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Community Bonding

Community Bonding

Many of us lost our social support system and faced increased anxiety during the pandemic. Since then, we’ve adapted and found new ways to be in community with others. This Ramadan, try some of these ideas to engage in social ibadah (worship):

Moonsighting

  • Participate in sighting the moon yourself or with your family. If you have young children, build the excitement with nasheed and crafts, such as making binoculars or observing the phases of the moon.
  • For older children and adults, use this as an opportunity to recite and remember the du’a, or supplications of sighting the moon.
  • Share your picture of the moon with family and friends.

Ramadan Toolkit Images

Ramadan/Eid Cards

Ramadan Toolkit Images

  • Adults and children can make Ramadan and Eid cards together to mail to family and friends.
  • Remember to include a personal reflection or Ramadan inspiration with friends or families.

Check-in With Others

  • Do a 30 days with 30 calls challenge – pick a family member or friend to call each day during Ramadan and find out how they are doing.
  • Take the time to listen first and show empathy.
  • Set up virtual or in-person connections to check in on each other, read and reflect on the Quran together, and follow up on each other’s Ramadan goals
  • Reflecting and being grateful for having Muslim family and friends to connect with can improve your mood.

Ramadan Toolkit Images (2)

Virtual Iftar

Ramadan Toolkit Images (3)

  • If you’re unable to gather in-person with others, coordinate a virtual iftar with family or friends, or plan a youth iftar for your child and their friends.
  • Pack a couple of dates with a traditional iftar snack to share with your family and friends (make sure to follow social distancing regulations).
  • If you are able to, support organizations that are arranging for iftar food packages.

Virtual Gatherings

  • For those that are missing collective spiritual gatherings, find out if your masjid offers these programs online. Check out this list of organizations that offer online programs. 
  • Be sure to find virtual youth halaqas if you have kids. If you can’t find something, make a suggestion for a youth leader or imam to lead a spiritual talk for the community online, host Kahoot!, games, storytimes and so on.
  • Join Shoulder to Shoulder’s Ramadan Table initiative and get to know your interfaith neighbors through this virtual iftar program

Ramadan Toolkit Images (4)

Offer Community To Others

Ramadan Toolkit Images (5)

  • Many in our Ummah may not have a strong support system or sense of community–new Muslims, single parents, and people struggling with mental illnesses. There are others who may not be able to attend large gatherings. Make them a part of your virtual community!
  • Call or send a message letting them know you are thinking of them
  • Do a drive-by visit to brighten their day…and yours!
  • Drop off some dates or a meal.
  • Virtually invite them to any activities you are doing online such as a halaqa or book club.


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Zakat eligibility of The FYI

The Family & Youth Institute, or The FYI, is a well-known Muslim organization in the United States. It works to promote mental health and wellness by strengthening and empowering individuals, families, and communities through research and education. It has been working for many years to bring Islamic perspectives to understanding and promoting mental health in our communities.

It is dedicated to serving and supporting Muslims – safeguarding our deen, our families, and our future generations. Therefore, the work of The FYI comes in the category of ‘fi sabeelillah’ or the Path of Allah, within the eight categories where Zakat money can be used.

Zakah expenditures are only for the poor and for the needy and for those employed for it and for bringing hearts together [for Islam] and for freeing captives [or slaves] and for those in debt and for the cause of Allah, and for the [stranded] traveler – an obligation [imposed] by Allah, And Allah, is Knowing and Wise.”
(Al-Tawbah 9:60)

According to scholars who widen the meaning of fee sabeelillah to include any activities that promote Islamic growth, The FYI is indeed eligible to receive part of the Zakat funds for its programs and services. I urge Muslims in America to support this organization through their donations, general charity, and through their Zakat. I ask Allah swt to strengthen and guide The FYI to continue its good work in supporting Muslims.

Shaikh Ali Suleiman Ali, PhD

About Shaikh Ali

Sh. Ali Suleiman Ali was born in Ghana where he spent his childhood studying with various Muslim scholars. He then moved to Saudi Arabia and enrolled in the Islamic University of Madina.  He graduated with a degree in both Arabic and Islamic Studies. Dr. Ali went on to complete his Ph.D. in Islamic Studies at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

Sh. Ali serves on the Advisory Council of The Family & Youth Institute. He is the Senior Imam and Director of the Muslim Community of Western Suburbs in Canton, Michigan. Additionally, he serves as the Director of Muslim Family Services in Detroit and is a council member of the Fiqh Council of North America (FCNA). He is also a member of the North American Imams Federation (NAIF) and the Association of Muslim Jurists of America (AMJA).