Rizq – Share Food

RIZQ - Logo

Rizq comprises a group of people from the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) who want to play their part in ridding Pakistan of the nuisances of hunger and malnutrition. They do this by collecting surplus food from restaurants/caterers/households and providing it to the needy. Hiba got in touch with them to find out more about their work.

What is the vision behind Rizq project?

According to current statistics, around 40% of all food produced is wasted, whereas approximately 40% of the Pakistani population is food insecure. The vision behind Rizq is to bridge this gap by channelling excess food without producing extra food. As economics majors, we are always told about the scarcity of resources, but in this case what we have realized that it is not the scarcity of food, but the lack of channelling – and this is where Rizq comes in.

What do you mean by ‘without producing extra food’?

A lot of food that is produced is wasted as it goes along various stages in the food supply chain. This is an efficiency loss. On the other hand, there are a lot of people who sleep on empty stomach. So, there’re two ways to feed the hunger-stricken; either through freshly-made food or using the perfectly edible food which gets lost along the supply chain due to efficiency loss. Rizq is focusing on the later approach as it kills two birds with one stone.

To read the rest of this article, and more, subscribe to Hiba Magazine.

Ihsaas Trust – Working Towards Financial Empowerment


Every human being wants to be self-sufficient, relying only on the Creator. However, to a very large population segment of Pakistan, such independence is a faraway dream. Due to extreme financial hardship, multiple debts and an ever-deteriorating economy, many people are never able to pull themselves out of the poverty quagmire. This is why “Ihsaas Trust” was formed.

The word ‘Ihsaas’ means ‘to feel or be sensitive to what others are feeling.’ This realization is precisely what brought together the founders of “Ihsaas Trust”. However, the philosophy of the trust extends beyond just compassion for the fellow underprivileged brothers and sisters; their ultimate goal is to go a step further and financially empower them, so they can become self-sufficient in providing for themselves and their families. Or, as “Ihsaas Trust” puts it: “Give a man a fish, you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish, you feed him for a lifetime.”

“Ihsaas Trust” was established in 2008. Prior to 2011, it operated under the name of “Little Deeds”, which was originally started by Tayyab Abid. Later, he was joined by four likeminded brothers, who together formed the founding trustees of “Ihsaas Trust”. Brother Tayyab is the managing trustee and carries out his work in collaboration with the management team of trustees and three full-time employees.

The trustees are brothers, who want to take active steps towards pleasing their Creator and work for the betterment of their brothers and sisters. However, what makes their mission unique is the realization that helping the creation must be done in accordance with the laws of Allah (swt), to Whom they will ultimately be answerable. Thus, all “Ihsaas Trsut” services are in line with the Shariah.

“Ihsaas Trust” provides the following Shariah compliant financial relief services:

·         Murabaha (Sale at a Profit)

Through Murabaha services, “Ihsaas” purchases a piece of property or equipment on behalf of the beneficiary and then sells the same to them in instalments over an agreed upon period. The beneficiary is able to use the property for income generation, while paying off the instalments. “Ihsaas” maintains the ownership of the property, until the completion of payments, whereby the ownership gets transferred to the beneficiary’s name.

·         Ijarah (Rental Services)

Through Ijarah services, “Ihsaas” acquires a piece of property/ equipment and then rents it out to the beneficiary, who can utilize it for income generation. Ijarah services may also be modified to a lease-to-purchase contract, so that by the end of the contract the beneficiary actually owns the property.

·         Zakah Collection and Disbursement

“Ihsaas” collects Zakah and utilizes it for helping Muslims in debt pay off their loans.

·         Musharakah (Partnership)

Through Musharakah programme, “Ihsaas” enters into a business partnership with the beneficiary and agrees to invest in a business venture, where both parties mutually share in any resulting profit or loss.

Ihsaas Trust” is a completely non-profit initiative. Although the goal of the trust is to become self-sufficient, at present they depend on donations from concerned and active brothers and sisters. Thus, they are constantly on the lookout for donations towards their monthly expenses and the microfinance funding. In order to avoid dependency on a few larger contributors only, their goal is to target as many people as possible, who could give small but consistent contributions towards a good cause. As the Messenger of Allah (sa) said: “The most beloved deed to Allah’s (swt) is the most regular and constant, even though it were little.” (Bukhari)

Contact information:

Suite 1, 55-C, Main Khayaban-e-Sehar, Phase 6, DHA, Karachi

Tel: (+92) 21 3584 6059

Mob: (+92) 321 244 7198

Email: info@ihsaas.pk

Website: http://ihsaas.pk/ (Please, visit the website for information about donation options.)

Real-life story

My name is Mohammd Akram. I am an oil trader from Korangi area. I contacted “Ihsaas Trust” to improve my business through more investment. “Ihsaas Trust” sold us goods worth Rs. 80,000, which helped me in expanding my business. My suggestion is to expand “Ihsaas Trust”, so that more people can benefit from it.

My name is Naweed Ahmed. I have a motor wiring and electric business in Manzoor Colony. “Ihsaas Trust” sold me electric goods on easy installments. If before my business was very slow because of lack of investment, then now, Alhumdulillah, I am doing good. My suggestion is for “Ihsaas Trust” to have offices in every part of the city, so that more people can benefit from it.

Since its inception, “Ihsaas Trust” has helped over 1,500 persons in different ways (Zakah, microfinance, Qard-e-Hasna and verification support).

Sina – Health, Education and Welfare Trust


Hiba got in touch with Sina, a team of committed, educated and privileged experts who have chosen to reach out to the slums of Karachi to offer relief

1) Why was Sina born? What was your basic aim and vision?

SINA is named after Ibn Sīnā/Avicenna (980-1037), the Persian polymath who wrote almost 450 treatises on a wide range of subjects. His The Canon of Medicine, which was a standard medical text at many universities until as late as 1650, provides a complete system of medicine. With our inspiration coming from this pioneer in the field of medicine, we started our first clinic in 1998 when Dr. Asif Imam returned to Pakistan after practicing medicine in the USA for over two decades. The vision guiding this beginning was simple – to provide quality primary healthcare to those in need regardless of financial means available. The Clinics gradually grew with SINA Trust formally coming into being in 2007.

2) How is Sina different from similar work that others are doing in the field of healthcare?

What differentiates us is our focus and our quality system. We are focused exclusively on primary healthcare delivered by building clinics in the heart of urban slums. On quality, Sina’s greatest asset is its quality management system. This system is unique, as it has adapted quality international healthcare protocols, used in developed healthcare systems for application in low-income settings. Simply put, this is the foundation, on which we believe a scalable quality primary healthcare system can be created for catering to the needs of less-privileged communities across Pakistan. Our aim, therefore, is to take this system of quality primary healthcare across Pakistan.

3) Can you tell us about your team members?

