I have no pension plan, because I don’t have much earnings… My father told me I’m crazy… He’s passed on now, but several years ago he told me ‘I’m proud of you’…— Dr Imtiaz Sooliman, Gift of the Givers
I’m a very simple person. I don’t have any materialistic thoughts or desires. I had a good practice. I changed cars six times in five years. I travelled overseas. Nothing of those kinds of things interest me anymore. I have no desire for clothes. I have no desire for holidays. I have no desire for outings. Because all I see is the suffering of people…— Dr Imtiaz Sooliman, Gift of the Givers
Dr Imtiaz Sooliman studied for years to become a doctor.
He never planned it, but in 1992 he left his previous life behind forever, and created “Gift of the Givers”.
Since then his organisation has travelled to the world’s most horrific places, helping millions.
On 6 August 1992 when I was 28 years old – it was a Thursday night – I was in Istanbul with a spiritual teacher. There were people from all countries, all religions, and all colours – there was a unity of man, of different groupings in a holy place. After a religious ceremony the teacher just looked at me and it was as if something was talking through him – he just looked at me and said: ‘My son I’m not asking you I’m instructing you. You will form an organisation; the name will be Gift of the Givers. You will serve all people of all races, of all religions, of all colours, of all classes, of all political affiliations and of any geographical location and you will serve them unconditionally. You will not expect anything in return - not even a thank you. In fact, with the kind of duty that you’re going to do, expect to get kicked in the butt. If you don’t get kicked regard that as a bonus. Serve the people with kindness, with compassion, with mercy and remember the dignity of man is foremost – no matter what condition there is, you always protect the dignity of man and, when you serve them, serve them with excellence. This is an instruction for you for the rest of your life. Remember that whatever is done is done through you and not by you. Don’t ever forget that!— Dr Imtiaz Sooliman, Gift of the Givers
Every week The Money Show’s Bruce Whitfield interviews a famous person about her or his attitude to money (hopes and fears, successes and failures, etc.) as part of his weekly “Make Money Mondays, Personal Edition” feature.
This week Whitfield interviewed Sooliman.
What does he believe about money?
Does it keep him up at night?
Does he spend like crazy, or save compulsively?
- How did his childhood experiences shape his views on money?
Listen to the interview in the audio below (and/or scroll down for more quotes from it).
Nobody works here for the money… Their only aim is to help people in need…— Dr Imtiaz Sooliman, Gift of the Givers
South Africans! [When asked who donated R2.3 billion in funding for Gift of the Givers] We don’t have international funders! 99.9% of the money is from ordinary South Africans…— Dr Imtiaz Sooliman, Gift of the Givers
Money is important… you need a certain amount… [But] What you don’t use is not yours… You can only drive one car at a time, and you can only sleep in one bed at a time.— Dr Imtiaz Sooliman, Gift of the Givers
I hope everybody makes a lot of money… it’s very good! I pray as many people as possible have the means to not depend on anybody.— Dr Imtiaz Sooliman, Gift of the Givers
South Africa is one of the most generous nations on Earth… People still dig into their pockets… Even for international projects… In 2011 when we responded to the famine in Somalia… A poor school in Orange Farm – the kids don’t have shoes, they don’t have lunch, they don’t have a jersey in winter – gave us R41 000…— Dr Imtiaz Sooliman, Gift of the Givers
When parents pray for their children, those prayers are answered.— Dr Imtiaz Sooliman, Gift of the Givers
Greed and extravagance and power [when asked what scares him about money]…— Dr Imtiaz Sooliman, Gift of the Givers
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