Nejma Collective Ramadan fundraiser

by Nejma Collective CIC in London, Greater London, United Kingdom

Nejma Collective Ramadan fundraiser

Total raised £10,125

raised so far

269

supporters

We want to help our brothers and sisters in prison who need money to buy food, clothing and phone credit to speak to their loved ones.

by Nejma Collective CIC in London, Greater London, United Kingdom

*Sadaqa only, not Zakat (see below for details)*

In the blessed time of Ramadan, we at Nejma Collective CIC ask that you remember our brothers and sisters in prison who find themselves in the clutches of a violent state which overzealously polices racialised people and  vulnerable groups, imprisoning people to the benefit of private contractors who run prisons, rather than to the benefit of society which is still left without resolution to the root causes that lead to “crime”, or to the benefit of incarcerated people who are rarely given genuine resources or time or wellbeing for rehabilitation when needed.

Muslims make up 6% of the UK population but 18% of its prisons. Our siblings inside often tell us about the fact they don’t have access to filling, nutritious food (that meets their dietary, health or religious needs), warm comfortable clothing or phone credit to speak to their loved ones. 

At Nejma, a volunteer-run community interest company, we have been speaking directly to our prison siblings who have shared their stories of incarceration which should be a concern to us all. We hear harrowing stories of being offered bacon sandwiches after a day of fasting, of not having clothes other than the ones on their back from the first day, or working tirelessly in prison to earn just £13, and not having phone credit to get in touch with their families. Our siblings are isolated, disempowered and lonely. As an ummah of our Prophet ﷺ, and as a community who cares about society's most shunned, let's collectively help our brothers and sisters in need.

While Nejma aims to empower our Muslim siblings in prison, we do not discriminate when it comes to giving grants to others nor do we police their needs. Indeed, in Surah Al-Insan, one of the earliest revealed chapters of the Quran, Allah describes one of the characteristics of the people He is pleased with as those who:

وَيُطْعِمُونَ ٱلطَّعَامَ عَلَىٰ حُبِّهِۦ مِسْكِينًۭا وَيَتِيمًۭا وَأَسِيرًا

“Give food, despite their desire for it, to the poor, the orphan, and the captive” (76:8)

Commentators upon the Quran have explained that “the captive” is a category here which referred mainly to non-Muslim prisoners of war at the time of revelation. The proof they use for this is that after the battle of Badr, the Messenger of Allah ﷺ commanded his Companions to treat their captives with care - often giving them preference over themselves when it came to food in particular. The commentators also agree that this means that all prisoners - whether Muslim or not - are to be fed and taken care of by Muslims as a rewardable act. Clearly, Allah has made our duty not only to our siblings in Islam, but to all of creation. The aim then, as is now, was not eternal caging and punishment as we see in the criminal justice system today, but mercy, forgiveness and kindness.   

*Please note these donations are therefore not zakat-eligible as we cannot ensure that every recipient of our grants meets the threshold for zakat which is only for Muslims. However, please remember that sadaqa which is given in Ramadan is rewarded the same as giving zakat outside of Ramadan, so please know that your efforts to help our siblings in prison will be immensely rewarded, especially in such a holy time as beloved to Allah as Ramadan.

Nejma means star in Arabic. We called ourselves the Nejma Collective in reference to Surah Yusuf in the Quran, wherein the moon, the sun and eleven stars bowed before the Prophet Yusuf AS in his dream. Surah Yusuf reminds us that people in prison must not be maligned or ignored, even Allah’s chosen messenger was imprisoned on account of unjust circumstances. The interactions he has with other prisoners also remind us that people who experience prison are as valuable and important to society as everybody else.

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