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Friday, 26 July 2013

Helping those nearest to us too. Let us not forget them...


Assalaamu alaykum wa Rahmatulaahi wa Barakatu.

Alhamdulillah Ramadhan is upon us and flying by so quickly.
We are busy preparing iftar, suhoor, eid gifts etc. 
Donating to charities to help our brothers and sisters, sending our zakat 'back home'

Alhamdulillah this is all very good Subhan'Allah and this is in no way meant to stop anyone from these righteous acts but, we should also remember those closest to us too.
 Not as in family but those closest to our homes.
Living in the West, we tend to be more comfortable to a certain extent. 
Even when we are not working we usually have some form of help as in benefit etc. Many, many countries do not have this facility and are struggling on a daily basis, not knowing where or if they will eat each day.
Because their need is great we should try to alleviate their hardships by giving sadaqa/zakat as much as we are able.

Now, some of us may also be unaware of the need of many in the UK too. Yes they may receive benefit, food stamps etc but there are also some who have 'no recourse to public funds'
This means that they cannot claim any benefit, work or accept any help from a government organisation. 
Imagine being in this situation. Imagine not knowing when you can feed your children Subhan'Allah.

Last year, we were made aware of such a sister with children. Alhamdulillah we managed to raise enough to buy her meat, chicken, rice and food items.



Also. as a gift for another sister recently, we bought some food for her and her children for Ramadhan. Although her need was no where as great as the above sister, I felt that this small gift would bring them some relief and happiness.




Alhamdulillah Solace have reached their target for Samantha so no more donations for her cause but, they still have many sisters in need so to make a general donation please click on the Solace link below.

Now, we have been made aware of a sister in the UK with 'no recourse to public funds'.
She is being cared for by www.solaceuk.org who are trying to raise enough funds to help her very sad situation.
If you are in a position to help then please click on the Solace link to donate. Please DO NOT donate for Samantha via this blog. You can read her story here....

