WATERFORD – A newly established Islamic society in Ireland’s south east city of Waterford has been nominated the best Islamic society in Ireland for December, 2013, in recognition of their efforts to offer help to Muslim students, raise funds, and increase Islamic awareness.
“Overall, [the week] was quite successful, considering it was during the mid-term exams. Our aim at the start was to try raise around €1000, so due to the grace of God, we accomplished just that,” Ahmed Mohmed, the president of Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) Islamic Society, said.
“But in Islam, it’s not always about the results, but about the intention and the action that follows it.”
Established in May, 2013, to cater to Muslim students studying in WIT, the WIT Islamic Society has now grown into a successful role model for Islamic organizations in Ireland.
Earlier in November, the society held its first charity week, which took place between Monday 11th to Thursday 21st November.
The event, run in conjunction with the Federation of Student Islamic Societies (FOSIS), raised over €1,700 in aid of orphanages and schools in Palestine and Syria
During the week, the first event was held in two mosques of Waterford city and college prayer room where the society held a Cake Sale, donated by volunteers to raise funds after Friday prayer.
The social media has also been widely used in advertising the charity week among the students.
Public relation officer Hala Cherbatji has posted ads on facebook pages and groups related to the college in order to call for volunteers and make students aware of our charity week and cause.
The society has also asked the local imams to give Friday sermon on charity and orphans in Islam in order to increase awareness of local Muslims outside the college about the charity week.
Islamic publicity officer Ahmmed Al-fadhli, treasurer Bader Albadran and vice-prayer room officer Radi Alsaiari were all involved in several events during the charity week.
The Islamic Society also held a football match between our Islamic Society members and the Erasmus students that are in the college.
The fundraising events were coordinated with Dr. Mohammad Alhourani, the imam of Waterford Muslims Community, after Friday prayer held at Viewmount Mosque.
The Federation of Student Islamic Societies (FOSIS) Ireland awarded WIT Islamic Society “The Best Islamic Society in Ireland” title for the month of December due to its efforts during charity week.
During the Charity Week, the WIT Islamic Society tried to show Muslim students in a different light and increase the awareness of Islam.
“[Rather than] the stereotypes that you see and hear on TV, we want to show that it is part of our faith to give in charity and that we too work to benefit society,” Mohmed, the WIT Islamic society president, said.
He added that the event gave members of the society and Muslim students the opportunity to get involved and help out, so that “they feel like they are contributing and making a difference.”
Apart from being a meeting point for Muslim students from various backgrounds, the WIT Islamic society also provides information to people who are interested in Islam, its meaning, values and the culture behind the ideology.
WIT Islamic Society hopes to follow up on the success of this year’s event with the rest of the semester’s activities.
Their most recent event included a lecture organised on 10th October entitled “Volunteering for Allah” featuring a guest lecture by world-renowned Islamic preacher, Sheikh Abdur-Raheem Mccarthy, which was the largest in a series of eleven held nationwide.
Muslims make up 1.1 percent of the 4.5 million people in Ireland, but their ranks are swelling due to immigration, domestic births, and in some cases conversion.
Two decades ago, they numbered about 4,000.
A 2011 census recorded 49,204 Muslims, including nearly 12,000 school-aged children. The numbers represent a 51 percent increase since 2006.
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