The Sina Board of Trustees include highly committed professionals, who have joined hands to provide quality healthcare to those in need. Our trustees include Dr. Asif Imam (Allergist & Immunologist), Dr. Naseeruddin Mahmood (Pediatrician), Mohammad Fazil Bharucha (Lawyer), Sohail Ahmed (Industrialist) and Jalauddin Idrus (Educationist/ Social Worker). Our CEO Riaz Ahmed Kamlani has held positions of Chief Operating Officer and Vice President at The Citizens Foundation prior to joining Sina.

4) How can others help you in your work? Would you need human resource or financial assistance?

Our key focus is to help save children from critical illness and help women look after their health, who constitute 80% of our patients. A majority of our patients are Zakah eligible, based on Zakah eligibility evaluation conducted under the guidance of our Shariah Advisor. Our greatest need is to fund the cost of treatment which is Rs. 350 per patient. We, therefore, encourage individuals to help treat as many patients as they can through Zakah and other contributions.

Our future aim is to take this system of quality primary healthcare across Pakistan, Insha’Allah. For this, we would continue to be in need of both financial and volunteer time contributions for eg. from female doctors who have not been able to consistently practice given family commitments, but are keen to contribute to our cause. We would, therefore, invite you to support us in bringing quality healthcare to those in need.

5) Can you tell us more about your projects in slum areas?

Sina is a not-for-profit organization, focusing on providing primary healthcare in less-privileged communities. Our vision is that quality healthcare should be accessible for all. To achieve this, we build clinics in the heart of deserving communities and provide both curative and preventive care. As of 2013, Sina has seven clinics in the urban slums of Karachi, in areas including Baldia Colony, Ittehad Colony, Machar Colony and Old Sabzimandi. Over 80% of Sina’s patients are women and children who benefit from quality healthcare provided at their doorstep. This costs us Rs 350+ per patient whilst the fee from patients is Rs 5-30 with free medicines, test and follow up care.

6) Would you like to share with us any of “Sina’s” success stories?

Two-year-old Sahil was born blind because of bilateral congenital cataracts. While being treated for the flu at Sina clinic, he was diagnosed and referred to an ophthalmology hospital and recommended for surgery. With a diagnosis of severe anemia combined with intolerance for oral iron supplements, our experts initiated a blood transfusion process prior to surgery, which was successful. Today, for the first time, Sahil can experience the joy of seeing with both eyes.

We pray to Allah (swt) to grant Barakah and life to “Sina” as a critically needed project for the forgotten and less-privileged segment of our society. Individuals who can add any value to their mission can reach Sina at:

F-3/3, Block 2, Clifton, Karachi.
Website: www.sina.pk Email: info@sina.pk
Tel:  +92 21 35861320 / +92 21 35861331

HajjBound: Your Hajj information portal

hajjboundHow do I choose my Hajj package?

How do I choose my Hajj package?

As the first few flights to Jeddah take off this year, those who are not performing the Hajj this year but are planning to do so in the coming year might mull over this single very important issue: Choosing the Hajj package! This represents the interface of an aspiring Haji leading to the massive logistical operation spanning millions, which exists on the fringes of what will perhaps be one’s most mesmerizing spiritual experience ever.

For most, the choice is dictated by advice from friends and family members who have already performed Hajj. The amount of information that needs to be absorbed can be daunting, and the sources are varied and often unclear.

To facilitate this elementary yet highly significant part of your Hajj, an online service called HajjBound (www.hajjbound.com) has been introduced. HajjBound is a public service website that lists Hajj and Umrah packages offered by operators from across the globe in one place. The aim is to provide an easy-to-use interface for prospective pilgrims to plan their Hajj and Umrah, Insha’Allah.

HajjBound has a special focus on details and precision, often times providing greater insight into a package than available at an operator’s website. HajjBound augments basics with useful information like distances from important landmarks, TripAdvisor reviews, and specifics on room and board, etc. Ever wonder which package your favourite scholar is traveling with? Wonder no more. HajjBound provides a listing of Shuyukh and pairs them with the operators they travel with.

HajjBound does not want users to sift through lines of text in order to glean information. Information is presented in a visually intuitive fashion. You can scan your trip dates by inspecting a prominent colour-coded calendar. Camp locations in Mina, for instance, can be seen on a map and help develop a sense of its proximity to the Jamarat. Such visual elements go a long way in not just comparing Hajj packages, but also for developing a feel for the Manasik!

HajjBound provides an egalitarian listing. It does not discriminate between different operators and packages, in terms of inclusion or prominence. This is in line with their objective to provide unaltered and impartial information. Consistent with this objective is HajjBound’s policy not to inundate users with any online ads etc., so that aspiring Hujjaj may have a pleasant and focused experience.

If you have been for Hajj, consider being a part of this project. Post your reviews and experiences, and encourage others to do the same. HajjBound aspires to have a useful collection of reviews that aspiring Hujjaj can refer to in making their choices. This is a significant challenge since Hajj and Umrah reviews suffer from a negative bias. Reviews are generally left by disgruntled customers who seek a forum to vent their frustration. This is where your help, in the form of posting your own reviews, and encouraging friends and family to do so, is invaluable. Of course, once you are using the website, you can forward suggestions on how to improve it as well.

In the end, here is a small message from the Hajjbound team: “We hope that HajjBound is of some assistance to you in performing an Ibadah that if accepted has no reward except for Jannah. In doing so, we wish to be a tiny part of your Hajj and Umrah, and beseech you to find a mention for us in your Duas once there!”

Muslim Awareness Program (MAP)

MAP Logo

Do you remember billboards with profound Islamic reminders that were put up all around Karachi, along with the standees in shops and malls? What a pleasant feeling it was to see the words of Allah (swt) and His Messenger (sa), as we ventured outside the house, instead of the usual, glaring advertisements that test our faith to the nth degree.

The organization that initiated this commendable venture is “Muslim Awareness Programme” or MAP for short. Running under the umbrella of “Alwasila Trust”, MAP tries to practically implement the following verses from the Quran:

“Invite (mankind, O Muhammad) to the Way of your Lord (i.e., Islam) with wisdom (i.e., with the Divine Inspiration and the Quran) and fair preaching.” (An-Nahl 16:125)

“Let there arise out of you a group of people inviting to all that is good (Islam), enjoining Al-Maruf (i.e., Islamic Monotheism and all that Islam orders one to do) and forbidding Al-Munkar (polytheism and disbelief and all that Islam has forbidden). And it is they who are the successful.” (Aal-Imran 3:104)

The main vision of MAP is as follows: “MAP exists to create a better society based on the principles of the Islamic value system through awareness on social and personal issues that pertain to all individuals.”

From this vision follows a two-pronged agenda:

MAP for Change: MAP brings to light the Ayahs and Ahadeeth about issues rampant in our society, such as religious and regional riots, immodesty in media, Riba, etc.

