Darul Islah leads Neighborhood Feast for Muslim Heritage Month

“He is not a believer whose stomach is filled while his neighbor is hungry.”- Prophet Muhammad (sal Allahu alaihi wasallam) (Source: al-Sunan al-Bayhaqi 19668- Sahih)

This was the hadith that led to over 1,200 people being fed in and given dawah in Bergen County, New Jersey. However, that’s not how the story started. When I heard this hadith, I knew this is what I wanted to do for Muslim Heritage Month. I went down to a local food shelter and agreed on a day where Darul Islah masjid in Teaneck, NJ would host and sponsor food for the needy. That was the original plan…but enthusiasm for the event grew and other masajids and organizations joined. Even the Teaneck township loved the idea and opened a spot for us to use two basketball courts at the Rodda Center. Alhamdulillah.

We joined together with other masajids across Bergen County, including Nida-ul-Islam, North East Islamic Community Center, AUCC, Fusion Center, as well as the NJ Muslim Heritage Month Coalition.

The result: An event where multiple communities came together to celebrate Islam, Islamic history, icons, countries, cultures, and food. Lots and lots of free food! Our communities really worked hard to make this event a success. People of all ages and backgrounds worked together to create educational posters, live projects, and performances, all with the aim of giving dawah. Our invitation was open to all, especially to non-Muslims: come learn about Islam, speak with Muslims, and have a meal with us. Additionally, attendees were given the opportunity to try multiple types of cuisines, and we also worked with a local food pantry to distribute food to those in need. It was a wonderful event full of dialogue with non-Muslims, unity amongst Muslims and masajids, and perhaps most importantly, a gathering living up to what Allah tells us to do in the Qur’an.

Noble Qur’an mentions feeding people as a quality of those who love Allah. Allah Almighty says:

“And they give (their own) food, in deep love of Allah, to the needy, the orphan and prisoner (out of sacrifice, despite their own desire and need for it).”

And He says:

“We are feeding you only to please Allah. We do not seek any recompense from you nor (wish for) any thanks.” [Qur’an, 76: 8-9]

The Muslim Heritage Month event at the Rodda Community Center was a resounding success, bringing together people from all walks of life to celebrate and learn about the Muslim heritage. It was a day that not only honored the contributions of the Muslim community but also strengthened the bonds of understanding and respect among diverse groups in New Jersey.

We thank Allah for giving us the opportunity, time, and health to act upon His words, and we ask for His pleasure in all that we do. Insha’Allah we plan on having this event in the future as well, and we pray it will continue to bring communities together.

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