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05 December 2011

Cheliya Muslims to donate blood to mark beginning of Isamic caendar

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By Abdul Hafiz Lakhani

Ahmedabad: More than 1,000 Cheliya Muslims — a close-knit community known for its simplicity and honesty in the hotel business — will be donating blood to mark the beginning of the Islamic calendar on AASHURA day

Their belief: If we can save someone’s life, what better way than by donating blood during Muharram, a time to review Islamic teachings and to commemorate Imam Hussain’s sacrifice.

Most Cheliya Muslims, who visit their native place, will donate blood to show their love for Imam Hussain.

The community has decided to donate their blood to a cause during this period of mourning. In this regard, Ahmed Vikas Mandal, an NGO, and Prathama Blood Centre are organising a blood donation camp in Siddhpur, 140 km from Ahmedabad.

President of the NGO Abbas Momin said, “More than 1,000 people will donate blood, the first time such a large number from the community will contribute in Gujarat.”

Ahmed Vikas Mandal that works to empower, educate people and raise health awareness in Siddhpur, believes that most Cheliya Muslims from the city who visit their native place will donate blood to show their love for Hussain.

Momin said, “We have permission to donate blood from our religious guru Peer Saiyad Mohamad Mushahid Hussain Baba Saheb.”

In the state there are around 55,000 Cheliya Muslims who gather at their native village to observe nine days of ‘matam’ (sorrow) and mark the tenth day as Muharram.

Momin who has been donating blood along with his family since 1992 said, “Understanding the importance of blood donation from organisations like Prathma we thought of taking it to a bigger level.”

Commending the community for realising the importance of blood donation, Sandeep Mishra, senior consultant of Prathma Blood Center in Ahmedabad who is co-ordinating the event, said, “We are glad the community is taking the lead in blood donation, which is the best way to worship God in any religion because one bottle of blood can save four lives.”

[Abdul Hafiz Lakhani is a senior Journalist based at Ahmedabad, Gujarat. He is associated with IndianMuslimObserver.com as Bureau Chief (Gujarat). He can be reached at lakhani63@yahoo.com or on his cell 09228746770]

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