Monday, November 1, 2010

IFF 2010 Press Conference at Hotel JW Marriot KL

Islamic Fashion Festival Charity Fund Raising Events (IFF)
General Press Conference

I was recently invited to attend an IFF press conference.

It was a very interesting mix of celebrities, royals, generous sponsors, the press, distinguished guests and last but not least, dedicated support staff and creative people. All of them were there to perform ibadah (service to Allah SWT) to raise funds for various charities in the country.

It was really a informative to be briefed about the great work carried out by many of the people in the room. People from diverse backgrounds, race and religion.

Even Islamic ngos were given the opportunity to raise funds for their various organisations by selling tickets for the IFF events. This is a very generous and caring gesture by the organiser as Islamic organisations are often neglected by many large corporations.

Why the Neglect and Oversight?

Maybe the Islamic ngo volunteers and staff are deemed to be a serious lot, plain and unglamourous! Some companies may be more interested in a higher profile and some interest generating publicity. Some glamour may spice up their image - probably so too!

Perhaps the general perception of people may be true - people from Islamic ngos are somewhat too serious and dedicated in their work. They serve Allah SWT by helping mankind and take the duty of Khalifah (vicegerent on this earth) very seriously.These people may have no time to relax or enjoy life like others.

True, to a certain extent. That is only a perception.

Getting to Know the True Muslim NGO Volunteer

Some people may even think these volunteers are a fanatic lot, conservative and old fashioned. That is like putting all the eggs in one basket!

When you get to know a volunteer or daawah officer or even an ordinary member, he or she is also a parent, a sister, a brother, a friend. Their lives are also peppered with ups and downs, joys and tears, just like yours. And they definitely know how to enjoy themselves! Especially so if Allah SWT is pleased with the individuals - they may get good of this world and good of the Hereafter. Great rewards await humble servants of Allah!

Who is a Servant of Allah?

Anyone can chose to be a servant of Allah SWT. It starts with your intention.

A servant of Allah is one who spends his life, his time, his wealth, his energy in the service of Allah SWT. Sometimes he cannot do all but its fine to start with what is achievable.

He serves and he is certain of the promise of Allah to his humble servants. It is a most honorable position in Islam, so do not be afraid of the word 'servant'. I used to be a little confused about the term too.

Be proud to be one and be patient in serving Him. Being a slave of Allah means we are on the right path, the path to salvation and Paradise.

Some of them are writers, architects, tour leaders, restaurant owners, doctors, lecturers, motivators and also interior designers. I know someone who loves trekking and mountain climbing - she is a Muslima! Surely people from such diverse backgrounds cannot be that dull or boring!

They just love to serve Allah SWT and one way is to be useful to people, as that is full of blessings!

Ngo Activities
Who Do We Help?

Muslim ngos are involved in convert welfare and that includes helping the families of converts. These people are usually referred cases and some join because they wanted to learn more about Islam. Many Muslims come for counselling - marriage, marital problems, conversion, family problems, illness and financial difficulties. Some did not have proper guidance and face problems of faith and patience when faced with challenges. They all need attention, support, understanding and help of some sort.

Who Receives Assistance and Who is Rejected?

There are times we are forced to select whom to offer assistance due to lack of funding. Its really sad as the one who failed to get help may become disillusioned and turn to other offers of assistance from people who may have a negative influence on them.

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