Haiti in Need

It has been a week since the nation of Haiti was hit with its worst earthquake in 200 years. The massive quake (7.3 in scale) destroyed the buildings and roads. The death toll so far is 200,000 people with another 250,000 injured. More than 1.5 million people are left homeless, struggling for survival. A medical officer who is pouring his/her heart and soul in helping the victims made a startling claim. He/she said that 20,000 people will die every day because of lack of medical supplies. These victims need surgery to treat their injuries and complications that arose due to the devastating quake. Infections are spreading at a pandemic level and the prospects are looking gloomy.

I do not think I have to explain much further. The whole world must have understood the situation by now. It is covered in mass media and humanity seems to be responding well to the catastrophe that has befallen the people of Haiti. Millions of dollars are donated by many countries throughout the world. Aids are promised by many organizations and people are being generous about it.

However, as I scroll through the news using my laptop and read the various articles concerning the Haiti tragedy, I realized a common pattern. Many articles covered the numerous aids and donations given by countries throughout the world, as well as organizations. Nevertheless, I could not see any Muslim countries listed or Muslim organizations. I kept on reading and still could not find any. Feeling adamant that this must not be a fact, I continued searching. Finally, I came across an article. Alhamdulillah.

The article was from www.themajlis.org and even though I do not know the validity of this article, it provided me solace and surety. The link is provided at the end of this post. The article was in fact written to prove that Muslim countries are indeed helping the country of Haiti even though it seems difficult to find that information in other mainstream sources. I do not know the reason behind such blatant omission of information from other sources. One can only speculate but that will not do any good. However, I do not find it hard to believe if people start speculating the reason behind Muslim countries’ ‘lack of support’ for the Haiti cause.

You see, Haiti is country largely populated by Christians. According to my research, 80% of the population are Roman Catholics, 16% are Protestants, 1% Atheists and 3% Others. Where are Muslims? Less than 0.04% of them are Muslims. Clearly, I have no idea how to truly substantiate this information but in the end, it is suffice to say that Muslims are a small minority in the area. Thus, some people might argue that Muslims countries ‘lack of support’ might be due to the lack of Muslims in Haiti. Evidently, that is without a doubt, a false belief.

I do not deny the possibility that there might Muslims who felt some degree of reluctance to help the people of Haiti because of the large population of Christians. After all, humans are enormously varied and we are not angels. Nevertheless, I firmly hold true that Islam teaches its believers to spread good to everyone as narrated in verse 2 of surah Al-Maidah:

And help each other in righteousness and piety, and do not help each other in sin and aggression. And fear Allah. Surely, Allah is severe at punishment.

Thus, regardless of our differences, if we have the means to assist and help, why not? Why deprive ourselves from the bounties promised to us by Allah Himself?

Additionally, a good friend of mine forwarded a letter that struck a chord. It was poignant and sad. I felt a sense of responsibility after reading it and I thought I might share it here. The letter was taken from the website www.muslimmatters.org and the link is provided below. An excerpt of the letter is as follows:

Ya Ikhwani! We are in need of your assistance. Our country has been hit by an act of nature that has left our people with countless deaths, homeless, without water, food, blood and medication.

All of our hospitals have crumbled, we have piles of people in the streets dead. Some people have had to have their limbs removed without aesthetics. Makeshift hospitals are being made with tents but there are not enough doctors or medication for the amount of injured.

The smell of dead bodies has risen in the entire city, the people have become desperate of the situation.

Houses have been destroyed, stores, buildings, it is a complete nightmare. A children hospital was destroyed and thousands of children have died.

All the masjids are still standing and the brothers and sisters are using them as shelters for those in need. The little available is being shared.

Unfortunately all the churches have been destroyed and over 100 priest have died.

We ask you please for your du’as to Allah, subhanahu wa ta ala, to alleviate us from this tragedy. And if you can help us in any way, with food, water, medication or whatever it may be. Please, please, please do so.

May Allah keep you all under His shade and move your hearts to extend your hands to your brothers and sisters and our people who are in need.

From: Brother Ahmed bin Ambroise, a Muslim based in Haiti.


The question that still remains, are we going to act upon this? Lets!