MAP for Success: MAP highlights key principles from the Quran and the Sunnah that will help a Muslim lead a contented and successful life.

Initially, MAP put up billboards and standees around the city. However, their focus now is more on products with Islamic messages. Their current catalogue includes mugs, car stickers, t-shirts, bags, and hoodies. Each product has on it a catchy, witty one-liner that immediately conveys a deeper message. This certainly does not mean that we have seen the end of MAP billboards. Insha’Allah, they will be up again! Schoolbags will also be part of MAP’s catalogue in the near future.

Hiba approached Mr. Asim Ismail, the founder of “Alwasila Trust”, to ask him, why he opted to bring out paraphernalia, when many other Dawah-based institutes are also doing just that.  He replied: “We did it for two reasons. One is to spread more and more awareness. We saw other organizations working on it but on a very small scale. Second reason is to raise some money in order to make MAP self-sustainable.”

They are certainly not restricted to the above-mentioned products, as Mr. Ismail mentioned: “What we want is to have (Islamic) quotes on maximum products, so that it serves as a reminder for the people.” He also mentions a mega project of MAP that is in the pipeline: “We plan to have an online TV channel and a complete media broadcasting company, Insha’Allah, in the next 2-3 years. Right now, we are establishing the MAP brand, so when we open up our media company, we are already known in the market.”

It is noteworthy that MAP offers the concept of ‘online shopping’, without requiring the use of credit cards. All over Pakistan, one can simply browse through their catalogue at http://map.net.pk, place an order and pay cash on delivery. Customers who have used the online purchase option attest that MAP delivers excellent service, Masha’Allah!

With over 8000 fans on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/muslimawarenessprogram), it is evident that the young and old alike are interested in the work that MAP is doing. An advertising agency has now taken over MAP’s sales and social media marketing, which means one will be able to effectively stay in touch with them and do their bit. Overall, Mr. Ismail had the following advice for those who want to participate: “Make Dua, spread the word, sponsor a billboard, invite us to put up stalls on different occasions and buy our products.”

Youth Club – Inspiring Positive Change

46Based in Islamabad and Lahore, Youth Club is an organization comprising self-driven young people in a quest to engage other youth in constructive activities. Raja Zia, Ameer of Youth Club, speaks to “Hiba” about this unique platform, enabling the youth to utilize their time, skills and energies in a positive direction.

1) When and how was Youth Club formed?

Youth Club was the brainchild of a group of very dedicated sisters (in Islam), who were committed to ‘inspire positive change’. Allah (swt) put a lot of Barakah in their efforts, and the club grew to become a non-profit organization, calling people towards the Deen of Allah (swt) and helping them find productive ways of utilizing their energies.

The core team of Youth Club includes people from well-educated backgrounds, having a wide range of expertise. They bring a lot of talent, flavour and energy to the organization, which is one of the reasons why it is easy for us to connect with the youth.

Currently, Youth Club has branches in two major cities: Islamabad and Lahore. Both teams manage various events and activities on a weekly, monthly and yearly basis to keep people engaged and craving for more!

2) What is your vision for Youth Club?

The Youth Club’s vision is to educate people: we aim to eradicate slavery to the creation and bringing people closer to their true purpose in life – to find peace and tranquility through submission to the will of their Creator (swt).

3) What were the initial challenges that you faced? How did you overcome them

We faced numerous challenges on both individual and organizational levels right at the onset of this project. We had to deal with friends, family members and relatives, who said this couldn’t be done, as well as with those who claimed that many ‘Maulvis’ had tried this before without much impact on society. Alhumdulillah, the individuals that make up the team have high resolve and constant focus on the objectives. By the mercy of Allah (swt), this has kept us going, come hail, come storm!

Then, there were challenges in terms of getting the team to gel together, to be on the same page and to realize the common goal and the enormity of the mission at hand. This was achieved through regular trainings and workshops, as well as collective participation in monthly events. And though there are some disagreements or differences at times, Youth Club still remains one big happy family that is expanding fast, much like an average Pakistani family!

But the battles are far from over. With the financial crunch still in our rear view mirror, some of the current challenges include maintaining a constant stream of funding for our various Dawah projects spread across Lahore and the twin cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi.

4) Can you broadly categorize the activities you plan for the youth and describe the ways you execute them?

When we first started, our team was high on enthusiasm, yet often times lost sight of the ‘big picture’. Recently, however, we have had some major organizational changes, after an extensive series of workshops with an industry expert, helping us to define our role within society, our mission and our plan of action. This has led us to formulate the following areas:

  • Street Dawah

A select group of Youth Club brothers gather together (usually on Saturday nights), setting up Dawah stalls at popular commercial areas for discussing the Deen of Allah (swt) with public. This gives us an excellent opportunity to feel the pulse of the nation, remove any misconceptions, address prevailing issues and simply give good advice in light of the Quran and the Sunnah.

  • Workshops

A variety of workshops are conducted at regular intervals by experts, from time management and team building to purpose of life. The workshops typically come with interactive sessions, live broadcast, online quizzes and certificates upon successful completion.

  • Super Troopers

Youth Club is also doing Dawah for our young brothers and sisters in schools. Groups of three to four team members carry out fun, entertaining and interactive sessions for kids, helping them to understand and implement Islamic morals, manners and ethics, encouraging them to become better students and even better human beings!

  • Weekly Halaqahs

Various weekly Halaqahs (study circles), Quran Tafseer classes, etc., are held throughout the week for the general public.

  • Nashtas/Teas

Ever so often, the team has Nashta (breakfast) and tea meetings, where apart from engaging in our mutual love for fine cuisine, we get to know each other, benefit from righteous company and just develop that ‘o so beautiful’ feeling of love, respect and brotherhood. A much needed ingredient for that perfect teamwork recipe!

  • University/College Lectures

Some of our team members regularly tour colleges and universities, delivering lectures on subject relevant to the youth. So far, we have had an amazing response, and we find that more and more institutes are joining the bandwagon to invite our guest speakers over for a motivational session for their students.

  • Annual Conference/Tour

The highlight of all Youth Club’s activities is an annual conference or tour, which is usually conducted in the first quarter of the year – we invite to Pakistan renowned speakers from abroad and take them on a tour across various parts of the country. All this is done in an attempt to energize the youth and bring the timeless teachings of Islam back into their hearts.

Through such events, we have developed special strategic ties with the Islamic Education and Research Academy (iERA) in the UK, resulting in an annual tour under the name of the “Winds of Change”, which has gained unprecedented popularity among the youth.

5) What has been the response? Do you require people to join the club formally or can they take part off and on in the activities?

