Islam as a faith tradition and ‘way of life’ has long encouraged the pursuit of science, medicine, and biotechnology as solutions to human suffering. Giving charity to those in need, is one of the five pillars of Islam. The Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said: “Give charity without delay, for it stands in the way of calamity.” (Al-Tirmidhi).
Hence, it was no surprise to see when Muslims worldwide stepped in and helped in providing relief and aid during the 2022 Covid pandemic. Several Muslim Organisations, groups and even governments of certain countries across the globe, arrives to aid in the need for funding and providing the necessities to those in need.
One such relief was provided in means of donations to the Muslim communities. Whether it was in the form of money or healthcare necessities, Muslims across the globe did not hesitate to help in such charity. As one such company, The Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia provided a $2.3 billion response package for COVID-19 in OIC member countries. Emergency medical financing of $40,000 was provided to Palestine. Moreover, on the west side of the world, funds and organizations in the USA, Muslim-owned Premier Medicine in Michigan along with UMMA Community Clinic in Los Angeles, provided services and telemedicine to those in need. The Illinois based Zakat Foundation also donated more than 100,000 medical gloves to healthcare facilities. In addition to this, the Islamic Relief USA, a nonprofit humanitarian, and advocacy organization, allocated $1.9 million in funding across the country. They effectively helped preserve the essential social services programs administered by mosques and social service organizations that met the increasing demand stemming from the coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19).
Alongside with physical needs, Mental health support was also given to all Muslim communities during the time of pandemic. The Khalil Center in USA, and the Muslim Youth Helpline in the UK offered free therapy.
Another way Muslims provided relief was through supplying basic needs and Telemedicine. Food hampers, water, Hygienic products, and any medicine needed was delivered via various good Samaritans and local organisations in each country. MAA, an international relief & development agency was one such notable group. They responded both in local aid in Australia and international aid globally to help those most affected countries that struggled to deal with the immediate effects of the lockdown and lack of access to daily essentials. They even setup a website in Perth which aided in easier access to ask for help, the www.muslimtownhall.com. The website’s purpose was to provide assistance for those needing essential food, referrals for other assistance or simply to know what is happening in the Perth Community online. The project was in partnership with Qaswa and Muslim Youth of Western Australia and was supported by local Leaders, Shuyukh and local Organisations.
Islamic Relief USA (IRUSA) was another such group that aided in supplying necessities. They awarded emergency grants that were distributed among various other community partners which focused on food, hygiene, and financial assistance. As part of a larger global campaign and investment, IRUSA also conducted with partners abroad. “The situation was unprecedented. It was Islamic Relief USA’s top priority to support the communities that was most severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. We must stay together during testing times like this and call on policymakers in the United States to advocate on behalf of the most marginalized communities.” Said Sharif Aly, IRUSA’s Chief Executive Officer said on the matter during the pandemic. The US-based Noor Vitamins were also amongst the companies that donated. They supplied over 100,000 Vitamin C doses globally during the COVID-19 pandemic, which was in addition to its Ramadan campaign to provide vitamins to Muslims in need, particularly the refugees.
It is worth noting that the distribution of essential humanitarian aid around the world was even done according to the Covid safety guidelines with safety precautions taken where applicable.
To sum up, various Muslim organisations and groups volunteered to help and provide charity in forms of money, necessities, and comfort amongst the communities locally and internationally. It is notable to mention that the groups and organisations aided in all this as non-profitable acts. These were humanitarian acts in a crisis and was a fine example of humans setting aside differences and coming together in times of need.
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In 2021, 94¢ from each dollar donated went directly toward programs serving those in need. 3¢ went to administrative costs & 3¢ went to fundraising costs.