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On May 4, Muslim Family Services launched its annual Sponsor-a-Family Ramadan project - an initiative that assists low-income families in enjoying a hearty suhoor and iftar throughout the month of Ramadan.
In the course of just a few weeks, generous donors sponsored over 25 families who were hand-picked by MFS, based on greatest need of food.
The day before the first suhoor (pre-dawn meal) of Ramadan, volunteers gathered inside the MFS food pantry and created boxes filled with food, based on the food lists provided to them and the amount of members per family. Each box was catered to the family’s specific ethnic cuisine - Bengali, Arab or African American. Items such as lentils, spaghetti, rice and a variety of spices were given accordingly. Each family also received eggs, produce, milk, lamb, chicken and beef.
Volunteers personally delivered each box to the household it was created for, prompting a warm smile on the face of each recipient.
May Allah (SWT) accept the efforts of all donors and volunteers, and grant the recipients a fulfilling month of Ramadan, both physically and spiritually.
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On Sunday May 15th, Muslim Family Services, A Division of ICNA Relief USA Programs, hosted its third annual health fair at Masjid Al-Falah’s gymnasium in Detroit. A group of volunteers and volunteer physicians collaborated with MFS to bring this initiative to life, including the Hamtramck Health Center, dental hygienist Lisa Nieves, internalists Dr. Surraya Azom and Dr. Hazim Samir, cardiologist Dr. Hikmat, and optometrist Dr. Naureen Haroon.
The fair served the purpose of a general check-up; blood sugar and glucose levels were checked, blood pressure was taken, and height and weight was measured to assess patients’ Body Mass Index (BMI). In addition, MFS had optometrists, cardiologists, dentists, and internal doctors assisting patients in whichever area necessary. The dental services in particular showed surprising results. Numerous patients had gum disease in addition to very poor dental health overall. Dr. Nieves was unable to see all patients due to the surplus of clientele and shortage of time, however, she offered those patients services in her clinic, free of cost.
The fair ran from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m, and patients were told to come fasting to assure accurate test results. A wide variety of breakfast items were served for these patients after their tests.
Despite the cold weather and snow flurries, approximately 65 men and women attended the fair from all across Hamtramck and Detroit. Most of the patients were immigrants from Bangladesh, unable to afford adequate services to answer their health-related concerns. These patients struck the physicians with alarmingly high rates of blood pressure and hypertension, however, private physician consultations were being offered by the Hamtramck Health Center, a local government sponsored clinic that operates on a sliding scale. Referrals were also available.
Our beloved Prophet and Messenger, Muhammad (saw) told us to take advantage of our health before sickness falls upon us. Our bodies are a trust and when we are granted something by Allah (swt), we must cherish and take care of it, because He will ask us how it was used in this world. Our Prophet (saw) also encouraged us to utilize medical treatment. It is reported by Abu Dawud (and authenticated by Al-Albani) that he said, “Make use of medical treatment, for Allah has not made a disease without appointing a remedy for it, with the exception of one disease, namely old age.”
As per our Prophet (saw)’s hadith, MFS has been offering services to underprivileged community members and diagnosing health issues.
Alhamdulilah, guests were pleased with the free services offered by physicians and MFS. Our partner agency in this initiative, Hamtramck Health Center, took many referrals and will be offering services for numerous low-income clients on a sliding payment scale. MFS also gives financial assistance to these patients.
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It's that time of year, once again!
The Sponsor-a-Family Ramadan Project is a means to facilitate deserving individuals/families in receiving the nourishment needed to sustain oneself through the month of Ramadan. We intend to increase a sense of community by giving members an opportunity to serve each other. Those interested may give monetary or food donations, which will both be used to create "Ramadan baskets."
For more information, please see the flyer below and call 313-366-6800 for any questions or concerns.
It was related that the Holy Prophet (SAW) said: "Anybody who offers meal or breaking of the fast of another person earns the same merit as the one fasting without diminishing in any way the recompense of the fasting person." [Tirmidhi]
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