By the mercy of Allah (swt), we are constantly receiving great feedback. People want to join and participate in the work that we do. For this we have designed membership forms that can be obtained and filled out online. A short-cut way of joining the team is that we give the opportunity to appropriately skilled people to join a project at hand on trial basis. Later, after considering a particular person’s trial performance, he or she may be moved into the core team.

6) Any plans for a Youth Club branch in Karachi?

Alhamdulillah, “Live Deen” is already doing a great job in Karachi. If we ever get enough manpower, we would love to have a team there as well and support them in their efforts. However, this can only happen once the working models have been fine-tuned in Islamabad and Lahore.

7) How can other brothers and sisters be a part of this? Can elder individuals volunteer their time or expertise as well?

People are welcome to help and support us in whatever way they can. Apart from the young, the young at heart will also do, Insha’Allah! We also advertise (usually via social media), if we need people for a particular assignment or task. So look out for that, too!

You can get in touch with Youth Club at:

Website: http://www.theyouthclub.org/

Email: info@theyouthclub.org

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/youthclub.pk

YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/youthclubpk

Fitrah – Revert Support Programme


The word ‘Fitrah’ refers to one’s inborn disposition towards virtue. It is the faculty of knowing Allah (swt) with which every child is created. Consider the following Hadeeth:

Abu Hurairah (rtam) reported: The Messenger (sa) said: “No one is born except they are upon natural instinct; then his parents turn him into a Jew or Christian or Magian; as animals produce their young with perfect limbs, do you see anything defective?” (Muslim)

Fitrah is a revert support programme. Functioning under the umbrella of Alwasila Trust, Fitrah’s aim is to “provide assistance and support to Muslims who are new to the Deen of Islam through educational, financial and social support.” Alhumdulillah, 12 individuals have accepted Islam through Fitrah. Families initially stay under Fitrah for three months, where they are given support in the form of food, housing, transport, education, etc. After that, they are encouraged to start their own business supported by Alwasila Trust’s “Rozgar” scheme.

As per their vision, the three-pronged approach of Fitrah works in the following areas:

Educational support: This includes the conduction of various courses as well as one-on-one counselling to introduce the beliefs and practices of Islam to the reverts.

Financial support: Zakat and Sadaqah are provided to the reverts as part of financial assistance. The idea is to relieve them from any previous loans and help create opportunities for entrepreneurship through Rozgar (another forum from Alwasila Trust that facilitates the lesser-privileged factions of the society to become economically independent).

Social support: This includes provision of emotional counselling in order to equip new Muslims to deal with the social struggles and opposition they might face.

So how does Fitrah choose the individuals to provide the aforementioned support? This is done through a systematic procedure in which newly-reverted individuals and families are adopted through Fitrah after a verification team reviews their background and authenticity. Currently, there are 16 individuals and 3 families under Fitrah’s care. Assistance is provided on various levels in order to ensure that a complete and well-rounded understanding of Deen is imparted to them.

Newly reverted men are enrolled in a weekly course that introduces them to the basic concepts and principles of Islam as well as fundamentals of the Quran and the Sunnah. Women are also sponsored for a Quran course. The duration of both courses is a year and a half.

Most families disown the members who revert to Islam. Hence, they are in need of housing. Initially the family is sponsored through a Zakat fund, which covers housing as well as the children’s education, if needed. A start-up loan for micro-financing is arranged through a Sadaqah Fund.

Counselling is offered to deal with emotional and social struggles met with during this period of change.

Brothers and sisters can support this effort by donations (as approximately PKR100,000- 150,000 is required to support one family through Fitrah).

Contact details

Website: www.fitrah.net

Email: info@fitrah.net

“Sina” – Empower with Honour


“Hiba” spoke to Mrs. Zartaj Subhani of “Sina – Health, Education and Welfare Trust”, which focuses upon health, education, and social uplift in Pakistan. Mrs. Subhani, along with her colleague, Ms. Iffat, is also running a project under the banner of Sina that empowers women patients who visit the medical facilities running under Sina. 

1. What was the inspiration behind this brainchild and who was in your primary team?

Twelve years ago, a friend of mine suggested that I should start counselling women. I took her advice, and started the counselling. Initially, I was doing it on my own; however, after a while, I realized that most of the issues faced by women were due to a lack of finances. I felt that instead of just giving them handouts, we needed to empower them. A lot of these women could not go out and work due to the stigma in their communities and/or not having caregivers to look after their children. I spread the word around that I needed some volunteers to come and teach these women a skill and to help sell the products that they make. Along came Iffat eleven years ago and, Alhumdulillah, there has been no looking back.

2. What initial challenges did you face and how were they overcome?

We didn’t have any large funds to buy fabric, threads, etc., to invest in this venture. Also, these women were not professional seamstresses, so they did tend to mess up outfits, which we in turn could not sell. That was a drain on our meager funds until, Alhumdulillah, out of the blue, a friend’s husband donated a sizable chunk to really get this venture going. This way, we could afford to build up stock, pay these women much more than the market rate and even give them bonuses for the Eids.

3. Ten years down the road, do you feel the difficulties in empowering these women have reduced or multiplied?

It has definitely helped in empowering these few women that we have taken on. But it is a drop inthe ocean, as we can take on about fifteen women only! Since we just go in once a week and it is just Iffat doing the designing, explaining the stuff to be done, etc., and trying to sell the produce (we don’t have an outlet – selling is done through word-of-mouth from her place), we can’t take on more women. Also, a lot of the women can’t sew and/or embroider, so we need other ladies to come forward to teach them some crafts and then market them. There are too many women and not enough work! It is an uphill task, especially with the cost of living spiraling and their husbands/sons being laid off from factories or not being able to find jobs.

4. Would you like to share one story of success that gave your team immense gratification for the dedicated work you are performing?

Yes, Alhumdulillah! We had this lady come in, who was suffering from tuberculosis. Her husband did not contribute to their expenses – he would only come into their lives every now and then and was physically abusive. She used to work in a factory but, due to her poor health, could not continue.

Her landlady had heard about our clinic and brought her in. She has three children, who were really young at that time, and she had to see to their upbringing, too. Some kind soul was paying for their education, but she did not have enough resources for her day to day living, etc. We took her on and, Alhumdulillah, her daughter finished her matriculation and is now studying privately for her B.Comm and working in our clinic as a paramedic.

Our Trust tries to take on the educated youth from within the community, train them and then place them in our clinics around the city. They are much sought after, as their training involves a wide array of subjects, including communication skills, administration of drips, dressing, checking the vitals, etc. Since we have developed a system of patient records, computerized medical cards and a protocol, which the paramedic has to fill out with each assessment whenever a patient comes in, there is a check and balance, which allows the quality control officer to assess the paramedics and doctors – thus, there is accountability.

