Names of the International Benevolence Awards winners have been announced

The second annual ‘International Benevolence Awards’ organised by the Türkiye Diyanet Foundation is going to be held on Sunday the 13th of March where the commendable nominees are going to be presented with their awards.

In the distinguished night that is going to take place at the Istanbul Halic Congress Centre, with a ceremony that will be honoured by the presence of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and President of the Presidency of Religious Affairs, Prof. Dr. Mehmet Görmez, awards are going to be given to their owners. In press conferences preceding the ‘International Benevolence Awards Ceremony’, organised with the aim of contributing to the spread of goodness in every sphere of the community under the theme “Goodness will change the world” President of Religious Affairs, Görmez expressed that the purpose of existence in Islamic civilisation is goodness and that Allah created human beings to be good and enable goodness to prevail on the face of the earth.

Drawing attention to the importance of emphasising benevolence and working towards the objective for goodness which eliminates heinousness to prevail in a world in which humanity has been surrounded by depravity President Görmez said, “The objective of existence in Islamic civilisation is goodness. The purpose of our existence, the wisdom in our creation is to be good. The objective of the earth is goodness. Allah sent us to the earth to be good and ensure goodness prevails. The principal objective of The Türkiye Diyanet Foundation, which was established 41 years ago and transformed into a benevolence movement, is to endeavour to ensure that goodness prevails on earth. I ask from Allah for this project to be a means for goodness to prevail on the surface of the earth and for it to surpass depravity”

Highlighting that eliminating evil with evil is a second evil, and that goodness is the only way of abolishing evil President Görmez continued by saying the following:

“Goodness will change the world…” 

As humankind we must insist upon the belief that “Goodness will change the world.” Maliciousness and the malicious are weak whereas benevolence and the benevolent are strong. We need to eliminate evil because it harbours weaknesses within its structure; it is meaningless and does not have any value according to the Creator. People are often mistaken the topic of eliminating evil. Trying to eliminate evil using corrupt means is a second evil. Corruption cannot be alleviated with corruption, violence with the use of violence, wrongs with wrongs nor, ugliness with ugliness. Goodness and righteousness is the force that is going to wipe depravity off the face of the earth. Malice is going to be removed from the earth’s surface by benevolence.  We can remove mischief by amending it. The greatest force to resolve war is peace.

“The way to abolish malice is to perform acts of kindness…”

Our holy book, the Qur’an demonstrates how we can transform the most savage of hostilities into friendships. Evil and goodness cannot coincide; they are not equal. The most beautiful kindness can abolish malevolence. This can only be realised by people who are patient, those who are owners of a privilege bestowed to them from Allah.  The way to remove evil is to partake in goodness.

“Goodness is in itself good moral conduct…”

The Türkiye Diyanet Foundation which is a benevolence movement, alongside the Presidency of the Ministry of Religious Affairs endeavours to emphasise goodness in a world where humanity is enveloped by maliciousness and remove malice from it. It has made it a custom to bring goodness to the fore by awarding those who are pioneers of goodness each year. Benevolence is the aim of our belief and all our acts of worship. Goodness is in itself good moral conduct.

 “Benevolence is carrying happiness to people…”

Benevolence is not changing your direction towards the East or the West. Cooperate in righteousness and piety. Benevolence is performing praiseworthy acts. Goodness is every action on the earth’s surface which conforms to the creator’s natural disposition. Benevolence is the bestowal of a favour, ‘ihsan’. The addition of pleasantness to goodness is ‘ihsan’. Pleasantness, awareness, charity and favour exist in the makeup of goodness. The way of eliminating evil is goodness; it is by carrying happiness and pleasantness to people. It is carrying love and compassion. It denotes giving water to a thirsty cat or a dog. Goodness means to smile, or wipe a tear. We must believe in the power of goodness.

