With Eid al-Adha around the corner, many Muslims are preparing for Qurbani preparations. Yet there are still quite a few people that are not fortunate enough to be part of the sacrificing ritual. In a bid to ensure that all less fortunate communities will benefit on the day, Awqaf SA has launched the Qurbani project for Southern Africa.
“It is an exciting programme that is in its 5th year. We started with a few local institutions in South Africa and have now have branched out more,” says Mickaeel Collier, Awqaf SA Deputy CEO.
“We have taken livestock to particular centres within the emerging Muslim communities and also the under privileged areas to perform Qurbani. Over the last few years, last year in particular, we successfully performed approximately 20 Qurbanis and this year we are going to increase that number.”
Collier believes the ritual gets the whole community in the spirit of Qurbani, referring to the programme as ‘social cohesion’ that is able to educate non-Muslims as well.
“It is a programme of Dawah to non-Muslims who live in less fortunate areas. It allows them to see the way in which the animals are slaughtered and experience the spirit of generosity in our communities. It also shows others the humane way in which Islam teaches us to handle and slaughter our animals,” says Collier.
Collier explains that Awqaf SA has this year started an alliance with a Turkish organization that has allocated money to them and that many other organizations have contributed as well.
“We encourage the community to go to the various locations within our Qurbani route and be a part of that spirit,” says Collier.
“Last year it was heart-warming and encouraging for us to see the amount of people that came out to support the programme.”
Last year’s programme also underlined the immense poverty in Southern Africa. Many of the beneficiaries did not know when last they tasted meat, as it was the first time a Qurbani took place at certain masjids.
The programme breaks down racial barriers that Apartheid has imposed on communities and seeks to be a vehicle for Muslims to integrate with Muslims from African townships.
“When we went around to the centres with other communities, many realized that they are in the same boat. We all suffer from all the same problems of such as lack of resources and economic opportunity,” states Collier.
“We told communities in the past that we not going to just do a Qurbani and move off, they also need to have some sort of festival activity that takes place, like an allocation for food or some refreshments.”
Collier has encouraged members from other communities to join them on the campaign of taking the Qurbani to township areas and community centres across the Western Cape.
For more information, visit http://www.awqafsa.org.za/ or contact their office on 084 786 1409. VOC