Assalam o Alaikum to you all! We are half way through Ramzan, the month of fasting for Muslims. Here in Islamabad it is from around 3.30 am till 7.07 pm. So it is 15.5 hours. I know it is up to eighteen hours in other parts of the world, like in Seattle. Surprisingly, It has been going really well, and full of beautiful miracles. Let me share some of these with you: (others are in the pipe-line!)
1. The water and accident incident:
Just look at this little incident that happened with me….
Last Saturday, I was going for art class to Rahi Studio. It was for a landscape project. So, when I was about to leave home, I thought I’d take a magnolia flower bud for Hajra Apa. I broke one off the tree, and got my usual water bottle and put it in. At the gallery, I took the flower out of the bottle, and went in to give it to Apa.
It was a joy to work on the painting, where my friend Salma gave me this canvas to work on. After the class, at the crossing near our home, I suddenly decided to go to my tailor to give our Eid clothes . Afterwards, as I was driving on the main Margalla road, enjoying the sight of scenic mountains; I saw a home delivery motorbike of a company ahead of me. Suddenly, I saw it getting out of control, and he toppled over. The man fell on the roadside and then fell over the side, tumbling downwards on the slope beyond. I stopped my car a little ahead. I watched several bikers stop and help the man get back to the roadside, next to his up-righted bike.
He sat looking dazed. I took the water bottle, and offered him, he was fasting but gratefully accepted the water to splash it on his face. He looked visibly improved, he returned the bottle to me. I walked back to my car.
While driving back home, I went over the chain of events that brought me here at this moment. How it is God who makes us do things at certain times, to help His individuals. This is why it is important to do what our heart tells us to do, because we know Who lives in our hearts, but we have yet to know, why He prompts us!
Who knows, how many times He has helped us in this way. Then we wonder how the right person was there to help us when we needed it most!
Believe me, I’ve been a recipient so many times.
2. Preparing trousseau for daughters of under-privileged persons:
Do, you remember how the wedding of two girls took place here, in Northern area, last month? We managed to get them lovely suits, cash for food and lots of things for home. All, thanks to the donations from you all, and specially from Aalia Janjua from California, and from my anonymous donors in Canada. There were clothes from Uzma, Okasha and my mother and I also pitched in. May Allah help you all, for going out of your way for these people.
Since the wedding took place earlier than I expected, we ended up with extra donations. So, now I was ready to do the same for two more marriages! I drove off around 10.30 pm and did shopping for them in my favorite shop in G-9 Markaz . Usually, I hate shopping, but this kind of shopping, I love. 🙂
So I got so excited when I was able to get quite a lot more stuff within the same amount. All through meticulous planning alternatives with the salesman, Mudassar. ( Yes, the one who gave Rs.1000 donation, last time.
‘People go for Umra spending so much, if they did such things it would change someone’s life. He said, God knows, if that Umra gets accepted by Allah, but such acts of making life easier for the underprivileged persons would definitely please Allah.’ So, he really helped me a lot, and I got two tea sets, one water-set, along with the dinner set of seventy-four pieces and three cooking pots’ set. Lots of knick knacks like kitchen knives, cooking and frying spoons, salt and pepper containers, and even lemon squeezers!
Meanwhile, Shazia Rizwan and her friends had collected some beautiful clothes, and cash for this wedding. Bisma also added some beautiful suits and shirts.
So, I’m all set for another wedding now. In fact, I was able to hand over to one mother who was very happy with the help.
Please note, it is not dowry, it is just a few things that any mother would love to give her daughter while seeing her off to start her new home. It is a privilege and honor for me, to be of help in this.
It may be noted, that I’ve never given any dowry to my own daughters who got married. Nothing was ever demanded either from the wonderful families. My daughters, Alhamdolillah, never faced any issues from their in-laws due to it. My daughters and I’m truly blessed. However, I love to help underprivileged persons, as they have serious issues, and I’m sure these things would be of great help for them.
3. Distribution of Rations and food:
Every home in Pakistan, I’m sure provides rations for their staff and under-privileged persons living in their community during Ramzan. If nothing else, they will donate an amount which contributes towards food for poor in mosques. So, as I displayed a typical ‘pack’ to my followers on Instagram, several living abroad asked me to do the needful for them here. So, my staff would go and get the set and I’d look out for deserving families to give these rations to. Wives of drug addicts, widows, and individuals going through rough times, especially those who didn’t ask, but we could see they needed it. So that felt good.
4. Clothes for CSS school children for Eid:
As you know, last Ramzan we managed to get Eid gifts for the CSS school children, you can read about them here.
This time Usman mentioned that it would be good to get clothes for them instead. I kept quiet. Clothes are a hassle, as the size and fit can be a big issue. ‘So, how will we do it?’ I wondered. ( Just didn’t have the heart to say ‘no’ to Usman.) He is doing an impossible task of running a school for 170 underprivileged children. So, I asked Asif my web expert, to please make a poster to share this idea with my friends and followers.
Suddenly, I get this message on Instagram from a girl named Rimsha ….
‘I was thinking of getting clothes for CSS school children.’ My heart skipped a beat. ‘I’m a student of forth year in Arid University, Rawalpindi.’ I was thrilled. By now, she and her friends have gathered forty-seven dresses.
Then I got a call from Shagufta Zafar,
‘Shireen, I’ve contacted a factory in Lahore, and I’ll be able to get about fifty clothes.’ Wow.
Then Andaleeb sent me ten lovely clothes, all packed up. Ayesha gave me around fifteen.
Our target is achieved in half the time!!!!
As the target got achieved, I get this message from Inam Illahi – a new member of the Shireen’s Studio Group, ‘I’m sending sweets for the children at your address.’ So, hopefully, we shall have sweets in each parcel now, thanks to Inam!
5. Food for the children:
My friend from Canada asked me to help with the wedding and food for CSS children. (I’ve been asked by my Canadian donors to withhold their names.) Insha Allah we shall have the ‘deg’ ready for these children. It is good to give them boxes with food so the whole family can share the food at home with them. These shall be given with the suits for Eid.
Can you feel that happy feeling creeping into your heart? This is how Usman has been giving food to his students earlier on:
6. You make miracles happen:
So, now I know why Pakistan is the happiest country in this region. (This definitely includes all you Pakistanis who are living abroad and have your hearts still hanging in here.) It also includes all those who aren’t Pakistanis, still have a heart of gold eager to help those who needed their help.
I just love your beautiful souls for having the will to help underprivileged children, and families. Wherever you are, find someone to help. I’m telling you, it is the easiest way to feeling great!
Yes, you are right. Lots more is cooking…. you’ll be updated soon. 😉
The card that accompanied the gifts of clothes for CSS school children from Andaleeb:
Naturally, I feel happy. Even though we can’t stop the rape, killings and horrible incidents happening around us. We can at least do our little bits to gladden a few hearts here and there.
Sometimes, that is enough.:)