Anyway, this lady is now doing the sewing in the neighbourhood and has many clients, while her daughter has now taken on her work with us. Her two younger sons are doing well in school, and in the summer holidays, we enlisted them for summer classes in computers and English, as they were keen to learn. We also put her daughter through similar classes and, Masha’Allah, she plays a large part in helping her mum sustain the family.

5. If you had to advise others to take up a similar project, what would you have to say?

The key to any social work endeavour is consistency, perseverance and patience. There are a lot of well-meaning ladies, who want to help but give up after a while, either because they get bored or don’t think they are making a difference. We have to remember that if we all do something, no matter how small, to help the community, it causes ripples. If we are doing it for Allah (swt), then no deed is small – He sees our efforts and intention and that is of utmost importance. This keeps us in a positive mode and gives us the dedication to carry on with the cause, Insha’Allah. We have to keep in mind that we have to help make them independent and wean them from us gradually, so that they can take on whatever comes their way with a positive attitude.

6. Can your team train other affluent and skilled ladies to adopt your model and make a similar difference elsewhere?

We (“The Mind Health Group”) already did a Counselling Skills workshop for twenty affluent ladies. It was a ten-day workshop with doctors from The Agha Khan University and Hospital, social workers, psychologists, a psychiatrist and volunteers, who were actively involved with the project. On completion, we placed them at our various clinics around the city. Unfortunately, most of them dropped out after a few months due to their various commitments. If a bunch of women can get together, arrange for a venue and give us enough notice, I am sure, Insha’Allah, we can work out something. If there are other, similar/same crafts/skills that they can teach, we can try to arrange for them to use our clinics for getting the access to the women of the community, Insha’Allah.

7. Do you have trained staff to replace the existing team if required?

Alhumdulillah, there are a lot of girls, who are studying psychology, and a lot of women, who know about fashion and have their in-house design studios. It isn’t rocket science; anyone can take over, provided they are dedicated, have empathy and want to help change the world.

8. Having worked with this stratum of society, what is your observation regarding the one critical need of these women?

I can’t pinpoint just one critical need. The closest I can come up with is that they need some sort of education – not necessarily the formal type, but more like Tarbiyah, where they can learn life skills and how to apply them.

After spending many years with them, I have found that one of the main problems (apart from the finances, which is the major one) is that they don’t think out of the box. They have very little motivation to change their lives and get out of the rut they are in. They attribute whatever walls come up in their way, no matter how big or small, as their fate without putting up a fight or finding a solution. This resigned acceptance of their fate makes them complacent and then mentally lethargic. I try to help them come up with solutions for the betterment of their lives, motivate them and get them attached to Allah (swt), but that is done only after they have a comfort level with you and trust you.

9. If you wish to share something additional, please, feel free to do so.

When I go to the clinic every Friday, I really feel that I am so much better off than the majority, and, Alhumdulillah, this brings about a great feeling of Shukr for all that I have been blessed with. I have no reason to complain – ever! Insha’Allah.

Mrs. Subhani can be contacted at: ummefaysal@gmail.com

To learn more about Sina, visit their website: http://www.sina.pk/

In the print edition of the magazine, the name of the organization (“Sina”) has been erroneously mentioned as “Behbud” – the editorial team of Hiba regrets the error.

LiveDeen: Taking it Live!


By Abdullah Hamid Ali and Naureen Aqueel – Freelance writers

“Bridging the gap between internationally renowned Islamic speakers and Pakistani audiences.” This is the introduction on LiveDeen’s Facebook fanpage. Faced with Pakistan’s unstable security situation and the desire among its English-speaking class to learn their Deen from scholars to whom they feel closer on an intellectual and linguistic level, a group of seven motivated men came up with just the solution: LiveDeen!

LiveDeen events bring in international Islamic scholars and their expertise via video conferencing, allowing audiences to interact with the speakers. “The world is becoming fast-paced and people, especially the youth, want to see dynamism and diversity in events,” explains Brother Nouman Idrees Sheikh, head of the LiveDeen team and one of its founding members. “For this reason, we decided that one-way lectures should be supplemented by interactive group activities. Another advantage is that attendees also get to ‘know one another’, and can take something practical from what they have learnt.”

“The online lecture is complimented by a live workshop conducted by a trainer stationed at the venue. This not only enhances learning and retention, but also keeps the participants engaged throughout the session.”

The team operates with modest technological logistics, which include a video conferencing system with a high definition camera (e.g., Polycom), a projector of minimum 4000 lumens, a screen, a sound system and dedicated 1MB connectivity. For the international station, they require a laptop or a PC with small HD camera and normal connectivity of 1MB.

Since August, 2011, the team has so far had seven events in Karachi. Thanks to them, Pakistani audiences have benefitted from international speakers from Qatar and Saudi Arabia as well as the United States of America, Portugal and the United Kingdom. Scholars, who have reached out to Pakistanis via LiveDeen events, include: Dr. Abu Ameenah Bilal Phillips, Sheikh Abdur Raheem Green, Sheikh Wisam Shareiff, Imam Kareem Abu Zaed, Sheikh Abu Abdissalam, Adnan Rashid, and Ustadh Noman Ali Khan.

“We select scholars and speakers, who are involved in the call to Islam internationally and follow the Quran and Sunnah without any innovation in Deen,” states Brother Nouman.

The LiveDeen team consists of seven core members: Abdul Aleem, Asim Ismail, Majid Mirza, Kashif Naseem, Nouman Idrees, Abul Lateef Motan and Shahnawaz Siddiqui, along with twelve volunteer brothers. They also have a sisters’ wing, which currently comprises eleven sisters.

Initially, the founding members helped set up the initiative financially and mutually decided that all profits would be ploughed back into the project, while any shortfalls would be shared among the team members. “Alhumdulillah, we – with the help of our participants – have been able to cover the expenses through ticket-selling and occasional help from the sponsors.”

In the future, LiveDeen has plans to have live lectures by international speakers. Although arranging in-person events can be an arduous task, especially with today’s travel restrictions, LiveDeen recognizes the value of having in-person events whenever possible to increase audience engagement. For this reason they held their first annual exclusive in which speakers flew to Karachi from outside the country. The event was the first of its kind with a whole day of knowledge, wisdom and close interaction with world renowned speakers. Noman Idrees says about the event: “By the help of Allah, and the efforts of the team members and volunteers, this event was a major accomplishment for LiveDeen.”

So far, LiveDeen has received an encouraging response from its participants. A young man, who has attended all of LiveDeen’s lectureshops, had this to say: “I believe LiveDeen has come up at a very appropriate time, when misconceptions about our religion are breeding. Alhumdulillah, I think LiveDeen is very efficiently tackling those for me and is providing for all of us youth a platform where we can learn how beautiful and simple our religion is. Alhumdulillah, each lectureshop is a life changing experience and a charge-up to stay on track and work for our Deen.”

