When the temperatures drop to a dangerous level of degrees, our first instinct is to make sure that our families are protected from the cold and have everything they need to stay safe and warm.
But Sabeel Ahmed sees his entire neighborhood as his family, one big human family.
“We’re all humans at the end of the day,” he told NBC 5 Chicago.
Temperatures dropped leaving a minus -14-degree wind chill in Morton Grove, Illinois which is a near north suburb of Chicago.
He decided to use his warm heart and check up on his neighbors to see if they needed anything during the bitter weather bout.
He and his family left handwritten notes at about 40 of their neighbors’ houses.
“My family and I are available if you need assistance in picking up groceries, medicine or removal of snow,” the note read.
Ahmed, his wife Asma, and their three children went door to door dropping the notes off and also posted a video on YouTube to reach more people in the area. He also invited neighbors to stop by his home for hot tea and samosa.
“We need to take care of our neighbors. That was a big motivation for doing this,” Ahmed told CNN.
Ahmed said he got the idea after worrying about how one of his elderly neighbors would fare during the cold.
That then got him thinking about the rest of his neighbors.
“Stories and lessons are nothing if we don’t practice them,” he said.
Ahmed, the director for GainPeace which is an Islamic outreach organization, hopes to not only change the public’s negative perception of Muslims but also show an important aspect of his faith which teaches that one should care for their neighbors.
“It’s an obligation of us as being humans, us as being neighbors, us as being Muslims to not only make sure that we remain safe but we want to make sure that our neighbors, they also remain safe and protected,” Ahmed says in his video.
Ahmed, who uses YouTube as a platform to share his faith and encourage people to convert, says he hopes his act of caring for his neighbors will inspire people to do the same.
“Hopefully the ice is broken and hopefully there will be more connections made … and neighbors will carry it on, as a ripple effect,” he said.
Ahmed and his family were honored by Mayor Dan Dimaria of the village of Morton Grove for their actions.
“Thank you for showing what Morton Grove is really about,” Dimaria said.
Ahmed hopes his actions will also promote peace and understanding.
“Despite racial and religious differences, at the end of the day, we have to meet,” Ahmed says. “Teaching our children. It’s not about me. It’s about humanity. It’s about the world.”
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Source: Sabeel Ahmed