The Discover Islam Centre (DIC), a locally funded organisation specialising in Islamic da’wah, has sought to take proactive steps to avoid a potential closure. The organisation is currently R1.6 million in arrears and has called on members of the community to come out in support of their efforts, to ensure it continues to spread the message of Islam.
Discover Islam has been operating in Cape Town for roughly 10 years, seeking not only to help potential converts, but also dispel misconceptions non-Muslims may have about the religion. In 2014 alone, they reached around 17 500 people, 200 of which reverted to Islam, and a further 150 being provided free Islamic education and guidance post-converting.
The organisation’s director, Maulana Zakariyah Philander acknowledged that the reality of any activity undertaken with the aim of assisting mankind was that it required funding, Discover Islam being no different. Whilst the organisation was trying to be self-sustaining, he said they were still very much dependent on public support and donations.
“You want to not think about the idea that you are running in arrears, but sometimes you have to wake up to that reality and you have to face up to it. If you don’t do that in time, you can find yourself in a rut. That is when this harsh reality of closure (arises), and that is when we have to face up to it,” he said.
Whilst DIC’s core focus may be Islamic outreach and spreading the word, they also seek to look after the welfare and education of those who choose to revert. Furthermore, the organisation also runs weekly soup kitchens in the areas where they are operational, Delft and Langville included.
Philander highlighted their role in challenging the stereotypes that have become commonplace amongst the broader society when tackling the topic of Islam. Having reached roughly 17 500 non-Muslims in 2014, he said many of those would now have change, and less critical views of the Muslim community.
“We want to appeal to the community that this Islam ambassador organisation, because that is what we are, requires your help. We are living in a global village where many things have come home, like Islamophobia and shades of extremism. This is all on our doorstep, and since our inception we have been tackling these types of issues,” he stated.
He added that any type of donation, regardless of its size, would be greatly welcomed and beneficial towards their cause.
“There is strength in numbers. If all of us come together with this idea of donating and assisting Islam, we would make a big impact inshallah. Let us all come together as an Ummah. Don’t let this be one of those appeals that you hear and brush off, because this is an opportunity for you to spend in the path of Allah,” he said.
Donations can be made using the following account details:
Bank: Standard Bank
Account: Discover Islam Centre
Acc no: 072 873 647
Alternatively you may visit the organisation’s head offices, which are situated 385 Lansdowne/Imam Haron Rd, Lansdowne. Their doors are open between 9:00am and 16:30pm.
For more information call 071 4014669, or firstname.lastname@example.org. VOC (Mubeen Banderker)