Mosque, church collaboration aids Springfield Soup Kitchen

Members of the Miami Valley Islamic Assn. and Champion City Vineyard Church prepare hygiene packs to be donated to the Springfield Soup Kitchen on Sunday, June 3 at Masjid Al-Madina Mosque. Photo by Brett Turner
Members of the Miami Valley Islamic Assn. and Champion City Vineyard Church prepare hygiene packs to be donated to the Springfield Soup Kitchen on Sunday, June 3 at Masjid Al-Madina Mosque. Photo by Brett Turner

As a radiologist, Dr. Mubin Syed helps his patients heal during the week. On a recent weekend he helped people he doesn’t know.

Syed was one of several members of the Miami Valley Islamic Assn. who partnered with Champion City Vineyard Church at Masjid Al-Madina Mosque recently to help out Springfield’s less fortunate.

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It was the third time in the past year the two sides joined to pack 500 bags – 300 with food and 200 with hygiene products – to donate to the Springfield Soup Kitchen.

The partnership evolved out of Vineyard reaching out to offer help to other area centers of worship. Vineyard and Masjid Al-Madina opted to create food and hygiene packs for the needy, with a plan to do so once during the holiday season and at this time of year when the Muslim community marks Ramadan, one of its most important month-long observances.

“We believe strongly that charitable work is 90 percent of our religion, to give up something to another,” said Syed. “It’s an extension of our daily life to have faith in your heart and through actions. We’re all here working toward a common goal to uplift others in our community.”

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Fred Stegner, operator of the soup kitchen, is overwhelmed with emotion at the support from collaborations like this as demand in the Springfield community for such items is always high.

Imam Yunus Lasania of Masjid Al-Madina is similarly touched by being able to share with the community and its interest in activities at the mosque.

After his father’s recent passing, Lasania said there was an outpouring of sympathy from community members. He’s also pleased the mosque has several guests at its Friday services.

“A gentleman stopped in the other day and asked for something to read and I was happy to give him something,” said Lasania. “As a Muslim, you cannot be a believer until you show love for your human brothers.”

The mosque is developing partnership projects with other area churches, including a food pantry with Masjid An-Nur Mosque.