Wednesday, 15 February 2017
On the weekend of March 24th-26th, MADE supported pupils from schools and youth groups both in London (Tower Hamlets, Newham) and nationwide (Blackburn, Bolton, Slough, Walsall and Woking) to give back to their local communities as a means of improving young people’s confidence via social action, strengthening local communities and teaching people about the virtues of sadaqa. We addressed over 1000 students through assemblies, providing information about Sadaqa Day and encouraging students to get involved, and provided 397 pupils participating in litter picking with #LitterHeroes t-shirts, litter picks and branded rubbish bags in association with Sadaqa Day, Better Communities Business Network (BCBN) and Keep Britain Tidy. Respective local councils helpfully assisted in the provision of litter picking equipment for the participants.
The concept of sadaqa in Islam is often misconstrued as solely being about financial donations, but its definition encompasses a much broader and more proactive role of social action for Muslims, including helping ones family, wider community (particularly vulnerable members like the elderly) and environment with deeds on all scales. The Prophet Mohammed (ﷺ) said: "Charity is obligatory everyday on every joint of a human being. If one helps a person to ride his animal (or vehicle) or by lifting his luggage on to it, all this will be regarded charity. A good word, and every step one takes to prayer, is regarded as charity; and guiding somebody on the road is regarded as charity" (Sahih al-Bukhari).
MADE’s activity as part of Sadaqa Day was therefore a great opportunity to participate in a collective activity beneficial both to participants and to the wider local community who are able to benefit from a nurtured environment free from litter.
Thank you to the volunteers whose hard work, commitment and confidence made this project a success! We received a lot of positive feedback from students, describing the event as “fun”, “rewarding” and “therapeutic”.
Quotes from Sadaqa Day participants:
Islamiyah school (Blackburn):
“I felt very happy litter picking, because in my mind I knew that I was doing something that would help the community. The community looked clean after we had finished. We enjoyed it, had fun and we got to do something that would positively affect the area.”
“Litter picking felt rewarding, as our community looked cleaner and better. It was enjoyable as we worked as a team. Sadaqa Day is a fantastic initiative, which made us think about our community first.”
Madrasatul Imam Muhammad Zakariyya (Bolton):
“Very satisfying that I could contribute to society.” – Saima
“Difficult at first, but once you get a hang of it, it was fun and yet emotional to see what humans leave on the ground.” – Aysha
“Eye opener - if more of us worked together, we could surely succeed.” – Faatimah
“Happy that my community is now clean.” - Misbah