Donor fatigue and organizational difficulties seem to have derailed last weekendâ€™s attempt to raise funds for support of Pakistan by Islamic Relief.
Sunday evening Islamic Relief held a fundraiser at the Hyatt Regency in Dearborn, collecting about $20,000 from the approximate 200 people gathered to support homeless refugees within Pakistan, rendered much more dependent on others by recent flooding and earthquakes.
Positive outcomes of the evening, however, were evident in abundance. Islamic Relief, through a brief video and through speeches by its organizers, showed the tremendous track record the organization has maintained, despite a decade of withering anti-Muslim hysteria.
The UK-founded charity which now has a presence across 40 different nations, is the largest Muslim charity in the world; it maintains a very high four star rating (given by Charity Navigator which ranks charities, only 2% of whom receive four stars), and has maintained a working relationship with USAID and the US State Department.
The evening began with recitation of Qur`an by Hossam Moosa, the Qur`an instructor of the Huda School in Franklin Michigan. He recited from Surat Baqarah.
Dr. Mujahid Ghazi of Islamic Relief served as the MC of the evening, describing the Islamic Relief projects in Pakistan, describing the continuing needs of flood survivors.
Mr. Ashraf Qazi, a generous Islamic Relief supporter, spoke on his reasoning for giving, saying that in fact he believes he is giving for selfish reasons, because we expect something in return, whether thanks or repeat business.
â€œWhen we give money to organizations as reputable as Islamic Relief, we never see the recipients of their help, but in our heart we know they are thankful,â€ he said.
All of the things we receive in return, though, he said, pale in comparision to making people happy and thankful, and making Allah (swt) happy. â€œHis pleasure, more than anything else.â€
He gave the secret for his generosity, which is, he said, that we are not really owners of what we have in this life, we are only custodians of it.
â€œGiving is easier when I say to myself, â€˜this never was mine, this never will be mine.â€™ My house is only mine as long as I am here.â€
Islamic Relief maintains relationships and thereby has matching gifts from many major multinational corporations, including Microsoft, Cisco, and HP.
Mr. Farhan Aziz did an admirable job of fundraising for the flood victims, despite the low turnout. He explained that for $1750 Islamic Relief is able to construct a shelter that will house 7 people.
Islamic Relief is building many such shelters, has reconstructed four villages and is reconstructing four more, providing shelter, potable water, and even assistance to the residents in rebuilding their livelihoods.