LiveDeen invites others to join them as volunteers in the following capacity: Marketing & PR, Creative Design, IT & Website, Event Logistics, Event Volunteers and Social Media. Email: info@livedeen.com.

Many lecture-shops of LiveDeen have been transcribed and published by Hiba. They can be accessed online at www.hibamagazine.com

Confronting Atheism with Evidence

Confronting Atheism with Evidence

By Rana Rais Khan – Editor, Hiba Magazine

And we fathomed Pakistan was a safe haven to keep our Muslim identities intact. Are we naïve or want to bury our heads in the sand? And you may question, where is it happening? Well, right here under our noses in many top educational institutions, which have regretfully become breeding grounds for disobedience to Allah (swt). Also in the cyberspace with its uncensored and unstoppable access to all kinds of warped ideologies for everyone with unclear and fragile beliefs. Denial of God exists.

Brother Adnan Rashid, a senior researcher at the “Hittin Institute”, U.K., who specializes in Islamic studies and comparative religion, was invited by “LiveDeen”. On a very short notice, a four hour intensive workshop on Dawah was organized at a centrally located hotel of Karachi. In spite of an exhaustive schedule of delivering talks at the city’s top tier universities, brother Adnan made time to address this critically growing and disturbing issue around the globe – Does a Creator exist?

He urged all Muslims to train themselves for tackling Atheism rationally, instead of waiting to earn a degree from the Madinah university. In his words: “If you know it, understand it, then deliver it.” Those of you, who wish to master the skill of Dawah, visit: www.iera.org.uk

“Invite (mankind, O Muhammad (sa)) to the Way of your Lord (i.e. Islam) with wisdom (i.e. with the Divine Inspiration and the Qur’an) and fair preaching…” (An-Nahl, 16:125)

Preceding the Hajj, Muhammad (sa) held Allah (swt) as a witness that he had delivered the message to mankind. The 100,000 men and women present at the sermon also served as a witness and agreed in unison that our beloved Prophet (sa) had fulfilled his commitment. He asked them to deliver Dawah to those, who were not present and for generations to come, until the Hour occurs. Well, brothers and sisters, as Muslims you and I carry that responsibility upon our shoulders today.

For selfish reasons, because our dear ones are as vulnerable as any stranger on the street. For selfless reasons, because people are heading towards a pit of fire, and we can’t sit and watch them take the plunge. As devout Muslims, we believe that Allah (swt) exists. But to prove this we need to present our case with rationality, intellect and in a robust manner. Here is the strategy brother Adnan offers briefly:

  1. Cosmological argument.
  2. Theological/design argument.
  3. Argument based on morality.
  1. Cosmological Argument.

We consider Allah (swt) as Rab-ul-Alimin. According to some Tafaseer (commentaries) it means Creator of all that exists other than Allah (swt). For the universe to come into existence there could be three plausible theories:

a) either the universe came about by itself,

b) or the universe created itself,

c) or it was created.

If we take into account the first explanation that the universe came into existence instantaneously, it means there was nothing before it. Can nothing produce anything? If you have nothing in your pocket and you draw your hand out, will you have anything in your hand or will you still have nothing? Then how could nothing create anything? It means the universe didn’t happen to exist suddenly.

Now, let’s consider option two that the universe created itself. Again, in order to create itself, the universe needs to exist in the first place, which it didn’t. This argument is paradoxical.

This leads us to take into account the last option that the universe was created by someone. This is the only logical explanation that a sound mind can accept. ‘Kun fa ya kun’ or ‘Be.’ This is all it took the Lord to create the universe.

  1. Theological / Design Argument.

Whether we cast a brief glance or a deeper look at the environment around us, the precision, with which physical laws govern the universe, is spellbinding. There is sophisticated design in the universe.

This design ensures the presence of a designer. How could the Quran have explained numerous Ayahs with exact details pertaining to the universe, whereas the Astrophysists can only speculate as they have no tools to measure, what is out there today.

The Quran explains that the supernatural does exist – whether it was the birth of Adam and Hawa (as), the parting of the Dead Sea by Musa (as) or the virgin birth of Isa (as). The evidence is overwhelming.

  1. Argument Based on Morality.

Who will decide what is moral today? Man? Well, then we are in for many surprises. Man changes his stance every now and then, according to what is suitable to him. Homosexuality was a crime in Europe earlier. Today it is a celebrated virtue. Man’s morality is objective, whereas the Creator’s morality transcends subjectivity – it does not alter with time and preferences.

Richard Dawkins in his bestseller titled “The God Delusion” attributes all evils to religion. Hamza Andreas Tzortzis attempted to respond to Dawkin’s central arguments and arguments that the philosophers consider to be his best.

He puts forth convincingly: “War and conflict are not religious monopolies; rather, they are human phenomena and not unique to religion.” Historians record the earlier century to be one of the Godless eras of civilization that brought upon humanity the following wrath in terms of genocide, killings and sufferings, etc.:

  • 70,000,000 under Chairman Mao
  • 20,000,000 under Stalin
  • 2,000,000 no longer exist because of Pol Pot
  • 7,000,000 innocent Iraqi’s under current occupation
  • 5,000,000 Iraqi children in the 10 year sanctions

Those, who depend on scientific theories, must understand that science keeps shifting poles, because its scope is limited. But the Quran is based on established reality. It is wrong to state that the Quran agrees with science. We should accept the Word of God to be true, as it indicates many scientific phenomena around us. Quran does not depend on science to prove its authenticity.

The parchment showcased in St. Petersburg (Russia) of a copy of the Quran of Usman (rta) can be matched with the Quran resting in your shelf. It will, Insha’Allah, be exactly alike. For those who wish to explore further please visit www.islamic-awareness.org.

Hamza states: “Intellectual gymnastics – no matter how truthful – seldom convince others, so I thought it best to allow the expression of God – the Quran – to have the final say: ‘Verily, in the creation of the heavens and the earth, and in the alternation of night and day, and the ships which sail through the sea with that which is of use to mankind, and the water (rain) which Allah sends down from the sky and makes the earth alive therewith after its death, and the moving (living) creatures of all kinds that He has scattered therein, and in the veering of winds and clouds which are held between the sky and the earth, are indeed Ayat (signs) for people of understanding.’” (Al-Baqarah, 2:164)

Should more be said? I think not.

About “LiveDeen”

In 2011, a group of brothers, with a passion to help the Ummah, founded “LiveDeen” – a non-profit project with an up-to-the-minute concept of lectureshops; a combination of workshops and live lectures of international speakers broadcasted via hi-technology video conferencing tools. Their main aim is to bridge the gap between the English-speaking strata of the society and Deen. To date, “LiveDeen” has conducted multiple lectureshops along with one full day conference.

Contact Details:



Ameer “LiveDeen”: Nouman Idrees Sheikh (0300-863-7735)

Fajr Academy – Creating Readers and Leaders!

