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Al Ihya Foundation – Iftar Hotmeals on Wheels Ramadhaan Distribution

Al Ihya Foundation is a registered Non Profit Organisation as well as a Public Benefit Organisation with over 21 years of experience in Services and Humanitarian Relief Assistance both local and internationally.
With the arrival of Ramadhaan comes a project that brings warmth and comfort not only to the hungry bellies it feeds, but to the souls of those contributing to such a worthy cause. The Iftar Hotmeals on Wheels Distribution Project aims to feed 50 000 Iftar Hotmeals this Ramadhaan.
The Al Ihya team have done four Iftaar hotmeal distributions thus far, providing almost 3000 meals.

Each meal costs R30
10 Iftar hotmeals R300
50 Iftar hotmeals R1500
100 Iftar hotmeals R3000
1000 Iftar Hotmeals R30 000

The Al Ihya Foundation wishes to thank all those who donated generously to this worthy cause.

For more information contact Sister Nazarene 083 653 5669 or email ihyauloomuddeen@webmail.co.za

Madressah Ihya Uloom ud Deen
Absa
Account no:4072219988
Branch code: 632005
Ref: iftarhotmeal

Penny Appeal increase feeding efforts in Ramadhaan

For most, the month of Ramadhaan is a time of brotherhood, unity and sacrifice. It is a time of equality before Allah as we all, rich and poor alike, fast for the same purpose, to attain closeness to our Maker and for spiritual reform.
For the selfless heroes at pennyappealsa, Ramadhaan is a time to increase their efforts to eradicate hunger and poverty. Apart from the hot meals or food packs provided to fasting and non-fasting families, they continue with an array of projects aimed at alleviating the suffering of those less fortunate. These projects are run both in and out of ramadhaan and include the Thirst Relief Campaign, the Mobile Medical bus and various others.
One such campaign is the Feed our World Project which provides vulnerable families with vital sources of nutrition in various forms. The team recently visited Molweni in Kwa-Zulu Natal and provided food hampers and maizemeal that will sustain each household for roughly two months. This is but one example of the efforts being made by the team to fight hunger in South Africa and though the lockdown has shone a spotlight on the hunger facing this country, the team will continue to fight this struggle long after too.
For more information on the various projects and how you can help contact 081 407 2753 or

Donate
www.pennyappeal.org.za/donate

Or eft
Penny Appeal South Africa
First National Bank
Account: 627 347 92931
Ref: ss+contact number

Penny Appeal South Africa
Zakat Account
First National Bank
Account: 627 347 92478
Ref: ss+contact number

Muslim Association of South Africa caring for the needy during COVID-19

When COVID-19 hit our shores and our brave leader made the decision to enforce a nation-wide lockdown, teams of brave, selfless heroes hit the ground running in efforts to help their fellow South Africans. The Muslim Association of South Africa is a group of strong, determined individuals who hit the ground with incredible velocity in their attempt to flatten the curve and provide relief to those in need, quickly and efficiently.
These tactical titans work closely with local leaders and law enforcement in order to provide basic essentials, food hampers and PPE kits where they are needed most.
The team spent their morning working with coordinators in Riverlea at the Zampilo Informal settlement providing food hampers to those in desperate need and they have plans to increase their efforts to continue feeding South Africa’s vulnerable. All this is made possible with your generous donations so please support them today.
For more information on how you can donate or assist contact Mohammed Ameen Dabhelia on 074 772 3333 or visit their website muslim.org.za

Single Mums Initiative Raise Funds to Aid During COVID-19

Parenting these days is no easy task and the challenges become enormous when one parent has to do it alone. In a time when the traditional family model is slowly slipping away, the ladies at The Single Mums Initiative have made it their mission to help single mothers, who due to their circumstances, have to take on the role of mother and father.
The Single Mums Initiative is a non-profit organisation that was established by Nazeefa Sibda in November 2018. The aim of the organisation is to develop single mothers so that they may become self-sufficient and strong-minded individuals. Their vision is to encourage, empower and elevate the status of single mothers so that they are recognised and valued within society. They achieve this by offering single mums assistance in the form they require, whether it be financial, emotional or legal.


