Muslim Aid

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Muslim Aid
Muslim Aid logo.svg
Motto Serving Humanity
Formation 1 November 1985 (1985-11-01)
Type NGO
Legal status Charity
Purpose Healthcare, education, Disaster & Emergency, Shelter & Construction, Economic empowerment, Child sponsorship, Income generation, UK development
Headquarters London
Key people
Dr Manazir Ahsan MBE(Chairman), Dr Suhaib Hasan(Vice Chair), Dr Abdul Bari MBE (Secretary),Hamid Azad (CEO), Shuaib Yusaf (Assistant CEO)
Revenue (2010)
£25 million

Muslim Aid is a UK based Islamic charity NGO.[1] It currently is run by former senior staff of the Muslim Council of Britain.[2] It is a member of the Muslim Charities Forum.[3]

History and beginnings[edit]

It was first established in 1985 in response to the 1983–85 famine in Ethiopia, by 23 organisations based in Britain.[4] Muslim Aid was launched in February 1989 by a committee led by Cat Stevens and members from the Muslim Council of Britain.[5] Stevens served as chairman[6] until his resignation in 1996. Shuaib Hussan became the next chairman. Mahmood al-Hassan became executive director in 1993.[7] From 1995, Iqbal Sacranie was a trustee.[8] The following year, conflicts in Afghanistan and Palestine and floods in Bangladesh saw Muslim Aid expand its emergency relief operations. Over the past 25 years Muslim Aid has grown from a small office in London to an international UK NGO, providing relief and development programmes in over 70 countries across the globe.[9]

By 1989 Muslim Aid’s operations had expanded considerably and over £1 million of emergency aid had been distributed throughout Africa, Asia and Europe. As the charity grew, the scope of its work expanded.[9]

Whilst continuing to carry on its commitment to emergency relief work Muslim Aid also began to implement long-term development programmes. Today, water, healthcare, shelter and construction programs.[10]

Muslim Aid believes that in order to really help people, the causes, not just the symptoms of poverty must be addressed. By 1994 long-term development projects accounted for almost 50% of Muslim Aid’s relief activity. As well as helping people overcome crises Muslim Aid provides skills and resources to assist people to move forward to a better life.[11] Muslim Aid works closely with the communities to deliver its programmes and remains committed to working in collaboration with all its beneficiaries to ensure that the solutions are not imposed from the outside. All solutions are culturally sensitive, practical and owned by the beneficiaries.[12]

In April 2013, three men were convicted of planning terrorist attacks in UK. They raised funds by posing as Muslim Aid workers, but only a small amount of proceeds were given to the charity, the rest was used to fund their planned attacks.[13][14]

Countries of operation[edit]

They have field offices in 13 countries namely, Bangladesh, Bosnia, Cambodia, Indonesia, Iraq, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Pakistan, Somalia and Sri Lanka. They help over 70 countries, most in Asia and Africa.[15]

Recent work[edit]

It has carried out its work in areas such as Indonesia, following the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake (tsunami) and then the two earthquakes in Java, one in May 2006, the other in July that year.[16] It also worked in Bosnia following the Yugoslav wars of the 1990s.[17] It worked in Pakistan following the 2005 Kashmir earthquake to build seismically resistant sustainable housing in conjunction with UK architectural charity Article 25, and has continuously worked in the Palestinian territories, as well as Darfur, Eritrea, Afghanistan, Lebanon, India and Bangladesh. It also worked in China following the 2008 Sichuan earthquake.

In 2010 Muslim Aid responded to the destructive earthquake in Haiti and the devastating floods in Pakistan. It raised nearly £600,000 and £3 million respectively to help those who afflicted by the disasters. It is continuing its reconstruction work in these countries ensuring long-term prosperity of those living there.[18]

10th anniversary[edit]

In 2010 Muslim Aid celebrated 10 years since it began its work. The year was marked with events and initiatives to highlight its achievements and plot its future course.[19]

The year was headlined by the 25th Anniversary Dinner held at the Natural History Museum in March 2010. Over 600 guests attended Muslim Aid’s 25th Anniversary event. Speeches were given by Northern Ireland Secretary, Shaun Woodward MP; Shadow International Development Secretary, Andrew Mitchell MP; Shadow Foreign Secretary Edward Davey, MP and Sir Iqbal Sacranie, Chairman of Muslim Aid.[20]

