Abroad

SISTERS4ISLAM – CONNECTING PEOPLE

RAMADHAAN IN LEICESTER by Fahia Farah

25th of Ramadhaan coinciding with Wednesday 30th June.


My experience of Ramadhaan in Leicester is beyond what I have known in previous places I have lived before. In Leicester you will find the true essence of Muslims connecting with each other. There are Masjids everywhere. Muslims also unite in different places through different conferences, and the most exciting of all, they unite to break their fast during Ramadhaan in large numbers in different venues all around Leicester. This Year Sisters4Islam are running their annual Iftaar programme at the City Retreat in the centre of Leicester. Sister4Islam are a group of Sisters of various backgrounds who have connected through Islam and now have the opportunity to connect more people through this beautiful religion, echoing the motto “mercy to mankind”. It’s a religion that doesn’t allow any animal to be harmed.

It is authentically stated from the Prophet ( peace be upon him) that he said: “she is in the hell fire, and he repeated that a few times. The companions around him asked: ‘oh, Prophet of Allah ,who”?he said :” the Woman who locked up a cat ,she didn’t feed it nor did she allow it to go out and get food, so it died,”

We can understand from this, that a woman will go the hell fire because of letting a cat die. Isn’t a human being worth more than a cat? Would you think our creator would allow a human being to be harmed if he doesn’t allow a cat to be harmed without consequences?

In another saying the Prophet ( peace be upon him) informed us about a women who was a prostitute, she was forgiven for her sins because she felt bad for a dog, who seemed to be thirsty, so she went down a well and got water for him.

We can understand from this, that if you show mercy you will receive mercy. Islam is a complete system that allows all the creation to live in harmony in this world. There are rights for everything and everyone It gives opportunities for all humans to come together. This is something that Sisters4Islam are striving for.

Recently a Trustee of our group travelled to Tanzania. There she is trying to help those who are in need with the rest of the members support here in Leicester. Praise be to Allah she has been able to distribute food and medicine from the donations received from the community of Leicester, with your help she has managed to relieve some hardship.

This Ramadhaan in Leicester a great effort has been made to share food with the homeless. It shows there is great hope for the mercy and reward from our lord, in this world and the hereafter.

 


…..”The tourists poured in and made the rich a lot richer…

However, behind the big hotels is hidden poverty”….

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In 2011 Sister Amina returned from a year of teaching in Saudi Arabia. She writes…..
At the time of going to Saudi, my intention was for always and forever to remain there, but things went terribly wrong in my marriage and my expectations of Saudi were far different from what I found. So I returned to the UK battered and bruised (literally, physically and emotionally).  I was 47 years of age and I couldn’t find a job. Wondering what I would do next, living off my savings and social security in a rented house, my sons were grown up with my youngest off to university… I was having a mid life crisis (according to my doctor). I was lost and going nowhere. In my depression and solitude a friend asked me to go to Africa with her, ‘try to raise some money to take rice to the poor’ she said… Next day our flight was booked. What did I have to loose!  During my two-week stay I embarked on a project at a small school, the Iban Abass Islamic school. They needed books, a new roof for their half-built mosque and classrooms. I vowed to try to do something to help them.  Alhamdulillah, five weeks later I returned alone. I got the masjid, school rooms completed and books delivered from Egypt. I did a month of teaching english and Islam to sisters. I felt alive again!
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I returned to the UK and again my depression set in. What was I going to do, I had only a little money left from Saudi, employers just didn’t want me (too old) and I was now alone so I left, I made my plans, I got information and 5 months later I was in Banjul in a rented flat…. my hijra had begun!  That’s when Markoiro Bunda Gambia was initiated, it means Open Door into Gambia, it seemed apt for the type of work I wanted to do. A friend in the UK created a website and I started to work towards bringing as much ease as possible to people here in Gambia and the project was successful, people wanted to help.  Even to this day 3+ years later we have 519 followers on Facebook; we have achieved so much, Alhamdulillah.  We started with sponsorship’s for education. We engaged in sponsorship of families, food supplies, assistance with medical costs; all of which we still do.  We worked in a rural village called Dobong Kunda for a long time, giving seeds to grow, major food supplies, Quran for masjid, farming equipment, even a football tournament and then we dug our first well, Alhamdulillah.
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Gambia, the smiling coast of Africa, has a big tourist industry, big hotels, supermarkets with European foods and beaches with hot sands and blue seas. The tourists have poured in and made the rich a lot richer… However, behind the big hotels is hidden poverty: the homeless boys who live on the beach trying to score with a toubarb in the hope of a better life; the families who live in uninhabitable housing with rain pouring in through corrugated metal roofs and with cooking pots standing empty; children begging and street boys selling what little they can of socks, prayer mats, car cleaning equipment or fruit; men, women and children, walking the streets from morning to night in the hope of finding a few delicacies to take home. Even if they worked a full week they would be lucky to earn enough for a bag of rice for the month! Poverty, the hidden illness of Gambia!
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