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Time to spread fraternal bond, peace and goodwill

Hazim Arafeh – Time to spread fratenal bond-Hazim Arafeh Web

Assalaamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatoh

(Peace and Blessings Be Upon All of You).

On this occasion of the Holy Month of Ramadan, I wish to express my heartiest Ramadan Kareem Mubarak to the Muslim community in New Zealand.

As we prepare to welcome the Holy Month, we thank and praise Allah Almighty for blessing us with many things and offering us yet another opportunity to fast in this blessed month, perform pious deeds and to receive more of His Mercy and Bounty.

For Muslims all over the world, the Holy Month of Ramadan is of very special importance.  It is observed throughout the world with all sanctity and reverence that it demands.

Positive Month

Ramadan is not only a time for worship, reflection and brotherhood, but also one that should encourage us to have care and compassion; inculcating patience, perseverance and everything good – all positive qualities that will, Insha Allah, transform ourselves, our families and our communities to be better.

Since its inception, the Federation of Islamic Associations in New Zealand (FIANZ), as an umbrella organisation for the Muslim community in New Zealand, has grown from strength to strength.

FIANZ is unique in its multi-faceted responsibilities.

It also forms an integral part of New Zealand’s multi-million-dollar Halal meat export trade vital to New Zealand’s primary production export industry.

FIANZ objectives

To establish and maintain the highest standard of Islamic practice in accordance with the teachings of the Holy Qur’an and Sunnah (The Traditions of Prophet Muhammad) (Peace Be Upon Him).

To undertake Da’wah (outreach and dialogue), education, welfare and other Islamic activities.

To strengthen Islamic unity and assist in the development of the Muslim community of New Zealand and to ensure that the Muslims living in New Zealand integrate well into the local society.

To foster good relations between the Muslim community and the wider ethnic communities of New Zealand.

To establish and foster good relationships with Muslim countries and International Muslim organisations and institutions.

Promote and explain the message of Islam to the wider New Zealand community.

Alhamdulillah, the Muslim community in New Zealand is united and is collectively working to uplift the well-being of our community. In this regard, FIANZ, with its main objective of upholding Islamic values, has been the driving force in maintaining the unity of the Muslim community in New Zealand and ensuring that we are able to integrate well with mainstream New Zealand.

FIANZ Constituents

A majority of New Zealand Muslims are affiliated under the following seven constituent regional organisations spread around the North and South Islands of New Zealand:

New Zealand Muslim Association Incorporated (NZMA), Auckland

South Auckland Muslim Association Incorporated (SAMA), Auckland

Waikato Muslim Association Incorporated (WMA), Hamilton

Manawatu Muslim Association Incorporated (MMA), Palmerston North

International Muslim Association of New Zealand Incorporated (IMAN), Wellington

Muslim Association of Canterbury Incorporated (MAC), Christchurch

Otago Muslim Association Incorporated (OMA), Dunedin

In addition to the above seven Constituents, the following organisations are also affiliated to FIANZ: Islamic Women’s Council of New Zealand (IWCNZ) and Muslim Council of Auckland (MCA),

FIANZ Structure

FIANZ has a comprehensive structure as follows: Ulema (Religious Advisory) Board, Hilal Committee, Halal Food Committee, Da’wah and Outreach, National and International Affairs, Business, Women’s Division and Youth

Alhamdulillah, Ramadan is a time when we have an opportunity to bring our communities together.  Events such as Ramadan, while on the surface may seem to be of religious significance to Muslims, they also offer opportunities for people of different backgrounds to bond together.

I urge all Muslims to transmit the noble message of Ramadan to the wider community.

One of FIANZ’s top priorities moving forward is to ensure that every member of New Zealand Muslim community regards themselves as proud and productive Kiwis and an integral part of the rich fabric of New Zealand Society.

May Allah Azzawajal accept our fasting, good deeds, strengthen our unity and to live in peace and harmony.

Jazak Allahu Khairan

Wassalamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatoh

Hazim Arafeh is President of the Federation of Islamic Associations in New Zealand based in Wellington.

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