What I Learned About the Impact of Good Works in Minneapolis

Fareeha Amir is a video and motion graphics designer at Islamic Relief USA.

In Islam, taking care of our neighbors is a super priority. But do we actually take care of our neighbors enough? With how busy we get with our own lives, we forget the responsibility we have to those around us. Sometimes, we don’t even know who our neighbors are.

But there are people working hard in the world to make neighbors a priority. I got to see this first hand, in Minneapolis, where individuals from the local community constantly come together to serve their neighbors in need. At Masjid An-Nur hosted Islamic Relief USA’s annual Day of Dignity in Minnesota.

In short, Islamic Relief USA’s Day of Dignity is a day of dignified service for the community. There are usually hot meals, clothing, medical care, haircuts and more services, all for free, for anyone in the city that needs them.

I found the Minneapolis community to be really special and inspiring. There was a mix of all sorts of people from the community that came to the event in search of some help.

And more importantly, each person I spoke with was so humble and welcoming that the community members who came to receive help said that they felt they were now part of the masjid. Masjid An-Nur is well known in Minneapolis for their steadfast dedication to the community.

Both hosts and community leaders taught me that it doesn’t take a lot to help someone in need. Sometimes people just need someone to listen to them, or a smile. Sometimes they just need to feel welcome somewhere. The Masjid provides that atmosphere—and people are extremely grateful for it. We need to try our best to continue this kind of work

—We cannot just sit back and watch our community members suffer and expect that our cities will get better on their own. We can’t expect that people will have good opinions of us either, unless we give them good reasons to have them. Whether with a smile, or money, or time, this is our duty:

Our Prophet (pbuh) said: “Your smile for your brother is a charity. Your removal of stones, thorns or bones from the paths of people is a charity. Your guidance of a person who is lost is a charity.” (Bukhari)

This video blog is from the Minneapolis, MN location of Islamic Relief USA’s Day of Dignity series.

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