Ahmadiyya Muslim Community Lloydminster is looking to help and inform residents as they celebrate the most Holy Month in the Islamic Calendar.
Before Ramadan begins on April 25th, the community is launching two initiatives to support Lloydminster residents.
The first is called “Neighbourhood Helper” where members of the Baitul Amaan mosque will help run errands as well as pick up and drop off groceries and prescription medication. Imam Mansoor Azeem says anyone is able to use the service and they will be kept anonymous.
“Any local community will not know the names of the person who has ordered it. We’ll only know the list of this is what’s required and this is the address of where it should be delivered.”
Azeem says the location doesn’t specifically have to be at a person’s residence and a public meeting space can be arranged. Precautionary measures are also in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
“If someone is afraid or doesn’t have the protective gear to go out, we have gloves, masks, sanitizer and we can go out and pick up their deliveries. We also can give out Lysol wipes so they can wipe off their deliveries whenever they get so it can be safe to use.”
Residents can call the toll-free number at 1-855-435-7811, email or make a request on the website.
Due to the pandemic, mosques including the Baitul Amaan mosque in Lloydminster closed their doors and implemented measures in accordance with the social distancing guidelines provided by the health authorities.
“We have been instructing our members not to leave, not to hold barbeque parties, not even two families to gather together. This will be very different but as most of us know, as people just celebrated Easter just days ago, how it will feel like. Most of the time the gatherings will be virtual, the sermon will be delivered over the phone and that’s exactly how we’re going to do it.”
Instead, Ramadan will be celebrated virtually which is the second initiative. Virtual Ramadan is an opportunity for Canadians to experience and participate in Ramadan festivities. Azeem says there are often questions about the religion and Ramadan specifically and the virtual experience now offers people a way to learn more about it.
“People wonder why you fast from dawn to dusk? We tell them we cannot know the pain and the hunger of the people unless we, ourselves, are feeling the same thing.”
The virtual event starts on the first day of Ramadan, April 25th.