By Al Qalam Reporter
A group of pilgrims who were sponsored by Awqaf-South Africa travelled to Makkah for Hajj this year are on their way home – joyous and grateful for the “once in a lifetime opportunity.”
The group – selected from across the country – included five Imams, Islamic workers and community leaders.Waqf is a trust or endowment held in perpetuity. It relies upon a sustainable and stable capital base to benefit the needy.
In addition, to the sponsorship, Awqaf-SA had also subsidised several struggling pilgrims, who were not able to pay outstanding balances on their travels. In view of the volatile rand, some of the cash-strapped pilgrims were also provided with stipends to tide them along.
According to Awqaf-SA deputy CEO, Mickaeel Collier, the following are considered: underprivileged ‘ulama (scholars) who have not been for the pilgrimage, community workers who dedicate their lives to working within their organisations, aged Muslims denied the opportunity to travel and those from the emerging communities of South Africa.
“To date the Awqaf SA Hajj Waqf Fund has supported over 60 pilgrims to undertake the glorious journey and has funded over 100 stipends,” said Collier.
“Hajj is one of the five pillars of Islam and is compulsory for those that can afford it. But there are those who save all their lives, yet cannot make it. Or, there are those who barely make it, but have nothing to spare for food. Then there are those who selflessly serve our community – muezzins, imams and madrasah teachers who will never be able to go to Makkah unless they are sponsored,” he added.