By Fadia Bint Ismail

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Published in Muslim Views SA

 

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: “O God, grant me life as a poor person, cause me to die as a poor person and resurrect me in the company of the poor.” His wife asked him why he said that, and he replied: “Because (the poor) will enter Paradise (before) the rich. Do not turn away a poor person even if all you can give is half a date. If you love the poor and bring them near you Allah will bring you near Him on the Day of Resurrection.” – Al-Tirmidhi, Hadith 1376

 

We are surrounded by poverty, no matter where we look. The traffic lights, stop streets, every corner and every open space one will see a beggar, a make shift shelter or as we call it a pandokie.  We turn a blind eye, rolling up our windows when a beggar approaches, this will not make the ever increasing poverty in our country and worldwide go away.

At times we miss the insight thinking that poverty is lack of materialistic wealth, so we solve this by providing clothes, blankets and other basic needs.

How often have we heard that we should be more generous, it will help our souls and it will help us build communities and aid in providing relief in emergencies. But will this end poverty?

The poor are becoming poorer. It is not that they lack tangible things but lack of infrastructure and community based projects by local governments and if not by government then by our NGO’s, and community welfare organisations.

Across the world and locally Muslim Hands provides food, shelter, education and emergency relief to thousands of people. MH also provides income generation projects which will not only provide food but also employment and security. These projects include farming tools, olive trees and livestock allowing recipients the opportunity to reach their goals in providing sustainability.

In Somalia last year Muslim Hands distributed vital food for the desperately hungry in Haidon District in Mogadishu. In Sri Lanka Muslim Hands South Africa provided a fully furnished IT lab to students in Madurankuli to enhance educational needs of the under privileged children.

A mother of a student expressed her appreciation in the following.

“Computer education is provided at learning institutes only when students complete their grade 10. Alhamdulillah our children are really fortunate to receive this education thanks to Muslim Hands South Africa”

Supporting and investing in small scale agriculture lies at the heart of MH. We aim to increase the productivity of subsistence to farmers who will be able to provide food for their families as well as create employment these farmers also share their productions with other farmers to extend and help more people in the needy community. Muslim Hands provides farming tools and livestock which will go a long way in helping the needy increase sustainability and create prosperity for themselves and their families.

Locally Muslim Hands runs projects providing relief to hundreds of people, from Education providing computer laptops and schools kits for children to feeding schemes across Cape Town.

Feeding has always been a priority at MH not by choice but what is needed or asked for. In certain areas in the Western Cape education is a luxury and food is a necessity.  I have had first-hand experience witnessing the hundreds of needy and destitute individuals in areas such as Mitchellsplain, BlikkiesDorp, Valhalla Park and Delft who have little or nothing to eat let alone basic needs to sustain themselves. When we are in these areas we are greeted with such warmth.  When they receive a warm plate of food they are extremely thankful which reflects on their faces, in their smiles and in their eyes.

Helping the poor and needy begins with you. We work as an extended hand of your in helping you achieve your goal. So how do we create sustainability for those in need? By creating prosperity and stability in their lives.  There are a few steps that we could take to make their lives easier.

  1. Raising awareness about poverty and its causes with the aim of combating it.
  2. To help the needy in their intangible needs by providing them with measurable tools which will enable them to create sustainability for themselves.
  3. Establishing a social welfare system which will guarantee basic needs as well as create socio-economic infrastructure for income generation.

 

You can also make a difference in alleviating poverty and creating Sustainability, which will make the lives of those easier who are less fortunate. Sympathies are not enough action is needed.

 

Call Muslim Hands today on: 021 6336413 (CT) or visit: muslimhands.org.za      facebook:muslimhandsSA     Twitter: muslimhandsSA