Raised in Melbourne of Syrian descent, Saara Sabbagh began a committed study of Islam and active community participation and service at the young age of 16. Initially studying with local teachers, Saara went on to travel to Syria where she formally pursued the path of traditional sacred knowledge under the tutelage of female scholars from Damascus and Hama.
For the past 20 years, Saara has unwavered in her service to the Melbourne and Australian community with firm determination, creativity and optimism. As a cross cultural educator Saara continues to engage the broader community and challenge commonly held stereotypes and perceptions. As a Muslim community leader and educator Saara is critically engaging her community on what it means to be an Australian
A visionary voice within the Muslim community, Saara is a dynamic public speaker and a much sought after consultant on Muslim community affairs. She is the founding Director of Benevolence Australia – an organisation formed to meet the growing needs of Australian Muslims within the Melbourne community.
Benevolence visited Carlton Mosque with Mentone Girls Grammar School students to share conversations about Abrahamic faith, Islam, prayer, the Mosque, diversity, stereotyping, popular opinion, statistics, fear, misunderstanding, terrorism, extremism, the distinction between Islam and Islamism, politics, 100 years of foreign policy, sexism and identifying fact from fiction in mainstream media and political discourse.
A great opportunity to step out of the classroom and out of the box to have these important discussions. Benevolence schools outreach programs are a great start to beginning these conversations. We have various existing programs, and can customise a program to suit your school, students, teachers and staff.
Please contact Dee for further information via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or phone our office for a discussion on (03) 9913 8262.
There is a feeling in the air when the year begins to wind down… footy season is over, daylight savings has started and of course, the warmer weather tells us that summer is around the corner. The first day of spring also marks our anniversary at BeneHouse. It’s been four years! How quickly has time flown - from that initial aspiration of wanting to have our own hub, to what it is today: a community space, head office, counselling rooms, education hub and much more.
As the Benevolence community expands, so does our need to create a sustainable model to ensure that we continue to operate with excellence. It is with this intention that Benevolence has re-launched its membership strategy with various options that embody our organisational values. In doing so, we created an online campaign asking members of the community why Benevolence is important to them and their families.
If you also feel that Benevolence is your community, or support the great work that it does from afar, or are a beneficiary of any of its’ programs – then please support the Membership Campaign today!
Supporting the growth of Benevolence through becoming a member will ensure that we continue to deliver high quality education and community programs, in order that you and your family are supported along your faith journey and above all, that we plant the seeds of a strong and healthy spiritual based community for the generation to come. I invite you to support Benevolence so that we can continue supporting you!
Saara Sabbagh was invited to Monash Special Developmental School for a presentation on understanding Islam with relevance to families and children with disabilities. Around 50 teachers and staff attended the session and engaged in deep group discussion.
Benevolence carefully curated this presentation for Monash Special Developmental School, covering specific subjects, which included:
The Benevolence schools programs are a great start to beginning these conversations. We have various existing programs or can customise a program to suit your school, students, teachers and staff. Please contact Dee for further information: email@example.com, or phone our office for a discussion on (03) 9913 8262.
Sister Saara Sabbagh was invited to Doncaster Secondary College for a session around inclusion. Saara presented our Beards and Burkas program to around 140 teachers, staff, students and parents. Our 'Beards and Burkas' program is an insightful presentation which focuses on social inclusion, diversity and breaking down stereotypes with an Islamic theme.
The session was interactive, with no question off limits. Teachers and students participated enthusiastically and spontaneously stayed back for a further animated discussion.
Benevolence's schools programs are a great start to beginning these conversations. We have various programs to suit students and adults alike. Please contact us for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org
I have recently returned from teaching at Rihla in Malaysia - a 3 week intensive Islamic education and spiritual development program aimed at inculcating the basics of Islamic theology, ethics, practices and spiritual cultivation. With esteemed teachers, such as Sheikh Abdul-Hakim Murad, Dr Umar Faruq and Ustadth Omar Quraishi to name a few, it was undoubtedly a well needed rejuvenation for the mind and spirit. With over one hundred students from across the world, the discussions centred on the crises of knowledge which has led to the darkness we are expressing as a global community.
