New Jersey Muslims Help Neighbors, Break Barriers

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Since the outbreak of the covid-19 pandemic, a growing number of families across the US have experienced an increased loss of income, mounting bills, and food insecurity.

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Feeding the poor and needy is an act that draws us closer to Allah. We earn His forgiveness, mercies and blessings through this act of charity.

“Whoever gives food to a fasting person with which to break his fast will have a reward equal to his, without it detracting in the slightest from the reward of the fasting person” Al-Tirmidhi

In South Brunswick, New Jersey, the situation is much the same. But thanks to the weekly drive-thru food pantry organized by Islamic Society of Central Jersey (ISCJ), many families are able to get their needs on a weekly basis.

“These are unprecedented times. You have people who you don’t think have food insecurity, right? These are people who potentially have white collar jobs, who were recently laid off, and just can’t seem to get back on their feet yet,” said Shireif Battat, member of Board of Trustees at ISCJ, Patch reported.

📚 Read Also: San Antonio Muslims Feed COVID-19 Stricken Neighbors

“We have a number of charity funds available to us, and one in particular that is earmarked to provide aid to those in need without question, whether they are of our faith or not, it does not matter,” said Battat, who works as a sales professional at a tech firm.

Members of ISCJ said they were inspired to do so after reading about a Florida mosque helping the community through their food pantry.

For Thanksgiving, the Islamic center provided 130 food boxes to needy families.

“The Thanksgiving outreach was special, because there were so many first-timers who came in,” said Khan. “One woman was so emotional. She said usually it was she who was helping others but this time around, she is seeking help,” said Nicole Khan, a Board Member.

Breaking Barriers

Providing help to the needy, members of the ISCJ are also breaking barriers in the community.

“Many have never been on the premises of a mosque before and are sort of super nervous,” said Battat.

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“Unless you’re Muslim, you’re not going there. So, we’re breaking down that barrier as well with the food pantry and helping connect with people in a positive light by showing them that we’re all here together, because we’re all the same,” said Khan.

Islamic charities and Muslim communities around the world have stepped in with efforts to help the less fortunate during this difficult time.

Islam recognizes the importance of food security and, thus, deems it a great blessing that we should value, appreciate and pursue.

Allah says in the Qur’an, {Let them worship the Lord of this House, Who has fed them, [saving them] from hunger and made them safe from fear.} (Quraish 106: 3-4)

Solidarity among the community members is one of the strategies that Islam uses to combat hunger.

Read Original Report Here By About Islam

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