Over 1400 years ago, the spirit of justice and equality was paving its way into society through the example of Prophet Muhammad (S). Ibn ‘Abbas told Ibn az-Zubayr, “I heard the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, say, ‘A man is not a believer who fills his stomach while his neighbor is hungry.'” (Bukhari) On this day and others we channel this spirit in an effort to better society.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. rose to prominence nearly half a century ago as one of the greatest civil rights leaders in American history, making his life’s purpose the eradication of injustice and inequality. He also spoke words that continue to resonate with us today, and once famously stated, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: What are you doing for others?”
It is the essence of Islam, as well as the essence of America, to do good for others. As American Muslims we are thus doubly accountable for the welfare of society and equally, if not more, responsible for serving others.
The Islamic Circle of North America, one of the nation’s largest grassroots movements, is dedicated to the cause of serving the greater community. Established in 1968, ICNA’s various projects have cemented itself among those organizations that respond to society’s cry for help. Providing food and shelter to victims of catastrophes, protecting civil rights as a part of the American Muslim Taskforce, and establishing women’s shelters and a family counseling hotline are a small fraction of the activities that highlight ICNA’s dedication to countering society’s troubles.
On Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Americans everywhere volunteer to do some good for others. Take a look inside yourself and ask if your existence has affected society in a positive way. Today and every day we must work towards becoming more conscious participants in our communities; you can do your part by getting involved in one of ICNA’s many causes, which include:
Haiti Earthquake Fund
Foster Care Training
School Supplies Drives
Muslim Women’s Shelters
Community Food Drives
American Muslim Taskforce on Civil Rights and Elections
Disaster Preparedness Training
To get involved, visit us at http://www.icna.org/contact-us/.