Asalamu alaikum
Dearest Brothers and Sisters,
We recently launched our new video to highlight the problems revert sisters encounter after they take their shahaadah. If you haven't seen it, you can watch it here:http://www.solaceuk.org/index.php/donate/donate-to-solace
Today, we need your help for Sister Samantha...
SISTER SAMANTHA (REVERT OF 2 YEARS) is struggling to eat, often rationing food and sharing a single bed with her 5 year old daughter in a tiny box room. This isn’t abroad, this is in the UNITED KINGDOM!
Last week, SOLACE visited Sister Samantha in her box room in which she shares a single bed with her 5 year old daughter in a houseshare with non Muslims. Samantha became Muslim 2 years ago. Samantha and her daughter are literally surviving via the kind donations of brothers and sisters. She is not entitled to receive ANY benefits. 
PLEASE TAKE JUST 2 MINUTES FROM YOUR TIME TO READ THIS EMAIL. IT WILL MAKE A HUGE DIFFERENCE TO SAMANTHA AND HER 5 YEAR OLD DAUGHTER. IT IS OUR DUTY AS A MUSLIM COMMUNITY TO HELP THEM.
(All details are true except Samantha's name which has been changed to protect her identity)
Please note SOLACE can confirm that checks have been carried out to verify Samantha’s situation. We have seen documentation, met her in person in her appalling living conditions and confirm this is a legitimate case. We have been providing support to Samantha for over a year now.
Sister Samantha is a revert who has been a Muslim for two years. She has one daughter aged 5 and is struggling to pay for her single box room, bills and food for her and her daughter.
She cannot claim benefits and has no recourse to public funds at all. She currently cleans three times a week for 2 hours and with that little money tries to ration food for her and her daughter.
Samantha became Muslim 2 years ago. Her whole life has been a test. Samantha became Muslim 2 years ago. Her whole life has been a test. She was abused as a child by various people around her and this continued into her adult life.  Of them, her mother’s partner, her mother's employer, though her mother knew about the sexual abuse, she did nothing.  She even suffered physical abuse from her previous partner.  As a non Muslim she used to admire the hijab and thought it was the appropriate way to dress. A sister gave her a Qu'ran to read and after reading it, she entered into the beautiful deen of Islam.
When the SOLACE Support Scheme Manager went to visit Samantha, she was extremely saddened that Samantha and her 5 year old daughter were living in a box room in a busy houseshare, had a tiny space in a shared fridge to store the little food that they somehow manage to buy, and were struggling to maintain what we would call essentials – a roof over their heads and food to eat.
If Samantha has to travel anywhere, they walk as they can’t afford the bus. Her daughter's school is a 45 minutes walk away from home. She tends not to go out much and remains cramped up in her box room which is her home.
Despite this, the Support Scheme Manager described Samantha as a very calm and gentle sister. She displays such high levels of gratitude to Allah and is always extremely grateful for any help that she receives and very rarely asks SOLACE for help despite her situation remaining unchanged. She is always speaking of Allah in good terms and prays a lot masha’Allah. Her emaan is clearly strong despite her current circumstances. She loves Allah very much and in her every day speech is constantly praising Him subhanaAllah. SOLACE have never heard her complain and she says that everything happens for a reason. When asked about her dreams for her life, she told SOLACE that she dreams that she will one day be able to sort things out for her and her daughter and that she can emotionally and physically become stronger. She also dreams to visit the House of Allah one day.
It is extremely difficult for her each month as she struggles to pay her rent. Whenever she does get any money for food, she has to be very careful about what she buys. We recently gave her some clothes for her daughter as her daughter didn’t have clothes in her correct size.
In this month of Ramadan where we splash out on foods that tickle our fancy, our sister of only 2 years in Islam is struggling with basic necessities.
There is light at the end of the tunnel for Samantha. A solicitor has advised that when her daughter turns 7 in November 2014 she can apply to become a resident in the UK and will no longer be in the situation that she is in. But until then, Samantha needs our help. SOLACE would like to call on ALL brothers and sisters to help Samantha so that we can:
1.Pay for her rent and bills until November 2014
2.Pay for her food and travel costs until November 2014 so that they can eat well and not have to walk far distances anymore.
3.We would like to look for alternative accommodation for Samantha. No Muslim woman should be living in such circumstances. Would we want for our wife, mother, sister or child to live in such circumstances. We would need to pay for one month’s rent and one month’s deposit in advance. However, we will not collect funds for this until we have found a new property for her.
4.We would like to raise money so that Samantha and her daughter can venture out, attend circles, and enjoy simple treats that we experience on a daily basis.
5.This Eid, we would like to make it special for Samantha and her daughter and would like to provide her daughter with Eid gifts and new clothes and an abaya for Samantha.
We have calculated that all of the above equals to £500 per month. So, from July 2013 to November 2014 this equates to £8500. By November 2014 we are hoping that she will have received her residency in the UK. So far we have raised £2030. We have £6470 left to raise.
Allah knows if Samantha has been making dua for relief but we feel very strongly about this case. When we asked her if she had any friends, she mentioned only two sisters – one that she sadly has lost contact with and the other sister was her SOLACE Support Worker. Allahu mustan! Wallahi it brought tears to our eyes.
We urge you to please donate via any of the listed ways on our donate page: http://www.solaceuk.org/index.php/donate/donate-to-solace Please add 'SAMANTHA' as a reference so that 100% of your donation can go towards her.
Please NOTE if you do donate, it is essential that you send an email to donate@solaceuk.org with your name, telephone number, date you donated, amount you donated and method (ie via paypal, direct bank transfer) so that if donations exceed the target amount for Samantha and her daughter, we can return your money to you.
Finally, the Prophet (saw) said: “Whoever alleviates [the situation of] one in dire straits who cannot repay his debt, Allah will alleviate his lot in both this world and in the Hereafter.” Muslim
We hope no one will simply do nothing with this email. It is our hope that everyone who reads it will at least donate £1 towards this sister and forward it on.
Sadly, we receive many cases of revert sisters in difficulty struggling like this. Please kindly remember Samantha and the rest of the SOLACE service users in your duaa.
Wasalamu alaikum
SOLACE UK
www.solaceuk.org

As I said, please DO NOT donate for Samantha via this blog, I have just added her story here to make you aware of the needs of many revert sisters and the amazing work that Solace does on a daily basis.

Jazakum'Allahu Khairan


Although we did just buy a food pack for two sisters in Morocco.

Please do excuse the quality of the picture, it was taken by a sister with a very basic phone and this was the best we could do...


Alhamdulillah, if you could have heard the dua from the sisters it would make you cry. One was crying as she was talking to us as she really has limited funds. These parcels may be small to us but to someone who is in need, this can make a huge difference.






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