“Building the Bonds of Brotherhood and Social Cohesion”
“It is not righteousness that ye turn your faces towards East or West; but it is righteousness to believe in Allah and the Last Day, and the Angels, and the Book and the Messengers; to spend of your substance, out of love for Him, for your kin, for orphans, for the needy, for the wayfarer, for those who ask, and for the ransom of slaves; to be steadfast in prayer, and practise regular charity, to fulfil the contracts which we have made; and to be firm and patient, in pain (or suffering) and adversity, and throughout all periods of panic. Such are the people of truth, God fearing” [Al-Qur’an 2:177]
This ayat (Surah Baqarah V 177) clearly puts social welfare as a fundamental tenant of Islamic belief and way of life and emphasizes the importance of aiding the oppressed, and meeting the needs of those less-fortunate as part of worship and imaan. It is as core to our beliefs as Salaah and Imaan is.
“A believer is to another believer what the bricks of a solid (cemented) building structure are to each other, firmly connected together”
In the context of SA’s growing social challenges and in light of the above clear and concise Quranic injunctions and Ahadith, the SIA Social Welfare strives to provide relief that is responsive, compassionate, impactful and sustainable to bring about social change and relieve from anguish and suffering in the society in which it operates.
SIA Social Welfare operates as an extension and function of the broader SIA and conforms to the SIA’s overall ethos and operating principles, as is governed by its broader mandate and constitution.
The following are some of the key principles that SIA Social Welfare adopts in its delivery of its social welfare function:
i) Strictly in compliance with the rules of Shari’ah.
ii) Dawah – principle of dawah and the propagation of Islam is built into its ethos and operating principles.
iii) Collaborative – SIA Social Welfare believes in the underlying principle of seeking collaboration with other Islamic social welfare organization. Such an approach allows the SIA Social Welfare to gain exposure and the necessary organizational experience and therefore allows it to fast track the delivery of its overall social welfare functions. Furthermore, such collaboration helps the SIA create a sense of bonding with the larger communities especially in the North Johannesburg region.
iv) Leveraging – SIA Social Welfare adopts an approach of accessing its own resources within its own “catchment area” – drawing from its immediate community – pool of skills and resources.
v) Prioritizing – the SIA has recognized that it cannot be all things to all people and therefore adopts a prioritization approach to its social welfare program.
The following has been identified as the key priorities for the organization and areas in which the SIA can have the greatest impact:
– Emergency Crises Response Unit
– Hunger Alleviation Efforts
– Masjied Capacity Building – Masjied “Twinning” Programs
– Domestic Violence and Abuse
During the winter of 2017 the SIA Social Welfare distributed more than 1500 blankets. This was done in conjunction with FMO, Ashraf Uloom and other relief organizations.
The decision to collaborate with other organizations as part of broader relief work was considered a huge success as the program was a lot more meaningful and impactful than in previous years. SIA Social Welfare will continue to adopt this approach in future relief programs.