Feeding the hungry is a noble mission for any faith. The Islamic Center of St. Joseph saw it as its mission to tend to the needs of the hungry and homeless.
The first Friday of every month, members of the center feed the hungry at the Safe Haven. It’s part of a nationwide mission of the Islamic Circle of North America Relief USA program (ICNA). Its mission is to serve the needy in a number of charitable areas.
Imam Ayman Hassan is outreach coordinator for the local endeavor.
“It’s to show the genuine face of Islam, contrary to the Islamaphobia in America. Actually, all these activities are reflected in verses in the noble Quran,” Imam Hassan said.
He added that members of the The Islamic Center of St. Joseph congregation donate for the cause after the Friday service. The members have been feeding the hungry and homeless every month since January.
“We ask the congregation to donate to that noble action and all of them know that feeding the hungry is a must. All of them, without exception, donate for such activity,” Imam Hassan said.
Saleem Michael Andres, head of the ICNA team in St. Joseph, said they serve meals for roughly 60 people. It is a ministry and a obligation of his faith, he said.
“We’re not going out and preaching about Islam. It’s just a charity. That is obligatory for us in Islam, for us to reach out to the poor and the needy, to try and support them the best that we can,” Mr. Andres said.
Mr. Andres said he hopes in the future to expand the program to provide other services and reach other needs in the community.
“In the future, I hope to get some of the sisters involved for like the YWCA and trying to do something on a monthly basis for them and looking for more activities to help out with the community,” Mr. Andres said.
Dave Howery, director of InterServ, said the support the organization receives from the faith community is extremely important. And by faith community, he said he means support from service clubs, individuals and families as well.
“It’s an opportunity for them to express their faith and carry out their spiritual teachings initiative and it’s also a chance for us to benefit from that,” Mr. Howery said.