Posts filed under ‘Donating’

Everlasting Philanthropy

By Mohammad Shakir

We know the ways that we can all support different charities. Donations are the most common way, as money can help a charity support their projects in a variety of different ways. But in times of austerity there are other ways you can support a charity. Time!

Time is one thing that is in my opinion much more precious than money. Once it’s gone, it’s gone – you can’t get it back. It is such a rare commodity that I am compelled to quote a line from a famous epic film:

“All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.”

The truth of the sentiment can be found in most faiths but is also pertinent to those without faith. Our time in this life is limited. Depending on your belief – there may be a life after this or not. But surely we owe it to ourselves to ensure that make the most of the time that we have. Giving your time to a cause that you believe can be fulfilling and worthy.

Sometimes events happen in our lives which make us have an introspective look at the way we spend our time. Whether you are working or playing, spend your time wisely so that you don’t regret the way you are spending it.

May 22, 2012 at 4:09 pm Leave a comment

I am new to this, can you help me?

By Mohamed Mohamed

When a new Muslim sister comes to Islam, we as Muslim all rejoice and so do the angel and animals on earth and the sky. The person is about to undergo so many changes from waking up in the middle of the night, eats, their social settings also; everything about their way of life is about to change.

The beauty of Islam is that Allah does not expect you to go through radical changes and nor does the society if you’ve just turned to the rightly guided religion. No one denies you will face challenges and issues in all aspects but Allah has commanded Muslims to help those who are in need, and to make the transition as smooth as possible

Four years ago, I came across 2 twins who had just recently embraced Islam. I realised that their cousin was married to one of my uncles. At first, the communication between us was lacking as there was nothing in common with us, but as I went abroad to do my studies that I kept in close contact with both of them. I spoke to them about all matters of life and why they chose to embrace Islam, what has Islam given to them. They lived in Ipswich which I spent a month doing my medical attachment at the local hospital.

On Saturdays they attended Islamic classes for new Muslims. I was surprised at how well a positive message was emphasised during the class, which was made coherent and easy to understand. The number of convert Muslims that lived in that area was pretty impressive for a small city – Islam really is a growing religion.

I usually have a few questions when a new Muslim comes to Islam. How will they cope? What is their impression of Islam? What support do they get from the Muslim community? Are their family angry and have they abandoned them?

When one of the companions of the Prophet Muhammad SAW was tortured and beaten because he refused to take any other deity of worship other than Allah, upon his release the people around him gave him so much support and love. When someone says I want to talk to you, they have chosen you specifically because they think that you might be able to help them maybe they want your support and help because you’re a good listen. So are we doing enough to helping the new Muslims?

Can you help a revert Muslim sister? Donate to Solace via Zakat House today.

August 22, 2011 at 1:40 pm 2 comments

Doesn’t exist? Yeah right

By Mohamed Mohamed

Domestic violence exists in all quarters of our society. This is not to say domestic violence is a Muslim problem. In England domestic violence takes place every 2 minutes. Unfortunately men are also victims, the majority are women. To those of us who know Islam and the Quran, violence against women is against the teachings of Islam that we look at those who use our religion against us as misguided, misinformed or malicious.

Many sisters who come together and talk about their problems they are facing, often find they are not able to articulate themselves properly because the person listening doesn’t have enough experience to offer legal or emotional guidance or she is too shy to talk about it because she hasn’t built enough bridge of trust to talk about such personal issues.

Under no circumstances is violence against women encouraged or allowed in Islam. The holy Qur’an contains tens of verses extolling good treatment of women. The verse couldn’t be clearer that the relationship between men and women is to be one of kindness, mutual respect, and caring. Added to these verses is the inescapable fact that the Prophet vehemently disapproved of men hitting their wives, and that he never in his entire life hit any woman or child.

In his last sermon, Prophet Muhammad told us “O people, to be kind to women as you have rights over your wives, and they have rights over you.” He also said, “Treat your women well, and be kind to them, for they are your partners and committed helpers“. In a saying of the Prophet, he said, “The strong man is not the one who can use the force of physical strength, but the one who controls his anger” (Bukhari).

When I read stories in the newspapers about women being subject of domestic violence that even leads to them being mentally affected and scarred for life needing psychiatric help, it leaves a sour taste in the mouth and makes me think what the motive was? Was it greed, was it for power, was it pressure, and was it misunderstanding? Or could it be the fact that men feel a sense of insecurity and want to feel powerful so they subject women to mental and physical abuse. Or could it simply be he had a disagreement with his wife?

In any case we should have a zero tolerance approach against domestic violence whether it is against men, women or children.

All families should maintain open lines of communication between all of their members; by having regular family meetings where everyone is allowed to talk and convey themselves without any recriminations.

Marriage must be seen as a partnership, and marriage contracts should identify a vow to an abuse free and violence-free family. Extended families must bring to an end covering up mistreatment, abuse and violence in the name of “preserving the family honour”. Beyond all, the family, like the individual must keep Allah as its focal point.

This Ramadan, Zakat House is helping Nour DV fund-raise to raise awareness and stop domestic violence. You can donate to their project here.

August 16, 2011 at 2:11 pm 3 comments

This Ramadan, at Zakat House, Zakat begins at home

By Mohammad Shakir

We have seen the plight of millions in East Africa affected by drought and famine. We remember that last Ramadan, Pakistan was besieged by floods leaving millions homeless.

Yes, international disasters are important and we should work hard to help them. But we can’t forget the many number of charities that are working on our doorstep here in the UK.

This Ramadan, Zakat House has selected five projects from five charities which work within England and Wales, within local communities helping people living here in the UK.

