Popular Muslim event serving homeless people draws hundreds, and a new Christian partner

11022019_homeless_164053-780x479Aziz Junejo was scared no one would come. This is the 14th year he’s helped organize an event for homeless people with volunteers from local mosques and Muslim groups. But the location for Saturday’s “Day of Dignity” was new: Plymouth Church in downtown Seattle.

He didn’t have to worry. “We’ve never had so many people before,” Junejo said, near the end of the four-hour event, previously held at the Millionair Club. “We’ve had well over 300 people.”

Around him, a half-dozen barbers were giving haircuts, an acupuncturist was working to relieve aches and pains, and volunteers were handing out winter coats, backpacks and an array of other items that filled large tote bags to the brim. Nearby, a medical station offered free HIV and other tests. Earlier, many had eaten a lunch of chicken and rice.

Junejo approached Plymouth in hopes of starting an interfaith partnership for the event. The church was eager, said its executive minister, the Rev. Steven Davis. Plymouth already provides space for Muslims to pray during the week, including for a Friday afternoon service. He offered Junejo free use of the same space where that service is held, and said members of his congregation may get more involved in future years.

In the Muslim community, said volunteer Maria Romero, “this is such a well-loved event” that she tried unsuccessfully to sign up for several years. All the volunteer spots were full. This year, she and 24-year-old daughter Iman Khalaf finally made it in. “It’s something that’s really important to us as a family,” Maria Romero said, explaining that volunteering empowered her to do something about a problem she has seen steadily worsen.

FULL ARTICLE FROM SEATTLE TIMES 

 

Faith and Values: Gentleness and mercy are teachings of Islam

muslim aidFrom the horrific attacks against schoolchildren in Peshawar, Pakistan, on Dec. 16, 2014, the Jan. 7 brutal attacks in Paris at the Charlie Hebdo offices, the bombing of an Islamic Center during Friday prayers in Shikarpur, Pakistan, on Jan. 30, 2015, the vicious and unthinkable killing of the Jordanian pilot, and all the barbaric beheadings, along with every brutality that has been committed by ISIL/ISIS, our deepest heartfelt condolences to the families and to humanity. Our prayers and thoughts are with the victims and their families.

Time again and again, horrendous killings of innocent people are committed by those who profess an Islamic identity. Yet there is absolutely nothing Islamic exhibited in their actions, though the perpetrators themselves may believe so. From them comes the self-proclaimed title “Islamic State.”

The Paris attack was committed earlier this year over the magazine satirizing the personality of the Holy Prophet. Extremists felt justified in carrying out their crime; however the horrible crime committed is, in itself, contradictory. Prophet Muhammad during his life never avenged any personal attacks against him; rather he prayed for those who mocked and harassed him.

We are often reminded about the incident of the lady who threw garbage on the Prophet as he passed by her home every day in hopes of humiliating and angering him. She never gained the desired reaction, so she persisted each day. One day, she wasn’t by her window, so Prophet Muhammad inquired about her, found out she was ill and then visited her and asked her if he could be of any assistance.

She initially thought he had come to seek revenge. Instead, he assisted in giving her food and cleaned her house until she was well. The lady was remorseful and asked for forgiveness. She found in him the mercy and gentleness that had brought hundreds into the folds of Islam. Still today, these teachings have moved a billion Muslims to profess the faith as propagated by Prophet Muhammad.

FULL ARTICLE FROM MCALL.COM