The places of worship that Muslims go to pray are called mosques. These buildings play a central role in the community and in facilitating friendships between Muslims. It is a place of worship but also one where children often grow up. They go there for prayers, iftars during Ramadan, and Quran lessons. On top of that role, Mosques also give back to the greater community.
Mosques are a place where positivity and good-will is spread and that has continued in these unprecedented circumstances. New York has especially been hard hit by COVID-19 and its communities there are struggling. As a response, Muslims in Brooklyn are distributing food to those in need. They are using the local Mosque as a location where people can drop off groceries and other basic necessities. The community is pooling in their resources to try to help vulnerable populations in any way that they can. Asad Bajwa, the public affairs director of the Bait-uz-Zafar Mosque spoke about this saying, “We’ve been here in this community for 100 years now. It’s been a blessing to be able to help alleviate our neighbors’ food insecurity” (Religion News). Muslims are doing this work because firstly it is the right thing to do and secondly because Islam preaches collaboration and empathy towards others.
Similarly, other Muslims in the Brooklyn area built the Queens Mutual Aid Network Relief Fund which has been delivering groceries, supplies, and prescriptions to residents in the area. They complete about 50 requests daily and so far, have helped over 750 families (Religion News). These initiatives are completely volunteer-based and Muslims have really stepped up during this time of crisis to help the people around them.