Salaam friends of learnislam!
As we were busy preparing ourselves towards the end of Ramadan last week, we bumped into people who were busy preparing and doing things for others instead. We had the chance to talk to Farid Hassan – the head for this year’s Amat Family Charity Project’s (AFCP) annual Batam Charity Iftar held last 10-11 June. The charity project has been running for 5 years by a family so passionate in giving back to others less fortunate. Below is our short interview with Farid:
1) Hi Assalaamu’alaikum Farid, firstly tell us more about yourself.
Waalaikumsalam. My name is Farid Hassan. I graduated from the University of Queensland, Australia with a Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering.
2) Tell us more about how this family project started and how it has evolved till now.
It started with a simple iftar with orphans from an orphan home in a small ballroom. It was a simple event. We break our fast together, we interacted with the kids and they left. Such simplicity is like a norm for us Singaporeans but judging from their expression, it looked as though the kids had the best time of their lives! I will never forget the joy and that smile on their faces. From then on, we pledged to expand this and try to reach out to as many orphans as we can in Batam. Alhamdulillah, it is our fifth year now and Allah s.w.t has facilitated us in many ways to achieve our primary objective.
3) Why iftar at Batam?
Unlike Singapore, developing countries such as Indonesia have higher number of people who are less-fortunate. Frequently you will see people begging in the streets in Indonesia. And since Batam is just an hour of ferry ride away, and the city being very popular among Singaporeans, it automatically became our first choice.
We hope that the Iftar in batam will serve as a stepping stone for those who have participated. We aim to spread the awareness, where there are people from the wider community who are in need of our help. And hopefully through this program, they will forge a closer relationship with the orphans and will be motivated to follow up with the condition and the progress of the orphans and their respective homes.
4) What motivated you to take part in this family project?
I am truly blessed to be the grandchild of Hj Amat Bin Kassam and Hjh Kamariah Bte Ibrahim. A lovely couple with beautiful hearts, doing charity work is like a routine for them. Every year without fail, they travelled together to pay a visit to an orphan home and made donations. They donated whatever amount that they could afford. Even if they could afford just a paltry sum of money, it did not deter them from making that trip.
To be part of this family project allows me to continue their legacy. The selfless act of my grandparents motivates me to do even more for the family project.
Despite our busy schedules, we make it a point to come together and do at least one major charity activity in the month of Ramadhan because we know that it is something that our late grandparents would do if they were still alive.
5) After 5 years organizing the projects, how have you changed in any way?
Looking at how excited the orphans were while savouring the food prepared for them, it made me reflect on how luxurious I am as compared to them and how much do I appreciate these bounties given by Allah s.w.t. These kids taught me an invaluable lesson and improved the way I live. These kids were sent by Allah s.w.t for me learn to appreciate every little thing that I have.
This project also helps to strengthen the bond between the members of Amat Family. We treat this like a ‘gotong-royong’ session where all the makciks will gather to pack the goody bags and some of the stronger cousins will help out with the dirty work. It feels really good when you see your cousins and your aunts/uncles are working together tirelessly for the sake of charity.
6) Where do you see the project going in future?
We hope to expand our project to the regional countries in South East Asia. Depending on the pressing need of the community, we aim to widen our reach to help as many less-fortunate people as possible in shaa Allah.
7) Any last words?
We do hope that Singaporeans will come back frequently to help the orphans and the less-fortunate in Batam, regardless of the continuation of the Charity Iftar Project. There are many ways to perform a charitable deed as advised by our beloved Prophet Muhammad s.a.w in a hadith:
“Every Muslim has to give in charity.” The people then asked: “(But what) if someone has nothing to give, what should he do?” The Prophet replied: “He should work with his hands and benefit himself and also give in charity (from what he earns).” The people further asked: “If he cannot find even that?” He replied: “He should help the needy who appeal for help.” Then the people asked: “If he cannot do (even) that?” The Prophet said finally: “Then he should perform good deeds and keep away from evil deeds, and that will be regarded as charitable deeds.” (Bukhari)
On behalf of Amat Family Charity Projects, I would like to thank every single soul who has attended the Fifth Charity Iftar and the volunteers who worked tirelessly to make the event a success. Thank you learnislam.sg for the opportunity to share the Charity Iftar Project. May Allah s.w.t reward your team in abundance and facilitate your team in achieving your objectives.
Let us spread this act and reach out to as many people as we can. Let us not delay in giving charity, for it stands in the way of calamity. (Tirmidhi)
Allahumma ameen to Farid’s dua and may projects of rahmah like this be spread to friends and relatives, and be continued for generations onwards. May their efforts to make the days of others better, as little or big as they are, be blessed insyaAllah. To know more about the Amat Family Charity Project, head on to their FB page or see their teaser video here.
We hope that the story of how this charity was formed from the influence of their charitable grandparents has been much inspirational to you as it has been to us. Let’s get up and do our bit for the community with whatever we have, wherever we are.
Rahmah begins with us. – U