them smile and saying thank you makes me feel really good.”

Food recipient Sylvia Morgan heard about Herndon Without Hunger from a friend.

“He called me up and told me about it and he knew that I needed help and I’m here,” she said tearfully. “When you’re on a tight budget, it really counts a lot. And I really appreciate it."

Imam Johari, director of outreach at the Dar Al-Hijrah Islamic Center just outside Washington, says that's one of the principles of Ramadan.

"The Prophet said you are not a Muslim if you go to bed with your stomach full, and your neighbor is hungry,” he said. “We try to live that, especially in the month of Ramadan.”

Last year FAITH distributed food to more than 7,000 individuals. The group expects to exceed that number by the end of Ramadan.

You May Like

Taliban's New Leader Says Jihad Will Continue

Top US Afghan diplomat also meets with Pakistani, Afghan officials following news of Mullah Omar's death More

Video US Landmark Pushes Endangered Species

People gathered in streets, on rooftops in Manhattan to see image highlights that covered 33 floors of Empire State Building More

World’s Widest Suspension Bridge Being Built Over Bosphorus

Once built, Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge will span 2 kilometers with about 1.5 kilometers over water, and will be longest suspension bridge in world carrying rail system More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Yoshi from: Sapporo
July 26, 2013 9:18 PM
I feel like understand the goodwill of Muslims especially during Ramadan. Yet I have something to be answered. First, gifts are not always come from donation of local businesses, food banks or grossary stores but from properties of Muslims themselves? Second, they also help those who are in great difficulties for nothing even without thanks from recipients? I am sorry to be a bit spiteful to Muslims. Thank you.
In Response

by: Kat from: usa
July 27, 2013 2:54 PM
that is ok Yoshi alot of us are a bit spiteful..

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missionsi
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
George Putic
July 30, 2015 8:59 PM
Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video 'Metal Muscles' Flex a New Bionic Hand

Artificial limbs, including the most complex of them – the human hand – are getting more life-like and useful due to constant advances in tiny hydraulic, pneumatic and electric motors called actuators. But now, as VOA’s George Putic reports, scientists in Germany say the future of the prosthetic hand may lie not in motors but in wires that can ‘remember’ their shape.
Video

Video Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponents

A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video 'Positive Atmosphere' Points Toward TPP Trade Deal in Hawaii

Talks on a major new trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations are said to be nearing completion in Hawaii. Some trade experts say the "positive atmosphere" at the discussions could mean a deal is within reach, but there is still hard bargaining to be done over many issues and products, including U.S. drugs and Japanese rice. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Genome Initiative Urgently Moves to Freeze DNA Before Species Go Extinct

Earth is in the midst of its sixth mass extinction. The last such event was caused by an asteroid 66 million years ago. It killed off the dinosaurs and practically everything else. So scientists are in a race against time to classify the estimated 11 million species alive today. So far only 2 million are described by science, and researchers are worried many will disappear before they even have a name. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Scientists: One-Dose Malaria Cure is Possible

Scientists have long been trying to develop an effective protection and cure for malaria - one of the deadliest diseases that affects people in tropical areas, especially children. As the World Health Organization announces plans to begin clinical trials of a promising new vaccine, scientists in South Africa report that they too are at an important threshold. George Putic reports, they are testing a compound that could be a single-dose cure for malaria.
Video

Video 'New York' Magazine Features 35 Cosby Accusers

The latest issue of 'New York' magazine features 35 women who say they were drugged and raped by film and television celebrity Bill Cosby. The women are aged from 44 to 80 and come from different walks of life and races. The magazine interviewed each of them separately, but Zlatica Hoke reports their stories are similar.
Video

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.

VOA Blogs