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Giving refuge to Pakistan flood victims

Monday, 13 September 2010

In the name of God, Compassionate, Merciful بسم الله الرحمن الرحيمِ | Peace be with you السلام عليكم

My family and I run a small-ish charity which I started from a prayer after leaving college. There are over 160 thousand charities in the UK alone so I avoided becoming another unknown 'good will' group and gave my charity where it would benefit most: Pakistan and India.

During Ramadan 2010 the whole world was urged to donate towards the Pakistan flood crisis, millions of people were left stranded for weeks, children lost their parents and were hungry for days, disease and lack of food still run, it's nothing but preventable strife. Fortunately many countries did donate, but it amounted to a little over £10/$16 per person. That is nothing. Advertising has put on a soft side to help people's hearts melt but really, watching something from far away does little to affect your life.

Stories are still printing of young Muslims rallying support, sweet children have dug deeper than most and organisations are holding fundraising events, albeit it doesn't make the main headlines anymore. As they say, today's newspapers, tomorrow's fish'n'chips.

So far I've personally listed and donated through the following. Droplets of sacrifice will eventually become an ocean so do not think little of your £1/$1 donation, if that's all you can give (tight git, give more!)

Fundraising for Pakistan online at Muslim organisations:
‎Fundraising for Pakistan flood victims, through SMS/ text msg @
[UK] text the word "GIVE" to number 70707 to donate £5, or phone by calling 0370 60 60 900
[USA] text the word “SWAT” to number 50555, and reply “yes” when asked to confirm, to make a $10 donation
[Canadian Redcross] text “REDCROSS” to 30333 for a one-time donation of $5 for the Pakistan Floods

Fundraising for Pakistan floods online through major organisations:

After you've done at least ONE of the above, forward the links to others. Shukran, thank you.

I was talking about my family's activism: In Pakistan a relative has kept account of all proceeds from the last decade or so. What happens is I work in England and whatever I make that is surplus - that is, it's just sitting in a bank account avoiding interest - I give abroad monthly. That transfers direct to my relative who prioritises it to whomever is more "desperate". We have sponsorships; to date we have sponsored approximately 30+ families and many children. And this system is effective, alhamdulillah as 100% of the donation (I like to call it a wage) goes to that person/family, regularly, without a waiting period, poxy admin or legal interference. That way those individuals are provided for, they have that burden removed of 'what will we eat?' and they are given a better living standard they deserve.

Remarkably, many of our sponsorships have stopped - for a greater reason. Some individuals came back and reported with dignity "we/I do not need your sponsorship anymore because we/I have used that money to develop my trade, gain more education, make a home business and we/I am earning a respectable wage, thank you for your help". Here, they usually make a prayer that is custom of Pakistani and Indian integrity and leave with their trust in God. It's probably the most heart wrenching thing to hear from a widowed woman, a blind elderly man or an orphaned child.

I will have to post some of their photos soon insha'Allah.

And then... The Pakistan flooding of July-August 2010 has destroyed a third of the country. A Muslim principle of faith is that any calamities that befall us are either (1) Tests or (2) Punishments from God. However the flooding is perceived, we as a planet are being tested as to whether we'll rescue people that we can rescue, or '"let someone else do it".

My family abroad had to give refuge to four families from the flooding; I say 'had to' as there was nowhere else they could go, they had walked a few hundred kilometres for help. The wonderful Pakistani government made quite a show of giving aid to their citizens. The cameras switched off and they left. This aid is not consistent and not for everyone. I saw an advert recently where a child smiled at the interviewer saying in Urdu 'I'm so happy, it's Eid, I have new clothes, a new prayer hat, a tent that I play in, yummy food and some Eid money... I just wish my parents were with me.' That is a child I would adopt. It infuriates me that his government is doing the minimum (if that) to support him. The child is orphaned! He waited four days before he had a meal and three weeks before he was given adult protection. He has nobody but God!

The Pakistani government issued ID cards for nationals to prove they were (A) legal and (B) desperate enough for a bag of rice. Many people lost these ID cards, including those that my family are protecting. One of the women said she would get 2,500 rupees from the government, less than £20 for I don't know how many months. That is nothing. She lost her card in the floods and was refused food tins for her children. She has nobody but God. Now, whatever I give from 3000 miles across the globe will provide for her. I do not mind this duty but I am angered that those closer to home have turned their eyes.

Hmm. Oh, I was told of a Pakistani charity that's reputable for donating 100%, I think the local mosques sent cheques to them which arrived within days masha'Allah. It... is called...The Edhi Foundation, named after a brother Edhi I presume.

If you can give a largish sum, do, if you give regularly, do it, or if you're a cheap a$$ student and can only afford a one-off donation, do that! The blessing of charity (sadaqah) is that whatever you give, comes back at least tenfold, guaranteed.

Give now, please. I thank you on behalf of the people you're about to save.

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Zaufishan | British Muslim Blog
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MuslimFirst said...

Sr. Zaufishan - When you mentioned the Edhi foundation, I recalled I had read an extensive article on him and the foundation on Sr. Jannah's site; here is the link for anyone interested - he is one amazing brother ma'sha'allah!


huffingtonpost.com/2010/08/30/pakistani-philanthropist-_n_699188.html

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