Just want to share one of the sharing from our brothers and sisters in Pakistan currently suffering heavy lost due to severe flood disaster. May Allah ease their sufferings and rewards them better in this Dunya and the Hereafter.
KARACHI — Mohammad Khan’s happiness and peace of mind would seem strange to someone who has lost almost everything; his house, livestock, and crops to the massive flood that struck his village in remote Shikarpur district, north of Karachi.
But amid the ruins of his life, the Pakistani farmer found something more precious: his faith.
“I am very happy, though I have lost a lot. But whatever I have lost, is heavily compensated,” Khan, 36, told OnIslam.net.
“Now I feel that I am a Muslim because I know what Allah and His Prophet (be peace upon Him) demand from me.”
Khan is currently living at a shelter camp set up by Al-Khidmat Foundation, the country’s largest Islamic charity in the outskirts of Karachi.
Since he was registered at the camp three weeks ago, along with his family and hundreds of other village mates, Khan observed fasting for the first time in his life.
He and other camp mates – both men and women- attend daily classes to learn about their religion after Sehri (the pre-dawn meal Muslims eat before staring a new fasting day in the holy month of Ramadan), and before Iftar (breaking fast).
“We have arranged Islamic learning classes for flood affected people here and in other camps run by our organization,” Omer Farooq, who is in charge of the camp told OnIslam.
Five-time prayers are also held in all the camps run by Al-Khidmat Foundation, and other Islamic charities.
There were only 12 people who were fasting Ramadan two weeks ago in this shelter camp, comprising 400 men, women and children.
But over the past week, some 120 men and women observed the fasting.
“I have learnt about Namaz and roza (prayers and fasting) here,” Khan said.
Torrential monsoon rains triggered massive floods that swept the country from north to south over the past month, engulfing a fifth of the land and affecting 18 million of Pakistan’s 180 million people.
The UN said 1,760 people have died as a result of the floods, and some eight million left reliant on aid handouts to survive and at risk from food shortages and disease.
Khan sees himself as a newly born Muslim now after the floods.
“I am deeply ashamed that I have spend my life in contradiction of what Allah and His Prophet (peace and blessings be upon Him) wanted from me.”
The Pakistani father of three who never went to any school says he was only a Muslim by birth.
“I could only recite the first Kalma (shahada), but did not know how to offer Namaz (prayers). There was no concept of fasting.
“There was a small (one-room) Mosque in our village, but a very few people used to turn up there to offer prayers,” added Khan, who now performs all daily five prayers at the shelter camp.
Farooq, the camp official, noted that Khan’s case is typical for people in the remote areas of Pakistan, the second most populous Muslim country after Indonesia, with 180 million people.
A large number of people, particularly in interior parts of Sindh, Punjab and Balochistan, have grown up knowing very little about their faith, he explained.
Their understanding with Islam is based on unauthentic saying of so-called Pirs (spiritual healers) who have been exploiting them, financially and physically, in the name of shrines.
“This is an opportunity for us not only to help these poor and misguided people, but also guide them to the right path of religion,” asserted Farooq.
Now after he learnt about his faith, Khan pledges to work for promoting religious knowledge when he gets back home, particularly among women in his village.
“I will raise the slogan long live Islam.”
And whenever he remembers the devastating floods, Khan will thank Allah for his blessings.
“Floods have done a huge damage to us, but it has also brought back to our religion.”