Check Out University of Ottawa Students Feed the Mission Ramadan Initiative This FridayWritten by Muslim Link
University of Ottawa students Nora Abdalaal, Tuba Yousuf, Jawdat Saleh, and Nour Khalaf, have raised enough funds to provide meals for a number of people at the Ottawa Mission this Friday, June 24th. Volunteers are still welcome to get involved to help with preparation and distribution.
Muslim Link interviewed the students about their “Break Your Fast with Charity : Feed the Mission” Ramadan initiative.
Why did you decide to crowdfund in order to raise money to provide people at the Ottawa Mission with meals on June 24th?
We decided to crowdfund in order to raise money because it is more widely available/accessible for people to view, and to use it as a means to donate.
What was the response from other University of Ottawa students to your initiative?
Alhamdullilah, the response has been overwhelming! From the first few minutes after we launched the event page on Facebook, we were already receiving messages from people asking us how they can help and get involved. This was a reflection on the Muslim community, and how we are always wanting to help people, not just abroad, but also within our local Ottawa community.
What do you hope to accomplish with this initiative?
We hope to be able to make as many lunch bags as possible to be handed out, and to have a successful Iftar right after we hand these lunch bags out. Furthermore we would like to make a positive impact on the community by bringing friends and families together to help those in need, especially in such a beautiful month as Ramadan. In the true spirit of this month, we want to bring the Ottawa community together, regardless of faiths and beliefs, to help others. We are so privileged / blessed, and we hope to create an event that gives us the opportunity to use our blessings to benefit others.
How can people get involved?
There are many ways to get involved. People who would like to help can contact us through our facebook page: Break Your Fast with Charity : Feed the Mission. We will be starting the event at 4pm at the University of Ottawa in Morisset (MRT) Building, Room 218, by making the lunch bags and then handing them out to the local missions in downtown Ottawa. Then we will come back to MRT 218 for a delicious iftar.
We are currently looking for dessert, juice, and salad donations for the iftar, so we encourage all people who are interested in helping us out with this task to contact any of the organizers.
Islam preaches charity but it also preaches economic justice. Do you think it is important for Muslims to look beyond charitable giving during Ramadan and towards addressing the serious and growing problem of poverty and homelessness in Ottawa through improved government policies, all year round?
Yes, we believe it is not only important, but also the responsibility of Muslims to look beyond being charitable during Ramadan and to be informed and active in alleviating problems such as poverty and homelessness in and outside of Ottawa.
In his time, the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) revolutionized the way his society perceived the less fortunate. With the teachings of Islam, he introduced better rights and treatment towards poor and homeless individuals. As Muslims and engaged members of our community, it is our duty to follow this example. We must take action and voice our opinions to improve government policies regarding these issues all while supporting those affected through community work and volunteering.
We should be conscious of our privileges and work towards providing equal opportunities to members of our community all year round, as it is not only in their best interest to do so, but in ours as well.
Is there anything you would like to add?
We would just like to thank those who have donated to the cause and everyone who will be participating in advance, we are overwhelmed with the positive response this initiative has received. We feel very grateful to be supported by such a welcoming and generous community! We would also like to encourage all of our peers to take the first step in making a positive change, in whatever cause they are passionate about. It is amazing how the opportunities line up for you and how much you can achieve when you are doing work for the sake of Allah.
To get involved in the "Feed the Mission" Ramadan Initiative this Friday visit here
To learn more about poverty and homelessness in Ottawa visit the website of the Alliance to End Homelessness Ottawa here
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