(TMU) – In an incredible sign of the times in which we live, an IKEA in Germany gave the local Muslim community permission to use its massive parking lot to hold a huge socially-distanced prayer that involved hundreds of worshippers celebrating “Eid”, the end of the holy month of Ramadan.
In stunning drone footage from the Sunday, May 24 gathering in the city of Wetzlar, near Frankfurt, masses of Muslims can be seen praying together while maintaining a safe distance, using the lanes and parking spaces of the lot to ensure that each person had their own dedicated area.
As the coronavirus outbreak continues its spread across the world, religious communities have been placed in the often-uncomfortable dilemma of honoring their faith while also respecting the strict quarantine measures, countrywide lockdowns, and physical distancing orders given by governments.
VIDEO: Hundreds of Muslims gather at an IKEA parking lot in the 🇩🇪 German city of Wetzlar for socially distanced Eid al-Fitr prayers, to mark the end of the fasting month of Ramadan pic.twitter.com/qG7hmibd0F
— AFP news agency (@AFP) May 26, 2020
Eid al-Fitr is one of the most important Islamic holidays and a joyful occasion marked by gift-giving, charity (zakat), and enjoying good food with friends, family, and neighbors.
However, for millions of Muslims all over the world hoping to celebrate the holiday, the need to practice social distancing has prevented large groups from congregating in their mosques or in other areas whether they could gather and pray.
This all forced the Muslim community in Wetzlar to think outside of the box.
After a bit of brainstorming, the Islamic Community Milli Goruş (IGMG) decided to simply approach their local Ikea to request that they use the parking lot, which wasn’t seeing much action due to the lockdown.
Speaking to the BBC, mosque leader Kadir Terzi explained that he had his doubts before approaching the store to make the request. He explained:
“But the store manager didn’t hesitate for a second and said ‘yes, you can pray’. I was surprised and happy at the same time.”
The event was especially poignant due to the isolation his community have been plunged in for this Ramadan, which prevented the community and families from gathering to break their fast and organize charitable work. He added:
“It was a completely different Ramadan month, without contacts, without visits and without breaking the fast together.”
As a result of the event, the group has been hailed across the globe for conducting an exemplary prayer session – and the group is thanking the local community for ensuring its success.
In a statement, the mosque thanked various members of the public. They said:
“We would like to thank the Wetzlar police, the Wetzlar public order office, Ikea Wetzlar management, brothers, and all who contributed to making this extraordinary holiday prayer possible.”
In a separate statement, the mosque added:
“We congratulate all the Islamic world and the Muslims living in the world with our sincere wishes and wish our Lord to bring you many more holidays.
“We have done holiday prayer as a nation in the open air with 700 people. May my Lord always keep our unity and solidarity.”
Social media users both Muslim and non-Muslim alike have praised the event.
One person on Facebook wrote:
“What a beautiful view and what a beautiful alternative.”
While another user said:
“This makes me happy. I know some of my religious friends struggled with the lack of close physical connections during ramadan, so it’s beautiful to see a community come together in a safe way.”
For some religious leaders such as Pope Francis, weekly services were moved online to give practicing Catholics an option to tune while also observing social distances. Other faith community leaders have offered drive-in Sunday services, where congregants can remain in their vehicles and tune into services via radio. And most recently, a priest in the Detroit area used a squirt gun to shoot holy water at passing cars during a drive-thru Easter blessing.
Muslims across the world have also honored measures meant to curb the pandemic – due in no small part to the fact that centuries ago, no less a figure than the revered prophet and founder of Islam was cited as speaking on the topic of how to conduct oneself when dealing with a plague.
“If you hear of an outbreak or a plague in a land, do not enter it; but if the plague breaks out in a place while you are in it, do not leave that place,” the Prophet Muhammad advises Muslims according to Sahih Al-Bukhari in the Hadith — a record of sayings attributed to the prophet that is considered of high scriptural importance in addition to the Quran.
Keanu Reeves Praised As Video of Him Offering Seat to Lady in Subway Resurfaces
Keanu Reeves is an actor who has long been loved by audiences —and not necessarily due to his acting skills, but due to how nice the John Wick star is.
And now, Reeves is once again earning praise as a “true gentleman” after resurfaced video footage shows Reeves giving up his seat on the subway.