Government Minister the Rt. Hon. Sadiq Khan MP, Minister of State for Transport also delivered a speech and was joined by distinguished guests from the media, diplomatic community, political, development and community organisations.[19] Renowned nasheed artist Ahmed Bukhatir performed on the 3 nights which raised over £300,000 in the events in London, Manchester and Birmingham.[21][22]


In 2002, a Spanish police report alleged the organisation to have used funds to send mujahadeen fighters to Bosnia.[23] In 2010, the organisation was investigated by the Charity Commission for England and Wales for allegedly funding groups linked to a banned terrorist organisation.[24] The investigation cleared the organisation and said that the claims were unsubstantiated. The Sunday Telegraph criticised the outcome saying the organisation has admitted funding two organisations linked to Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad.[25][26]

In 2003, ABC News established a link between a Muslim Aid Australia and the Dewan Dakwah Islamiyah Indonesia (DDII) which is linked to the Islamist group Jemaah Islamiyah.[27] In 2008, their offices in Lakemba were raided by the police over allegations that funds were being sent through Interpal to help get money into Gaza during Israeli border closures.[28]

In 2008, the organisation was banned in Israel, due to its alleged ties to the Union of Good.[29] A 2009 report by the US-based think-tank Nine Eleven Finding Answers Foundation, also alleged the charity was part of the Union of Good.[5][30] Anthony Cordesman of the Center for Strategic and International Studies also said they funded Hamas.[31]

On the 2 May 2013 an international arrest warrant was issued for its long time trustee Chowdhury Mueen-Uddin for war crimes. He was subsequently found guilty in absentia of murdering 18 Bangladesh intellectuals as a leader within Al-Badr, a pro-Pakistan Islamist paramilitary force in the Bangladesh liberation war.[32]

The government of Bangladesh investigated the organisation for allegedly funding militants in the country.[33][34][35] In December 2013, Mozammel Hossain, the head of the Rangpur branch of Muslim Aid, was arrested for financing "subversive activities".[36][37] In April 2014, Bangladeshi politician Sayed Ashraful Islam of the Awami League Central Working Committee warned funds from the organisation were being used to spread "religious fanaticism".[38] Again in September 2014, Major general Abdur Rashid said they funded extremism.[39]

In June 2014, the Charity Commission for England and Wales announced it was part of a "statutory inquiry".[40] According to the charity, the investigation was caused after they reported "non-compliance with some operational aspects in two field offices".[41][42]


  1. ^ Muslim Aid Souvenir Brochure, (2010) Published by Muslim Aid, London
  2. ^
  3. ^ Gilligan, Andrew (2015-02-08). "How the Muslim Brotherhood fits into a network of extremism". The Telegraph. Retrieved 2015-02-19. 
  4. ^ Clarke, Matthew. Development and Religion: Theology and Practice. p. 160-169. ISBN 0857930737. 
  5. ^ a b
  6. ^ New Straits Times - Mar 1, 1985
  7. ^ Charitable Crescent: Politics of Aid in the Muslim World. p79-80.
  8. ^
  9. ^ a b Emel Muslim lifestyle magazine (April 2010), London P.32
  10. ^ Emel Muslim lifestyle magazine (April 2010), London P.33
  11. ^ Emel Muslim lifestyle magazine (April 2010), London P.34
  12. ^ Emel Muslim lifestyle magazine (April 2010), London P.35
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^ a b
  20. ^
  21. ^ Muslims Aid 25th Anniversary Event
  22. ^ "The Children’s Night of Empowerment with Ahmed Bukhatir". Muslim Aid. Retrieved 12 January 2013. 
  23. ^
  24. ^
  25. ^
  26. ^
  27. ^ McKenzie, Nick (2003-06-24). "Claim money from Aust sent to organisations linked to terrorism". ABC News (Australia). Retrieved 2014-12-30. 
  28. ^ Welch, Dylan (2008-07-25). "Federal police raid Islamic charity". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2014-12-30. 
  29. ^
  30. ^
  31. ^ Cordesman, Anthony (2002). Peace and War: The Arab-Israeli Military Balance Enters the 21st Century. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 247. ISBN 0275969398. 
  32. ^
  33. ^
  34. ^
  35. ^
  36. ^
  37. ^ ALCWC warns against cyber war of fanatic forces
  38. ^ "ALCWC warns people against cyber war of fanatic forces". Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (Dhaka). 2014-04-05. Retrieved 2015-01-05. 
  39. ^ Islam, Rabiul (2014-09-12). "Agencies asked to unearth source of militant financing". Dhaka Tribune. Retrieved 2015-01-05. 
  40. ^
  41. ^
  42. ^

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