Featured image credit: Devizes Food Bank.
As we stressed over the holy month, Ramadan isn’t only about fasting, just as Eid isn’t only about dressing fly and eating loads. Both events also give us the opportunity to help those who are less fortunate.
Charitable gestures are an important way of bringing ourselves closer to God during Ramadan and Eid, and Muslims all over the world raised money for great causes this summer. Some raised money for big campaigns, while many more helped to improve their local communities.
This is best exemplified by the Muslims in Devizes, a market town in Wiltshire, who raised £726 for their local food bank. Last week, they presented the food bank with a giant novelty cheque for the amount.
The money was raised during an event at Devizes sports club. Community leader Imam Hossain said they wanted to raise funds for the food bank when they realised how vital it was to many local people: ‘At our Eid event we heard about how the food bank works and were surprised to find out how much food is given out – we didn’t know there was such a great need in Devizes.’
Peter Brearley, the chairman of the food bank who received the cheque, explained to Gazette & Herald how valuable the donation would be: ‘This donation is very welcome: the food bank couldn’t operate without the support of the community and it’s great to see that support growing. As well as funds from the Eid festival we have had practical support from the Muslim community and Imam has become a trustee of the charity.’
He went on to add: ‘The money will go towards administration, insurance, staff and transport costs, and donations like this allow us to explore new ways of helping people in crisis – they’re very important to us.’
While £726 may not seem like a huge amount, for a small but vital local service like a food bank, it makes a world of difference. When you think how gestures like this are being repeated in towns across the country, and in countries across the world, they take on a far greater significance.
Despite this, we hope the money raised during future Ramadans and Eids in Devizes, or Slough, or Nottingham – or wherever – can be directed elsewhere.
As Imam Hossain said: ‘Devizes Muslim community is proud to work with the food bank but will be more proud to work with the community to eradicate the need for it.’