Empowering the Unheard: Webinar addresses economic hardships of Huffaz


Experts delve into strategies to alleviate financial struggles for Huffaz leading Taraweeh

In a world where the struggles of the underprivileged often go unnoticed, a webinar aimed to cast a spotlight on the social and economic hardships faced by Huffaz. Hosted by Off The School (OTS), a non-profit organisation, the online event titled “Addressing the social and economic hardships for Huffaz” attracted participants from different parts of the world and was held from 3pm to 5pm on Saturday.

Hafiz Hatif Abdul Qadir, an English teacher and designer, opened the webinar with a heart-wrenching story of Yameen, a 17-year-old Hafiz. The young boy’s struggles began when his father told him he had no money to buy him anything for Eid. Yameen, believing he should contribute to his family’s financial needs, disappeared to work at a shop. When his family found him a day later, they implored him to return home and continue his services at Taraweeh, despite the bruises he suffered from a beating by his father.
This emotional story set the session for a deeper discussion on the challenges faced by Huffaz in their everyday lives. Hafiz Hafeezul Rehman, a religious scholar and Arabic teacher, shared his concerns about the economic hardships endured by these individuals. He pointed out two primary scenarios: first, when a Hafiz is completely dependent on a mosque’s administration for financial support, and second, when a Hafiz has other marketable skills, such as teaching or office work. In the latter case, striking a balance between work and the mental and physical effort required for Taraweeh becomes a challenge.
Rehman also expressed his disappointment at the negative treatment Huffaz sometimes receive from mosque administrators and followers. He urged everyone to be more understanding and forgiving during times of economic difficulty and uncertainty.
Hafiz Tahir Madni, a deputy finance manager and teacher of finance and accounting, shifted the conversation towards finding solutions for the economic struggles faced by Huffaz. He emphasised the importance of discovering ways for them to contribute to society beyond their recitation of the Quran during Taraweeh. This, he argued, would empower them to earn a livelihood for the rest of the year.
Sharing his experience as a trainer in the OTS Employment Programme for Huffaz and other madrasa students, Madni described the successes he had witnessed. Many of the programme’s graduates have gone on to secure jobs in the market, significantly improving their economic situations. He called on other organisations to step forward and offer dedicated educational and employment programmes like the ones provided by OTS.
Furthermore, Madni encouraged mosque administrations and religious leaders to increase the remuneration for Huffaz who recite the Quran during Ramadan. This would help alleviate some of the financial pressure they experience and acknowledge the value of their services.
Allama Hafiz Abdul Aziz Saeedi, Imam o Khatib at Noorani Masjid Bhawalpur, Punjab, and Abid Idreesi, Incharge Al-Faizan Schooling System, Karachi, also contributed their insights during the webinar. They echoed the sentiments of the other speakers and stressed the importance of supporting Huffaz through education, collaboration, and financial assistance.
The event concluded with an engaging question-and-answer session with the online participants, who expressed their appreciation for the insights shared by the experts. The webinar served as a call to action for individuals, organisations, and religious institutions to come together and address the social and economic challenges faced by Huffaz. By empowering these individuals through education and collaboration, society can help secure a brighter future for them and the communities they serve.

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