The five projects are:

Project 1 – Outside Line from Muslim Youth Helpline

Muslim Youth Helpline is working to reach out to 5,000 prisoners through Eid gifts containing support, information and advice (50% of the Muslim prison population)

They also want to raise awareness of their confidential helpline which prisoners can now call for free, enabling them to access practical and emotional support through a combination of listening and signposting.

Project 2 – Domestic violence support from Nour DV

Nour DV was launched in 2010 to help women that are affected by domestic violence. We will be raising funds to create a helpline for victims to gain guidance where they can receive emotional support.

Project 3 – School counsellor at Al–Noor Primary School

Al-Noor Primary School is a Muslim primary school based in east London. They are raising funds for a dedicated school counsellor that will help children with mental health difficulties.

Project 4 – Time to understand from the National Association of Muslim Police

We are working with the National Association of Muslim Police, who represents 2,000 members who work in police services around the UK to help increase understanding of Islam amongst different police services around the UK.

Project 5 – Coffee mornings for Muslim Revert Women – Solace

Solace is a support service for women who have reverted to Islam. We are fundraising to help them hold their coffee mornings where women can find support and a listening ear from volunteers.

These five projects help people within different communities around the UK. These causes are as important as those which are affecting people that are living abroad and must not be forgotten.

We will be focusing on them over the next few week and telling you all how they help communities in the UK.

Abu Hurayrah (radhiallahu anhu) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said: “Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day, let him say what is righteous or keep silent. Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day, let him be kind to his neighbour. And whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day, let him be generous to his guest.”

Related by Muslim

August 9, 2011 at 10:03 am Leave a comment

The Million Pound Drop

By Mohammad Shakir

We have seen different aid agencies, under the umbrella of the DEC, begin a fundraising campaign to help those in East Africa affected by the drought. At the last count, around £8 million has been raised.

With Ramadan coming up soon, there are a couple of lessons we should take out time over and reflect upon.

Ramadan is a time of personal and family reflection on how our lives and those who aren’t waiting for new movie about a boy wizard to come out or next product from a certain fruit based company. They are worrying about whether they will eat today or how will they receive medical attention for something simply easily treatable like glaucoma.

Yes, we can help those affected by the drought through donating, and that is highly commendable, but there are other ways we can benefit ourselves. The power of someone praying and thanking God for His generosity and help is beyond belief.

We can demonstrate true compassion and gratefulness for the blessing that have been bestowed upon us by making changes in our lives. We can become a bit humble and treat others as we wish to be treated, regardless of race, creed or colour.

Happiness is more than just our material possessions. Ensuring that our children grow up to be well mannered and responsible can make us happy. Do your duty as a being on this earth and looking after it can make us all happy.

We should be grateful about the situation that we are in and remember that there are many people who are not as lucky as we are. Alongside donating money, we should we should look within ourselves and improve them as well.

18 days to go…. Are you ready!

July 13, 2011 at 3:42 pm Leave a comment

The People of the Drought

It is hard to escape the current furore about phone hacking on the front pages of the newspapers today. If you delve a little deeper, you will find another story, not about privacy but about life or death.

The drought in East Africa has been inversely affecting millions of people in the Horn of Africa over the past eight months. So far it has left 9 million people in dire need of humanitarian assistance. According to the UNICEF, 2 million of those are children. Many have fled to refugee camps in Kenya which are already full.

Due to the weather and geography in the region, this is not the first time the region has suffered from drought. We have seen Ethiopia suffer from droughts in the 1980s, which resulted in the Live Aid concert in 1985 (God bless you Bob!).

There needs to a change in the landscape, literally, to alleviate the region from of the drought. Creating and improving drip irrigation systems which will help in maintaining crops with smaller amounts of water will stave off starvation and famine.  in a sophisticated language this is called social entrepreneurship in action.

We must not allow people to be left in a situation where drought will affect them again in 20 years. We have no excuse since we are independent, healthy and able. We have to act now to ensure that another generation of people in this area of the world can live full lives free from the threat of dry, arid land.We must not just react, we must  take  positive action.

July 7, 2011 at 4:22 pm Leave a comment

Social Business Day

By Mohammad Shakir

Today, 28th June 2011 marks the second Social Business Day. Created by Muhammad Yunus and his organsiation, The Yunus Centre, it is a day where the world can come together and learn about the latest innovations about social business and celebrate what has already taken place in the field.

The theme for this year is “Achieving the Millennium Development Goals through Social Business” The Millennium Development Goals are as follows:

Goal 1: Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger

Goal 2: Achieve universal primary education

Goal 3: Promote gender equality and empower women

Goal 4: Reduce child mortality rates

Goal 5: Improve maternal health

Goal 6: Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases

Goal 7: Ensure environmental sustainability

Goal 8: Develop a global partnership for development

Now  I get the feeling that you are wondering, how can a social business achieve those even one of the above goals? Here is an example:

The Iko Toilets in Kenya are changing communities in Nairobi by offering something more than just a simple public toilet. The toilets are offering jobs for cleaners, a confectionery store and a shoe shine spot where people can get their shoes polished. It is the type of social business that can most definitely work to achieve Goal 1 by creating jobs through which people can feed themselves and Goal 7  because there would be a safe place for people to use the bathroom with a proper sewage system ensuring that the local environment is used for crops rather than waste. Discussions to expand the IKO network to neighbouring villages and cities thus achieving Goal 8. You see where we are coming from?

Social businesses have the potential to make a positive impact on a persons’ life. No matter how small or big it can create change that will last.

The questions is respected reader are you a spectator or part of the solution towards the goal, if you have  an interesting idea that will help someones life. Let us know on info@zakathouse.com.

June 28, 2011 at 2:29 pm Leave a comment

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