Indian-origin philanthropist and founding father of catastrophe reduction group ‘Reward Of The Givers’, Dr Imtiaz Sooliman has received the distinguished South African of the Year Award run by the Every day Maverick newspaper.
South Africans throughout the board voted for Sooliman, placing Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo in second place. Zondo heads the Fee of Inquiry into State Seize, which investigates fraud and corruption within the public sector, together with state organs.
Dr Sooliman, in his acceptance speech on the Al Quds Mosque in Cape City on Friday, known as on Muslims worldwide to interact in caring for all communities to alter Islamophobic perceptions.
Dr Sooliman began ‘Reward Of The Givers’ after his non secular mentor in Turkey requested him to take action in 1994.
Since then, the charitable and reduction organisation has undertaken reduction work in additional than 44 international locations after pure disasters reminiscent of earthquakes in addition to helping folks in war-torn international locations.
Apart from the Center East, Japanese Europe and lots of international locations in Africa, ‘Reward Of The Givers’ groups have additionally assisted throughout pure disasters in India and Pakistan.
Relying nearly totally on donations and the compulsory ‘zakat’ tax paid by Muslims, ‘Reward Of The Givers’ has offered nearly 4 billion rand (USD 260 million) value of assist to drought-stricken areas, starting from cell hospitals, meals hampers, and digging boreholes.
The physician recalled how his non secular chief in Turkey had instructed him to ascertain the organisation ‘Waqful Waqifin’, which interprets to ‘reward of the givers’ from Arabic.
“My son, the Sheikh mentioned, you’ll serve all folks, of all religions, of all races; all colors, all cultures; all courses, of any geographical places and of any political affiliation, however you’ll serve them unconditionally. You’ll count on nothing in return, not even a thanks,” recalled Dr Sooliman, who practises medication.
“After we go into an space to do our work, we do not take a look at their perception techniques. Whether or not they’re Hindu, Muslim or Christians, no matter they might be, we do not go to be judgemental about anybody,” he mentioned.
“This award got here by South Africans who had voted throughout cultures, throughout religions, throughout individuals who wouldn’t have any religion too, however all of them had been prepared to vote for me,” Dr Sooliman mentioned this symbolised that individuals of their souls, help goodness.
Dr Sooliman is recognised internationally for his works, profitable scores of awards and accolades over the many years, lauded by South African and overseas heads of state for his organisation’s help throughout instances of crises.
Dr Sooliman has additionally acquired Nationwide Orders, South Africa’s highest civilian honour, and earlier this yr was named Social Justice Champion by the College of Stellenbosch in Western Cape province.
Dr Sooliman mentioned if all Muslims believed in these rules of caring for his or her fellow residents, it could go a good distance in direction of eradicating the scourge of Islamophobia and perceptions that Islam helps terrorisms.
Dr Sooliman denounced organisations which are likely to help reduction efforts solely in Muslim international locations.
“We mustn’t say Palestinians solely; Syrians solely; Iraq solely; Afghanistan solely; like different cultures do not exist. We go to each space to see the identical ache, hardship and nervousness that we now have. While you carry ease to that, they’ll always remember you and that Muslims introduced goodness,” he mentioned.
Dr Sooliman used the instance of a mosque in Cape City utilizing its services at hand out Christmas parcels to the needy on behalf of the Reward of the Givers.
“There could not be a greater instance of constructing relations,” he mentioned in conclusion.