Canadian Muslim group donates gift of life at blood clinic

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Saboor Farha is a bit jealous her husband could donate blood, and she couldn’t, at the Canadian Blood Services donor clinic on the weekend.

Farha and husband Mohammad Mateen Akhtar were part of a Hamilton group who gave blood on Saturday as part of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at Canada’s “Muslims for Life” campaign.

The local Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at community is represented by the 700-member Baitun Nur Mosque at King Street East and Parkdale Avenue North.

Farha wanted to donate in the past but didn’t know the process, she says. Her mosque’s initiative made it comfortable for her to try it at the regular donor clinic on Stone Church Road in Ancaster.

“Now the community is doing it and making all the arrangements. So okay, that’s easy (I thought). Let’s do it, even though I’m not sure I can give…If I can help the community, why not.”

She was not sure because of her anemia two years ago — and in the end, she was indeed turned down out of concern that giving blood wound made her anemic again. So she was a bit jealous that her husband could donate, she said.

Rehan Tanvir, 27, is used to giving. Although this was his 16th time donating, he was there specifically Saturday for his Ahmadiyya Muslim group.

“In the holy Qur’an, it states that anyone who saves one life, it’s like you’ve saved mankind,” Tanvir said while giving blood. “And given what’s going on in the world today, it’s a good gesture.”

Tanvir, of Stoney Creek, says it’s wonderful that his mosque was doing this as a group.

“Not only does it create brotherhood and sisterhood and team-building, you also get something good out of it. You save lives.”

Members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at (Jama’at means assembly) are Muslims who believe in the Messiah Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, and who promote “love for all, hatred for none”.

Omer Ahmed, 32, who was donating for the first time with his fellow Ahmadiyya Muslims, enjoys giving as part of a group. “It becomes a social event as well. And it becomes a way to serve humanity.”

Spokesperson Farhan Tanvir said 38 of 50 mosque members contacted were able to show up, and once screened for health issues or travel outside North America, 12 were cleared to donate.

Blood Services clinic supervisor Annette Strobel said the Ahmadiyya group donation is “a great way to have people come together. I think they find they support each other, so when groups (decide to) come out, we see a better attendance.”

Charge nurse Laurie Gibbons said the clinic aimed for 40 donors on Saturday but got 69.

TheSpec

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