Long months of lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic have left many people struggling to earn a living.
During this period, Islamic charities have led efforts to protect the community and help the vulnerable cope with the pandemic.
In Leicester city, the lockdown during the first and second waves of the pandemic left many people on the brink of despair.
But the good news is, with the help of people like Mezmin Malida, vulnerable people were able to survive.
Every day, the 39-year-old Muslim woman packs her car with boxes and bin liners that include blankets, food, and other things.
“The need isn’t going away, but people feel we’ve been forgotten,” she told The Guardian. “They tell me they’ve lost hope.”
Malida, 39, is a trustee of Rosemina’s Outreach Project, and a one-woman Deliveroo for Leicester’s most vulnerable people.
When the city was forced into a second lockdown, she coordinated a network of volunteers delivering supplies to the homeless.
After spending weeks helping others, Malida had to take a break after one of her five children got coronavirus and she had to isolate in her room to protect her elderly in-laws who share the family home.
Her people carrier was stolen and council support dried up, limiting the help she could provide.
“I had a breakdown. I was completely exhausted, so frustrated. I thought to myself: I need a break,” she recalled.
Focusing on her family, she stopped answering the phone, but she couldn’t sleep as she felt other people needed her.
“The calls keep coming and you think: too many people are relying on me. I can’t stop now.”
She decided to take her husband’s car and continued her mission to provide help.
“I’m trying,” she said. “At least when you die you’ve got something to answer to God. You’ve done some good for someone. But I didn’t expect it to go on this long, and it’s not going to stop yet.”
Islam lays a great emphasis on the virtue of neighborliness, stressing on Muslims’ individual duty to be good to their neighbors.
In its August 2020 report, the umbrella of the Muslim Charities Forum (MCF) said that 194 charities have provided a range of services for those most in need due to the outbreak
The MCF’s ‘The Neighbors Next Door’ report added that charities and ordinary Muslims took community welfare into their own hands by checking in on their neighbors irrespective of their faith or background.