Inspired by his recent charity trek up Snowdon, Muhammed reports on the Islamic Society's approach to giving to those most in need
As I struggled up the jagged and icy paths of Mount Snowdon with hundreds of students from a scattering of different London universities, it dawned on me that this is what university life is all about: working towards a cause that students firmly believe in and sacrifice their time for, all for the sake of helping others and aiming to change the world in positive ways.
The climb, in which ten MDX students represented the university on Saturday 27th October, was part of Charity Week which is the Islamic Society’s way of making that change. The Society has been running Charity Week consecutively for the past four years and consists of two weeks of cake stalls, street and tube collections, activities such as Fifa nights on a console and football matches on campus, and finally a dinner full of inspirational talks and an auction to top it off.
It is held by Islamic Societies in countless other universities throughout the UK, and has been a symbol of the overwhelming culture of charity-giving that exists in the British Muslim community as a whole.
As another member of the ISoc told me, giving the entire annual event a political or economic twist, “when Capitalism is all about earning and exploiting as much money as possible, and Communism is all about taking money that isn’t yours and forcibly redistributing it, Charity Week is all about voluntarily giving your hard-earned money to those who truly need it around the world.”
A point of theoretical debate, but an interesting take on it nonetheless.
He went on to explain that the entire concept of charity has its basis in the Islamic emphasis for charity. “In our religion we have two forms of charity: zakat (obligatory annual charity of 2.5% of an adult’s income) and sadaqa (voluntary charity of any amount given anytime throughout the year), and all of the charity that is being given in Charity Week is sadaqa and is held in high esteem in Islam.
As a result of last year’s Charity Week, Middlesex University raised £6,244 which contributed to the overall amount that was raised throughout the whole of the UK, reaching up to £1,157,859. The dinner that is taking place on Friday 2 November in MDX House will be the ultimate ending of this year’s Charity Week, and £10 entry fee will all go towards those in need worldwide through the long established British charity Islamic Relief.
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