The KSIMC of London, Husaini Islamic Centre in Stanmore, was one of many centres in London that participated in Sadaqa day. In one hall, volunteers were seen collecting and folding clothes into bags to give to charity, children held stalls selling delicious handmade pastries and books were being organised to give to schools. Whilst in another other hall, members of the community lined up to donate something very different. Blood! Yes, you read that correctly!
Often the concept of charity is focused around monetary donation to the poor. However, charity can take many different forms, as seen through various narrations and traditions within the religion of Islam. For example;
Prophet Muhammad (saww) has said:
“The best form of charity is charity with one’s tongue through which lives are spared, adversities repelled, and benefits attracted towards one’s Muslim brother.”1
Imam al-Kadhim (as) has said:
“Your assistance of the weak is one of the best forms of charity”2
These narrations show that charity can come in many forms.
The Imam Hussain Blood Donation Campaign approaches the form of charity in a beautiful way – the act of giving blood. 475ml to be exact (that’s less than a pint!). And in the process, saving up to 3 adult lives or 7 infants! With males able to give blood 4 times and year, and females 3 times a year, blood donation seems to be a hugely underestimated way of regularly giving back to the community.
It would be erroneous to assume that this is less important than giving money, or worse, is ‘not needed’. We really need more people from Black African, Black Caribbean, mixed race, Arab and South Asian heritage to become blood donors to reflect the ethnic diversity of patients. Can you believe that even though 14% of the population of England are Black or South Asian, only 2.3% of people who have given blood in the last twelve months are from these communities?
This is why IHBDC has made it just that much easier for members of the community to donate blood. By bringing the session to your local place of worship.
This was the second session that has taken place in Stanmore, and there has been an increasing number of donors signing up to give blood Alhamdulillah. 84 inspiring people braved the snow to attend the session, with 74 successfully donating! The majority of attendees were new donors, and we saw many that had donated the first time returned to give blood again. This shows that not only is the campaign working in encouraging Muslims to take that step and donate blood, but holding sessions within our own centres is giving people the opportunity to donate again and again.
It is truly amazing to see the Muslim community coming together and giving in the way of God, and in the process, saving countless lives. We pray this continues in future, and the numbers of regular donors only increases with every session, insha’Allah.
1 Qasas al-Anbiya, p. 188, no. 235
2 Tuhaf al-’Uqul, p. 414