37 mosques chip in for meals to break fast

Ground-up Ramadan initiative also involving Muis, the public raises $2.58m

An SGUnited Buka Puasa distribution point at the Pasir Ris Elias Community Club. The initiative provides meals to healthcare workers and their families, the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore's zakat beneficiaries, as well as other families who r
An SGUnited Buka Puasa distribution point at the Pasir Ris Elias Community Club. The initiative provides meals to healthcare workers and their families, the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore's zakat beneficiaries, as well as other families who require meals during Ramadan.PHOTO: RLAF

A total of 37 local mosques have come together to contribute $600,000 to SGUnited Buka Puasa, a ground-up effort to provide meals for the breaking of fast to members of the Muslim community during the holy month of Ramadan.

The initiative aims to provide 20,000 meals a day to healthcare workers and their families, the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore's (Muis) zakat beneficiaries, as well as other families who require meals during Ramadan.

Zakat is one of the five pillars of Islam which requires Muslims to donate money to the needy.

The latest contribution brings the total amount raised for SGUnited Buka Puasa to $2.58 million.

Muis had previously made a $1 million donation, and a further $980,000 came from the fund-raising efforts of the Rahmatan Lil Alamin Foundation (RLAF), including from members of the public.

The mosques' contribution is made up of two types of donations from the community - fidyah, or the provision of food to the poor, and Ramadan donations.

These are contributions that would otherwise be used to cover expenses incurred by mosques during Ramadan, such as the provision of congregational meals, nightly prayers and the distribution of food to families in need.

Said Mr Helmy Isa, senior director of mosque and community development at Muis: "Ramadan is a blessed month that presents Muslims with the opportunity to donate and perform charity as an act of worship. I commend the generosity of our Muslim community in Singapore as mosques here see continued contributions in the form of fidyah and donations even as the community faces challenging times due to Covid-19.

"With mosques temporarily closed, we believe that these funds which are typically spent on mosques' Ramadan activities must be used to support other Ramadan initiatives that provide relief to those in need, such as our zakat beneficiaries."

The mosques have also partnered service providers to ensure that the delivery of meals to SGUnited Buka Puasa beneficiaries is timely and contactless.

Activity at Singapore's 70 mosques has neared a standstill, as all places of worship in the country have been closed to the public until at least June 1.

  • $600k

    Amount contributed to SGUnited Buka Puasa by 37 mosques in Singapore.

    20,000 

    Number of meals the initiative aims to provide a day to healthcare workers and their families, Muis' zakat beneficiaries, as well as other families who require meals during Ramadan.

 

"Our mosques are committed to supporting the SGUnited Buka Puasa initiative as we strive to build on our social resilience and help one another to overcome this difficult period," added Mr Helmy.

Members of the public can donate to SGUnited Buka Puasa through giving.sg, bank transfer, cheque, or PayNow to RLAF.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 09, 2020, with the headline '37 mosques chip in for meals to break fast'. Subscribe