A Muharram blood donation campaign organised by the Islamic Unity Society at the Islamic Centre of England in London this September has passed off successfully. In addition to London, Imam Hussain Blood Donation, currently in its tenth year of operation, was held in Manchester, Leeds, Leicester, Aberdeen, Glasgow and Wales.
The Imam Hussain(a) Blood Donation Campaign started in 2006 and is the first campaign within the UK which aims to increase the number of blood donors from the Muslim community.
The campaign is part of the Islamic Unity Society (IUS) Community, focusing on providing innovative ways of integrating the Muslim community into wider British society.
Hujjatul-Islam Dr Mohammad Ali Shomali, director of the Islamic Centre, gave a brief explanation of the event and the philosophy behind the campaign:
“Thanks be to God, for the third time we were able to host the Blood Donation Campaign at the Islamic Centre of England. This event is organised by Imam Hussain Blood Donation, affiliated to IUS (Islamic Unity Society), in cooperation with NHS Blood and Transplant unit.
It is an event where the members of the community plus people from wider society come to give blood and save lives. Today we had 33% non-Muslims giving blood out of almost 150 people who signed up.
All the equipment for donating blood was provided and the Islamic regulations were observed, so there was a good sense of cooperation between NHS BD and the Muslim community as they know each other’s expectations and requirements. The frequency of this event at the Islamic Centre, God willing, will be increased to take place four times a year.
It must also be noted that the majority of people who need blood in this country are from ethnic minorities and most of the blood donated here is also from ethnic minorities. So it is a great help for the NHS to have a good supply of these types of blood.I would like to mention something about the philosophy behind this campaign. As Muslims and human beings, we naturally love to help people, but for Shi‘a, in particular, is very important to hold such events nearer to Ashura of Imam Hussain(a).
The first ten nights of the month of Muharram, the Shi‘a commemorate the martyrdom of Imam Hussain(a) because we believe Imam gave his blood to save humanity from ignorance and injustice as we find it in Ziara Arbaeen (Arbaeen salutation). He gave his blood fighting those who did not treat people with dignity and respect. We want to say to the world that just as Imam Hussain(a) gave his blood to save humanity we give ours to those in need and any time that the NHS needs blood we will be ready to give blood through these exceptional events so they can meet their needs.
For more information on these campaigns visit:
http://www.ius.org.uk/giveblood or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org