Fajr Academy – Creating Readers and Leaders!

By Umm Zakariya – Reading and Creative Writing Coach at Fajr Academy, Karachi

Reading is one of the greatest sources of knowledge and pleasure known to mankind. Avid readers will tell you nothing can replace a good book. Reading is a taught skill and though we all learn to read when we go through our educational system, we mainly treat it as a form of acquiring knowledge. We rarely find a school which inculcates in children the passion to read for pleasure.

Fajr Academy is one of the rare schools that consider reading as top priority in their educational programme – for knowledgeand for pleasure. The newly-opened school is the brainchild of Mr. Asim Ismail, an educationist entrepreneur who has launched an extensive reading programme where children from the nursery level are exposed to a wide variety of books and literature. Two out of seven periods in a single day are dedicated to reading, where two to three reading teachers take a class of maximum twelve children. The reading teachers are also supervised by an experienced co-coordinator who keeps updating them with new ideas to make the reading lessons more effective. Depending on the reading level of the child, children are either led through a guided reading programme or are encouraged to read independently, with the teacher ensuring that the material being read is effectively comprehended. At all times, reading is made to be a fun activity, with children waiting impatiently to get their hands on the books so they can discover new places, people and ideas.

Each class at the school also houses an in-class library with age-appropriate books. Precocious readers in the class are allowed by the reading teachers to choose books from the main library as well to encourage them to read higher-level books. The school has invested heavily into the reading programme by purchasing books from all leading bookstores in the city. Experienced teachers have carefully selected books for the school in order to give children reading material covering a wide range of topics. The team of teachers also has a trained teacher for assessing children with learning difficulties, more specifically, dyslexia. These students are then instructed through multi-sensory modes to help them read effectively.

“The results of the reading programme have been beyond our wildest expectations”, says a teacher at Fajr Academy. The children of Prep 2 have already finished readers in the first term of the school year which are usually finished at the end of the school year in other schools. Some children of Prep-1 have become fluent readers as well. The children of Nursery, though young, have also become little book lovers, pouring over the pictures of the books while the teachers give words to what they see.

When asked to comment on the reading programme at his school, Mr. Asim Ismail simply states: “Reading is to the mind what food is for the body.” This small quote from him sums up the importance of the reading programme at Fajr Academy. He believes once the passion for reading is inculcated in children, they will excel at academics. This is because the best form of gaining knowledge is through the printed word. If children become fluent readers at an early age and enjoy picking up a good book to read, the scope of what they can learn would be beyond our wildest imagination. As they say, “today a reader, tomorrow a leader!”

Little Deeds

Little Deeds

Alhumdulillah, Little Deeds was formed in April, 2010 with a small capital by Tayyab Abid; it is recently a joint venture with other brothers who share the same vision: to alleviate poverty by empowering socially and economically poor Pakistani families through interest-free loans and educating them with Islamic and personal development skills. Alhumdulillah, all applicants are able to return their loans in due time. Currently, Little Deeds is operating within Karachi and Sajawal only. Following is a brief over-view of how Little Deeds works:

Individual selection

The process starts with the submission of applications by persons interested in getting financial assistance. The loan officer evaluates whether or not the applicant deserves the loan.

Evaluating business plans

The loan officer discusses the business plan to see if it is viable and whether it can generate income beyond the household expenses of the individual so that the loan could be repaid easily. The applicant’s family is also interviewed to ensure that they know about the loan and support the business idea.

Guarantors of loans

After the initial evaluation, the loan officer discusses the plan with the two guarantors provided by the applicant. These are two individual guarantors who vouch for his/her credentials and accept the responsibility of monitoring the borrower; they give the assurance to persuade the borrower for timely payment of loan. One of the two guarantors may be from the same family.

Loan disbursement

Loan is given in front of the guarantors. Loan disbursement depends upon the availability of funds.

Lectures and personal development

Every individual is motivated through lectures and individual counselling to develop following qualities:

  • Emphasis on performing Salah
  • How to improve and develop manners and relationships
  • Emphasis upon children’s education
  • Protection and improvement of environment
  • Following highest ethical values in business


Once the loan has been disbursed, the loan officer monitors the applicant with regular visits to his residence and place of work. Repayment has to be submitted to the officer by the 10th of each month. In case of any defaults or fraud, we would exclude the area from our circle of operations; knowing this, the elders of the society put social pressure on the applicants to continue paying off their debts.

Interested individuals can help Little Deeds through Duas, donations, spreading the word about it, informing Little Deeds about deserving people, and helping with fund-raising.

Little Deeds – Success Stories




Highlights of the year 2010 – 2011

  1. Loans given to 57 people
  2. 0% fraud cases
  3. More than 20 people have returned their loans
  4. Ramadan Iftaris for over 1300 people in 2010-2011
  5. Ramadan Rashan distribution to over 300 families
  6. More than PKR 2.0 distributed in Zakat funds
  7. Team of six dedicated members

Brother Tayyab can be contacted at tayyababid@gmail.com.

Sanctity of Life

Sanctity of Life

I’ll be honest. As a woman, I sometimes worry that decisions about any aspect of my life may be made by others. The fact that these decisions may be taken, on my behalf, without my consent is frightening but that they may be taken without my knowledge is equally terrifying. I am certain that even women, who are confident in voicing their opinions and independent to take their own decisions, will be able to identify with this nagging fear of losing control! This is why it seems ironic that in most cases, women have made the choice to take another person’s life, without their knowledge or consent, only because it co-exists within their body.

Take a moment to consider, if your mother had decided not to have you, because she had a choice! What would you say to plead for your life? That’s right – you couldn’t possibly have said anything then. A slogan that caught my eye recently, expresses my sentiments in these words: “Ever notice that everyone, who supports abortion, has already been born?”

While it is certainly true that a woman’s body is greatly impacted by pregnancy, it is not true that abortion is simply a matter of her choosing to do something with her body. Science shows us that the unborn child is a genetically unique and separate person from his mother, even though dependent on the mother for survival. Abortion does not remove some part of the woman’s body; it destroys the body of another human being. Abortion is human intervention that does not allow a developing child to be born.

The question then arises, what do we want to choose? The simplest answer is, life or death, my child’s or mine. Pro-choice is the “cause” of women to take ownership of their bodies and “choose” to kill an unborn child. As Muslims, we see the threads of this argument unraveling upon itself. Women, men, children, are all Allah’s (swt) creation. He is the Owner of our body and our soul. It is He, who gives life, He who takes it away and He provides for us with all we need in this world.

There is no doubt that it is never easy for a woman to consider abortion, yet there are plenty of reasons for a woman to do so (be it poverty, family planning, population-control, single parent, rape or incest). Great efforts have been made to soften the blow of killing a human being: the term fetus has been redefined, the word choice has been substituted for abortion; however, it does not mask the truth that the pro-choice movement only offers a violent “solution” to the problem through abortion. They have no other choices available for the pregnant woman in need of help.

