Habib University’s Al-Ihsan Documentary Premiere on “The Gift of Knowledge: Empowering through Islamic Philanthropy.”

In line with Habib University’s Al-Ihsan – Religious Giving campaign, Mr. Arif Habib, a distinguished community leader, philanthropist, and esteemed Member of the Board of Directors at Habib University Foundation, hosted an Al-Ihsan documentary premiere event at his residence on February 18, 2024. The evening brought together compassionate supporters of Habib University, including Pakistan’s leading philanthropists, entrepreneurs, civic leaders, and community stalwarts, determined to transform the higher education landscape in Pakistan. 

The event commenced with a recitation of the Holy Qur’an by Basil Ali Khan, a BS Computer Science major from the Class of 2026. Following this, Arif Habib welcomed the esteemed guests and delivered remarks on the importance of religious giving. He emphasized the significance of religious giving for building stronger educational institution and diminishing the catastrophic disenfranchisement and disempowerment of Pakistan’s youth.
He added that “Islamic Giving, or Zakat, is a key source for maintaining balance in society, providing equal opportunities to all.” 

Introducing the theme of the evening, the true spirit of giving in Islam, particularly the Al-Ihsan campaign, Lubna Ahmed, Director of Resource Development at Habib University, argued that generosity has been closely linked to Islamic practices since their earliest days. Historically, the sahib-e-nisab created endowments (Awqaf) and gave Zakat to address social problems. She emphasized that Zakat remains one of the key pillars of support for Habib University’s students, making it a global leader in providing need-blind access to a world-class education. She also acknowledged that this mission of generosity is spearheaded by the wonderful community of Habib University’s Mohsineen, who have displayed unwavering support towards the University’s cause. 

At the center of the evening’s celebration was the premiere of Habib University’s Al-Ihsan documentary “The Gift of Knowledge: Empowering through Islamic Philanthropy.” The documentary explored Islam’s historic tradition of giving to create great institutions of learning, nurturing intellect, prosperity, and scientific advancements, thus highlighting Zakat as a true catalyst for progress. 

Speaking on Islam’s profound tradition of giving, the President of Habib University, Wasif Rizvi, gave an inspiring presentation to the community members, highlighting that in Islam, historically, Zakat and Waqf – the key sources of charity – were the engines of cultivating an intellectual society. He argued that Muslim institutionalized education based on Waqf was open to all Muslims who sought it, with the primary purpose of educating the Muslim society. Islamic generosity led to a generation of scholars who made incredible scientific advancements, founded new disciplines, and contributed towards a powerful economic, political, and religious influence of Muslims. He stated: “Our founding community’s generosity, sacrifice, and empathy, along with our devoted supporters worldwide, have paved the way for our achievements. Like us, they believe that with the right opportunities, talented Pakistani youth can contribute significantly to the country’s development.” 

During the event, compassionate supporters of Habib University from the audience, including Amir Paracha, CEO of Unilever Pakistan Limited; Mr. Tariq Rafi, Chairman of Siddiqsons Group and Habib University RDC member; and Mr. Yousaf Hussain, President & CEO of Faysal Bank, also endorsed the University’s mission of providing unfettered and fully funded access to a world-class higher education, irrespective of individuals’ socioeconomic limitations. 

The evening culminated with the esteemed Chancellor of Habib University, Mr. Rafiq M. Habib’s speech. In his closing remarks, Mr. Habib thanked the participants for their continued support and said: “By Reshaping our Religious Philanthropy, we can turn this untested belief into an unshakable truth, through the power of building institutions for higher learning.” 

The event encapsulated the beauty of giving, aiming to create systems that empower Zakat beneficiaries to break through their intergenerational cycles of poverty. The theme of Islamic giving at this event serves as a reminder of the importance of supporting the cause of higher learning institutions for the upliftment of our society.

This Ramzan, support Habib University’s historic mission of providing access to quality higher education and inspiring the talented youth to strive for excellence, making a positive impact on society.


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