12 tips for Imams on how to help the poor and the needy (part_2)

12 tips for Imams on how to help the poor and the needy (part 2)

Imams definitely have a role to play in helping the poor and needy of their communities. If you’re an Imam there are a number of things you can do on an educational and practical level to help. Here are some ideas:
12 tips for Imams on how to help the poor and the needy (part 2)

7. Keep an eye out for the poor and the needy – Is there a brother who regularly comes and asks for money to support his family? Is there a sister who asks for money for her medication?

Keep an eye out for those who are in need in your community. They don’t have to necessarily say they are in need. Their physical condition might give away the sad truth, even if they are too noble to speak about it. Make a private list of those who you think are in need and then make a point to visit them and see their condition at home to investigate what their situation is and how you and the community can help.

8. Meet regularly with new Muslims – New Muslims are in need of a lot of support and encouragement, especially when they first embrace Islam. Most of the time, they do not have the support system of a tight-knit family to help them out when they are in need or difficulty.

By meeting with new Muslims individually and privately on a regular basis to see how they are doing, you as an Imam can work to ensure their financial and educational, as well as other needs, are met by the Muslim community.

9. Devote at least one Friday to collecting for those in need – Designate one specific Friday at the mosque to collecting for the poor and needy of the community after Juma (Friday) prayers. Pass around a collection box, make sure the money is properly counted, then distributed. Also, keep a written record of how much was given to the anonymous needy families of the community.

10. Make a point to visit soup kitchens and homeless shelters – Go with a contingent of Muslims a few days every month to meet and talk with the poor and homeless of your area at a soup kitchen and/or homeless shelter. Even better, set up a day where you and your group cook food for the shelter’s visitors. This is a good Dawa exercise too, so bring some pamphlets or written material about the poor and needy in Islam. Announce the need for volunteers during Friday Khutbas (sermons) in the weeks before the event.

11. Arrange a Sunday school field trip to a soup kitchen or shelter – Take the kids from your Masjid or local Islamic center to visit and help out in a soup kitchen or shelter. This is a great activity to include as part of Zakat week.

This experience can be an eye-opener for them. It can show them the reality of poverty right in the wealthy country they live in. It can also sensitize them to the need to give generously, for the sake of Allah, to the poor and needy.

12. Make Dua (supplication) – When you make Dua after Juma (Friday) prayers or on other occasions, ask Allah to help those who are in need or living in poverty. Ask Him to help you and the community provide for their needs. Also pray that those who regularly give Zakat for the sake of Allah receive Barakah (blessings) in their wealth. This can encourage others to give their Zakat as well.

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