Jennie W. French, the founder of “National Women’s Coalition for Life” says: “The answer to a crisis pregnancy is to eliminate the crisis, not the child.” We need to reach out to every woman faced with the agony of abortion and say to her: “Your life and the life of your baby are both important, and we will not desert either one of you.” Take the first step: educate yourself and then others on the facts about abortion in Islam; volunteer in local pro-life groups; write to newspapers, radio and TV stations; support the cause through Zakat, Sadaqah and donations; and pray!

It is a daunting task but the most important thing that you can do is to become personally involved. Unless you do, nothing will change. In the end, our faith lies in the surety that Allah (swt) will not ask: “Did you succeed?” but “Did you try?”

“Sanctity of Life” is an organization dedicated to protecting the life of the unborn child. Though the injustice of abortion can be clearly established without depending on religious arguments, religious faith plays an important role in inspiring people to take an active part in confronting that injustice. Recognizing that abortion is wrong, a person’s faith compels them to do something to right that wrong. Our objective is to raise awareness about women’s reproductive health and abortion from moral, medical and religious perspectives. We arrange workshops and seminars for female population, lady health workers, nurses and female doctors. We invite you to join our efforts and play your part in saving a life. You can reach us at 0300-2343055/0345-2350029 and learn more about us at www.abortionbirthcontrol.com.

A Unique Service

Jan 11 - A unique service

By Ferya Ilyas

Eliza (aka Bruise, her gay name) was weeping outside the dining hall in her prison. Her heavily tattooed-cum-pierced body was surrounded by prison officers and some of her side-kicks, when a female Muslim chaplain passed by. The Muslim chaplain, who has been a regular target of Eliza’s racist remarks and swear words, stopped at a distance and assured Eliza that she is around for any help needed. Eliza, surprisingly, agreed upon a chat with the chaplain, not knowing that it would change her life forever (and for better).

The chaplain always replied to Eliza’s hatred with goodness and that’s exactly what eventually brought Eliza towards Islam. She is now a totally changed person; in fact, she is a practicing Muslim, Alhumdulillah. Her acquaintances are overawed by the transformation she underwent – from being an evil and aggressive person to being kind, polite and friendly.

The Muslim prison chaplain Farhana Seema Qureshy has the honour of helping inmates of English origin and some British Africans held in the HMP prison, UK, to convert to Islam, including Eliza. She works as a chaplain in a female prison with inmates numbering two hundred, from age of nineteen upwards. Out of two hundred, eighteen are Muslims. The prison shelters prisoners from the UK, Germany, Brazil, Italy, Poland, Africa and the US.

Farhana, being an Imam at the prison, gives Dawah to the captives there and provides interested prisoners with books of knowledge, guidance and then Shahadah, as a part of her job. That being the case, Farhana doesn’t take the entire credit herself. “Some of these people became Muslims watching my relationship with other people in the prison, especially the Muslim prisoners. However, most of them watched Muslim prisoners praying, reading the Quran, fasting or experiencing their commitment to address their moral standing, their love and respect for others and so on. It was not always me who influenced them, but rather, others did,” says Farhana.

As a routine, Farhana holds two hours of Quranic circles every Friday. On Saturdays, she does Seerah. “I do faith counselling; I also provide a listening service, which is the most important service I can provide to the prisoners, and I do conflict resolving. I also offer

an advisory service for the new prisoners, as to how best to spend and deal with their sentence,” reveals Farhana. “These services are open to all prisoners,” she adds.

Attracting people towards your faith isn’t an easy task, but Farhana does it very well. Her approach is to follow Prophet Muhammad (saw), the best teacher in all matters, and propagate Islam the way he did. She explains: “He was always concerned that people should embrace Islam, but he never forced anyone towards it. His approach was, firstly, to recognise and understand whom he was dealing with, and then very gently, he would invite them to Islam. However, mostly our beloved Rasoolallah (saw) invited them by his actions.”

Her stint in the prison has made her realize that life in a jail, with its endless monotony, is one tough thing, and she feels that Muslims should visit prisons often, in order to support prisoners and their families. She also asks Muslims to help prisoners with resettlement, once they come out of the prison. As for Muslim converts, she says: “New Muslims are very lonely on their journey of Islam, and they need our support greatly.”

Farhana acknowledges the sacrifices made by her family during her chaplainship, especially her husband, who has been very supportive throughout. “Without my family and especially without my husband, I am nothing. This is all by the mercy of the Most Merciful,” she admits.

When asked to give a message to the people, she bluntly replies: “How can I give any message when ‘the Message’ has come and that is Islam?” She, however, adds: “We sincerely need to understand Islam, we need to serve it with sincerity, we need to stop looking at others with criticism, we have to stop judging others and we need to show compassion, patience and tolerance. We must do everything in our power to unite the Muslims and lead the world to good and peace. It must begin with us.”

Da’wah Books


Amid the hustle and bustle of Khadda Market’s attractions, some novel and some trivial, there lies a small, cosy outlet. It holds treasures for the intellectual, passionate and eager readers of all ages.

Established in June 2008, Da’wah Books is an independent, non-profit initiative that aims to facilitate the propagation of authentic Islamic knowledge – that, which has a clear basis (Daleel) in the Quran and Sahih Ahadeeth. It is not affiliated with any political or religious group.

The bookstore was inspired by the last sermon (Khutbah) of Prophet Muhammad (sa), delivered on the ninth day of Dhul-Hijjah, 10 AH (623 AD):

“I leave behind me two things, the Quran and the Sunnah, and if you follow these, you will never go astray. All those who listen to me shall pass on my words to others and those to others again; and may the last ones understand my words better than those who listened to me directly.”

The vision of Da’wah Books is to collect Islamic literature from all over the world that is firmly grounded in the Quran and Sahih Ahadeeth and make it conveniently available locally. The bookstore currently stocks authentic Islamic books from Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, India, UAE, UK, Canada and the USA.

Da’wah Books identifies itself as a service, rather than a business. Its caretakers strive for excellence, honesty and good Akhlaq, being conscious that they are not brand ambassadors for Da’wah Books alone, but that they represent Islam itself. They measure the success of the store not in terms of profit, but in terms of the number of people who benefit from it.

The place is not a typically over-crowded bookshop. Rather, it has a warm and comfortable environment, where one can spend time, relax and explore the selection of books. It has been identified on “karachisnob.com” as one of the must-visit bookstores in Karachi.

Da’wah Books has only one location and no other branches.

Visit Da’wah Books. Insha’Allah, you will enjoy it.

Da’wah Books can be reached at dawahbooks@gmail.com or (021) 3534-2335