Dallas Muslims work their faith and adopt highway cleanup
by Dina Malki, Dallas Islam Examiner
The tweet read: “Need volunteers tomorrow morning for highway cleanup, sisters (women) are welcome. Please be at IANT front door by 8:00 a.m.”
On Sunday November 20th, 12 volunteers including four youths showed up at the IANT (Islamic Association of North Texas) mosque in Richardson, picked up their safety gears (orange vests) provided by the state and volunteered their manpower. Mr. Hamza Abdullah, volunteer and project coordinator for the eighth year in a row, said the volunteers picked up trash from a two mile-stretch on Highway 78 in Garland between Crist and First Streets. He added that IANT has participated for the past 15 years in the state’s Adopt A Highway project, an event where Texans join forces in cleaning up roadsides from the millions of litter pieces accumulated each year.
Volunteerism is the essence of a community and the measurement of society’s progress in positive interaction. It helps build more cohesive communities, nurture greater trust between citizens, and develop norms of solidarity; all resulting in a more stable and united community. Volunteers beautify neighborhoods, protect wildlife and natural resources, and look after the sick and the needy. While performing their duties, volunteers perceive a broader sense of their community and gain an increased awareness of people less fortunate than themselves, potentially putting some of their own issues into perspective, and developing a sense of belonging and achievement in the process. In a nut shell, volunteerism boosts the morale of a community weaved one thread into another.
Like all other faiths, Islam emphasizes on volunteerism which is considered a duty of each community member just like praying or fasting or alms giving. The Quran highlights a noble command regarding social service: “and help ye one another in righteousness and piety.” (5:2) The North Texas Muslim community at large recognizes this equally religious and civic duty and takes part in their contributions to society. They believe in what Mohammad Ali Clay once said: “Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on Earth.”
Original post: Dallas Muslims work their faith and adopt highway cleanup