One of the greatest acts of kindness is to give charity to the poor, the needy and the weak. However, in Islam, charity is also a great act of worship. We believe that it is the duty of every single Muslim to help his/her fellow human beings in their time of need, as the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said:
“A Muslim is a brother of another Muslim, so he should not oppress him, nor should he hand him over to an oppressor. Whoever fulfilled the needs of his brother, Allah will fulfill his needs; whoever brought his brother out of a discomfort, Allah will bring him out of the discomforts of the Day of Resurrection, and whoever screened a Muslim, Allah will screen him on the Day of Resurrection.” Sahih Bukhari number 622.
We are helping to tackle poverty in Glasgow. We identified those most in need as well as channels through which we can help. We initially appealed for both one-off and regular donations from the Muslim community and were overwhelmed by the response. The result was monthly standing orders as well as weekly donations of cooked food and fresh fruit.
A weekly soup kitchen is now running in the city centre. Initially, we fed approximately twenty homeless service users, both Muslim and non-Muslim, but as word has spread and our reputation has increased, we now cater for around eighty service users. We now operate the most popular soup kitchen in Glasgow.
We have learned that most Muslim asylum seekers and refugees have limited or no access to halal meat and fresh produce. Through the support of the Muslims of Glasgow, the anti-poverty initiative provides over 100 weekly food packs to the asylum seekers and refugees of the Red Road residential blocks. Every Sunday, our volunteers collect donations from businesses all over Glasgow and then pack and distribute food parcels to destitute asylum seekers and refugees the very same day.
Every Tuesday, we provide thirty additional food packs to destitute asylum seekers through Positive Action in Housing, a legal drop-in centre in Glasgow. These food packs are a lifeline to our service users, some of whom have no income or accommodation.
We have come across asylum seekers suffering in the cold weather – people that did not have the means to change their clothing for many months. Glasgow Homeless Shelter appealed to us for warm clothing and the Muslim community donated hundreds of garments for the benefit of the destitute people in Glasgow.
We aim to continue our food distribution and are working with our scholars to create a trust fund, through which funds can be given directly to impoverished and destitute people within Glasgow.