In 2019 we asked the question why is the land rich, but so many communities around the world are poor? Of course this is a very deep question and there are so many reasons on a historical, demographic and socio-economic level, that it will have to be a discussion for another day. It is a complex problem that we cannot even begin solve, but what we can do is look at how we create wealth and value within communities.
Before we embarked on such a long, difficult and very important journey, we wanted to purify our intention and bless our efforts. So we looked for a project that met the following criteria:
- It must be charitable in nature
- It must create opportunity (locally) and be simple to implement
- It must uplift communities and be sustainable
- It must be low cost and be transformational (a hard one)
Where better to start than with a place of worship, a Mosque? We relied on the following guidance to initiate the project:
The Messenger of God, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Whoever builds a mosque for God, then God will build for him a house like it in Paradise.”
and the Quranic verse (2:245): ‘Who is he that will loan to God a beautiful loan which God will double unto his credit and multiply it many times?’
And we really do need God to multiply this loan of charity many times if we are going to begin the great endeavour of changing the world by His Grace!
However building a new Mosque in any country in the world takes time and money, two of which we were in short supply. So we decided to go into existing communities and help them refurbish their Mosques.
Ok great idea, but where to start? We used to trade in frozen food with Ijora Market in Lagos Nigeria, so why not start there? We asked the Project Manager to go into the market and find a local Mosque in need of refurbishment and speak to the committee. If they were agreeable, to send some pictures of what was needed. Turns out they needed a new ablution area, as well as other substantial refurbishment.
Secondly the Islamic Centre Edgware had recently completed their new Mosque in Edgware, Northwest London and were looking for an external project to fund raise for during Ramadanin 2019. I presented the idea to the beautiful brothers and they were very happy to help, God bless them.
So the Refurbish Africa Mosque project was born, Alhamdullillah (thank God). In 2021 we are onto our 7th Mosque and as they say the rest is history…