Two South African charities received a boost when R100 000 was donated to them to assist needy pilgrims traveling for the annual Hajj Pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia.
The proceeds of the coffee table book, #Hajj2016 #AbramjeeOnHajj, published by social activist, Yusuf Abramjee, were presented to Awqaf SA and Crescent Lifestyle in Pretoria today.
Abramjee published hundreds of photographs of his Hajj journey last year in a high-gloss A3 coffee table book.
“The idea was to create awareness of Hajj which is compulsory for all Muslim who can afford it at least once in their lifetime. Also, it brought back many memories for those who have been on Hajj. We need to promote social cohesion and religious tolerance and that’s what the book does,” said Abramjee.
He said the R100 000 raised from the proceeds of the book “will go some way to assist destitute pilgrims.”
Abramjee said the “Hajj Waqf” (Hajj Funds) helped scores of pilgrims annually.
Abramjee thanked publisher Yaseen Theba from Vision Branding and all the contributors and sponsors.
500 books were donated to libraries, schools and religious institutions.
#Hajj2016 received the support of scores of prominent South Africans including cabinet ministers, business leaders and social activists.
World renowned Islamic scholar, Mufti Islam Menk, from Zimbabwe, late stalwart Ahmed “Uncle Kathy”
Kathrada, Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa, Police Minister Fikile Mbalula and former Ministers Derrick Hannekom and Tokio Sexwale were among those who endorsed #Hajj2016 #AbramjeeOnHajj
Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador to South Africa, Ghorm Said Malhan, said: “South African Muslims are a key part of South Africa as they became completely integrated into society and influenced all areas of life of SA culture.
“I would like to thank Yusuf for his book on Hajj and for his dedication and service to your community and country.”
“The book is indeed a clear example of the strong relations between Saudi Arabia and the South African Muslim community in particular, and the entire South Africa in general,” said Ambassdor Malhan.
He added that South Africans “should all be proud of their exceptional reputation for religious tolerance and diversity.”
The Ambassdor announced that the royal embassy of Saudi Arabia would also make a donation to the Hajj Fund.
CEO of Awqaf SA, Zeinoul Abedien Cajee, said: “We are proud of the contribution made by Yusuf in the production of his #Hajj2016 Coffee Table album.”
“We are certain that the photographs presented will inspire many to look forward to this awesome pilgrimage-journey of a lifetime.
“We are also confident that the book will bring a better understanding about not only one of the great pillars of Islam, Hajj, but also about Islam as a complete and comprehensive way of life, to both Muslims and people of other faiths and persuasions – especially in an era of Islamophobic tendencies,” said Cajee.
“The contribution to the “Hajj Waqf” from the proceeds of sales and donations of the book will be invested in the Awqaf SA Hajj Waqf Fund and its proceeds will be used on a sustainable basis to assist poor and needy pilgrims (or Hujjaj), and also to some the opportunity to experience the sacred journey.
Al-Firnas Patel, Managing Director of Crescent Lifestyle said: “We congratulate Yusuf on the successful publication of the #Hajj2016 book and its objectives.
“Crescent Lifestyle has for the past nine years added value to the lives of tens of thousands of South African Muslims through its unique product. In addition Crescent Lifestyle has also donated from its profits close to R4 million on behalf of its members to various beneficiaries and sponsored over 115 of its members to go for Umrah (mini pilgrimage).
“We welcome the funds towards the Hajj Fund received from Yusuf through his book and this will facilitate needy muslims to fulfill their dreams of going for Hajj.
“This is a noble and an admirable initiative and we encourage others to take on such initiatives. Together we can make a difference,” added Patel.