Since inception, the @singlemumsinitiative has provided support to countless single mums and has also hosted empowerment workshops, fun days and outings for single mums and their kids. With the current COVID crisis, SMI are currently raising funds to aid single mothers experiencing financial difficulties by providing them with hampers and bridging the rent shortfall gap. They have also teamed up with 5 motivational speakers and started 5 WhatsApp groups as a safe space for their single mums to join in and obtain the emotional support they require.
For more information on how you can help this wonderful initiative contact Nazeefa Sibda 084 220 5958

Imraan Choonara – CEO of Africa Muslims Agency, Businessman, Philanthropist, Motivational Speaker and Personal Excellence Mentor

Africa Muslims Agency (AMA) is a Non-government Organisation started by Kuwaiti physician Abd Al Rahman Hammud Sumayt in 1981. The organisation began operations in Malawi in 1981 and the South African office was established by late Mohamed Farid Choonara in 1987. His son Imraan Choonara has been involved with the organisation ever since 2011.

Imraan was a naughty but responsible child. Today he is grateful for his dad who was the driving force that moulded him into the man he is today. He describes his father as being very deliberate; an activist, a hard worker and humanitarian who always wanted to serve people.

At a time in our country’s dark past, when it was illegal to be in Soweto, he accompanied his father on some nights as he went to teach people how to read and write, and Imraan spent time playing with the children. As a teenager, while he longed to enjoy the holidays with his friends, his father sent him to foreign countries, like Sudan and Egypt to experience various cultures and learn how to budget during his stay. At 16, when he rebelliously ran away from home, his father did not change his stance on the rules of the house and told him he was welcome to come home or stay out. His cold, disturbed night under a bridge in Johannesburg quickly encouraged him to return to the comforts of his home.

“We should always remember, that everything people credit us for, is not solely of our own doing,” he says, “we can’t take credit for everything. In my case my dad was a major influence in my life, which as a child I didn’t understand, yet as an adult I see that the morals and values he ingrained in me through these experiences have shaped me.”

Upon completing his studies in Dental Technology in 1995, he received an award as the student that displayed the most leadership potential. A lecturer in his final year altered the course of his career with a statement he made to the class: “If I had to live my life over again, I would start my own business…you probably don’t own much right now, so you have nothing to lose. You have your whole life ahead of you to recover from any mistakes you make now.” This one statement set Imraan on a path of discovery.

His initial plan was to move to Canada after graduation, however his father requested him not to leave the country, so he opted for Cape Town. That’s where he started his first business in the guesthouse industry. Six months after procuring the guesthouse, he married and the young couple ran the guesthouse together. Imraan then decided to branch out into property development, retail, speaking and mentorship, which he soon discovered was his forte.

 

 

After achieving significant financial success throughout his 20’s, he endured incredible financial challenges in his early 30’s. According to him, this is the best thing that could have happened. At that point he took the time to introspect, seek mentorship, learn who he was and became stronger and wiser as a result.

In August 1997 Imraan started a business with incredible partners, identifying and developing entrepreneurs, which continues to this day. He later joined AMA In April 2011 and was appointed to lead the organisation.

One of the most fulfilling moments of his humanitarian efforts was when AMA took kids from Syrian refugee camps in Lebanon to shop for Eid clothing. A mother thanked him profusely for taking care of her child. He felt so humbled, thinking: “I am nothing, I am only the conduit and yet she was so thankful to me.”

Imraan’s passions span a diverse spectrum including working with vulnerable societies, developing parenting workshops, empowering humanity, leadership and business development. He has two daughters and a son and this drives his passion for good wholesome parenting. His daughters play a pivotal role in his desire to openly develop strong, independent women.

Youth uncapped is a programme developed by AMA to teach teenagers intangible values that are aimed to break the cycle of rape, abuse, disrespect and dishonour so prevalent in our society. This programme has been running in Cape Town for a few years and strives to include youth of every race, faith and gender. He believes that these values if taught from a young age will develop emotionally mature adults who respect each other regardless of differences.

 

 

His most recent empowerment venture is called “Deliberate dads”, which he started with Mohammed Cassim, more commonly known by his Instagram name as Moetivation. The two met at the Men of Valour award ceremony where they were both recipients, and discovered that they had a few things in common. They are both very passionately involved fathers and share a common desire to strongly encourage dads to be involved in the development of their children, even in situations of separation or divorce. During his divorce, a mentor encouraged him to be kind in the process so that Allah will be kind to him and this he says, has proven to be so true.

As a highly energetic individual, a typical day includes prayer, physical activity, meetings, conference calls, humanitarian activities, reciting Quran and very importantly, being a dad. No two days are the same and therefore Imraan has to be very intentional about his personal discipline which includes learning and development.

He is a strong believer in affirmations and some of them include:

  • “I have the capacity to accept criticism without resentment.”
  • “I have faith, courage and enthusiasm, people are attracted to me because of my warm positive nature.”
  • “I have unbounded energy.”

