In the freezing weather of Yellowknife, the capital city of Canada’s Northwest Territories, Muslims are leading efforts to provide warmth and comfortable environment to help the less fortunate cope with the weather.
Inspired by the teachings of Islam, the Islamic Centre of Yellowknife is giving hundreds of care kits to different charities across the district, CBC reported.
This remarkable gesture, organized for the second year, is the result of cooperation between the Islamic center and Islamic Relief Canada.
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“It is part of a national campaign they mostly do in southern Canada. But the last two years we’ve partnered with them and successfully got sponsorship in the North,” said Nazim Awan of the Islamic Centre of Yellowknife.
“It is happy and satisfying that we are making a difference in someone’s life,” Awan said.
The 400 care kits, stuffed by volunteers over the weekend, include toques, mitts, thermal socks, and blankets.
Volunteers started delivering the kits on Monday to different destinations including the Yellowknife Street Outreach van program, the Native Women Society of the N.W.T. and surrounding communities Dettah, Ndilo and Behchokǫ̀.
“We do have a lot of programs that support families in need. This will make a huge difference this winter,” YWCA executive director Hawa Dumbuya-Sesay said.
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Every year, winter is a difficult time for the homeless and rough sleepers. This year, that struggle is even more acute due to the coronavirus pandemic.
A pillar of Islam, Zakat or charity is a religious obligation for all Muslims who meet a criteria of wealth. It’s a mandatory charitable contribution, the right of the poor to find relief from the rich.
In addition to the obligatory Zakah, Islamic Shari’ah also encourages giving in optional charity, called Sadaqah.