The Cultural and Religious Affairs Unit of the Islamic University College (IUCG) has organised the third Imam Hussain Annual Blood Donation Exercise patronized largely by students and staff of the University College. The Imam Hussain Blood Donation Exercise began in 2015 and is earmarked to commemorate the martyrdom of the grandson of Prophet Mohammad (s.a.w.a.), Imam Hussain (A.S).
Blood Recruitment Officer, Jonas Moli Belko, led the National Blood Service team to supervise the exercise. The exercise is organized every year in honour of Imam Hussain and his companions, whose noble blood was spilled on the plains of Karbala on 10th Muharram, 61 A.H. It is also to express the disapproval of the Muslim Ummah, especially followers of the Ahlul Bayt, for what has been described as heinous act masterminded by the Umayyad dynasty.
Organisers of the exercise said the donation exercise was to demonstrate the priceless and sacred nature of blood which ought not to be spilled, except for a "justified" cause. It was also to instill in members of the IUCG community the spirit of volunteerism and encourage selflessness and self-sacrifice. "One thing that makes the exercise exciting and promising is the fact that many of the donors, almost 97%, were first-time donors," Mohammed Mujib said.
Many of the donors, expressed their reason for participating in the exercise, quoting Qur'an 5:32 "...and whoever keeps it (a soul) alive, it is as though he kept alive all men..." as a big motivating factor. "We wanted to be among the savers of mankind as described by the verse," a donor said: "The thought that a pint of my blood has saved the life of an anonymous individual fills me with so much joy," he added.
Following responses from similar exercises organised in 2015 and 2016, the Organisers said their target for this year was 50 donors, however, there was high patronage by students and staff, making them to exceed the target. Some prospective donors expressed their disappointment over shortage of kits which could not allow them to donate.
The IUCG President, Dr Mohsen Maarefi, commended the students for their commitment and enthusiasm to donate blood. "My initial skepticism changed to admiration when the exercise which started slowly gained momentum forcing the medical team pause the registration of donors," he stated. "The response of IUCG students to this exercise is very encouraging and their motivation and discipline are exceptional," he added. "I think we should hold another exercise as soon as possible."
He expressed the hope that the exercise would be sustained and organised during every semester.
Packages including books, pens and T-shirts were given to donors as token for their commitment to save lives and solidarize with Imam Hussain (a.s.).