The Quran has emphasized learning and thinking with the phrases: “for those who ponder” and “for those who think”. Imraan believes that if you are a lifelong learner, you don’t need to fear the future. He says he learnt work ethic at the dental laboratory in his young adult years. His mentor taught him, that everything must be done with excellence even If you are sweeping the floor or making a cup of coffee. The way one does one thing is the way they will do everything in their lives. If one is sloppy in one area they will be sloppy in other areas.

 

Imraan’s favourite Quranic verses are:

  • “…and whoever is careful of his duty to Allah, He will make for him an outlet.” (Surah 65, verse 2)
  • “And give him sustenance from whence he thinks not, and whoever trusts in Allah, He is sufficient for him.” (Surah 65, verse 3).

When you pray, speak to Allah directly at any time, and in any place. He is saying that he will give sustenance from places our human brain can’t imagine, so don’t lose hope in Allah. He believes that being a haafidh (memoriser) of the Quran has given him the mind-set to achieve. “If you can accomplish that you can achieve anything.”

His definition of success is happiness. Happiness is not jumping for joy, but rather a feeling within; a contentment. Even during tough situations a person can be joyful. When one believes that Allah is working in your favour even in difficult situations, there is an awareness that therein lies a message, or a lesson that needs to be learnt.

When asked about his goals for the future, Imraan responded with, “To live until I die, if I live until I die, I will pursue my passion until I die.” We all need to have business goals, family goals etc. but that’s not the ultimate goal. His ultimate goal is to leave a legacy, one of integrity and good character.

“Go from having a thin skin and hard heart to having a thick skin and a soft heart.” That is his advice to others doing humanitarian work. Imraan is grateful for his way of thinking because he believes that it affects everything he does in life. He says: “If you have a problem with every area of your life, then you are the problem, so develop yourself because as you develop yourself every area of your life will be impacted positively.”

“We need to constantly share stories of people who are proudly Muslim making a difference in this world.” The narrative must be that we are human beings and we all make mistakes, we are part of a perfect religion, but we are not perfect. By showcasing our identity, our struggles and achievements, it shows how we are using Islam as our guide to living a balanced life and a life of service to humanity.

His biggest life lesson is that humility will serve you far greater than arrogance ever will.

He begs Allah every day to allow him to recite the kalimah (testify) in his final moments. His parting advices are: “Don’t get emotionally connected to the weaknesses of others, you can lose years of your life that way. Live until you die, if you have breath left in you, your job is not done yet.”

When asked about how he would like society to remember him, his reply was simply, “as a man of integrity and humility”.

 

 

 

 

 

Salaam Foundation reach out to doctors and other essential workers to provide better quality FFP masks

It is truly heartwarming to see organisations and individuals coming together to fight our silent nemesis that is COVID-19.
One such organisation taking strides in the fight to “flatten the curve” is @salaam_foundation.
They have taken on the task of providing better quality FFP2 or NAS medical masks for doctors and other essential workers, including organisations such as @ashrafulaid.
@ashrafulaid have taken on the monumental task of sterilizing ambulances and other emergency vehicles in the Johannesburg area.


@salaam_foundation started their campaign to collect funds for masks following a need as prices spiraled due to national and international demands for them.
@salaam_foundation spokesperson @azharvadi says “the masks are a scarce commodity right now and we’ve managed to purchase these through the donations of people and through doctors who have donated and also taken some of the masks for their rapidly depleting stocks.”


Your donations allow @salaam_foundation to support organisations like @ashrafulaid and others, with their PPF needs. This in turn allows these selfless heroes to continue the work better equipped and protected.

To donate:
Salaam Foundation
FNB Account Number 62669147665
Branch Code 250 737
REF: COVID19+NAME

For more information please contact Fatima@salaamedia.com

Marlboro Women’s Forum respond to shack fire victims

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

Penny Appeal One Day In The Haram Screening Fundraiser

@pennyappealsa had their screening of “One Day in the Haram” in Johannesburg yesterday afternoon.
The nationwide screenings aim to raise funds for two worthy @pennyappealsa projects, the one being operational costs for the mobile medical bus. The medical bus is split into three areas, primary, optometry and dentistry. This amazing clinic on wheels travels to rural areas in the Cape providing much needed healthcare to school going children from underprivileged areas with no access to such facilities. In one visit a child can get fillings in their teeth and spectacles should they require. The other project funds are being raised for, is the expansion of the Image Radiology and Neonatal Units of the Al Makassed Hospital in Jerusalem.
The docomentary provided rare footage of the inner workings of the Haram In Makkah, that houses the Majestic Kaaba.
Well done to @pennyappealsa for bringing this highly insightful movie to our local screens and raising much needed funds for these two worthy causes.

Marlboro Women’s Forum Annual Bake Sale

“When women come together with a collective intention, magic happens.”

