Naadira Chhipa penned this thought-provoking piece recently about the atmosphere at local charity function. She asks: Are these events for charity or a celebration of the rich and famous?
A very heartbroken sister recently contacted me. She is a revert sister from a rural area just outside the glitz and glamour of the city. She recently attended an ‘Islamic’ high tea which a charity organization sponsored for her as she was looking forward to gaining some inspiration, guidance as well as meeting other sisters in a relaxed environment.
She wore her only fancy black abaayah gifted to her by a kind hearted sister the day she embraced Islam. As she walked into the venue she was confused as to what was happening due to the extravagant decor and glamorous ambiance. She had to read the banners twice as she thought she was at the wrong function. Sisters were dressed in designer clothing, carrying the fanciest of handbags, diamond embellished heels and draped in blinding bling. Semi nude dresses, picture perfect pouts and intermingling with only the rich and famous was the order of the day.
This revert sister felt ostracized, embarrassed, hurt and inferior as she sat alone at the back of the venue. Not a single sister embraced her, spoke to her (even after she attempted to start a conversation), made her feel welcome or even smiled at her. She did see groups of women she recognized from social media seated at the reserved table which was placed at the front as they intermingled only with those that knew them or were on the same social and financial background.
Are these events for charity or a celebration of the rich and famous? Is the intention behind hosting such events for the benefit of the Ummah or the degrading of those less fortunate? How are we assisting the less fortunate by having fancy dress parties for ourselves, making them feel alienated and breaking their hearts by being proud of our over inflated Bank accounts and egos.
There is huge divide amongst us. The invisible barriers just got very visible and we are separated based on skin colour, race, social media status, financial and social status.
My sisters remember when the last breathe escapes our lips the qabr will not be ‘reserved’ for us with air conditioning and fairy lights but rather the same qabr that a beggar was buried into will be our ultimate abode. Let us renew our intentions when hosting charity events for the pleasure of Allah before the pleasure of our pride, fame and fortune.
May Allah guide us all, Ameen.