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On the evening of 03 March 2020 approximately 22 shacks burnt down at the Silvertown, Setswetla informal settlement in Alexandra. Through the mercy of Allah Ta’ala of the 50 individuals, there were no fatalities, however one male aged 34 had to be taken to the Alexandra clinic with minor injuries.
The Marlboro Women’s Forum were quick to respond to the call for assistance from Disaster Management Logistics and provided food items such as mielie meal, rice, tin fish, bread, juice and milk.
The manager of Disaster Management, Mr Sepheu Nkoele expressed his gratitude for their humanitarian response relief measures that contributed to alleviate the suffering of the 18 families affected by the tragic event.
For more information contact Hasina Bhana on 072 363 9571

Halimah Tlalane Sebusi – Humanitarian and Propagator of Deen

To find an individual like mama Halimah, who at 69 years old, is making a positive change in the lives of the elderly and young alike, brings warmth to the soul and makes one question how much we are actually doing for society’s most vulnerable.

For mama Halimah, the day starts early. She rises at 2.52am to pray Tahajjud (optional prayer), then engages in zikr (remembrance of Allah) and waits for Fajr (pre-dawn prayer). She then heads to the kitchen and starts her cooking for the school children and pensioners she feeds daily. Her food preparation is done at night and in the morning her niece, Maryam, comes to help her. The pensioners and children from surrounding schools arrive at her home from around 1pm. It’s an opportunity for them to socialise and share a meal together. On Saturdays she takes food to Realogile High School to feed the matriculants who attend extra classes. She also bakes cakes for resale to sustain her feeding scheme and accepts donations of food items only.


In 1982, the Catholic born lady found herself relocating from Alexandra to Mogwase in the North West Province, to work as a data-capturer for African Explosives and Chemical Industries (AECI). Little did she realise the impact this decision was to make on her life.

She constantly had questions for her priest, who couldn’t always answer them and knew the answers could be found. She recalls with a smile, “Father Mckay once asked me why I don’t come to confession? I asked him why I should tell him my sins. ‘Why should I confess to you when God is all around us? Can’t I go to a corner and tell him what I did?’” And thus began her voyage of discovery.

It was in October 1990 that she declared her shahada (profession of faith). She went to the Mosque Plaza in Rustenburg, it was still early and all the shops were closed, except for Dawood’s Haberdashery and Material. She went in without knowing what she was looking for. A lady came up to her and asked if she could help. When Halimah expressed her desire to learn about Islam, “The lady’s face changed,” she says. “She was shocked and wasn’t expecting me to say that, I thought I had said something very wrong. She told me to wait there and walked away. Her husband came to ask how he can help, I gave him the same response and he too was shocked. I thought that I’d definitely done something wrong. The man left then returned and told me to come with him. At this point I was not scared, and got into this stranger’s car without question.”

 

They drove to the house of the late Moulana Mumtaz ul Haqq in Zinniaville. After a lengthy discussion and Moulana explaining the beliefs of a Muslim person, she asked how she could become Muslim. He said all you need to do is say Laa ilaha ilallah Muhammedur Rasool Allah and explained the meaning in English. She recited her shahada (profession of faith) and relays that “it felt like she had been sleeping the whole time [and now she was awake].”

She wrote to Sheikh Ahmed Deedat who sent her a pack of literature and she’s been conducting dawah (inviting to Islam) ever since. She laughs about writing her resignation letter to the church. She told the priest about the religion she found and hoped they would turn to the truth.

 

 “Islam made me feel protected, I have a family now. Islam makes me feel so safe.”

Her favourite surah (chapter) in the Holy Quran is Surah Yaaseen, specifically verse 36 in which Allah says, “Exalted is He who created all pairs – from what the earth grows and from themselves and from that which they do not know.” She says that for her this proves that the Quran, this word of God that moves and overwhelms her at times, comes from Allah.

Halimah may be old but her goals are still bold. She would like to use Alex FM to preach and call those in need to her feeding scheme. One of her wishes is to play recordings from her role model, Mufti Menk, to the people of Alexandra. She also has plans to open up a Geriatric Day Care Centre for pensioners living in and around Alexandra, who need a place of distraction whilst their loved ones are at work. “It’s only for Allah, not personal gain, Allah sees everything, so don’t be tempted to enrich yourselves.”

 

When I asked her what she is most grateful for right now, her reply was, “My relationship with the Adamjee Foundation and their help in paving my way to Jannah (heaven). I can’t thank Allah enough for making me a Muslim.”

Halimah encourages people to use platforms such as Proudly Muslims. “I need to share my story and you have given me a voice,” she says.

Halimah is an inspiration to all, her parting words of advice were “Laa ilaha illallah…..make sure Allah knows he is the only one, there is nothing besides him that I think of. My mind is only Islam. When I die I don’t want people to praise me, just remember me as I am.” 

