The At Our Mothers' Feet campaign today launched a statement on global maternal health backed by Muslim leaders at an event at the London Muslim Centre. The launch coincides with World Health Day.
The event was opened by Saif Ahmad, CEO of MADE in Europe, one of the organisations leading the At Our Mothers' Feet campaign along with partner Ammalife. Mr Ahmad emphasised that the majority of global maternal deaths could be easily prevented by ensuring that women have access to basic medication and trained birth attendants. Dilowar Khan, Director of London Muslim Centre, also said a few words in support of the campaign.
The statement was presented by Shaykh Ibrahim Mogra from 1st Ethical Charitable Trust. It calls on Muslim communities in the UK to lead the campaign to promote maternal healthcare around the globe by raising awareness in the UK and abroad and by supporting charities and governments to increase their work on maternal healthcare. The statement is endorsed by over 40 Muslim religious scholars and community leaders from across the UK, including Mufti Abdul Kadir Barkatullah from Muslim Council of Britain and Shaykha Halima Krausen of the London-based An-Nisa Society.
The statement quotes a saying from Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) – "Be at your mother's feet and there is paradise" – to emphasise the importance that Islam places on the status of mothers and their indispensable role in society. It highlights the fact that Muslim communities in the UK have the opportunity to use their links with countries with high maternal mortality rates such as Pakistan, Somalia, Afghanistan and Bangladesh to influence attitudes, share life-saving knowledge and help to provide vital healthcare to women around the world.
Shaykh Ibrahim Mogra said: "I am very pleased to be part of this initiative. It is shocking that so many mothers are still dying when we have the knowledge and experience to be able to save them. Our Messenger Muhammad (pbuh) said that if we see something evil we should change it with our hands, or with our tongue or at least hate it in our hearts. That's why I believe that as Muslims, we have a duty to make the most of the avenues available to us to combat maternal deaths and make universal maternal healthcare a priority."
Imam Qasim Ahmad, CEO of Iqra TV and A-Khair Foundation, also attended the event and pledged his support for the campaign. He said "It is very difficult when mothers don't have access to their basic healthcare needs. We have seen mothers delivering babies on footpaths and on buses. When you save a mother's life, you save a whole family'.
The At Our Mothers' Feet campaign is asking Muslims of all ages and backgrounds to support the campaign by pledging to take one of 5 suggested actions, including holding a fundraising event for a charity working on maternal health or using Twitter and Facebook to encourage friends and family to support the campaign. A full list of actions is available at www.atourmothersfeet.org.uk/act/