Saturday, 17 November 2018
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Virtues of the Ten Days of Thil Hijja

Annual Mass Iftaar - 2017

Nothing beats the feeling of sharing. The sharing of laughter, food and friendship.

Zahraa Schroeder

Article by Zahraa Schroeder

GIS Madrassah Graduate, Former RCL Chair

Member of Youth League

 

Shoes fill the racks and the sound of children’s laughter fills the mosque. June 10th - it is the Quloobul Moemieneen’s Annual Mass Iftaar, or boeka, depending on who you’re trying to impress. The iftaar has become a staple event. The reason is that the sole-purpose of the iftaar is to share. Pass the dhaltjies kanala, who wants more soup, don’t worry we’ll half the doughnuts.

This year I had the honour of interacting with the special guests - orphans and their house mommies. The following homes of love were present; Love His Children, Al-Muhaymin Children’s Home Orphanage, Hanover Park Place Of Safety, Madrassah Tul-Alman.

However, when I was asked to interact with the orphans, I was… nervous. But this seems to be a natural response from many, but why ? We, ourselves are responsible for this - when know of a person’s background we treat them differently, this way we know how far to push boundaries and which topics they’re passionate about, but when we know are in unfortunate circumstances we treat them very differently - we feel as if though we need to watch our words and walk on eggshell. And at first, I felt the same way too, but I soon realised that this attitude was obstructing each interview and I 

 

was viewing each conversation as an interview. So, I shut my notebook and took a deep breath. I discarded all I knew and started from scratch. Assalamu alaikum, my name is Zahraa, what’s yours? Simple and easy. Once I remembered that these individuals were normal children and normal people just like me it made interacting with them all the more enjoyable and this is what I learned.

Many of these organisations have been formed by strong women who have realised a problem in their communities. Aunty Ghadijah, the founder of Madrassah Tul-Alman, realised that in her community the ones most at risk to gang violence and drug abuse were the young children. She homes nearly 16 children in her own house and takes it upon herself to care for these children as if they were her own. A trait that all of these strong women share - that sense of true selflessness and willpower.

Young girls wear sparkly burqas and smile and laugh. Running through the curtains and amongst adult legs, the children enjoy themselves. I sit with some of the orphans of the Love His Children home. Although I had met these girls for the first time, it felt as if though I had met them before. We spoke of dreams and the dynamic between the children of 

 

the house. Their response was delightful - they were in this home since young and they have all grown up with each other and become each other’s brothers and sisters.

It’s been really rainy these days, what do you guys do for fun indoors? The girl beside me, Malika, laughs and tells me cheeky tales of PlayStation-loving boys and the little gossip sessions the girls have. What is your favourite subject at school? An excited flurry of answers come at me, from the mix I hear Home Economics, English and Mathematics.

As Sheikh Dawood makes the opening duah and the restless kids are ushered to the first two saffs, I quickly squeeze in one final question for the house mothers

Do you believe children should attend madrassah?

A unanimous yes is echoed. One house mother says, the children have found the value of Islamic studies because they have found a sense of belonging. It has instilled values of being down to earth and respectful as one house mother fondly recalls watching the children play in the streets and at the first sound of the athaan, they run home eagerly. She smiles broadly.

 

See our gallery for all the pics of the event.