For more information or to donate food items, contact Halimah Sebusi on 063 932 0557.

 

The Helpers Visit the Weiners Old Age Home in Alexandra

The aged in our society are often overlooked and their valuable contributions have been long forgotten. A group of Muslimahs called ‘The Helpers‘ aim to keep the spirit of the elderly aflame by visiting old age homes (and other locations), offering their services and time wherever needed.

On 2 November 2017, The Helpers, who are from the greater Sandton area, paid a visit to Weiners Old Age Home in Alexandra, Johannesburg, where they sought out to uplift these senior citizens and spread a message of love, compassion and remembrance. The ladies held a tea party for the +100 occupants, and provided delicious snacks and drinks.

The Helpers find that it’s beneficial for Muslims to go out and assist the underprivileged, not only as a way to illustrate the beauty and kindness Islam propagates, but also to bring communities together. People from different cultures and backgrounds can bond over a cup of tea, share interesting life stories and learn about each other’s customs and traditions. Our older citizens have a wealth of knowledge to share and it’s important for us to try and assimilate as much of it as we can.

Sheikh Salama also accompanied The Helpers to the home, where he extended an invitation to Islam and assisted all those interested in reverting. Inspired by his phenomenal words, a few of the caretakers and elderly residents decided to accept Islam at the end of the visit.

A little love, time and affection goes a long way. Boosting the morale of our retirees and allowing them to feel like they’re still an important part of our communities is a gift of incalculable worth. 

For more information about The Helpers and Dawah Forum, please contact Hafiz Fareed on 083 564 7929 or email hfzfrd@gmail.com

Alex Hospice Centre Receives 10 New Wheelchairs

Mobility isn’t as effortless for the aged and frail as it may be for most of us. While we’re able to make full use of our limbs to carry out even the simplest of daily tasks, the less fortunate don’t have access to such ambulatory services.

Ashraful Uloom in Marlboro, Johannesburg, teamed up with various other Muslim organisations in the area to collect funds and sponsor wheelchairs to those in need. The Alex Hospice and Rehab Centre were thankful beneficiaries of 10 new wheelchairs this October.

Patients at the centre who were in need of wheelchairs

Many of the patients admitted to the centre require the assistance of a wheelchair to move around, therefore this generous donation couldn’t have come sooner. Additional wheelchairs that are not currently needed will be stored away, ready for use when any new patients are admitted.

This was the first wheelchair sponsorship that Ashraful Uloom have been involved in, and they hope that it will only be the beginning of many more charitable collaborations.

Wheelchairs and gift bags that were donated

The patients were also recipients of gift bags that comprised of essential toiletries and a blanket. The ailing residents at the centre were overjoyed at acquiring such thoughtful gifts.

 

Angel in disguise, Grace Marutlulle founded the hospice

The centre, founded by the compassionate Grace Marutlulle in 2003, provides love, comfort and care for terminally-ill patients. Grace wanted to offer a safe and nurturing space for patients whose families were unable to take care of them anymore. Staff offer around-the-clock nursing care, accommodation, administrative services as well as nutritious meals for indisposed occupants. Alex Hospice and Rehab Centre is run only on donations received from good Samaritans. They have a full staff complement and volunteers are encouraged to help wherever possible.

Other local communities involved in this sponsorship include:

Wendywood Muslim Jamaat, Sandton Islamic Association, Sunninghill Islamic Jamaat, Linbro Park Islamic Association, Buccleuch Musjid Al Khaleel, Kelvin Residents Association and the Masjid and Imams National Advisory Council of South Africa (MINACSA).

For more information on how you can help the Alex Hospice and Rehab Centre, contact Grace Marutlulle on 011 443 3525.

 

Alex Hospice and Rehab Centre’s banking details:

Standard Bank MarketLink

Account number: 678403945

Branch: Balfour Park

 

QIA Grocery Drive aids ‘Alexandra Floods’ victims

Rain storms in the city of Johannesburg can be very temperamental, often causing flooding that effects disadvantaged communities.

The township of Alexandra is one such community which repeatedly suffers the devastating consequences of heavy rains. During the torrential downpour of November 2016, this district was severely afflicted, resulting in a major loss of possessions and destroyed homes.

Collection of groceries for Alexandra flood victims

The faculty and students of Qurtuba Islamic Academy (QIA ) in Linbro Park (Sandton) timeously organised a grocery drive to assist those affected by the floods. Learners collected various essential groceries and helped to pack the hampers. Among the packages, students donated canned foods, long-life milk, teabags, coffee, sugar, rice, maize meal and toilet paper.

These hampers were then distributed to flood victims and their families. Losing almost everything they own in a flood situation, the victims were extremely grateful for the generous donation by QIA. It was a small but vital aid to recovery of their greater losses. The groceries were a considerable help in providing them with sustenance until they were able to pick up the pieces and formulate a more stable recovery plan.

