Alhamdullilah, Islamic Careline was founded on strong principles of service to humanity. Three women who were working in the counselling field noted the increase of Muslim clients seeking professional help at various established counselling organisations in Johannesburg. This led them to conduct research in this field and realised the need for establishing a counselling service which also addressed the religio-cultural needs of Muslim clients. These women, Suraiya Nawab, Dr Suraiya Moola and Sherbaanu Saccoor, then recruited and trained volunteers to implement counselling in the community.
At the time, the founders approached various established organisation to support the initiation of confidential counselling within the Muslim community. Alhamdulillah, the Jamiatul Ulama South Africa, based in Fordsburg, recognised the need and value such a service would hold for the Muslim community and provided Islamic Careline with an office and a phone line to begin. By the grace of Allah, on May 4 1992, Islamic Careline came into operation.
With 5 volunteer counsellors, the IC faced many challenges at start-up. At the time, many within the Muslim Community were sceptical about counselling, and many clients preferred to anonymously call the counsellor than come to the office.
As the service and clients grew, Islamic Careline professionalised the organisation by registering as an NPO with the Department of Social Development. This required IC to comply with statutory and departmental guidelines. IC developed a constitution, an elected executive board of management and ensured independent financial audits.
Alhamdullilah, from small beginnings, the IC has grown into a leading name within South Africa. With seven staff members and fifteen volunteers, Islamic Careline now provides full time services at a minimal cost. Suraiya Nawab remains as the Director of IC and a staff team, comprising of a Chief Social Worker, Finance Officer, Admin Officer, Junior Social Worker, Receptionist and a General Assistant ensure the IC Office remains functioning. The fifteen dedicated volunteers serve on a weekly basis to provide confidential counselling services to the IC clients.
“The Careline’s journey of a thousand miles has passed many landmarks and climbed many mountains. We have not reached our destination yet and we may never will. The journey to help others, to be the means of elevating the downtrodden and the needy, to enable and encourage the faith is never over! It is a constant reminder that human beings are only a means to an end, we are only on this earth to please Him and we have no power to do anything besides what Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala plans for us!” -S Nawab