 “We must not lose the source of benevolence…”

Benevolence is faced with a few dangers. A danger benevolence encounters is losing its spiritual, metaphysic and transcendental dimension. When benevolence loses its transcendental dimension it becomes sponsorship, it is reduced to a social responsibility. Evidently, it is a social responsibility however more importantly it is a value that exalts us before Allah. We must not lose the source of benevolence. Humans were created with benevolence. Evil contaminated humans subsequently.  We must all collectively aspire for goodness to come into prominence. Let us make goodness surpass evil. May Allah let us witness goodness dominate over evil.

 Here are the names which are going to receive Benevolence Awards

 As a result of a substantial and meticulous evaluation conducted by commissions, the names that were deemed suitable to receive the International Benevolence Awards this year are the following:

Abdurrahman Swar Ez-Zeheb

The leader who initiated a period in which acts of goodness went down in African history… An ambassador of benevolence who fearlessly wlked on the road to the material and moral revitalisation of African communities  for 30 years…

Even if he ranksamong the pak of his government as the 7th President of his country, Sudan his actual peak was reached in terms of benevolence;with the services he conveyed, the aid he partook in and the lives he changed, he lit an unextinguishable light of hope in Africa’s heart…

While he could have perpetually  remained in his position as president, he perceived the greatest rank to be helping people as he committed himself to doing just that.

He transformed into one of Africa’s most well-established   non-governmental  organisations, ‘‘Munazzama ad-Dawa al-İslamiyye’’ into an in international social assistance agency which operates in over 40 African and Asian countries.

With his enthusiastic work a humble charity organisation became one of the numbered humanitarian aid organisations and became the biggest door of hope for the African people. As a hero who came out of the heart of Africa he gave life to his own geography with his own hands…

Despite being 81 years of age he is still in the line of duty and still continuing to spread goodness.

İsmail Ertem

The story of a real hero, who was stubborn towards bullets which were falling like rain, who was a shield to his brother in arms due to his loyalty towards him and as a matter of fact in concern for his friends children.

Ismail Ertem, a soldier on duty in the Southeast. He saw a police get shot in conflict occurring in the region and took his brother in arms to a secure place the side. The wounded police was taken out of the line of fire which the ambulance could not enter. It is in those exact moments in which gunfire continued that heroic soldier Ismail Ertem risked his life for his wounded friend and became a shield for him by saying if my destiny is to die for the sake of my homeland, let death come.

As he positioned himself as a shield for his friend, once more the entire world understood that the Seyit Onbaşs and the Nene Hatuns are alive and on this soil they are forever going to be so.

Jemılah Mahmood

A courageous heart who has devoted her heart to benevolence, Jemılah Mahmood.

Working as a doctor in regions of conflict and natural disaster from 2003 to today, she extends her compassionate hands to her patients.

She continues to hand out remedies, wipe tears and be a salve to wounds wherever in the world there is a teary eyed oppressed individual or a victim whimpering with pain.

In the Iraq occupation, The Indonesian Aceh Earthquake, Refugee camps in Syria and Jordan whether it be the young or old she has come to the aid and swathed the wounds of thousands.

During the time she was in Iraq and was wounded by fire which was opened to her ambulance she said to herself, “ I cannot waste time with this unimportant wound” and consulted patients who were awaiting treatment rendering her own life meaningless. This how sacrificial a soul Jemilah Mahmood is…And she is an ambassodor of benevolence who is not content with solely medical aid…

She continues to change lives without taking a break by organising aid campaigns, social activities and helping non-governmental organisations help out victims and the needy in many paces in the world.

In pain-filled geographies where bombs and bullets are aiming to kill and annihilate she is trying to give life and revitalise.

With the international positions she has undertaken  in Baghdad, Indonesia, Syria and Jordan she contnues to be one of the leading benevolence ambassadors by giving hope, healing and being benevolent.