The clip was shared by Instagram film fan account Cinemonkeys where it has since earned nearly 45,000 likes.
The video footage dates back to 2011, when it was shared on YouTube by a user of the video-sharing platform.
At the time, Reeves was already a superstar riding on the fame he earned from the Matrix, Speed, and a number of other blockbuster hits.
When Reeves notices a woman carrying a heavy bag, he quickly points to his seat and asks if she would like to sit. The woman accepts and Reeves gets up without hesitating to let her take his seat.
Reeves, ever the model citizen, then stands and holds onto a subway pole while carrying his bag.
The video has since been watched over 27 million times and was even cited in a 2019 Time magazine profile of the actor describing Reeves as the “soul mate” of the internet.
The resurfacing of the clip on Instagram once again impressed users of the platform.
“This human being’s soul honestly shines so bright,” wrote one user.
“OMG I love him in every single way,” another person commented.
“His kindness knows no bounds,” commented someone else.
Keanu is set to reprise his role as Neo in the upcoming fourth Matrix film directed and written by Lana Wachowski, who co-directed the earlier trilogy with her sister Lilly. He will also return to the silver screen in John Wick: Chapter 4, which will be released in 2022.
Drunk Man Rescues Injured Baby Bird By Sending It To Animal Shelter… In An Uber
An injured baby bird received a new lease on life after a young man who was inebriated had the good sense to send the little creature to an animal shelter because he and his friends were too drunk to drive.
In the Summer of 2019, a small lesser goldfinch suddenly appeared by itself at the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Northern Utah. The center’s chairman, Buz Marthaler, was notified by a volunteer who sent him a photo.
“It was a picture of this bird, and it had come by Uber,” Marthaler told FOX13. “It was just crazy.”
As it turns out, the tiny bird – which was only two weeks old – indeed rolled up to the site by its lonesome, the sole passenger in an Uber vehicle called by concerned citizens who found the injured creature.
Among those good Samaritans was Tim Crowley, who had been “day drinking” on that Saturday before he and his buddies witnessed the little bird fall from the sky.
“Impromptu, sitting in some camp chairs, hanging out, having a few drinks when we had a visitor fall out of the sky,” he explained.
Crowley then snapped a photo of the bird and sent it to the WRCNU, which instructed him to immediately bring the bird in. However, the group obviously couldn’t drive since they had been guzzling booze all day.
So Crowley decided he’d hail a cab for the creature.
“At first it was a joke, like, ‘Hey, maybe we should just call Uber!’” he said. “Then we were like, ‘No, really. Why not? We’re paying them.’”
As it turns out, the bird – since named “Petey Uber” by staff at the rescue center – likely would have perished if not for Crowley’s quick thinking.
Marthaler remains impressed by Crowley’s move and shared the news on its Facebook page.
“While we feel we’ve seen it all and can’t be amazed by anything, there is always someone out there to prove us wrong,” the shelter’s post read. “Thank you to the rescuer who helped this little one get the care it needed in a timely manner and thank you for keeping yourself safe and others on the road safe as well.”
Binx the Cat, Who Survived Florida Condo Collapse, Found and Reunited With Family
Amid the tragedy of last month’s collapse of a South Florida condo building, there was a tiny bit of good news when a cat named Binx, who lived on the ninth floor of the Surfside building, was found safe and returned to his family.
“I’m glad that this small miracle could bring some light into the lives of a hurting family today and provide a bright spot for our whole community in the midst of this terrible tragedy,” said Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava in a Friday press conference, reports NPR.
Levine Cava explained that a volunteer who feeds street cats in the area recognized the cat near the building before bringing him to an animal shelter, where it was then identified.
Gina Nicole Vlasek, the co-founder of the The Kitty Campus rescue group, posted on Facebook that a black cat had been found near the rubble of the group before it was brought to the shelter on Thursday night.
“We are so grateful to be able to help in any small way,” Vlasek said.
“All we needed was a ray of hope in this tragedy,” she continued. “Today was one of the most amazing days.. one of the survivors came to see the cat and to determine if it was her families cat and IT WAS!”
The mayor said that animal control workers are continuing to work to recover any pets that may have survived the horrible collapse.
The 12-story Surfside condo collapsed on June 24. At least 79 people have been confirmed dead, with 61 additional residents remaining unaccounted for.