Several Midlands branches of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community have been supporting local people in any way they can – from shopping for those self-isolating, to sending thank-you messages to frontline workers.
The Ahmadiyya is a Muslim community which follows, “Islam’s true message of peace and harmony,” according to the Head of the Worldwide Ahmadiyya Community, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad.
The community emphasises the importance of humanity, equality and doing good for others – their motto is “Love for All – Hatred for None.”
There are one hundred Ahmadiyya branches across Britain, with twelve Midlands branches – and hundreds of these Ahmadi Muslims across the Midlands have been supporting their local communities throughout the outbreak.
“Volunteering and helping others is a very important part of being an Ahmadi Muslim,” said Aqeel Kang, Imam of the Baitul Ghafoor Mosque in Halesowen.
Helping vulnerable people
For those at risk, simple tasks such as grocery shopping and collecting prescriptions can be dangerous.
More than one million people with significant underlying health conditions have been instructed by the Government to stay at home for twelve weeks.
People over 70 years old have also been instructed to, “be particularly stringent in following social distancing measures,” – staying indoors unless leaving is absolutely essential.
Aqeel’s Halesowen branch have worked alongside other Midlands Ahmadiyya groups to distribute hundreds of ‘help cards’ to neighbours who are self-isolating.
One resident of Leamington Spa, who anonymously thanked them for the help card she received, described being, “brought to tears” by their kindness.
Supporting local charities and food banks
Midlands branches have been regularly donating to local food banks in Birmingham, Halesowen, Wolverhampton, Walsall, Coventry, Leamington Spa, Leicester, Nottingham and Burton, Aqeel told us.
They have also been supporting organisations such as homeless shelters, such as LWS Night Shelter in Leamington Spa.
The Leamington Spa branch of the Ahmadiyya community have been donating cooked meals and desserts to LWS Night Shelter – helping to support 65 homeless and vulnerable people across Warwickshire.
Midlands Voice spoke to Susan Rutherford, who founded the shelter in 2015. “We are so grateful for the support of Leamington’s Ahmadiyya group,” she said.
“Their donations mean we can carry on providing support for some of the most vulnerable members of our community.”Susan Rutherford, LWS Night Shelter
Supporting NHS workers
Midlands Ahmadiyya branches have also been supporting those risking their lives working for the NHS amidst the Covid-19 outbreak.
Alongside many thousands of working staff, Prime Minister Boris Johnson recently announced a further 20,000 retired healthcare professionals will be returning to work, plus 750,000 volunteers.
Ahmadi children have been writing letters and creating posters to thank them:
“We always emphasise to our children the importance of helping others,” Aqeel said. “We want them to feel pride in being British Muslims.”
“I feel very privileged that my Ahmadiyya branch was able to play a small role in helping throughout the crisis.”Aqeel Kang
Aqeel said he has seen, “true community spirit”, in the hundreds of Midlands Ahmadis doing what they can to help others in the pandemic.