Shaliq Islam knew he could have spent Sunday evening munching candy and
lounging on the couch in his family's Bethesda home, but instead the
13-year-old chose to help serve a chicken dinner at a Washington homeless
So did his friend, Sabir Uddin, 13, of Germantown, and dozens of other
local Muslims who served food provided by the Montgomery County Muslim
Council and the Bangladesh Association of America to about 600 people at
the Community for Creative Non-Violence homeless shelter and the nearby
D.C. Central Kitchen.
Omar Ayyub, 16, helps the Montgomery County Muslim Council feed the needy
Sunday at a District homeless shelter. (James M. Thresher -- The Washington
"It's pretty cool. I get to help out people," said Shaliq as he took a
break with several other volunteers from serving drinks on the women's
floor of the homeless shelter on Second Street NW.
"If nobody did, how is anybody going to get anything done?" Sabir added.
"If nobody even made this building, where would these people go?"
The event marked the third year that local Muslims have donated meals of
traditional foods such as Sunday's chicken tandoori and vegetable biryani
to the Washington homeless shelter during the holy month of Ramadan.
During Ramadan, which ends Sunday, Muslims are required to fast most days
from dawn to dusk. Charity or almsgiving is a fundamental pillar of Islam,
and Muslims use Ramadan as a time to give more to the community, said
Rashid Makhdoom, a director and spokesman for the Montgomery County Muslim