January 21, 2022
In times of incredible hardship, we are asked to face our own mortality with a new light, a new perspective.
There is no doubt that everyone will be dealt with hardship. What defines our character is our reaction to such heavy moments. It can be faith-shattering or a means to become closer to Allah.
For these next two families, they choose to react in the best of ways which we can only aspire to: by giving back despite having lost the most precious thing in the world: their loved ones. They did this through our very own GiveLight and we are honored to have their support. They took their loss and turned it into an initiative to help orphans, the most vulnerable of society. May Allah be pleased with these families.
Take the family of the beloved Azhar Mahmoud Malik. Uncle Azhar grew up in a loving environment surrounded by a large family. He always understood the value of an education and was himself a patron. Azhar considered himself fortunate to continue his education from Pakistan in the U.S. where his family eventually joined him. He was an advocate for pursuing knowledge and would tutor his kids, celebrating their academic achievements and milestones. It was his genuine pleasure to see people around him succeed.
Upon his passing, one of his daughters had a dream in which she was approached by her late father and asked to do something on behalf of orphans. To honor his love of learning and fulfill the dream of aiding orphans, the Malik family commemorated their father and husband by fundraising to help sponsor the education of GiveLight Syrian orphans . They have now surpassed $10,000 –more than double their initial goal of $2,500, masha’allah.
Then there is the family of Sarah Khan from Chicago. Sarah and her husband experienced the loss of a child, their little girl, Mariam. In one of the most painful episodes of their life, broken by the loss, they turned to Allah for guidance. And so was born the idea to dedicate a playground in South Africa named after their late child. The Khan family wanted to reciprocate the joy and happiness they experienced with little Mariam by giving an opportunity for other kids to experience a piece of their joy and happiness. A former GiveLight volunteer, Sarah saw an opportunity as the orphanage was breaking ground in South Africa but didn’t have a playground yet. The initial goal of raising $3,000 was exceeded twice. Indeed, when you come walking towards Allah, He comes running.
The process of healing – not moving on, but honoring their loved ones – led these families to nurturing the lives of orphaned children. Once the door was open to accept blessings and fundraise for GiveLight, Allah made it so their goals were doubled. This is only the beginning of what other doors Allah can open.
The reward for supporting orphans cannot be underestimated. So precious is the orphan that a Sahih Bukhari Hadith narrates: “The Prophet (ﷺ) said, ‘I and the person who looks after an orphan and provides for him, will be in Paradise like this,’ putting his index and middle fingers together.”
When these families opened their hearts to Allah after having them torn open and wounded, Allah answered their grievances and continues to remember them as they remember Him. We thank our selfless sponsors and seek to use these real-life excellent examples on responding to loss with love.