Muslim Doctors Opened a Completely Free Clinic for the Poor in Toledo

In a bid to help vulnerable and uninsured Americans, a group of Muslim doctors in Toledo, Ohio has opened a new clinic to provide free medical service for people of all faiths, Toledo Blade reported.

“We had a meeting and said basically, ‘We need to look for opportunities to give back to our community, our neighbors,’ and this idea of starting a free clinic was hatched,” said Dr. Sulaiman Abawi, an emergency medicine physician at Fulton County Health Center.

“All of us feel a sense of wanting to give back and wanting to think about more than ourselves and our families,” he added.

With no physical location, the doctors first volunteered at the area’s homeless shelters, then held semi-regular clinics at Toledo Masjid Al-Islam, a mosque in North Toledo. Later on, Muslim endocrinologist, Dr. Mahmood Moosa offered space at his office where they opened Halim Clinic.

Lucas County Community Health Assessment data show 6 percent of county residents are uninsured — about 25,000 people. “We know how important health is to us,” Sabeen Sidiki, a second-year medical student, said. “If you have a cold or high blood pressure or diabetes, you need to take care of yourself to go to work and take care of your family … If you don’t have your health, you don’t have anything.”

The clinic’s name is inspired by the concept of forbearance, and among its stated missions is “to deliver effective, quality care to patients by drawing on the character and generosity of the Prophet Muhammad as a role model.”

Dr. Abawi hopes the clinic would give a true image of Muslims as well as Islamic faith. “We are part of this community like everybody else,” he said. “We care about our community and care about our neighbors. What better way to exemplify that than use to our talents, abilities, and education to give back?”

This is not the first time Muslim doctors provide free medical help for poor Americans. In April 2018, Muslims in Northeast Philadelphia opened a free health clinic to provide health services to the needy and poor. In South Carolina, the Shifa Clinic has been providing much-needed medical help to the needy for years.

In January 2012, a group of Muslim doctors volunteered to open the Rahma Health Clinic to provide free medical services for poor residents in New York’s Syracuse city. Earlier in 2011, a free clinic was established by the Association of Physicians of Pakistani Descent of North America to provide dental, ophthalmologic, pediatric and pain-management services on Sundays at the Bilal Mosque on St. Louis University’s campus.

Another clinic was opened by the Islamic Foundation of Greater St. Louis, in partnership with Volunteers in Medicine in October.

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