Assallamu Allaikum

Countdown to Live 8 shows begins

The stage is all set for Tokyo's Live 8 show
Final preparations are taking place at venues around the world for the Live 8 series of anti-poverty concerts.


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What's the point?

Its only to raise awareness. Its does not even aim to achieve anything.

"For too long, we have been a passively tolerant society, saying to our citizens 'as long as you obey the law, we will leave you alone'" - David Cameron, UK Prime Minister. 13 May 2015.

Make Poverty History, Do Your Bit!

Every single day, 30,000 children are dying as a result of extreme poverty.

What have you done to help? Seriously what have you done?

When I was a little girl in the mid-80’s my hero was Bob Geldof, he was the one (living) person I wished to emulate most. Bob was truly inspirational my teachers would tell us about how selflessly he had responded to the crisis in Africa, his pop career was going nowhere and for years he had financial difficulties of his own. However he was so moved by the plight of the famine victims and so consumed with their suffering that his problems paled in comparison and he started the mammoth campaign that has made such a difference and inshAllah will continue to do so.

The events/news coverage surrounding the phenomenon that was LIVE AID had a profound effect on me (some zealots who go on and on about how music is haram and will judge me, please note I am not promoting the concert and the musicians but the awareness and money they raised and the difference they made, for which they should be praised). The images I saw of starving, gaunt people, especially the children with their bloated stomachs, stick-thin legs, flies swarming around their eyes, without even the energy to sip water was beyond disturbing. I remember being physically sickened at the sight of starving mothers offering emaciated breasts to babies too weak and sick to nurse anyway. What made it even more traumatic was my mum’s threat that if I didn’t stop eating large amounts of sweets and chocolates she would ship me off to Ethiopia to join the fate of the starving masses! The threat of starving suddenly seemed very real to me then, even while stuffing Mars Bars down my throat!

The realisation that I lived in the lap of luxury dawned on me. I may only have been seven years old but I knew just how lucky and privileged I was because I never went hungry, I went to school, slept in a warm bed and always had my parents there for me. Allah has bestowed these many favours on me and continues to do, even though I am so undeserving. The only way I can make myself more deserving is to help those who are not as fortunate as me.

I believe poverty eradication and development are Islamic obligations, this is what Zakat is, one of the pillars of our faith, its not just paying out money but ensuring that money makes a difference. Another pillar is fasting the test of endurance, to feel hunger and appreciate Allah and the sustenance he grants us. Safwan ibn Salim related that the Prophet (SAW) said: Anyone who looks after and works for a widow and a poor person is like a warrior fighting for Allah’s cause, or like a person who fasts during the day and prays all night. (Bukhari)

I actually asked my dad in 1985 what are Muslims doing to help the famine relief effort? He told me the animals that were slaughtered during Hajj were sent to the famine stricken countries to feed the starving….even to an 7 year old that didn’t seem to be a long term solution. Shouldn’t we help them grow their own food I asked? Years later I discovered that the founder of Islamic Relief Dr Hany Al-Banna had fulfilled his Islamic duty, travelled to the famine stricken countries and taken part in the relief effort. Alhamdulilah, he established Islamic Relief in response to the situation in the mid-80’s. See here

Bath’s Make Poverty History coalition launched its campaign last Saturday outside Bath Abbey. The crowd of around 300 supporters formed a huge circle wrapped by a giant white band, the symbol of the campaign, and held aloft a giant globe (Pic: Fiona Remnant)Unfortunately I feel the majority of Muslims I come into contact with outside MPACUK really have very little compassion or desire to help feed, clothe, ensure social justice or alleviate the poverty of their fellow human beings. It just isn’t on their agenda. Even lobbying or campaigning for a fairer world is just too much for them. Yes they pay ‘zakat’ but does it result in sustainable development or a just and fairer world, our responsibilities do not just end with writing a check or having a direct debit set up. We have to wage a jihad against poverty.

That’s why supporting the ‘Make Poverty History’ campaign is compulsory for all Muslims. Islamic relief have encouraged people to:

Get sponsored to live on just 50p a day. Get people to sponsor you for just 50 each and on the 1st July between 9am and 6pm, try to eat and drink on a budget of only 50p.

Join the thousands of others at the Make Poverty History G8 rally in Edinburgh on July 2nd (11am at the City Centre). Leader of the world’s richest nations (the G8) will be in Scotland-July 2nd is our chance to demand justice for the world’s poor.

Sign a petition and send an email to Blair and Bush and let them know we want a fairer world. To find out more about the international campaign go to this link:

I know the self-righteous Muslims, and the anti-political participation lot and their ilk will invoke a chorus of Astaghfiruallahs! And deplore marching with the ‘kufar’, insist we are promoting haram music, political activity and lobbying, tauba, tauba! God forbid we should so anything to proactively help people who are poverty stricken, heavily in-debt and starving! Those who think like this please fear Allah, you will never make a positive difference to anyone.

Sir Bob Geldof and others behind Live 8 have said that the objective this time is not fund-raising but awareness-raising. Its not about getting your money its about getting you. Their goals largely square with the proposals of the Commission for Africa. They argue that what Africa needs is much increased, higher quality and more carefully targeted aid, cancellation of the debts of the poorest countries and the removal of trade barriers that act against the interests of Africa.

Abu Qatadah related that the Prophet (SAW) said: If anyone would like Allah to save him from the hardships of the Day of Resurrection, he should give more time to his debtor who is short of money, or remit his debt altogether. (Muslim)

In return for the extra resources generated and to help ensure they are not wasted, the other part of the deal is Africa cracking down on corruption, improving governance and strengthening democracy.

Anas related that the Prophet pbuh said: If any Muslim plants something or sows seed from which a man, a bird or an animal eats, it counts as a charity for him. (Bukhari, Muslim).

The founders of Live Aid have urged a million people to descend on Edinburgh to campaign against world poverty as G8 leaders meet at Gleneagles:

Every householder and religious institution in Edinburgh has been urged to offer hospitality to the protesters. Every church, chapel, synagogue and mosque has been asked to open their doors and let the protestors in. I know several mosques don’t even let Muslim women in let alone non-Muslim protestors but they and their congregation still needs to be encouraged to take part in this effort. Above all I hope every Muslim makes an effort, do not doubt that you will be held accountable for your inaction.

The Prophet Muhammad (SAW) warns his followers: "He, who sleeps on a full stomach, whilst his neighbour goes hungry, is not one of us."

The believers, both men and women, are allies of one another. Theyenjoin good, forbid evil, establish Prayer, pay Zakah, and obey Allah and His Messenger. Surely Allah will show mercy to them. Allah is All-Mighty, All-Wise (9:71)