Doing something for yourself is easy but for others..

    Azim Walimia and his friends undertook a sponsored run to raise money for the victims of last year’s floods in Pakistan. Read his amazing account of what convinced him to try such a challenge.

    It was a normal Saturday night and I got a phone call to say, “Let’s go out for a meal.” I said, “Fine, let’s go.” Within minutes a second phone call came to say, “We’re still going out for a meal but there is a talk at the Central mosque after Isha. Shaykh Ahmad Ali is speaking, once he has finished we can carry on with our own meal.” The boys had no problems with the second plan. Listening to the wise words of the Shaykh - and more importantly knowing it was on the topic of one of our great leaders, ‘Umar ibn Khattab - was more appealing than a Saturday night take away.

    We all made our way to the masjid, prayed Isha and sat patiently waiting for the Shaykh to arrive and deliver his speech.  The first speaker came on to give his speech - it was about generosity, being honest and looking out for one another. The second speaker came on and gave a short presentation about the work Ummah Welfare Trust (UWT) had done in Pakistan.  I must admit, though I had heard of UWT before, I had never witnessed anything that they had done first hand. The 100% donations policy caught my eye. This presentation gave the audience a first-hand look at the devastation the flood had caused in Pakistan. It was footage never seen before, something I had not seen in the media. It reminded of the stories I had heard regarding the biblical times.

    We all know the damage the floods had caused and the countless number of lives directly affected, but watching it with your own eyes made me think how I would have reacted in that situation. I kept thinking: What would I have done? If I was a survivor, what mental state would I have been in? After the presentation, we all looked at each other in shock with what we had just witnessed.

    It was time for the Shaykh to come on. He started his speech about the life and times of ‘Umar Ibn Khattab, stating the facts of what a great leader he truly was. He could not be compared to any of the leaders from the Muslim nations of today. The Shaykh gave various accounts of what Sayyiduna ‘Umar Radiallahu Anhu had achieved in his life. How he ran an entire empire and how every luxury you can imagine was offered on a plate to him. However, he chose to live life in the most simplest of ways and with the fear of Allah always in his heart.  What stood out to me was that he had access to so much wealth but he gave away virtually every bit of it to the poor and needy. He never kept anything luxurious because he felt this would weaken him and keep him away from Allah.

    Once again this made me think how we currently live our lives. Alhamdulillah, with the grace and mercy of the Almighty, we have everything we could really wish for in this country. Then the Shaykh said that on the Day of Qiyamah, Allah will ask each and every one of us what we did to feed our fellow Muslims at the time when they most needed us. The reason we have been blessed with so much wealth and health is so we can strive to give others a share of what we have.

    At the end of the speech, when the brothers where asking for pledges, (because UWT had a set objective from the outset, aspiring to build one whole new village) making a pledge was made slightly easier because we knew exactly what we were contributing towards. It was not a case of just giving blindly and hoping for someone from UWT to fly out there and give your donation, thus putting your mind at peace. Amongst the ten friends that were present at this talk, we all agreed to raise money so that between us we could at least try and raise money for one house £2,000. We started by putting our contribution in and this raised £1,000 Alhamdulillah. To raise the remaining £1,000, we asked family and friends for their help.

    A few days had passed after the talk, when brother Hasanat got in contact with all the guys and suggested that we should consider doing a charity run to raise the remaining amount. Initially there was some reluctance to do the run, but after a few encouraging words with each other we all decided to give it a chance.

    We all trained and practiced for the run, some of us trained harder than others and we continued collecting money and sponsors from fellow family members and friends. When the day of the race arrived, we did not really know what to expect. We had practiced running on grass for 10 kilometres, but running an actual race was new to us all. It was difficult running in the heat and amidst the different slopes. What pushed us on however was the suffering of the flood victims. While we are just racing, they are the ones who have experienced 'real' difficulty.

    Once everyone had finished the race, we could see the satisfaction on each other’s faces. To do something for yourself is easy in this world but to do it for others requires time and sacrifice. Alhamdulillah, the satisfaction was indescribable.

    This article is not for fame or appraisal but it is to motivate yourselves to arrange an event or activity where you can raise money for the suffering of the Ummah.

    The Team

    The final amount raised for the reconstruction project was £6639.23. May Allah accept our efforts.