'Remember tomorrow ... let's work for our tomorrow, let's always think about life after death, in our Aakhirah', this was the most recurring theme at the IFFD AGM on 22-23 September 2019 in Johannesburg, South Africa. IFFD members paid tribute and remembered a colleague, Brother Ibrahim Takiwa Mchakulu as well as Sheikh Khatweeb Rajab who passed away during the course of the just ended year.
This was the third Annual General Meeting to be held by IFFD, the first one being at the Scrapyard Masjid in Laudium (Gauteng) where IFFD was inaugurated in April, 2017.
Sheikh Zubeir delivering his speech
The eulogy was delivered by Sheikh Moosa Lupale who was a close peer to both the fallen brothers. In his eulogy, Sheikh Lupale remembered and took the audience into the lively journey he spent with the two Sheikhs starting with Ibrahim Takiwa whom he first met at the Madrasah in Dedza in the 1980s. Sheikh Lupale later met Sheikh Khatweeb Rajab at the Blantyre Islamic Mission (Chadzunda) in the 1980s. They later reconnected as they both stayed in the same city of Vereeniging in Gauteng, South Africa. They both enjoyed a student-Sheikh relationship for over two decades. Most of the IFFD members.
In his sad tribute, Sheikh Lupale recalled the last days - as fresh as the first time they had met. Sheikh Lupale is one of the last persons to see Sheikh Khatweeb alive.
At the meeting, IFFD members came out rejuvenated and full of energy as they made fresh resolutions ready to tackle the next year. Being an elective conference, the meeting saw some restructuring in most of the key departments, especially, Education where Dr. Daud Kassam was deployed as its head.
The meeting was held over two days - saturday (22 September 2019) dedicated for internal member discussions where policy and resolutions are made - the meeting went through all of the saturday night adjourning at 1:00am. The Sunday was for the general public where Departmental reports were presented and speeches from Guest speakers delivered.
In his report in the finances, head of Finance Department - Sheikh Shaibu Issa, reported that in the year under review (2018-2019) IFFD income rose to over R390,000 (this is way above the R120,000 IFFD received for the 2017-2018 period). The finance department outlined its plans for the coming year, among them is to look for long term sustainable investments for the organisation to fund its activities. The department also wishes to consolidate and expand on its primary sources of income: membership contributions, donations from external individuals as well as targeted sponsorship of its various projects.
Sheikh Issa lamented that most of the departmental requests are rejected due to financial constraints of the organisation.
In the organisational report by the Secretary General, bwana Mkweche, he outlined IFFD activities for the just ended year, highlights were:
- IFFD now runs 27 Madrasahs (this is up from the 17 Madrasahs of last year 2017-2018 period);
- 45 needy children were awarded with bursaries - among the bursaries, are six children from the North that were sent to boarding Islamic centres. IFFD is concerned with instilling Islamic education among the indigenous children in the North;
- Our flagship bursary holder, Ashrafa Salim (an orphan), was selected to pursue Bachelor of Education at the Chancellor College;
- More than seven boreholes and two water wells were constructed during this period;
- The Neno (Halima) Islamic centre project has taken shape with the Madrasah blocks completed and a Sheikh is on his way to the area.
- Our agreement and partnership with African Aid saw three Masjids being constructed within the Chikuluma precinct in Machinga. IFFD runs four Madrasahs within Chikuluma precinct. This area with over 90% Muslim population had no single Madrasah (and/or properly built Masjid) over a year ago - and was targeted by the Missionaries for their various evangalisation projects;
- IFFD bought land for the Muslim community of Chingeni in Balaka for construction of a Masjid. Alhamdulillah, other concerned individuals made this fruitful by completing the project constructing the much needed Masjid in the area;
- Land was also bought in Chimpakati, Balaka. This land is available for further expansion projects of Muslim activities in the area;
- Qurbaani and Iftaar are a regular feature on IFFD calendary, and this year, saw much increase in these activities;
- IFFD contributed to the victims of Cyclone Idai in Phalombe by distributing items worth over R60,000 in GVH Chimombo area;
The AGM saw participants from as far as Durban and member of the Leadership Council, Ameer Abubakr Birnam travelling over 1,500kms from Cape Town.
Post meeting, member interactions
Sheikh Zubeir Sa'eed Chindungwa, a close friend and classmate of late Sheikh Khatweeb Rajab was one of the guest speakers at the meeting. In his speech, he advised IFFD members to always work together, look at the bigger picture (Jannah and life after death) and cautioned the members against argumentative behaviour. Quoting Aayaats from the noble Qur'aan, he advised members to remain resolute, guard against rumours and be close advisors unto each other. He advised members to take lessons and walk in the example of the departed brothers, their life spent on service to the Deen and all are witnessing today that they left this world full of Imaan and have met their rewards by Allah, aameen.
In his speech, Sheikh Twayyib Haniff Bonomali, Guest Speaker all the way from Durban commended IFFD and its founders for the initiative and achievements thus far. He advised everyone to always make an extra effort to do whatever possible for the Deen of Allah with whatever resources are available. He emphasised on the need for self-reliance saying that Allah gives to all in different ways, and no particular tribe or nation is devoid of giving back to the community. The Sheikh also set an example by making a sizeable monetary contribution into the IFFD coffers to assist with its work.
As we looking forward to another year, and as the members recalled, we do not know which one of us will reach to see next year. But for sure, we are all guaranteed to see our works in the Aakhirah when we close our eyes from this material world.
May Allah reward those that have passed away amongst us. As we lived, we will all die and we hope that our death will be in the same pattern - full of Imaan - and to see our works multiplied in the next world, aameen.