By Hamdallat Yusuf, PhD
Pious Muslim Women International Organisation, a faith-based, non-governmental organisation registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission in Nigeria has since inception striven to add value to the Nigerian society. The organisation has core mandates of Da’wah, widow empowerment and orphan care through the sponsorship of the education of orphans and an orphanage for children with no family to care for them. Also, during the holy month of Ramadan, Pious Muslim Women International Organisation focuses on extending assistance to the less privileged through the distribution of food items and cash. Many individuals and homes benefit from this programme organised and run by members of the organisation who fund the project primarily from personal means.
Pious Muslim Women International Organisation also hosts Iftar (breaking of fast) every Saturday and Sunday at Tanke, which is the host community for the University of Ilorin. This makes it easy for students to attend and be impacted by life-changing sermons.
The activities of Pious Muslim Women Organisation drawn from the admonition of the Holy Quran to spend out of what Allah has bestowed upon Muslims to bring succour to those who are less privileged. For instance, in Quran 3 verse 92, Allah says “You shall not attain righteousness until you spend out of what you love (in the way of Allah). Allah knows whatever you spend.” Also, in Quran 14 verse 31, Allah says “Tell those of My servants who believe that they should establish prayer and spend out of what We have provided them with, both secretly and openly, before there arrives a day when they will be no bargaining nor any mutual befriending.”
Specifically, since 2015, the organisation has distributed food items and cash to many communities across Nigeria heeding Allah’s call in Suratul Baqara verse 274 that “those who spend from their wealth [in Allah’s way] by night and by day, secretly and publicly – they will have their reward with their Lord. And no fear will there be concerning them, nor will they grieve.”
In 2015, two (2) million naira was raised and spent on Ramadan feeding. This initial effort focused on communities in Ilorin, the Kwara state capital. By 2018, this fund increased to 5 million Naira and the communities extended to Osun, Oyo, Ogun and Lagos States. By 2019, Pious Muslim Women International Organisation reached out to communities in 8 states during the month of Ramadan. The states were Kwara, Niger, Oyo, Osun, Lagos, Rivers, Kaduna, and Ogun.
Despite the COVID 19 pandemic and lockdown in 2020, the organisation was not deterred as over 12 million naira was raised. 9 states benefitted as Kano state joined Kwara, Niger, Oyo, Osun, Lagos, Rivers, Kaduna, and Ogun states with food items such as rice, beans, gari, semolina etc. And money was provided to the less privileged with emphasis on widows and orphans in various communities across these states. The joy on the faces of beneficiaries is but an indication as to the effects the gifts have on the people.
This year, the organisation targeted to raise 20 million Naira in order to reach more people and impact more on the society. This target was informed by the reality of the impact of COVID 19 on people and the economy in Nigeria. This fund was to be raised by individual member donations and public support. So far, the organisation has raised 15 million Naira and disbursed 12 Million Naira to beneficiaries in 9 states. Efforts are still on to meet the target so as to extend the distribution to more people.
Pious Muslim Women International Organisation runs an open system whereby the benefit of the public is central and the fear of giving account to Allah on the day of reckoning drives members.
As the month of Ramadan progresses, it is the hope of Pious Muslim Women International Organisation that well-meaning individuals and corporate organisations will join hands with them to give to society and help those who are less privileged. Pictorial evidence of the activities of the organisation abound on the organisation’s website www.piousmuslimwomen.org.ng and the social media page on Facebook www.facebook.com/piousMWIO/ Individuals and corporate bodies desirous of joining Pious Muslim Women International Organisation can send donations to the Jaiz Bank account of the Organisation: 0002304243, Pious Muslim Women Cooperative.
Dr. Hamdallat T. Yusuf is the Founder, Pious Muslim Women International Organisation