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31 December 2020

Thank you for 2020!

Safa Faruqui
Thank you for 2020!

SubhanAllah, another year has gone by! 2020 was an unprecedented year for all of us, but you came through for those in need, and supported more than 3.5 million beneficiaries!

Ma sha' Allah, you truly followed the advice of the Prophet (saw) when he said, ‘Give charity without delay, for it stands in the way of calamity’. [Tirmidhi]

Alhamulillah, you raised more than £32 million this year! Your incredible compassion towards impoverished and war-torn communities - in spite of going through difficult tests yourselves - has humbled and inspired us. 2020 has been a record-breaking year for Muslim Hands, and this is entirely down to your generosity and Allah's blessings.

The Prophet (saw) said, 'He who does not thank the people is not thankful to Allah'. [Abu Dawud]

On behalf of the team at Muslim Hands, we'd like to say a huge THANK YOU to each and every one of you! Here are just a few of the amazing things you helped us achieve this year:

Education - amazing Sadaqah Jariyah projects!

The Messenger of Allah (saw) said, ‘When a person dies, his deeds come to an end except for three things: Sadaqah Jariyah (continuing charity), knowledge which is beneficial, or a righteous child who prays for him’. [Muslim]

This includes putting children through school, as well as providing vocational training for adults, empowering them to build successful futures.

Your charity funded long-running projects, such as our School of Excellence in Afghanistan, which has been operating since 1994! You also completed new projects, such as:

  1. Building a student hostel for nearly 150 orphans and abandoned children living in a slum in Sylhet, Bangladesh - including providing nutritious food, medical check-ups, and uniforms and school supplies;
  2. Providing orphans in Sri Lanka with a new school bus, ensuring the students - many of whom were walking up to 3 km! - could travel safely and comfortably; and
  3. Building four rural schools in Sudan for over 430 children - many of whom wouldn't have continued their education past 8 years old, due to the difficulty of travelling to distant schools.
Pictured above: The Sri Lanka school bus you provided for orphans, some of whom live 18km away! Just like nutritious meals, medical check-ups and school supplies, this bus is one more way you’re helping orphans and needy children create a brighter future.

These are just a few of the educational projects you have contributed towards in 2020! In the words of one student from Sudan, 'Thank you for this gift - you made my dream become true'.

You also sponsored over 2,480 new orphans in 2020, on top of the thousands of orphans the MH family is already supporting.

This included orphans in India-administered Kashmir, who had been unable to attend school due to lockdown since August 2019. Due to current restrictions, your donations are paying for online classes for now (using 2G, since 3G and 4G aren’t available). SubhanAllah, you have been an incredible support to these children during this difficult time.

The Prophet (saw) said, ‘Paradise has a door which is called "Joy" – only those who bring joy to children will pass through it’. [Dailami]

This was not just through education - you also brought them joy by providing food, building water wells, giving Eid gifts and so much more!

Emergency relief - helping those impacted by war and disasters

The Prophet (saw) said, ‘The example of the believers in their affection, mercy and compassion for each other is that of a body. When one limb aches, the whole body reacts with sleeplessness and fever’. [Bukhari]

Alhamdulillah, your 'affection, mercy and compassion' enabled us to respond to emergencies across the world this year. You alleviated the burdens of Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh, Ethiopian refugees in Sudan and Syrian refugees in Lebanon. You responded to an explosion in Lebanon, a tsunami in Indonesia, an earthquake in Turkey, and flash flooding in Pakistan, Mexico, Niger and elsewhere.

Pictured above: A boy collects daily bread in war-torn Yemen.

We were particularly honoured to set up our Blessed Bakeries this year, in the blessed lands of Yemen and Syria, (with another bread factory planned in Lebanon). These blessed people have been through so much, losing their homes, livelihoods and loved ones to the conflict, and enduring years of displacement.

The bread factories you have set up are providing thousands of people with bread every single day, alleviating hunger, protecting from malnutrition and giving a sense of stability to war-torn communities. We are prioritising orphans, widows and displaced people, ensuring your Zakat and Sadaqah reach the most vulnerable.

We pray Allah (swt) puts barakah in this project and relieves their burdens, ameen.

On behalf of our teams at Muslim Hands, we'd like to say an especially big THANK YOU to you for how generously you've given to blessed Yemen and Shaam.

As you know, these lands are beloved to Allah and His Messenger (saw), and it is humbling and inspiring to see you extend so much support to them.

SubhanAllah, we even broke fundraising records on Islam Channel with our Yemen Appeal in Ramadan, with £1.5 million raised in a single night!

Feeding the needy

The Messenger of Allah (saw) said, 'The best of you are those who feed others'. [Ahmad]

From providing emergency food parcels in war zones, to feeding the fasting in Ramadan, to distributing Qurbani meat over the days of Eid al-Adha - there are many ways you fed those in need in 2020!

Noor Syed, our Food Security and Livelihoods Coordinator, says: 'Chronic undernutrition has deadly effects on young children and their families, particularly when lack of nutritious meals is combined with poor access to healthcare and safe water. For over 25 years, Muslim Hands has been at the forefront in tackling world hunger. From running school feeding programmes to supporting and training small farmers, we are committed to ensuring long-term food security'.

Pictured above: Redistributing surplus food in the UK, as part of our partnership with Fareshare.

We're especially pleased to tell you that you provided one million Mighty Meals right here in the UK! This was part of our ongoing partnership with FareShare, which redistributes surplus food to vulnerable people across the UK.

The Prophet (saw) said, ‘He is not a believer whose stomach is filled while his neighbour is hungry’. [Bukhari]

In 2020, our struggling neighbours were even more vulnerable due to coronavirus, and it was essential to provide them with nutritious food to help them survive this crisis.

Improving health

The Prophet (saw) said, ‘If anyone relieves one of the distresses of this world from a Muslim, Allah will relieve from him one of the distresses of the Day of Resurrection’. [Abu Dawud]

So many people suffer from health problems which could be easily solved if they weren't impoverished. This year, your Zakat and Sadaqah have funded projects like:

  1. Providing cataract eye surgery for those in need, including poor communities in Pakistan and Bangladesh, and displaced people in Somalia;
  2. Building a health centre in Niamey, Niger, which is open every single day and is the only such service in the area; and
  3. Providing medical care and distributing medicines in Beirut, where the explosion damaged three hospitals and 25 health facilities.

Health projects like these transform people's lives:

Pictured above: A Somali cataract patient, whose family are displaced due to conflict and drought. Thanks to your donation, she can look for work and provide for her children.

And alhamdulillah, you've continued to provide medical care in war-torn Syria and Yemen, by helping to run health clinics, intensive care units for children, and more.

Additionally, in 2020, our global teams have been helping to protect vulnerable communities from the coronavirus pandemic. This includes distributing face masks, soap, hand sanitiser and more, as well as providing PPE to frontline medical workers and running training programmes to teach people how to prevent the virus from spreading.

This is just a glimpse of all the ways you've relieved people's health-related distress this year, ma sha' Allah!

Empowering people with livelihoods

The Prophet (saw) said, ‘Nobody has ever eaten a better meal than (a meal) which he earned from the work of his own hands. The Prophet of Allah, David (as), used to eat from the work of his own hands’. [Bukhari]

SubhanAllah, by providing sustainable livelihoods, you enabled many people to 'eat from the work of (their) own hands' this year!

Your Zakat and Sadaqah trained people to use sewing machines in Afghanistan, built small shops for women in Bangladesh, and planted olive trees in Palestine. You also provided chickens, goats, fruit trees and so much more to poor families around the world, giving them a hand-up rather than a hand-out.

Many of our livelihood projects target impoverished women, particularly widows who would love to be able to support their children but simply don't have the means. Alhamdulillah, it is amazing to see how your donations are making life easier for women around the world!

This includes not just providing livelihoods, but also running our Motherkind clinics for expecting and new mothers in poor communities, as well as providing vocational training, emergency food parcels, and other kinds of relief.

Religious education and preserving our Islamic heritage

Over 75,500 people benefitted from religious projects this year! Alhamdulillah, your donations have continued to support long-running religious projects such as:

  1. An Islamic School for 6-12 year olds in a poor convert community in Chiapas, Mexico;
  2. A Madrassa in our School of Excellence in Malawi, which serves orphans and needy children; and
  3. The Sayyida Fatima Az-Zahra College in Wazirabad, which teaches Islamic scholarship as well as the national curriculum to aspiring female scholars.

And of course, you have also been helping us to preserve Masjid Al-Aqsa! We now have enough funds to illuminate the entire Qibali Masjid Grand Prayer Hall, and three quarters of the lighting system has been installed.

You have also sponsored 700 olive trees within Masjid Al-Aqsa, and you are helping us raise funds to renovate Bab ar-Rahmah, the third most significant cemetery in the Islamic world.

You can read more about our Islamic Heritage projects here.

Water - the best charity!

The Messenger of Allah (saw) was asked, 'Which charity is best?' He replied, '[Providing] water'. [Abu Dawud]

Alhamdulillah, thanks to so many generous donors giving 'the best charity' this year, communities across the globe have been transformed and revived by the gift of water!

One project we're particularly honoured to implement is rehabilitating water wells in Yemen, including replacing the water pipes and installing solar-powered systems.

Yemen was already one of the most water-scarce regions in the world before the conflict, but with so much of its infrastructure destroyed, access to water and sanitation has become even more difficult for millions of people. Your donations have therefore been lifesaving to blessed communities in Yemen.

This includes constructing water wells, boreholes and water filtration plants.

Thank you!

Alhamdulillah, as always, we are honoured to facilitate your Zakat and Sadaqah to those in need. We are overwhelmed by the record-breaking year we've had, and inspired by your incredible generosity in raising over £32 million.

We pray Allah continues to gives you opportunities to do good, and we pray Allah allows our teams to continue their noble work across the globe, ameen.

'The last of it is musk. So, for this let the competitors compete'. [The Noble Qur'an, 83:26]

We urge you to end the year strongly - so why not give some Sadaqah on the last day of 2020? You can even set up a regular monthly donation to a worthy cause, to start 2021 on a high note too!

May Allah put barakah in everything you give for His sake, ameen.

 


Muslim Hands UK

Established in 1993, Muslim Hands is an aid agency and NGO helping those affected by poverty, conflict and natural disaster in over 20 countries worldwide.