Link 1: http://www.themajlis.org/2010/01/18/muslim-countries-are-in-fact-helping-haiti

Link 2: http://muslimmatters.org/2010/01/16/letter-from-haiti-a-haitian-muslims-request-for-help/

A Walk to Remember

Someone confessed, “This is so tiring. When are we going to arrive at the camp site?”

“Ha, you whined. 5 push-ups! Hehe,” his friend replied with a coy smile.

“Ya Allah, that makes 25 push-ups in total! I need to stop whining,” he muttered under his breath.

That was one of the scenarios that occurred at a camp that I joined a few weeks ago. There was a rule. Each person was not allowed to whine. Do not say you are tired, or you’re thirsty, or you’re hungry or anything that remotely suggest a whine. If you break this rule, you have to do 5 push-ups or squats. That was the rule that we all agreed upon.

It was quite challenging, the rule I mean.

We were attempting the Great Ocean Walk. Located in the Great Otway National Park, about 4 hours drive from the Melbourne City. We stayed there for 2 days and 2 nights. On Friday, we arrived at Blanket Bay at sundown and quickly pitched our tents as the dark began to envelope the area. The next morning, we started our walk. The destination was Aire River. The distance – about 20 kilometres. The weather was wonderful that morning. The sun seemed friendly and its light seemed to project the same excitement that we had within ourselves. We were ready for what lies ahead – or so we thought.

As we began walking, with about 10-15kg of baggage on our shoulders, we chatted animatedly with each other. Smiles across our faces with a confident stride in our walk. We continued with exuberance as we began hiking one hill after another. That was when our body began to tire. Some of us glanced at their wristwatch and then realized that it was just a mere 30 minutes since we started walking. We already felt the heat, certain exhaustion and were sweating quite profusely. But the goal was still far ahead, and no man should throw in the towel so early in the game. We stopped at certain intervals to replenish our energy. We drank our water at quite at alarming rate. Before we knew it, we only had a few sips left. That was when the rule began to be an enormous challenge.

Tired. Thirsty. Hungry. Hot. Sweaty. Pain. Heavy. Exhausted. Dehydrated.

Those are the thoughts that came to mind. And once we began to lose the energy we had, we began to lose our ability to control our tongues as well. Thus, we became whiny. And the number of push-ups multiplied. The best way to deal with our whiny little mouths was to simply stop talking. It also saved our energy.

Clearly, we were in need of motivation and energy. Truth be told, at times, giving up seemed to be the best option. But honestly, it was actually not an option. We were in the middle of the forest and we might as well go on because turning back was just as daunting as going further.

However, alhamdulillah, we saw the light at the end of the tunnel. Literally. As we trotted further and dragged our tired muscles and limbs, we would pass the ocean and it felt like a certain light uplifted our morale. MasyaAllah the view was breathtaking. For a minute or two, we would forget about everything else and time seemed to freeze. It froze to allow us to think. To look, think and absorb. The blue sky, with sparse balloons of clouds. Such clear, sparkling waters of the ocean that reflected the soothing blue-sky. The crashing sounds of waves as they forced through the rocks and soaked the white sandy beach. Accompanied by the chirping seagulls as they glided merrily across the picturesque sky. My description cannot hold justice to the scene itself. Each time we were blessed with this panoramic gift, we felt justified. It was all worth it. The perseverance, patience and persistence proved priceless.

By Allah’s will and bless, bit by bit, we continued walking. Amid the heat and exhaustion, we followed through. It was undeniably challenging, but this challenge, I believe, brought the best out of everyone. When one of us was down, there was always a hand to hold, a shoulder to help. It was beautiful to see. And it still brought a smile to my face as I write this. But that probably requires another entry to truly depict how proud I was having such unbelievable friends.

Through it all, we arrived at our destination. Tired, indeed. But massively contented. We achieved a feat. We were proud and ecstatic. But most importantly, we were thankful. Immensely thankful to Allah for His blessings. For allowing us to witness and live a world of experience in a short period of time. For allowing us to observe His great creations laid out for us in this wondrous planet. For allowing us to challenge ourselves and outdo ourselves. For allowing us to have such incredible companions that are with us through thick and thin.

Alhamdulillah. Alhamdulillah. Alhamdulillah.

Now it is time to do all the remaining push-ups that we promised to do. Hehehe.

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we write from our hearts so we may reach yours, as we endure the life full of challenges, and we choose the Quran and Sunnah as our guidance to live the life

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