By Muhammad Faiz
“Worship Allah; join nothing with Him. Be good to your parents, to relatives, to orphans, to the needy, to neighbours near and far, to travellers in need, and to our slaves.” Al-Quran 4:36
The Students’ Representative Council (SRC) of International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM) felt it is their responsibility to make sure that the welfare of its fellow brothers and sisters is well taken care of.
Chairperson of SRC Welfare Secretariat, Nurafida Zaiman expressed her concerns as some students who are financially lacking are not even aware of the types of financial assistances available to them.
The SRC Welfare Secretariat has therefore taken the initiative to reach out to the students by posting up information about financial assistances on social media.
Parties involved in providing financial assistances to students include the SRC, IIUM Endowment Fund, Student Affairs and Development Division (STADD), as well as a number of student-run organisations.
Some of the services offered by these parties are the Mahabbah Food Coupon, IIUM Zakat Fund, Ummatic Scholarship, Khairat Fund, Zakat Kematian, Insurance for Stolen Property, Suspended Meal, SRC Welfare Fund and SkolaFund. The last three services on the list are projects initiated by the SRC in collaboration with other societies.
These assistances are one-off financial aids targeted at students who are poor, needy, deserving and academically outstanding. By making these financial aids available, it can help reduce the financial problems faced by the students.
IIUM students who are qualified for these assistances have to meet the following criteria: second-year and above; studying either as a full-time undergraduate or postgraduate student; with Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) of 2.0; and have not received any other kind of scholarship.
- Mahabbah Food Coupon
Started in 2016, Mahabbah Food Coupon is an initiative launched by IIUM’s President, Tan Sri Dr. Rais Yatim. Many students might not recognise the programme as it is divided into three different projects, which is ‘Based on Coupon’, Soup Kitchen Project (SKP), and foods distribution by IIUM Mosque.
The programme ‘Based on Coupon’ is a collaboration between SRC and Mahallah Representative Council (MRC). The SKP and foods distribution by IIUM Mosque usually happened during the normal semester one up to twice in a week, especially for dinner. If you need the coupon, you can get it at Mahallah Office or STADD office.
- IIUM Zakat Fund & Zakat Kematian
For IIUM Zakat Fund, you can ask for any inquiries and information from IIUM Endowment Fund (IEF). It is a fund gathered by IEF to help and offer assistance for students who are in dire need. As we all know from the word zakat, it does bring the same qualification terms and conditions for students to apply. For more information, you can check with IIUM Endowment Fund’s office.
- Ummatic Scholarship
IIUM Undergraduate Ummatic Scholarship offers study funds to academically outstanding students who are really in need. The scholarship is in recognition of students’ excellence in academia. It covers tuition fees, related fees, monthly allowance, hostel fees, book allowance, including insurance. As for every other scholarship, it comes with a set of qualifications.
Applicants must first register as full-time undergraduate students of IIUM. Secondly, it can only be applied by a second-year student and above, base on Kulliyyah’s level. Thirdly, it applicants should not possess any other scholarship. Fourthly, it is reserved only for students the university recognises as being in dire need. Lastly, the applicants must have excellent academic standing with CGPA is of 3.6 and above, with a minimum of 15 credit hours.
Application for the scholarship will be open during the second and the third week of a normal and long semester. One needs to always check the announcement regarding the matter through IIUM website, Student Finance Unit Facebook page and around all Kulliyyah and Mahallah.
- Khairat Fund
When we talk about khairat, we are talking about charity as that is what the word means. Unlike zakat, khairat can be applied by everyone. This is because it does not have the same qualifications as what zakat has. Nonetheless, it can be applied to IIUM Endowment Fund too.
- Insurance for Stolen Property
In IIUM, we often hear about cases of theft – items that got stolen in the Mosque, library, cafeteria, or rooms in the Mahallahs or perhaps items stolen while walking to class. The properties usually stolen by thieves are hand phones, laptops, motorcycles and cars. However, don’t despair. It is wonderful and important to know that STADD will help students wherever possible when they are in need of assistance. For any inquiries, one can go to STADD office to get any piece of information.
- Suspended Meals
One popular financial assistance among IIUM students is suspended meals. It is a meal which people paid for in advance. The additional foods they purchased will be saved for later occasion as students who need it will take additional foods. It comes with a coupon in RM1, RM2 and RM5.
For these programmes, all Mahallah cafeterias will be participating in the programme as well as our very own Babush cafe. It encourages the entire IIUM community to participate by donating money into the programme. It will be of tremendous help for students who are in dire need of food.
- SRC Welfare Fund
Not everyone knows this but the SRC has a welfare fund that students can apply whenever they are in trouble. Indeed, it is a special fund to help students in need or facing problem with pre-registration. Not only that, it also helped to pay for bus tickets, and giving loans to students who need to pay for cases of accidents they are involved in.
The thing about SRC Welfare Fund is that it is up to the consideration of SRC depending on the circumstances. It will be up to their decision to give it as a donation or as a loan for the students. For this particular kind of financial assistance, one can ask for it from SRC for their consideration.
SkolaFund is one of the platforms specifically meant for students in need all over Malaysia. It helps students by providing them with a platform which informs about the scholarship. They also raise funds for any financial assistances. Interestingly, two individuals from the SkolaFund team are IIUM students. SRC in collaboration with SkolaFund works to spread the word for any scholarship offered to the students. It also works for the opposite, if there are any IIUM students campaigning for funds, SRC will help to share the links to all social media as a means to help.
In conclusion, all this shows that IIUM does offer a number of financial assistances to its students. At the end of the day, it is up the students to be aware of the offer and utilise it to their benefit. ***