The Union is a registered charitable and non-profit making organization founded more than 110 years ago by Muslims from the Indian Subcontinent and the Malay Archipelago who settled in Hong Kong, largely to engage in trade and commerce.
Its current members come from different cultures and ethnic backgrounds, comprising mainly ‘local’ Muslims: Turkish,Chinese,Malaysians, Indonesians, Filipinos, Pakistanis, Indians, Bangladeshis, Kashmiris, Arabs, Africans and Europeans.
The Union is governed by a General Council, which comprises 15 volunteer members. Apart from the four office-bearers- Chairman, Vice-Chairman, Hon. Secretary and Hon. Treasurer, other Council members do not hold any particular office but do perform specific duties. Elections are held annually and members are required to step down by rotation according to seniority of service after serving a 3-year term.
General Council meetings are regularly held. Council members chair various committees dealing with Finance, Legal & Tax, Medical, Membership, Publicity and Publications, Sports & Recreation, Information Technology, Welfare, and Dawah.
In 1976, Haji Osman Ramju Sadick, a former Chairman of the Union, returned to Allah (SWT). In his will, he bequeathed one quarter of his estate to the Union. Alhumdullilah! With prudent financial management, his endowment grew and income from such investment helped to support the Union through the years. His generosity and kindness to the community are very much appreciated. May Allah (SWT) bless his soul!
The Centre also houses Masjid Ammar, which the Union built under appointment from the Incorporated Trustees of the Islamic Community Fund of Hong Kong (the Trustees) to which the Union is affiliated. The Union also participates in the management of four mosques and two cemeteries in Hong Kong.
The Centre includes a Muslim community kindergarten on the ground floor; separate wudu or washing facilities for men and women on the first floor, and an air-conditioned mosque on the second and third floor (one for men and the other for women), which can accommodate about 600 persons.
Qur’an and Arabic lessons are held on the fourth floor classroom. On the fifth floor is the Islamic Centre Canteen which serves halal Cantonese cuisine and “dim sum”. A library is situated on the sixth floor, and next to it is a room for conferences, lectures and seminars one of which “Islam: the Religion of Peace, Tolerance and Compassion” was held in November 2014. On the seventh floor are the general office, a conference room, a meeting room, a medical clinic and other functional rooms.
Classes and lectures are regularly held for Muslims and non-Muslims alike. Training camps are held at which overseas scholars are invited to speak on Islam. Also, study groups, as well as outings are organized for youths. Religious functions are also organized. Other activities including Arabic and Qur’an reading classes are also held for young children in order to teach them the spirit of Islam.
The Union encourages Muslim students to improve their education. It manages nine education funds from which students with good academic achievements can obtain education and scholarship awards. Financial assistance is also granted to needy students. The Union is dedicated to nurturing the next generation to build a better future.
The library offers books and learning materials on a wide range of subjects including biographies of Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) and eminent Islamic writers and scholars.
Apart from Arabic, books and materials are available in other languages, such as Chinese, English, Urdu, Tamil, Korean, Japanese, Malay, Indonesian and Tagalog. There are also books for children providing basic knowledge on Iman, Ibadah and Salat.
There are also computer facilities for internet access, scanner, photocopier, printer and audio-visual facilities for public use. Publications on Islam are also reprinted periodically and distributed free of charge. The Union welcome visitors to the library during opening hours.
The Medical Clinic, which is by appointment only, includes a pharmacy served by volunteer Muslim doctors and nurses. Patients can be referred to a designated laboratory for X-ray examinations, ultrasonic examinations, electrocardiogram and other laboratory tests with discount. The clinic also arranges body checks and health talks for members and non-members.
Publicity and Publications
Under the Publicity & Publications Committee, the Union publishes the “IU Newsletter”, as well as the Annual Report. Enquiries from the media and group visits are also handled by the Committee.
Sports and Recreation
Outings to scenic locations in Hong Kong, hiking, group competition plus Islamic lectures are organized for members of the community. Occasional excursions, summer camps and visits to fellow Muslims on Mainland China are also arranged for members.
Muslims who are in need are not forgotten and fund-raising drives are frequently held, especially for victims of natural disasters. Donations received have been sent to more than 30 countries for distribution through relief agencies and Muslim organizations.
Periodical visits are made to the elderly by volunteers and assistance with funeral arrangements is also provided, if necessary.
Annual dinners to celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr and Eid-ul-Adha are held. Iftar and a small dinner are also provided during the Holy Month of Ramadhan.
A shelter for domestic helpers, whose contracts have been terminated, is provided regardless of race or religion. Financial assistance from the Zakat Fund is also provided to Muslims in genuine need.
Activities outside Hong Kong
The Union also extends its work to outside Hong Kong. Sanctuary to a large Muslim population from Hong Kong during the Second World War, the Union assisted the Muslims of Macau to build a small Mosque and to set up the Islamic Association of Macau.
The Union has for some time been active in providing assistance, financial or otherwise, to Muslims in Mainland China and elsewhere. Such assistance includes providing funds for relief work in cases of natural disasters, building or repairing Mosques and schools, digging water wells in drought stricken regions, and funds for summer courses for students.
Insha’Allah! This work will continue.