This quote by Phylicia Rashad is not only an incredibly powerful statement, it also pays homage to the countless women out there making a difference, in their own special way, every single day.
One such group of incredible women are the Marlboro Women’s Forum.
The MWF is an NGO that has been operational for over 20 years.
Amongst their ongoing projects are their feeding scheme, weekly sandwich delivery to the Alexandra clinic, assisting victims of abuse and working together with disaster management to assist fire and flood victims.


The MWF work closely with other organisations in the North, such as Baitun Khair, The Two Lights Foundation and The South African National Women’s Forum, with their projects as well.
I spent a delightful Saturday morning with this group of energetic and remarkable women at their Bake sale for Syria. The ladies managed to raise R 30 000 which will be used to build shelters for the Syrian refugees.
Well done to all the ladies at MWF, may Allah reward you abundantly for the good work you are doing both locally and abroad.
For more information contact Hasina Bhana 072 363 9571

Taariq Uwais Malinga: Nasheed Artist, Motivational Speaker and part-time ITV presenter

Dedicated to the late Gogo Sophie Mokwena. May this profile bring honour to your memory for the impact you have made on Taariq’s life and may you live on through all his accomplishments.

“Growing up was tough. I’ve lived in different orphanages, been alone, living on the street and eating out of bins. Allah guided me to become a Hafiz-ul-Quran and amongst the top African Nasheed artists.”

These struggles shaped Taariq into the man he has become. At 33, he has a new album on its way, as well as a new show on ITV called The Nasheed Show, which is currently in production. He is a proud father to 11 month old Mizaan and 8 year old Jamal, and is one of the humblest souls one will encounter.

Taariq was born Thando Mokwena, he shared his mother’s womb with his twin sister Thandeka who sadly passed away at the age of four. Sophie Mokwena, the woman Taariq fondly calls Gogo (grandmother), was a stranger to him. A stranger who ran the day care his mum abandoned him to at four years old, along with his twin, Thandeka, and younger sister Aaliya. Taariq was not aware that Gogo was not his biological grandmother until she told him so at the age of 11. She cared for them as any grandmother would; fed them, housed them, clothed them, made sure they went to school and gave them the occasional smack to keep them in line.

When Taariq was six years old, a woman approached Sophie and asked to adopt Taariq in order to give him a better life. Sophie agreed, but soon Taariq realised that the real reason she had adopted him was to take care of her cows. He faced ill-treatment that eventually drove him to run away. Afraid to go back to his Gogo because he felt that she might get angry, he lived on the streets for approximately two years. He met a group of street boys, all from abusive backgrounds, and befriending them made life on the street more bearable. This band of brothers looked out for each other; they scrounged for food and found shelter together at nightfall. Their company made him feel less alone and made living in the streets tolerable. After a while, street life grew harder and he found his way back to Gogo, who was shocked to find out what had transpired.

Life as a pre-teen is challenging, and just like other teenagers Tariq was unsure of who he was. At 12 years old he had a void in his life and questions that needed to be answered. He wanted to know what he did to cause his mother to abandon him. At school his friends would say “mummy bought me this” or “mummy did that” and he had a longing for this motherly connection. He begged his Gogo to allow him go to Johannesburg to find his mother, and after two weeks of relentless badgering she finally agreed. All he possessed was a letter his mother once wrote with an address he wasn’t even sure she stayed at anymore, but he knew he had to try.

Gogo allowed him to go to Johannesburg accompanied by a neighbour from their area. She dropped him off in Eldorado Park, the place of his mother’s last whereabouts. Taariq searched all day for Cecil Daniels Street, but couldn’t find it. He located a place to sleep for the night, and when he woke up the next day he decided to try again. He asked people to direct him towards Cecil Daniels Street and eventually managed to find his way there. Tariq was filled with excitement as he stood outside the house in the picture his mother had enclosed in the letter. To his dismay, the woman who answered was not her. He showed her the picture and thankfully the woman recognised her. She told him that his mother didn’t go by the name he had mentioned, that her name was now Zaakira; she had converted to Islam.

Amazed by his story, the woman took it upon herself to help Taariq. The woman took him to the Green Mosque on Keurboom street, where she relayed his story to the Moulana of the mosque who then he offered to take him to Zaakira.  A short while later they found themselves outside a house in Bushkoppies.

“Zaakira, we came to visit and I’ve brought you a gift,” Moulana announced at the door. Taariq was full of excitement and recalls how he smiled from ear to ear. Upon opening the door, the Moulana asked his mother, “Do you know who this is? He says his name is Thando and that he is your son.”

