The Mission Myanmar fundraising dinner was held on Saturday 7 October in Parramatta in order to help the Rohingya refugees.
The event was planned by the Floating Flowers organisation in conjunction with Islamic Relief, where the 450 seats were promptly sold out. Around $115,000 was raised was raised at the event going towards Islamic Reliefs Myanmar Emergency Appeal.
One of the most persecuted minority groups in the world, the Rohingya people of Myanmar have been subject to major human rights abuses. So far more than 770,000 have been forced to leave their homes of their native Rakhine state, seeking refuge in neighbouring Bangladesh.
As we were flooded with distressing images and dismayed at the lack of action by, not just our government, but those around the globe, we felt compelled to take action as best we can to help our brothers and sisters to receive much-needed aid and supplies the refugee camps.
Floating Flowers came up with the idea of the fundraiser to provide humanitarian aid and supplies to those in need with all proceeds going directly to this cause.
Zia Hussain, who leads this organisation and co-hosted the event along with his son, Sarib, hailed Islamic reliefs work, and said,
“We are making a statement tonight that no human life, or drop of blood can be sacrificed based on race, religion, ethnicity, cultural background, or manmade boundaries.”
After Maghrib prayers the night began, drawing in people of various ages, ethnicities, and religions.
Sheikh Saeed recited Surah Al Baqara, verse 264 from the Quran. This was followed by heartfelt poems.
Sister Zainab Mohammad from the Rohingya community bravely recounted the trauma that her family had faced. Her sister had lost her children and husband to atrocities committed by the Burmese military. She emphasised that many lives could still be saved with help from the community.
The night also included a riveting nasheed performance of Maher Zain’s, Inshallah, as well as videos displaying the work of Islamic Relief on the ground, in terms of providing food, and shelter to the up to 125,000 people displaced, and 20,000 trapped at the border.
Australia’s Islamic relief CEO, Mr Salwan Ameen during his speech heralded the diversity of those in attendance and encouraged people to make dua if that was all they could do to help the Rohingya people.
Sheikh Tarik urged the audience to donate to this vital cause while quoting the Hadith of Muhammed (s) that the Ummah is one body, and stressed how fortunate we are to live a comfortable life with, food, clothing, and shelter.
He also touched on the importance of Sadaqah on the day of judgement, including the promise of Allah that whatever you give today He will reimburse it.
Sheikh Tarik also used the example of our beloved prophet to encourage generosity,
“Rasoolallah (s) was as generous as wind, he used to give right, and left to everyone. He never used to discriminate, whether the person was Muslim, or not, whether he was a Jew or a Christian, whoever asked for his help he gave it”
The auction was conducted by the well-known auctioneer Mr Hussin Goss. One of the items included a handmade Quran from Syria, which sold for $1800.
It was a chance for the community to unite for the Rohingya people, highlighting the potential to make a difference in the world, even if it is just through dua.
To donate to Islamic Relief’s Myanmar Emergency Appeal, please visit: