Sunday is Mother’s Day - a time to show some much needed appreciation to the women who have been there for us all through our lives guiding us, teaching us what’s right, and picking us up when we’re down.
The Prophet Muhammad said, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him, 'Heaven lies under the feet of your mother'. (Ahmad)
Heroes come in all shapes and sizes and the selfless dedication and sacrifice of a mother is truly exceptional. Most of us, when we think of all our mum has done for us, would not think twice about calling her our hero.
In Bangladesh, Rohingya refugees have been showing us a new side to the heroism of a mother. When the horrors of violence and persecution struck the Rohingya people of Myanmar this August, thousands of mothers leapt to the rescue of their children, and carried them to the safety of neighbouring Bangladesh.
Sabirah is one such mother. Recently widowed, she took up her two children and fled into the bushes when soldiers attacked their village near Maungdaw in Rakhine State. They hid until the attack ended, when Sabirah began to lead them through on an eight-day trek to the Bangladesh border.
With no food, water, or any supplies whatsoever Sabirah kept her children alive through determination and the will to protect her children at all costs. Evading the raiding mobs, who were burning villages in their path, she kept her children out of sight, hidden from the attackers in the dense jungle.
Along the way, they came across a young girl sitting and crying beside a mound of freshly dug earth on the outskirts of yet another burnt-out village. Sabirah approached the girl and asked her what happened, but the girl would not respond and just kept crying. Eventually, after some coaxing, the girl said that soldiers attacked their village, killing everyone.
Sabirah took the girl in hand, even though she had no food or water for herself or her own children, and managed to get all of them to the border, surviving on whatever food they could forage in the jungles and water from rivers and stagnant pools.
Once in the refugee camp in Bangladesh, Sabirah adopted the young girl and they all live on whatever food they can get from aid distributed by charities such as Muslim Hands.
This Mother’s Day Sabirah won’t be receiving flowers or chocolates, she is happy just to know her children are still alive. In the refugee camps, life for her family is extremely hard and thousands of mothers like Sabirah are struggling to feed, clothe and care for their children.
It would be a tragedy if, after all she has been through, she lost a child to sickness or malnourishment as the plight of the Rohingya refugees sees no sign of improving.
With the support of our donors, Muslim Hands is working in these camps, meeting the needs of what people we can reach.
Donate now to our Rohingya Emergency Appeal and help the Rohingya mothers save their children.