From the news desk

AWS returns for 17th Ramadan

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As Muslims increase their devotion and prayer during Ramadan, so too are we encouraged to ‘break bread’ with the less fortunate and to augment charitable efforts. It is with this in mind that VOC continues its annual Ramadan outreach project – Ahlan Wasahlan (AWS). The community social project, now in its 17th year, is aimed at connecting with impoverished Muslims in the Cape, with a mass iftaar every Sunday. This year’s programme will run for every Sunday over the next four weeks of Ramadan.

Four communities will be visited each Sunday:
Sunday 12th June – Masjidul Jumuah in Delft
Sunday 19th June – Rahmaniyah Masjid in Steenberg
Sunday 26th June – Masjidu Rahmaan in Hanover Park
Sunday 3 July Masjidu Rawbie in Portlands

AWS coordinator Prof Ebrahim Arnold said the need in local communities is growingly increasingly dire in light of the country’s difficult economic situation. The increase in the costs of basic food is a major burden for impoverished residents.

“We have looked at some of the unemployment figures in these areas. It is absolutely shocking,” says Arnold.

“We know we can’t resolve the poverty situation. But at least we can in some small way, make Ramadan a bit better InshaAllah.”

The AWS programme sees VOC staff and its structures visit these masajid to host a khatam al-Quran programme and iftaar with the locals. Humanitarian organisation Gift of the Givers has come on board again as a sponsor, and will supply residents with food.

“This is the month of the Quran. Because Maghrib is early, we will start after Thuhr to recite a full khatam. After Asr, we will have the live on-air broadcast and some of the musallees from the area will recite the athkaar,” says Arnold.

“It’s really exciting to be part of this. You get to enjoy the Quran. You get to break fast with the community. It’s an amazing experience…”

But Arnold added that while joining the iftaar was a good gesture, supporting the cause through donations was far more important. This year, AWS is appealing for non-perishable food items, winter clothing in a good condition and blankets for residents in these areas.

“Bring non-perishable food items and baby items. Those are the things that are needed. We also want to appeal to our young Muslim professionals…dig into your pockets and even join us at these events. Come see what these communities go through.”

Drop all items at VOC, Gift of the Givers or the relevant masjid. Call 021 442 3500 for more details. VOC

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