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Empowerment Projects

Allah Ta’ala, in His Absolute Wisdom, created every living thing perfectly and every creation is different in its shape, colour, appearance, understanding, etc.

Similarly in the creation of man every individual is different to another in appearance, shape, size, stature, wealth, etc. Some people are well to do, wealthy and rich while others are less privileged and in need. However, it is at this juncture that the narration reported by Anas (RA) is most appropriate:

Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasalam) said, “Whomsoever fulfils a need of a person from my Ummah than surely he has made me happy, and whoever makes me happy has made Allah happy, and whoever makes Allah happy,  Allah will enter him into Jannah.” (Bayhaqi)

Indeed Islam displays exceptional kindness and fondness towards one another. Human relation is a key fundamental and basic custodian to the well-being of humanity. While other faiths and religions institute and propagate a humanitarian support system, it is nothing compared to the manner Islam extols the great virtues of helping people. It is directly attributed to Ibadah, i.e. to help a person with problems or in distress is engaging in a form of Worship.

In another Hadith reported by Anas (RA), Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasalam) said, “The creation is the family of Allah and Allah loves that creation that does well to his family.”

This shows the immense love of Allah towards that person who cares and helps people. The act of coming to someone’s assistance at the time of need is indeed a meritorious deed, which in the court of Allah, is magnanimous, well received, richly rewarded and counted as an achievement.

Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasalam), resounding the tremendous benefits of coming to your brother’s assistance, gave glad tidings to that person who helped his brother overcome a problem. Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasalam) said that on the day of Qiyamah that act of good will be a means of his salvation in the hereafter.

Generally the Sahaba (RA) fully understood the teachings of Deen in every aspect; hence they surged forward in all good deeds. Once Ibn Abbas (RA) was sitting in itikaaf in Masjidun Nabawi and a person entered the masjid - looking very worried - came and sat next to Ibn Abbas (RA). The man requested Ibn Abbas to come with him to resolve some matter. After having listened to the man’s story, Ibn Abbas (RA) felt that it was necessary to intervene and help the man.                                                 

When Ibn Abbas (RA) stepped out of the Masjid to put on his shoes the man shockingly reminded Ibn Abbas (RS) that he was in Itikaaf. Ibn Abbas (RA) acknowledged the fact that he was sitting in Itikaaf, and moreover, mentioned to the man of the great rewards of Itikaaf saying that one day of Itikaaf distances a person three khandaqs (spaces) away from Jahannam (one Khandaq is the distance between the earth and heaven). But, Ibn Abbas (RA) accordingly said to remove a difficulty from a person earns the reward of more than seventy good deeds.

Guided by the wise proverb, “It is better to give a man a fishing rod, than to give him a fish!”

Darul Ihsan has undertaken a number of projects to empower and assist people from the lower and no-income groups. Alhamdulillah, these empowerment projects have enabled mainly unemployed people to become self-reliant and self-sufficient, and thereby help to eradicate the huge problem of unemployment. This restores people's dignity and self-confidence, which has immense psychological benefits for the recipients.

The “Tuck Shop Starter Pack” Project:
This empowerment scheme is aimed at creating business opportunities and makes people self-reliant. As start-up capital, mainly grocery items are purchased and supplied to the potential candidate. Once the business grows, items like a freezer/fridge, an electricity-card machine and a phone machine are given as incentives. Generally the tuck shop is conducted from the premises of the home; however, in cases where a tuck shop needs to be constructed in the front of the house then this is also built as part of the project.

The "Tradesman Empowerment" Project:
This special empowerment project is designed to empower tradesmen who have the skills and expertise as well as experience in a particular field of work. Since they may be unable to earn a living owing to unemployment or the absence of the required tools/equipment and raw materials, this project assists such people in acquiring the necessary tools and materials. The "Tradesman Empowerment" Project assisted people in the field of welding, plumbing, electrical, carpentry, etc.

The “Ihsan Seeding’’ Project:
This project assists and empowers unskilled people who may have land available to cultivate crops for resale. Potential households are offered seeds and the necessary gardening tools to cultivate cash crops as a means of livelihood or to supplement their income.  

For those wishing to take up gardening as a means of income, gardening equipment is purchased and a once-off capital is offered to the successful candidate. In addition, Darul Ihsan is committed to a healthier lifestyle and this project will encourage people to become more health conscious by doing their own organic home-farming.

The “Street Trader's Starter Pack” Project:
This project is for unskilled people who are keen to trade. Each candidate is carefully screened and assessed; and then assisted with initial trading stock. Goods may range from clothing to anything saleable where a person can make a living and thereby sustain his family. These goods are given either to sell from door to door or for street vending.

The "Educate a Child" Project:
Education is the key to poverty eradication. Thus, Darul Ihsan places much emphasis and resources towards assisting deserving pupils with school uniforms, stationery packs, textbooks and school fees. Annually, the Centre provides good quality stationery packs to a number of local schools for their most deserving and needy pupils. Bursaries are also afforded to deserving pupils and students in Islamic and secular studies.

The “Lakka Chow” Vending Carts Project:
Vending carts are offered to potential candidates for creating employment. Each cart is equipped to make hot dogs, burgers, as well as cooked meals. The cart is valued at approximately R7500; and in addition, provision is made for the first-time stock as well as all other costs such as permits, registration fees, uniform, etc. 


The “Employment Placement” Project:
This is an absolutely free service provided to job-seekers as well as businesses looking for staff. This is done via Darul Ihsan's Website. A number of people have used this useful service successfully to find suitable employment.

Key Points:

  1. Over R300 000 of monthly assistance was rendered by the Welfare Department to provide groceries, lights, rent, water and other assistance
  2. Regular home visits are undertaken by a specially appointed investigating assessor who verifies the credentials of welfare clients
  3. The “Muslim Empowerment Fund” logo ensures that all donations are a gesture of goodwill on behalf of the Muslim community
  4. A number of other humanitarian projects were carried out such as "Talk to a pupil," "Feed a family," "Sponsor a bag," "Home improvement," etc.

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