This post is a couple of days late, but I wanted to take the time to wish everyone a happy Ramadan. May Allah fill this month with blessings for you and your families. For those who are unfamiliar with the Muslim holiday, the month of Ramadan is when Muslims believe Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) received the revelations of the Qur’an. For thirty days, Muslims who are able will fast and refrain from food and drink, among other things. Ramadan is the month of kindness, generosity, and humility. Fasting teaches Muslims self-control, patience, and empathy for the lesser privileged people in the world.
Ramadan comes at a tragic and challenging time for many Muslims this year. In Pakistan, over 1600 people have been killed in the recent flooding, while over 14 million people are affected by the tragedy. The international community’s weak and sluggish response to the floods compared with previous disasters serves as a harsh and cruel reminder of how human beings are not valued equally in our world. I remember during the Haiti earthquake, websites like Facebook, Yahoo, Google, YouTube, and even Facebook applications like Cafe World had donation tabs and buttons to provide relief to the victims of Haiti. In almost every grocery store I went to, customers were asked to donate to Haiti at the check-out counter. Such awareness is shamefully missing for floods in Pakistan.
According to BBC news, aid agencies in Pakistan “have warned that many more people will die as floods inundate southern areas unless more international help comes.” I was informed by a relative of mine in Lahore that 10% of Pakistan’s population is directly affected by the flood, while the rest of the country is indirectly affected. It is admirable and heartbreaking at the same time to hear that Muslim flood survivors in Pakistan are fasting despite the devastation that has struck their homes, villages and cities.
During this month of inner reflection, let us be conscious of our privileges and mindful of those who suffer. Let us reach out and help in any way we can. Please donate if you are able to and please raise awareness about what’s happening in Pakistan. Here are a couple of useful links for those who are interested in helping out. Please share them with whoever you can. May Allah give strength and healing to all. Ameen.