 Dr. Mads Gİlbert

The world heard his name in the 2008 Gaza blockade. Something needed to be done after the brutal bombardments Israel was undertaking and there was one thing Dr. Gilbert believed; to go there and be an iota of a solution to the despair…This could have been a journey that would not consist of a return…

When he was leaving Norway, he farewelled his daughters who were his biggest supporters, because they knew that other children needed their father more than they did…

Mads Gilbert worked in the centre of danger, on the streets of Gaza, while Israel’s attacks continued. He cured Palestinian victims of war. He was not content with saving lives as part of his occupation, as a sensitive heart and an activist he drew attention with the courageous statements he made in regards to what was lived in Palestine.

He did not settle with being a salve to a people who were grappling with injustices and were in pain but over time he became their voice, their exclamations.

He struggled so that the entire world would hear the injustice taking place in Palestine.

The “After Leyla” Movement

The only request 1.5 year old Leyla had was a bicycle… For this little girl who was receiving cancer treatment to farewell her life without obtaining her wish prompted tears in the eyes of young doctors who were witness to her. Later these tears multiplied and formed a flood of benevolence which carried wishes ti their little owners.

Övgü Sinem Buğan, Yüsra Betül Medik ve Kübra İlicepınar young doctor candidates who were contniuing their university education became ambassadors of benevolence by initiating the “After Leyla” movement ehich realised the wished of children with chronic ilnesses.

This goodness movement which began with 3 people quickly spread to the entirety of Turkey. “After Leyla” volunteer numbers reached hundreds of medicine students in various universities.

While the number of doctors participating in this wave of benevolence is increasing swiftly, until today the “After Leyla” project has granted the wishes of 1,165 ill children.

Osman Gerem

The story of a a rich soul who gave his cornerstore to his children years ago to make room for his real occupation of partaking in acts of goodness. Osman Gerem, a friend of the poor, is a man who lives in Şanlıurfa purely for goodness and has from his youth to the present devoted his life to helping people.

For 25 years he has been helping people, protecting the poor and weak running to the aid of the needy and the helpless. As an individual who has given his life to be a volunteer of goodness one day he builds houses for the poor while on another he swathes as many wounds he can with supplies, furniture and food.

He tries to find a solution to every problem he sees and that he can deal with. His signature is on great support given to Syrian guests who arrived in the region. In Şanlıurfa he brought together 60 non-governmental organisations to form a platform to send 135 Semi-trailers of aid. He collected 890 for Syrian refugees who arrived in Urfa, 2 for Sur and one for Silopi.

Osman Gerem who spends his entire time with the organisation of aid was also a means to another act of goodness. His aid activities reunited different local groups and people of different ethnic roots who lived in the same region in a distant manner under the same roof.

He also supports people who have been imprisoned and victims of substance abuse by guiding them towards treatment and rehabilitation while doing everything in his capacity to regain them.

Susan Carland

Susan Carland, an Australian academic, loving mother and an activist who is renowned for social projects she develops in her country…

Carland who chose Islam at age 19 began to consistently be subject to insults deeming her a ‘terror sympathiser’in her country as a result of acts of terrorism which shook the word. She made a decision not to stay silent against Islamaphobic attacks and mesagesof hate and insult sent through social media accounts. She decided to find a path to explain the truth. On behalf of her belief, on behalf of members of this religion which regards goodness as the biggest virtue she had to take action; she had to do someting.

Susan Carland found what she needed in her religion. While she sought a way of responding to hate messages with goodness, a verse in the Qur’an had paved her path; ‘Good and evil are not equal. Repel evil with what is better.’

Susan Carland initiated a campaign in which she would donate one dollar for every hate message she received. In this manner, children in need of help would benefit and an ugly message would turn into abig message for the world.

This small manouvre initiated a greater social campaign… In a short space of time this wave of benevolence spread and widened not just for messages but took the shape of a movement of goodness in which people who wanted to help in other ways were able to contributr.

Susan Carland succeeded in transforming an evil into a good act supported by hundreds of thousands.

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