Many tribes in the AlMaghrib-o-sphere were seemingly quiet during the month of Ramadan; volunteers retired to their homes and local mosques to engage in devout worship, while others occupied themselves with family dinner invitations. One group’s volunteerism, however, continued nevertheless, as they viewed this month of giving as a fertile opportunity to increase their involvement with their community.
Qabeelat Haadi, the AlMaghrib tribe of the Bay Area, California.
The San Fran Bay Area is reputed to be a hotbed of Islamic activity; nestling in the heart of the city are many large organizations, such Muslim Community Association (MCA), Islamic Relief, Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), Islamic Center of North America (ICNA) as well as others. Each Jumu’ah prayer gathers throngs of Muslims in the city’s two primary mosques; renowned Muslim intellects and scholars from all over visit the city to deliver breath-taking speeches; it’s also the home of Zaid Shakir and Suhaib Webb, two notable Imams of our Ummah. The collective presence of these leaders and organizations adds a unique element to Qabeelat Haadi’s marketing.
The Qabeelah’s strategy is two-pronged: first, to provide top-notch Islamic education (specifically for married couples, who comprise the majority of their demographics); and second, to “complement existing organizations” by being more than just students of knowledge, but also active participants in every good cause the community brings forth. In other words, the Qabeelah thrives on a system of reciprocity. “When we have a class, we invite all these organizations to attend,” the Ameer said. “And when they have an event, we reciprocate.”
This Ramadan, QHaadi students committed themselves to a duo-sponsorship package with Islamic Relief (talk about ‘ajr-entrepreneurs, masha’Allah). Islamic Relief’s platinum sponsorship is when QHaadians (or McHaadi’s?) pledged to cover the expenses of IR’s East Africa fundraiser. In return, they received a table, an advertising booth–where they flashed out colorfully-irresistable seminar flyers, buttons, pens and large purple banners so familiar in the AlMaghrib world–as well as a noble mention in the Islamic Relief leaflet and presentation. Sr. Fathimah Baheejah, who is stepping in temporarily as Ameerah, describes this sponsorship as a “little collective effort” on their part–nothing too extraordinary–for in the past, QHaadi has been a platinum sponsor for all major ICNA, CAIR and Islamic Relief events and fundraisers. “It’s good because our community is really diverse,” she said, “and for AlMaghrib to stand out, we have to work on our PR for every organization.”
Their second sponsorship is for Zakat disembursement. According to the Ameer, that’s where those Qabeelah student mailing lists come in handy… The Qabeelah requests students and their families to send in their Zakat funds via e-mail, and volunteers collect the money and send it in to Islamic Relief. With news of the East African drought, “Haadians” have tailored their ChariTree efforts to raisings funds and awareness for our brothers and sisters abroad.
How’s that for a Ramadan Qabeelah investment? And speaking of Africa, QHaadi is proud to host their next AlMaghrib seminar, Western Sunrise: Islamic History in Africa, Andalus and the Americas in the end of September. Click here for more details.