His mother began crying and embraced him. Over time, she told him how she had been through so much, but never forgot him and his sisters. She explained why she didn’t come back, but all that mattered to Taariq was that he found her. Taariq gave his mother the tragic news of the death of his twin, shortly after she had left. He discovered that his mum had been blessed with two more beautiful daughters, Faaiza and Leila. Two weeks after his arrival she introduced him to Islam and provided him with Islamic literature in Zulu. One Jumuah morning, he took his shahada, and Thando took on the name, Taariq.

He was enrolled into the local Madressa under the guidance of a Kenyan Moulana, who Taariq says was excellent at making him understand what he was teaching. He would pause lessons for an hour sometimes, and allow his students to express themselves and ask any questions they may have. Within a month he could debate with a non-muslims about Islam. Taariq says he will always make dua (pray) for the man who sharpened his arrows.

Taariq expanded his Islamic studies at Madressa-at-Tawhid, then travelled to Ladysmith to study under Moulana Abdur Razzack, and finally back to Johannesburg under the care of Qari Moosa Seedat at Madressa-Zia-ul-Badr. It was here that he completed his memorization of the Quran with the guidance of his teacher Moulana Abu Bakr.

Taariq loved to sing Zain Bhikha’s nasheeds (vocal Islamic music); his hero at the time. He would perform at madrassah concerts and would sing his favourite nasheed daily for Qari Moosa, “Salaatullah, salaamullah ala Tahaa Rasoolillah…”

Saturdays would start off with the boys sitting in their bunk beds and Taariq singing for everyone. He grew confident and discovered that he had a powerful voice that people wanted to listen to. For Taariq, it was a form of expression and healing.

When he completed his studies, he decided to pursue his dream of being a nasheed artist and rented a studio in Berea. It was there that he wrote “Shukriya Allah” a nasheed giving thanks to Allah for everything he’s been through; he believed that it was all part of Allah’s way. He delivered the CD to CII radio station where it was approved to play on air. He recalls how nervous he was during his first live interview, and is grateful to CII for the major role they played in his career.

Taariq has released 6 albums and has followers in South Africa, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Swaziland and Mozambique. The highlight of his career is being the first African nasheed artist to collaborate with Zain Bhikha.

In 2014 Gogo passed away. The woman who shaped him in his early childhood, left this world before Taariq could tell her of his accomplishments.

Taariq is very grateful for Haroon Osman, his manager until 2016 who helped shape his career. Haroon opened many doors and exposed him to media spaces that he would not have had access to without him. Haroon also accompanied him to orphanages where he’d show children that their dreams are valid, and to bring them hope.

Taariq volunteers and sings for the children at the Maleeha Layla special needs school, and the children love him. He also volunteers at the Sayyida Fatima home in Kliprivier, Foundation of love in the South, Islamic Relief and Al Barakah Children’s Home. He takes part in an annual mass iftaar organised by Yasmeen Akoo at The Image Lifestyle Centre where over 3000 orphan children are fed. Yasmeen has been calling on Taariq since 2014, because he connects with the children who thoroughly enjoy his performances. His message to others involved in community work is not to do it for selfies and recognition. Shape the youth with your words, give them validation. Connect with them and they will realise their dreams are valid.

When he is not recording in studio or booked for shows, Taariq is a motivational speaker in schools and orphanages.

As a product of his background, he feels compelled to do what he can to bring the African community closer to Allah. He wants to change the perception that Islam is only for Indians, Whites or Arabs. He wants to show everyone that you can be a Black Muslim and be proud of who you are. He wants to see people to stand on their own; be able to stand firm and show the beauty of Islam.

He had no one to rely on as he grew up, and so he created a bond with God. He reached a point in his life when he realised that nothing moves without Allah. Knowing Allah is closer to him than his jugular, and knowing that everything that happened to him was from Allah has helped his healing.

Taariq is grateful for life and that Allah has given him more time to rectify the mistakes he’s made. He prays more and makes more time for his children. He is grateful for the people who support and play a role in his life. He is most grateful for the woman he calls the comfort of his heart, Aaliya; his lovely, understanding wife makes him feel complete.

“Long after we are buried society forgets and moves on, all you have are Allah and your good deeds.” His advice to others is simply, “Laa ilaha ilallah*, we are here to serve Allah. Different prophets came for different people, but the message was the same. Live your life and end your life with these same words.”

*The meaning of “laa ilaahah illa allah” is that nothing worshipped is worthy of worship except Allah—it is simultaneously a denial and affirmation. “laa ilaahah” is denial of all worship other than that of Allah. “illa allaah” is affirmation that all worship is for Allah alone without partners.