Breaking Naan Bread at the Salvation Army Homeless Centre
The residents at the homeless shelter were not expecting company on Tuesday lunchtime, but that is what they got when the students of Jamiatul Ilm Wal Huda poured through the doors laden with subcontinental dishes and smiles.
It was putting into action the hadith of the Prophet (PBUH):
“O people, spread peace, feed the hungry, and pray at night when people are sleeping and you will enter Paradise in peace.” (Ibn Majah)
All of us appreciate food at the best of times, but for the residents of the shelter, many of whom are going through very difficult times, it was a sign that someone still cared about them, and their gratefulness was clear to see and communicated to the children in a heartfelt way.
The secondary school students helped serve out the chicken curry, rice, and naan to the residents and then joined them at the tables for the meal themselves.
Many conversations will have taken place in Blackburn at lunch time this past Tuesday, but not many will have been so profound and human as the ones that took place at the Salvation Army Homeless shelter. The residents described being touched by the kindness, hospitality, and positivity of the students, while the student learned that behind every homeless person they see on the street, there is a living, breathing, emotional human being.
It was also a great opportunity for the teenagers to directly contribute to their society and help change things for the better.
For the teachers of Jamiatul Ilm Wal Huda this was an opportunity to bring the Islamic ethics they teach in the classroom to life in the real world. “It was amazing for the students. Also seeing all the smiles on the faces (of the residents) was great…a perfect opportunity to extend a hand to the wider community. It was great to see the students interacting, we could see lots of faces smiling and laughing. And we could see that there was this community spirit.”