WASHINGTON D.C. – Joining thousands of students across the globe, the Muslim Students’ Association (MSA) at George Washington University has decided to organize a weeklong event to raise money for orphans in seven countries, GW Hatchet reported on October 15.
“We reached out to other chapters in the District to garner interest in the fundraiser event since last semester. We hope to make an annual event,” said MSA President Abdullah Tauqeer.
The association will hold its first event between October 22 and 28 during the ‘Charity Week’; a worldwide campaign that raises money for orphanages and schools in countries like Somalia, Pakistan, and South Africa.
In fact, Charity Week is organized by Islamic Relief, an international humanitarian organization that provides aid, food security, and orphan support to people after natural disasters.
Members of the students’ association are planning to host 11 events, including a trivia night and bake sales, throughout the week.
“The association will host bake sales in Square 80 and an Islamic trivia night in District House. We’re also partnering with the African Students Association to host an open mic night,” informed Ahmed Haytham Ali, the treasurer of MSA.
Since its initiation in the few past years, Charity Week has raised more than $3 million from dozens of universities around the world.
Organizations at each university conduct their own fundraising efforts and funnel the money raised to Islamic Relief, where the money is distributed to different causes, like orphanages or schools that lack clean water and sanction facilities.
Haytham said he wants Charity Week to facilitate more opportunities for fundraising and community service in the MSA.
“Starting next semester, our association will also work monthly at a Pakistani halal kitchen, Sakina Halal Grill,” he informed.
“We want this to be the start of monthly volunteer work or donations that we get to be divided into different causes,” the treasurer clarified.
On his behalf, Sajeda Kabbani, the event coordinator of MSA, said the organization is promoting the week with pamphlets, email blasts to the MSA listserv and posts on social media accounts like Facebook and Instagram.
Charity or Zakat in Islamic Shari’ah is a form of alms-giving which by Qur’anic ranking, is next after prayer in importance.
As one of the Five Pillars of Islam, zakat is a religious obligation for all Muslims who meet the necessary criteria of wealth.