Help flood victims in Pakistan

By Fedwa Wazwaz, Engage Minnesota

I have been battling migraines and extremely tired to write much, so there is a backlog of articles that I will wrap up this next two weeks regarding Ramadan. We had quite a few events within the Twin Cities during Ramadan where Muslims struggled to reach out to the best of their ability to be a mercy and in the service of others.

One such case I want to highlight is that of Dr. Bushra Dar. Dr. Dar is a Family Medicine physician at Allina Medical Clinic in Maple Grove, MN. She has lived with her family in Eden Prairie for 25 years. When Dr. Dar learned of the catastrophic monsoon floods that hit the northern regions of Pakistan – She didn’t think twice on how to react. Immediately, she started organizing a fundraising event with Human Development Foundation, which took place on August 27th, at Mounds View community Center.

I asked Dr. Dar to explain her motivation and quick thinking during Ramadan for this event.

Wazwaz: People usually are busy hosting family and friends dinner parties. To organize such an event in so little time is quite amazing. What were you thinking and how did you convince others to participate immediately.

Dr. Dar: Many people may not realize that when Muslims observe the daily fasting during the holy month of Ramadan, they do more than just refrain from eating and drinking from sunrise until sunset. The Qur’an states:

“Oh you who believe, fasting is prescribedfor you as it was prescribed for those before you, so that you may attain piety.[2:183]”

In this verse, piety refers to God-consciousness. Removing worldly distractions such as food and other petty affairs allows the believer to spend their time immersed in remembrance, thankfulness, and repentance before God. Likewise, during this time Muslims strive harder than usual to do good deeds, as the reward for righteous acts is multiplied many times over in Ramadan, through God’s mercy.

With a death toll in the thousands, a mass of land larger than the size of the United Kingdom submerged under water, millions of people displaced, and deadly disease outbreak on the horizon, Pakistan’s people are crying out desperately for help. To swiftly answer their call is nothing short of my obligation.

Islam already mandates that we aid the downtrodden and give generously to the needy to the furthest extent that we are able, no matter what time of the year it may be. But in Ramadan, when we experience hunger during the day in order to detach from the materialistic world and then gather at sunset to give thanks for God’s provision, failing to lend a helping hand to the flood victims would be missing the point of the month entirely.

Every year, some of my friends and I host a dinner party for family and friends to break their fast together and enjoy one other’s company over a festive meal. This time around, we called our guests to bring with them a small donation to support the Human Development Foundation’s relief in the wake of what has been deemed a more destructive natural disaster than the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, Hurricane Katrina, and last year’s Haiti earthquake combined.

If anyone wishes to help the people of Pakistan, contact a charity organization you trust, or you can contact Human Development Foundation. I am also aware that Islamic Relief is also reaching out to the people of Pakistan. If you can or cannot donate, please kindly remember them in your prayers as well.

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