ABDUSAMAD AKOOJEE, a former executive member of SANZAF, who served the poor for over five decades, passed away on January 2, aged 82.
Well known for his Zakah desk at Masjid ul-Quds, Gatesville in Cape Town, during Ramadan, he would arrive at 10am and leave well after Tarawih.
When he started, he collected R15 000,00. Thirty years later, in 2019, he handed over R1-million to SANZAF.
Akoojee’s enthusiasm for the serving the needy was first sparked off by his political activism in the 1960s. From there, he would distribute bread to the needy, inspired by a limbless girl. His interest in Zakah was created by the late Imam Abu Bakr Simons. He gave a talk at Bridgetown at the end of one Ramadan which reduced Akoojee to tears
A humble man, uninterested in the limelight, Akoojee said he ‘fell in love with helping the poor’, and then ‘fell in love with the poor’.
‘I think Allah has been so good to me. He opens up ways to get money to the poor. You know, all of us should be good to people. Because without them where would we be? They are our passport to Jannah,’ he said in an interview after SANZAF had honoured him last year.
‘Zakah is Allah’s money. So, if you don’t give the full amount of Zakah, you are committing a white-collar crime against Allah. It is not our money, it’s Allah’s money, and because poverty is growing, we have to grow,’ he said, adding that success was providing for family but that ultimate success was when Allah was pleased with us.
Karriem Booranoodien, SANZAF Chairperson Western Cape added: ‘Not only SANZAF, but the entire ummah, will dearly miss this truly modest giant of a man with a heart as big as the universe.’