Young Muslims across the UK woke up before dawn today to clean the streets as many Brits stumbled home from a big New Year’s night out.
More than 1,500 Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association (AMYA) members held a special prayer before putting on hi-vis jackets and heading out.
They collected hundreds of bin bags of rubbish in towns and cities up and down the country, from London, Edinburgh and Glasgow, to Walsall, Manchester and Cardiff.
Imam Qamar Ahmed Zafar said the annual clean-up is about instilling ‘lifestyle changes’ in young Muslims.
He told Metro.co.uk: ‘Many people will be out on the night of new year’s eve celebrating the start of the new year.
‘As Ahmadi Muslims, our year begins with congregational prayer, we come together and pray for the world, for all those struggling.
‘Thereafter we all get together and go out on to the streets to clean up after the celebrations have ended, this isn’t just to keep our surroundings clean, but is also done to remind our young Muslim youth about the duty they have to serve their country.
‘More than that, it is also about trying to instil lifestyle changes in the youth, we take for granted the amount of food and plastic which is wasted, and such events are a reminder of how current consumption is destroying our planet.’
Clean-up coordinator Mubashar Raja said: ‘We have been cleaning up the streets now for a number of years and each year.
‘We are expanding our radius and aim to cover the whole UK, and this year we aim to pick up 5,000 bin bags worth of litter over the morning.
‘When we began, it was just us, a humble effort. But as the years progressed, we have got the local councils and communities on board.
‘It just goes to show how a little effort and a good cause can bring everyone together.’
Malik Takreem Ahmed, from AMYA Muslim Youth, said: ‘As a young Ahmadi Muslim this is how I have been brought up. It’s always amazing to see the smiles on the faces of the people we try to help.
‘My friends mostly celebrate the new year by being with family and friends, but I think there is just so much more to it than that if we can spend it helping others, regardless of their relation to us.
‘Taking part in these street cleans makes me feel like I belong to something which is a positive driving force in the world.’
Original article can be found HERE.