In 1970 when Abdul Samad, may Allah’s mercy/blessing be upon him, was 19 years old, he travelled to Pakistan, where he was introduced to Islam and became a Muslim. He stayed a few years, and as he was there without money, he saw first-hand the daily poverty that people must manage.
In 1984 he returned to Pakistan as a volunteer for the ISRA to register Afghan orphans. His knowledge of the Afghan and Arabic languages was a great help because most of the funding was from Arabs who needed tours of the Afghan refugee camps in Pakistan. Luckily, many teachers and headmasters who had arrived in tented camps with thousands of children were Abdul Samad’s old friends or knew someone he knew.
Abdul Samad had previously spent a year in Kabul as a student of Islam. The Director and founder of the Agency, Dr Awad, a Sudanese who worked most of his life for the WHO, asked Abdul Samad to stay and open an office for the orphans.
From 1984 to 1988, he was based in Peshawar. They registered and supported thousands of orphans and war widows with an annual five-million-dollar budget.
Abdul Samad was then asked to open an office in the UK in Birmingham. It opened in 1988, and now it’s 2023, and ISRA-UK is still serving the poor in various ways in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and the UK.
We all know that natural and man-made disasters will continue, and people will need help and assistance. In Islam, anyone who contributes, even in a small way, is part of the Jumaat and will get the same rewards as others who contribute more. There is also a ‘feel good factor’ when paying Zakat or giving Sadaqa (Charity). It is classified as a part of ‘Ibadah’ (worship).
We want to take this opportunity to thank all the sponsors and donors, staff, volunteers, overseas partners, trustees and advisors who have contributed over the years, without whom the hundreds of thousands of beneficiaries, widows, orphans, disabled war victims, drought victims and refugees could not have done without.
Unfortunately, our brother Abdul Samad Zamzami may Allah’s mercy/blessing be upon him, has returned to our lord. His legacy ISRA-UK is his Sadaqah Jariyah.
May Allah grant him and all who contribute to ISRA-UK to make it what it is today, the highest level of Jannah.