Hajj 2023: Joy as NGOs announce hajj free ticket for 24 Muslim in South Africa

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Dr. Iqbal Survé at the Hujaaj event. Survé Philanthropies collaborated with three other organisations to provide assistance to 24 pilgrims who will be leaving on pilgrimage shortly. Picture: Armand Hough/African News Agency (ANA)

Twenty-four would-be Muslim pilgrims are set to see a life-long dream realised, through a collaboration between Survé Philanthropies and three local organisations.

Headed by Dr Iqbal Survé, the non-profit philanthropic organisation partnered with Khidmatul Awaam, Lillah Foundation SA, and Rihlatul Umr for the initiative.

The pilgrims and their families were welcomed to a farewell ceremony at the Kelvin Grove Club in Newlands on Sunday.

The Hajj, which will see pilgrims leave for Saudi Arabia to undertake the holy journey to Makkah is expected to commence on June 26 until July 1.

Guest speakers included representatives from the organisations as well as former high court Judge Siraj Desai and the event MC’d by attorney and activist Igshaan Higgins.

Judge Desai said: “It’s a special moment, it’s a special moment for everybody who’s there. Where you are there unadorned, unanointed, we go there in our simplicity of our ihram (the purified, sacred state and dress required to perform Hajj). ”

Rihlatul Umr chairperson Najma Mohamed-Luddy said: “We need to ensure, to help our sisters and brothers to see that moment, to get there themselves In Sha Allah.”

Rihlatul Umr was registered as a non-profit organisation in November 2019 and at the time sold pre-loved items to assist others to perform Hajj. It is fully run by volunteers with the vision to expand to other provinces and internationally.

Khidmatul Awaam director Adam Jainodien invited all to see the hujaaj (pilgrims) off at the airport.

On behalf of the Lilaah foundation, Nasieba Jamie said: “Today we witness that when we come together for good, united as an Ummah, what seems impossible is truly possible

The organisation had started by cooking meals for distribution in 2020 and have cooked every week since. It later moved on to assist pilgrims.

“It’s a real privileged to be able to have people’s dreams and wishes and everything come true. And if we can do that in a very small way, we are very happy to do that,” Survé said.

“Our aim, also philosophically, is not to start something new. We like to support people who are already working in the communities, existing organisations, so we’re very committed to expanding this relationship… We don’t do things once-off and hopefully next year there’ll be more people that we can assist in going to Hajj.”

Survé Philanthropies had also provided a special gift bag for travel for all 700 hujaaj.

With the event taking place on Mother’s Day, Survé had largely thanked his mother, Hawa Bibi Survé, for driving a lot of the philanthropic efforts through motivating him to do more to assist others.

Source: Cape Argus African News Agency (ANA)

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