Charity Subulus Salaam Aids Muslims in London

UK-based Muslim charities continue their amazing work in collecting and distributing much needed aid to people suffering across the world.

Their success is ultimately a testimony of the generosity and humanity of Britain’s Muslim community.

Zakat el Fitr food distribution packs

And while these charities do respond to emergencies closer to home, there are few who direct their efforts entirely towards assisting those local to them, and fewer still that focus on Muslims alone.

Subulus Salaamhowever, is one such charity that’s dedicated exclusively towards helping poverty-stricken Muslims residing in the Capital.

Set up in 2012 as a community group, and having only last year registered as a charity, its “main aim is to raise awareness within the Muslim community about social issues that some Muslim families and individuals here in London face on a daily basis”.

This includes raising awareness of “the manifestations of poverty in London”, identifying “needy households” within the community, and providing “financial or material support to vulnerable households in crisis”.

But, such destitution seems to be part of a much wider problem that’s affecting tens of thousands across the country.

According to a 2016 report by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation titled ‘Destitution in the UK’, around a quarter of a million people, including over 300,000 children, were classed as destitute at some point during 2015.

And though migrant groups “face[d] disproportionate risks of destitution, the great majority (79 per cent) of those destitute were born in the UK”.

For this reason, Subulus Salaam encourages Muslims to pay their annual alms-giving tax, or Zakat, to eligible recipients within the UK, such as 35-year-old Algerian Ibrahim.

Residing as a “failed asylum seeker” in West London, Ibrahim, whose wife was expecting their third child, turned to Subulus Salaam after exhausting all avenues and with no recourse to public funds.

The charity excepted his appeal and immediately responded by offering the family one of its Zakat el Fitr food packages.

Proportions (%) distributed across London 2.5 tons

With a lack of resources, however, the charity has been restricted to running only three annual projects:

  • Food distribution in the form of Zakat el Fitr at the end of the fasting month of Ramadan, which benefits more than 100 Muslim households.
  • Udhiya meat distribution during Eid al-Adha, which only benefits a few families.
  • And the Winter Blanket Initiative, which assists around 50 households for a period of just four months whose breadwinner is unemployed with no recourse to public funds (NRPF). Such recipients can receive monthly food shopping, utility card top-ups, and winter clothing and bedding.

And it is the Winter Blanket Initiative along with Zakat el Fitr that has assisted 40-year-old Muhammad (originally from Sri Lanka), his wife and their three young children for the past two years.

After accruing thousands of pounds of rent arrears that led to the family facing severe food insecurity, Muhammad contacted the charity for assistance.

According to admin Hassan Abu Tasneem, although Subulus Salaam is “directed and managed by Muslim converts” alone, “a direct consequence [of this has been] the lack of network and therefore the lack of funding”.

“What would give us a great push forward would be to have the support of a few Muslim businesses,” he told FtL.

Although Hassan revealed that “the competition for resources and funds is absolutely ruthless”, he’s hoping “to find sponsors within the Muslim community” to help the charity in its good work.

“The lack of funds hinders our marketing, our ability to pay fundraising operatives, and fundraising events organisers on an ad-hoc basis. Our lack of funds hinders our ability to invest in equipment or in renting an office.”

If you think you can help, or if you’d like to know more, you can contact Subulus Salaam at: www.subulussalaam.co.uk.

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