Groceries were collected by students and packed into hampers

This grocery drive to assist flood victims taught the QIA learners that we as a community should be aware of situations around us and we should always try to provide aid to those in need.

For more information about the academy and their initiatives, please call the Qurtuba Islamic Academy on 011 608 0527 or email info@qurtuba.co.za

Nanima Foundation donates 100 Ramadaan hampers

The Nanima Foundation commiserates with those less fortunate during Ramadaan, the holy month of fasting, fully acknowledging the state of uncertainly some South Africans endure when it comes to daily necessities like food and other groceries.

An assortment of essential groceries were packed into the hampers

The foundation collected and compiled Ramadaan hampers and Eid gifts for those in need. 100 Hampers, valued at R350 each, were sponsored and packed with a 2-week supply of essential food and grocery items. These hampers were distributed to the elderly and widowed residents in Marlboro and the surrounding Johannesburg townships: 

  • 30 in Tembisa
  • 18 in Kliptown, Soweto.
  • 50 in Marlboro and Alexandra

Grocery hampers being packed at Ashraful Uloom, Marlboro

The total amount collected for this grocery drive was R40 000. The foundation teamed up with Ashraful Uloom in Marlboro for 2 days, using their premises as a base to package and deliver the hampers. Eid gifts (in the form of cash) were also given to Imaams in the aforementioned townships as a thankful contribution for all their hard work and dedication.

Happy and grateful recipients of the Ramadan hampers

The Nanima Foundation shed a hopeful light on so many desperate families, truly embracing the compassion and kindness affiliated with Ramadaan.

For more information, please contact The Nanima Foundation on 073 984 7860 or email nanima@nanima.co.za

*All photographs are the property of Ask Nanima, used via www.facebook.com/AskNanima

The QIA Blanket Drive spreads warmth to Realogile High School

As winter lays its icy grip across South Africa, most of us have the luxury of spending hours in front of a heater or under layers of warm, cosy blankets. Not everyone has this comfort when the cold settles in, which is what inspired the QIA (Qurtuba Islamic Academy) Winter Warmth Blanket Drive. Students from this altruistic school in Linbro Park, Johannesburg collected funds last winter in aid of purchasing blankets.

The school wanted to distribute the blankets to the students of Realogile High School which is situated in the neighbouring township, Alexandra. Their aim was to spread warmth and kindness among needy children during the colder season.

Blankets packed and ready to go!

A total of R10 500 was raised which enables QIA to buy 150 blankets. Members of the Outreach Committee lent their time to collecting the funds and packing the blankets. While fundraising is a noble cause in itself, the QIA faculty found that most life lessons are better taught in practice which is why they took their students along to Realogile High School, where they could personally distribute the blankets.

QIA students handing over blankets to learners from Realogile High School

This visit was an eye-opening experience for the QIA learners because they got to witness the conditions in which other less-fortunate children their age live in. As Muslims, it is our duty to care for our neighbours, and this wisdom was imparted upon the Qurtuba Islamic Academy students during this blanket drive.


The Realogile High students were overjoyed when they received the blankets because their winter promised to be a little warmer, thanks to their friends from Qurtuba Islamic Academy.
For more information about the academy and their initiatives, please call the Qurtuba Islamic Academy on 011 608 0527 or email info@qurtuba.co.za

Alexandra Disaster Relief Hampers – The Northern suburbs band together

Nature can be very unpredictable, and Alexandra, a township in Johannesburg has fallen victim to its forces on many occasions. In the past, residents were faced with damaging floods and devastating fires which displaced many, destroying homes and livelihood.

Muslim communities from the Northern suburbs decided it was time to be proactive and have joined forces to create the Alexandra Disaster Relief Initiative. It began with the foresight of the communities of Kelvin, Ashraful Uloom (Marlboro) and Johannesburg Emergency Services, who had pre-packed hampers to be used in the event of an emergency. The relief packs were sourced, packed and stored by members of the Kelvin community.

Basic essentials were collected for emergency purposes

The pilot project initially took flight on 12 April 2017 when a tragic fire in the township left 19 families destitute. Due to the hampers being packed and on stand-by a few months before, the victims were provided with basic essentials without delay. Pre-packing the hampers allows for better response times, more effective assistance and organisation in times of adversity.

Hampers packed and ready to go!

The success of the first project prompted another collection which was organised on 3 June 2017. Volunteers from the Northern suburbs spent their Saturday packing boxes of indispensable wares, most of which may seem like a daily grocery run to some, but is in fact a lifeline to those in need. These compassionate citizens pooled their resources together and collected various non-perishable groceries and essential commodities which could be used in a state of an emergency. 150 hampers, valued at R15 000 in total, were assembled and sealed, ready to be used when calamity strikes again.

