It’s not every day we reflect upon the desolate state of the Muslim Ummah and actually do something about it. Well, that’s exactly what happened, when a room full of generous Muslims came together to raise funds to do just that.
The Sanad Foundation hosted its second fundraiser dinner on Saturday 5 May at the UMMA Center in Doncaster in Melbourne. The event raised funds to provide scholarships for Australian students to pursue Islamic knowledge abroad.
With these scholarships, the hope is for these students to return and serve the Australian Muslim community.
The evening began with a graceful Quran recitation by Sheikh Alaa el-Zokm on Surah Insan. This was followed by a speech by Sheikh Abdinur Weli who explained that the Islamic tradition is an oral one, where knowledge was received and transferred through prophetic narrations.
Sheikh Weli went on to explain that “most of the time, (in Australia) we have to import (Islamic educators and thinkers) from around the world”.
“So why not create and have our own born and bred educators to teach us?” asked Sheikh Weli.
In recognition of this deficiency, the foundation’s aim to train and equip people to acquire knowledge from the feet of the people that can trace their theology back to prophetic tradition and bring this understanding back to Australia.
Considering this question, the Board of Imams, the Islamic Council of Victoria (ICV) and the Umma Centre have since endorsed the Sanad Foundation for its endeavours.
The highlight of the night was the generous pledges made from the audience followed by the auction of donated items.
Rallying the audience, the host Mr Zain Kazi roused the shy crowd.
Overall, the gala dinner was successfully able to raise over 30 thousand dollars in one night, auctioning the art pieces and a signed jersey of the 2018 AFL Premiership winners, the Western Bulldogs.
“It’s incredible, that a room so small as this could raise such a large amount,” noted the audience member Sumeya.
The audience was so generous in fact, that one donor even re-auctioned the item that they were initially seeking to buy, allowing the other buyer to obtain the art piece.
The evening was capped off by a speech from the keynote speaker, Mr Aftab Malik. Recognised as one of the world’s leading Islamic scholars and former visiting fellow at the Centre for Ethnicity and Culture at the University of Birmingham, Brother Malik presented an eloquent speech on the importance of knowledge to guide the community.
“Throughout the Islamic civilisation, the best form of worship has been the pursuit of knowledge. Knowledge is glorified and is central to Islam. It is incumbent (upon Muslims to seek knowledge) from the cradle to the grave,” said Mr Malik.
Stressing the importance of sound knowledge in today’s society, Mr Malik acknowledged that we are living in the era where “Sheikh Google and Imam Wikipedia” dominate our information landscape. Thus, providing us with a “knowledge drought”.
“We must be careful whom we take knowledge from. Indeed, the best form of knowledge is prophetic knowledge, which is predicated on the Quran and Sunnah, (and) we (as Muslims), are here to facilitate the transmission of this knowledge”.
Mr Malik narrated with a poetic fervour, “Indeed, it has been said, that knowledge without action is vanity, and action without knowledge, is insanity”.
For further information about the Sanad Foundation, contact: www.sanad.org.au.