Brother Ali to host charity-oriented block party at N. Minneapolis mosque

All the day’s events are free

Carter Haaland

What: Day of Dignity with Brother Ali & Freeway

When:  Oct. 1

11a.m.-6 p.m.

Where: Masjid An-Nur

1729 N Lyndale Ave.

Cost: Free


Tomorrow, some streets just off Broadway and Lyndale avenues in North Minneapolis will be blocked off.  No, not for a crime scene.  Brother Ali and his mosque, Masjid An-Nur, will be hosting Day of Dignity, a block party featuring music and a whole lot of community outreach.

âÄúWeâÄôve always had a desire to do cultural things that really have resonance with the community,âÄù Ali said.  âÄúTo be able to have a block party at our mosque is huge.  There arenâÄôt a lot of mosques that would do that.âÄù  

The day will celebrate all the services that Masjid provides the community on a daily basis, just blown up to a larger scale.  Medical professionals will be offering healthcare services.  Health/hygiene kits, winter clothes and school supplies will all be given away.  More than 1,200 warm meals will be served.  ThereâÄôs even going to be free haircuts.

The foundational theme of block party is sadaqah, an Islamic term meaning âÄúvoluntary charity.âÄù  This concept embodies any sort of giving out of compassion, love or generosity.

âÄúItâÄôs about giving,âÄù Ali said.  âÄúWe donâÄôt have religious arrogance in the sense that we think that because weâÄôre Muslim that weâÄôre better than other people.  We believe that Islam is the best tool to help people and because weâÄôve been given this great tool weâÄôre supposed to be extraordinarily helpful.âÄù 

ItâÄôs about giving but you donâÄôt have to give anything to come be a part of the atmosphere.  ThereâÄôs no volunteer or donation requirement.  EverythingâÄôs free.  And itâÄôs open to everyone.

âÄúYou donâÄôt have to do anything other than show up and have fun,âÄù Ali said.

Joining in on the festivities will be fellow Rhymesayers artist and fellow Muslim, Freeway.  The Philly-based rapper is also not a stranger to giving back to the community.  HeâÄôs organized several charitable events in his hometown, including several book bag and school supply drives.

âÄúMy Islamic faith is a huge part of me, I pray five times a day, IâÄôve been to Mecca twice,âÄù he said.  âÄúIâÄôm excited about reaching the people.  Sadaqah is a very important part of Islam.âÄù 

The day of charity and community camaraderie will culminate with performances by Brother Ali, Freeway and âÄúfriends.âÄù  Though the artistsâÄô fan bases are not typically from North Minneapolis, theyâÄôre invited to come join the community and get a taste of what itâÄôs actually like. 

âÄúI just want the people that would come and see us at First Ave or come and see us in Uptown, to just come to the Northside for once.  ItâÄôs not even gonna be dark outside,âÄù Ali said.  âÄúIt would be really special for me to have my fans actually able to see where IâÄôm really from.  TheyâÄôll see that itâÄôs not like rap videos.âÄù