Dr. Anis Ansari

Dr. Anis Ansari

The Clinton Islamic Center is planning to hold its second free grocery food item distribution drive-thru on April 3 at the MercyOne North Health Plaza parking lot, 915 13th Ave. North, Clinton, from noon to 1 p.m., 10 days before the start of Ramadan.

Ramadan is the Arabic name for the ninth month of the lunar calendar when Muslims are commanded to fast. All adult Muslims are required to fast from dawn to dusk every day without any food, drink, husband and wife relationship and bad behavior. During Ramadan, Muslims devote extra time for prayer, reading the holy Quran, giving charity and training for the rest of the year.

The reward of fasting is enormous, making Muslims more generous and charitable in this month. It is a month when Holy Quran was revealed. Fasting reminds us of those who are suffering from hunger, thirst and natural disasters all over the world.

Feeding people who are in this situation is not only our fundamental duty but part of our faith. God does not accept our prayer unless we are humble and compassionate towards others. Therefore, feeding the hungry and poor are part of our faith, due to probably the same reason churches do their feeding through the year without much fanfare through various program like food pantries. It also attests to our belief in the hereafter.

There are a lot of people around the world who are going hungry. In 2019, almost 690 million people around the world went hungry, an increase of 10 million people from 2018, according to the United Nations’ global State of Food Security and Nutrition report. Of the 2019 total, 35 million were in the United States. The coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated the problem by lockdown, unemployment and closings of small businesses.

The Clinton Islamic Center held a very successful food distribution drive-thru in January, when more than 135 boxes of food were distributed. We are planning to do even more this time around.

People coming to the site should use the 13th Avenue North entrance beside Kelly Medical as the entrance point, not Springdale Drive. The Kelly Medical parking lot can be used for waiting only so that any traffic jam can be avoided. People falling in line will be served first. The other 13th Avenue entrance on the east side will be used strictly as an exit only.

The food will be distributed only until supplies last. All volunteers are requested to arrive at the site by 10 a.m. Distribution is from noon to 1 p.m. May God bless our efforts and reward us for our good intention.

Dr. Anis Ansari, Clinton Islamic Center

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