Community members, young and old helped to pack the hampers

The remarkable response and generosity of these individuals is highly commended. Not only did they donate all the goods for the relief hampers, they also supplied their time and effort to compiling the boxes.

These hampers came in handy once again, when another fire broke out in Alexandra on 10 June 2017, where two homes were sadly burnt to the ground, affecting nine people. The Ashraful Uloom team swiftly responded to the disaster on behalf of the Northern suburb organisations and masjids.

Left: A resident receiving his relief hamper. Right: Effects of the devastating fire.

The Alexandra Disaster Relief Initiative aims to bring about social change in communities, creating awareness of the plight of the less fortunate who dwell in this area. This initiative brings the communities from the different suburbs and groups together for a common purpose; assisting humanity. It inspired the spirit of ‘Ubuntu’ among all and gives those left destitute a sense of hope that there are communities out there who care and are always willing to help.

The communities involved include: Athol Muslim Jamaat, Sandton Islamic Association, Kelvin Residents Association, Wendywood Muslim Jamaat, Ashraful Uloom – Marlboro, Buccleuch Masjid, Marlboro Masjid, Sunninghill Muslim Association, and Linbro Park Islamic Association.

For more information about this initiative, please email Moulana Riaz Moosa on riaz.moosa@madressah.org.za 

 

Alexandra Matriculants Benefit from Gold Leaf Tobacco Internship

First-time job seekers were given an exciting opportunity to experience the ins and outs of the working world, in a new internship program initiated by Gold Leaf Tobacco Corporation (GLTC).

Bright, young matriculants from Alexandra, Johannesburg began their 6-month internship in March 2017, and will continue to gain valuable work experience until August this year. The program aims to develop and mentor these young individuals in the technical field, with the possibility of permanent employment at the end of the internship.

A total of 14 industrious and eager interns, who had no or little work experience, were selected to participate and were placed in different operational sections of the business. This allows them to learn valuable knowledge and understand the production process, as well as acquire useful and practical on-the-job work skills that will assist them in attaining permanent positions once their internship is over. The interns can channel their interests into an exciting role, all the way from a machine operator to a skilled technician, operator or quality control officer.

Senior technicians and operators are dedicated to carefully train and supervise the interns, facilitating them with competencies, skills and practical work experience within the factory. Their progress is monitored by classroom assessments and a practical on-the-job evaluation. The interns receive a stipend salary as well as overtime.

It’s always remarkable to see young school graduates attain opportunities such as this one, where they are given a chance to experience and train in fields they would otherwise have never been exposed to. It also provides them with the toolset to advance themselves as they continue into other aspects of adulthood and employment.

For more information about this program, please call the Gold Leaf Tobacco Corporation on 011 574 3600.

Adamjee Foundation Opens New Realogile High School Library

“A book is a gift you can open again and again.” Garrison Keillor

These words could not be truer for the students at Realogile High School in Alexandra, Johannesburg. These enthusiastic learners were given the gift of literature by the Adamjee Foundation on 14 February 2017, with the official opening of their new school library. The renovation, valued at approximately R250 000, will contribute greatly to the academic development of the school.

The donors were welcomed by enthusiastic song and dance of the students

The foundation of this invaluable project was laid out in 2015, and launched last month with a joyous celebration held by the scholars and faculty members. The generous patrons were graciously welcomed by the students, who treated them to a harmonious display of song and dance. Principal Edward Magasane expressed his gratitude to the Adamjee Foundation for their continuous support to the school over the years, and hoped for future collaborations in enriching the lives of Realogile High’s students.

Newly appointed library manager, Hazel Mammeshi was equally ecstatic and grateful for her position, knowing how much this reading centre would benefit the students and become an educational aid for the teachers. Hazel is remunerated each month by the Adamjee Foundation for her efforts as the school’s librarian. The library was also outfitted with laptops and internet access to connect the students to the world wide web.

Representatives of the Adamjee Foundation, Muneer and Huzaifah Adamjee were touched by the positive impact their gesture had made, and conveyed their appreciation to the school for allowing them the opportunity to get involved. It is with this mind-set that community bonds are built and young minds nourished.

Sahair Banu Ismail Adamjee cuts the red ribbon to mark the ceremonious occasion.

 

The official opening of the library was marked by a traditional ribbon-cutting ceremony, proudly conducted by Sahair Banu Ismail Adamjee, a senior member of the Adamjee Foundation.

 

Gold plaque commemorating the library opening

The entrance of Realogile Library bears a shiny gold plaque in the name of the donors and their beneficiaries, the children of Alexandra. Children who, year after year will have the good fortune of going to this library, opening up a book and expanding their horizons. A reader today, a leader tomorrow.

For more information about this project or to get involved, please call the Adamjee Foundation on 011 021 9051.