Muslims break fast Saturday to raise money for charities

Mark Hicks
The Detroit News
Celena Khatib, left, Sumreen Ahmad and Samaara Siddiqui ran in the 2015 Fasting 5K.

Dozens of Metro Detroit Muslims are running for a cause this weekend.

More than 100 runners are expected to gather Saturday night at the Muslim Community of Western Suburbs mosque in Canton Township to participate in Fasting5K. The annual initiative spurs enthusiasts across the country to raise money for charities during the holy month of Ramadan, when Muslims fast between dawn and dusk.

It's the fifth year that southeast Michigan supporters have joined the effort.

Participants nationwide are gathering donations to benefit the Islamic Medical Association of North America Medical Relief's SaveSmile surgical mission projects to help children abroad born with cleft lips and cleft palates.

“Children with disabilities need a level playing field to compete in today’s world," said Jabeen Siddiqui Hamzavi, the Fasting 5K lead for the Metro Detroit group. "Whether it is an assistive device or a mentorship program, or a corrective surgery, these opportunities do indeed exist for children who are afflicted with a disability."

The nine Fasting 5K city groups also raise money for charities in their area. The Metro Detroit one has selected Michigan State University's Resource Center for Persons
with Disabilities
as its recipient.

“RCPD is grateful to be one of this years recipient's of Fasting5k for Project Venture, a
mentorship program where high school children with disabilities from all over Michigan are paired with an MSU student and learn the various ways to navigate the college experience,” said Beverly Stehlik, the center's assistant to the director in programming. “We are grateful that Fasting5K participants are choosing to hold this fundraising event after observing a long day of abstaining from food and water during the holy month of Ramadan. We are grateful for their concern and assistance.”