How do we attain sacred knowledge and from whom? What is the role of the teacher and how was sacred knowledge transmitted throughout Islamic history? And what is the ultimate purpose of seeking sacred knowledge?
In a world where Google and ‘news feed’ has become the mainstream source of information, and injustice and oppression becoming the state of the world, how are we to navigate our way out of this colosseum that seeks to reduce humanity to our abase ego state of ignorance, fear and hate? Without the guidance of sacred knowledge and the light of the Prophetic model; the darkness of the world will surely overwhelm us.
Recently we were blessed with a visit from Habib Kadthem As-Saqqaf, a traditional spiritual scholar from the blessed land of Tarim, Yemen. Although his visit was short, his presence left a lasting and transformative effect on all those who sat in his company. For his message was not an intellectual one or with a political agenda, rather his message was one of the heart... a lived example of compassion and love to all of humanity. A message of gentleness, clemency, mercy and forgiveness. The type of message that no longer resonates with many people today as it is seen too weak, cowardice in the face of injustice or even a ‘sell out’ to others. However, this was the Prophetic model, as he (peace be upon him) stood firmly against injustice through sacred activism, through Divine inspiration and ultimately sincerely desiring the good for all of humanity. Surely, gentleness is more difficult to practice than harshness; forgiveness is more challenging to implement than rancour, and love is harder to cultivate than hatred.
The need to revive sacred knowledge based on the Prophetic light of mercy has never been more needed than in our world today. For fire cannot be fought with fire, and an eye for an eye will only create more darkness in the world.
We live in an age where we are in desperate need of clear guidance amongst the confusion. We are in dire need of spiritual strength and fortitude, of compassion and mercy... we are in need of sacred knowledge that revives the soul and gives life to a dead heart.
"God is gentle and loves gentleness in all matters." -Prophet Muhammad (peace & blessings be upon him).
I pray that everyone experienced a beneficial Ramadan and a joyous Eid celebration.
Benevolence enjoyed one of its most blessed Ramadan in community service with 'The I’ll Fast with You' campaign going strong throughout the entire month providing Iftar for those breaking fast alone or embarking on Ramadan for the very first time. We thank Muslim Aid Australia for their partnership - we could not have delivered this important service without their support. Our Eid Salat and celebration saw hundreds of people join in the festive spirit from across Melbourne, and despite the new larger venue, we were still packed to the brim! Next Eid - the MCG!
Benevolence is definitely growing as all our programs and services are now stretched to maximum capacity. The growth of Benevolence is happening across all our programs: BeneKids has over 100 families on the waiting list, the demand to establish Benevolence programs across Melbourne is increasing, and we have definitely outgrown our small and quaint BeneHouse community space.
So where to from here for Benevolence? This year our goal was to strengthen our foundations and to ensure that we have a firm sustainability plan to see us through the next 10 years insha-Allah. Benevolence is a community and it belongs to everyone who sees themselves as part of this diverse and vibrant community. The success and future of Benevolence is therefore a collective responsibility. It is with this intention that we have relaunched our BeneMembership campaign in a way that we hope will serve you and your family better.
Our team has worked tirelessly to create a BeneMembership that would suit the needs of our diverse community. Whether you are a single person, a family or able to give more towards Benevolence, there is a BeneMembership option suitable for you.
Supporting the growth of Benevolence through becoming a member will ensure that we continue to deliver high quality education and community programs, that you and your family are supported along your faith journey and above all, that we plant the seeds of a strong and healthy spiritual based community for the generation to come. I invite you to support Benevolence so that we can continue supporting you!
“The best of people are those that bring the most benefit to humanity.” -Prophet Muhammad (peace & blessings be upon him).
This perfectly reflects common circumstances of converts where they find it can be challenging, confusing and lonely."
125 George St
• Donate • Become a member •
• Subscribe • Volunteer •
We acknowledge the traditional owners of the lands on which BeneHouse stands, and we pay our respect to their elders past, and present.
Copyright © Benevolence Australia