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MEND Volunteer Responds to Covid Crisis

MEND Volunteer Responds to Covid Crisis

Categories: Past Event Articles

Monday April 06 2020

I would have never thought of being a character in a movie, especially one with life and death consequences. This weird reality was forced upon me and others, for whatever unknown reasons, under the name of Covid19.

After the first few days of the emotional roller coaster of panic and fear, I did what most of do; copying the behaviour of those around me. Luckily being born a Muslim, a volunteer for MEND and from a community already practicing charity, all the steps I took in my ignorance were of a positive nature.

My first inspiration came from an organisation called MEND, a Muslim run non-profit organisation tackling Islamophobia. One of the heads from a working group suggested a need to write articles to help those in need. Other member’s forwarded websites such as Khan Academy and KOLIBRI for school students. Some forwarded websites such as Harvard, MIT, Coursera, edX, Class Central and FutureLearn for adult learners, and even tips on personal finance.

Prior to the lockdown by the government, attending my daily Isha prayers, I came across a local Muslim charity looking for volunteers. To my surprise a few hundred people were already a part of this group and were fully operational in dropping fresh foods, nappies, medicines and other necessities. Most importantly this group was donating their time, literally a part of their life, to other Muslims and Non-Muslims when they could have been either sitting idle or concentrating on themselves.

Another group member of MEND communicated the idea of online Quran classes and Islamic Education. Needless to say there were numerous members started using their resources to come up with a working solution. Similar efforts were seen but on a much bigger scale by IslamicNetwork , where leaders from all over the world were coached on connecting with the community using social media and inspiring Muslims to do better using online methods.

Ironically I also saw news being a positive factor as countless stories of people coming together to help each other popped up among the sea of doom and gloom. One such news was from one of the biggest cities in the world, Karachi, where the law of generosity was encouraging people to donate of what little they had to someone worse off.

Charity (Sadqah and Zakat) and Manners (Akhlaq) are an important part of Islam. These testing times are forcing us to practice these virtues like never before. Whether Muslim or Non-Muslim, rich or poor, as Muslims we have to practice these virtues on a day to day basis. I am of the belief, the more pressure we are under the more we need to pay attention to these virtues and carry these out to the best of our abilities. But no matter how much effort is exerted, it will never be enough to what others have already done or what others maybe planning to do.

My personal observations of these mind boggling times, as a MEND volunteer and a Muslim, I encourage those reading this to do as much good as they can, even the smallest act maybe life changing to someone in dire need.


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