A year ago, my husband convinced me to visit my family in Bangladesh. He told me to leave one of our two sons there, so my parents could help take care of them for a few months. Since I was pregnant and needed all the help I could get, I agreed.
I didn’t know it then, but my husband was planning to leave me.
When I arrived back in the UK a couple of weeks later, I waited hours for him at the airport – but he never came. And I never heard from him again.
Not long after, I gave birth to Amina. I had my youngest son, Asim – but my oldest, Moeen, was still in Bangladesh with my family and I had no money to bring him home.
I was a single mother with a newborn baby. I had no job, no money, no home and no support.
Social services agreed that my situation was urgent, but they had nowhere to house me so they put me and my children in a caravan by the seaside.
Life here isn’t easy. The caravan is so small that it can only fit two people at a time. And I have to share a toilet and shower with strangers on the campsite, which wasn’t ideal when I was still bleeding from giving birth.
There’s nothing to do here, so all I do is think. I used to think a lot about never seeing Moeen again. And whenever I did, I wanted to die.
With God’s permission, your Zakat saved my life.
Only mothers who’ve been separated from a child can understand how close I was to giving up. I felt like I’d failed Moeen by leaving him in Bangladesh, and I’d failed my other children by allowing them to be raised in poverty.
But NZF didn’t see me as a failure.
They helped me realise none of this was my fault. And most importantly, they helped start the process of getting Moeen back.
NZF gave me access to legal advice that I wouldn’t have been able to get without them. And when I ran out of money, they provided me with a £600 hardship grant to help cover our living costs.
It was NZF that put pressure on social services until they agreed to move us out of the caravan and into a two-bedroom flat. And it was NZF that paid for my son’s school uniform when I couldn’t afford it.
I often think of the Qur’aan verse:
“His command is only when He intends a thing that He says to it, ‘Be!’ and it is.” (Qur’an, 36:82)
I was stuck in what felt like an impossible situation. I didn’t even have money to feed my children, let alone money for legal fees and school uniforms.
But then God said, “Be!” And it was.
Muslims across the country paid their Zakat through National Zakat Foundation, and their charity – destined to help my children – found its way to me.
NZF has promised to pay for my immigration application when it’s finally time to get Moeen back, and they’ve made it clear they’ll give me practical and financial support as long as I need it.
Having them by my side has made me stronger and more hopeful. I know I’ll never go hungry, and that Amina and Asim will always have enough food and milk, despite what is, or isn’t, in my bank account.
I’m not alone, so I don’t have to be scared anymore.
My husband has abandoned me, but I know NZF won’t.
National Zakat Foundation uses Zakat to support individuals in a transformative way, so they can be self-sufficient. Stay up-to-date with all our latest insights, stories, research and news – subscribe here for our monthly newsletter.
National Zakat Hotline: 03333 123 123 (Monday – Friday, 10am – 6pm, local rates) or apply online apply.nzf.org.uk This post is based on a true story.