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NZF’s support meant I could grieve for my teenage son

After Mustafa’s teenage son died, the pressures of working, caring for his children and disable wife was too much to bear. When he couldn’t keep up with the bills, he quickly fell into debt.

This is how NZF shouldered some of his burdens, so Mustafa could move forward and focus on healing.

The first time I held Idris, his whole life played out in front of my eyes. I saw him take his first steps, I saw him graduate, and I saw him get married.

I couldn’t have known that just 15 years later, we’d bury him.

When my son died, my world stopped

After Idris died, everything seemed so trivial and pointless. I couldn’t find it in me to care about anything anymore. But I had to find a way to carry on, so I could keep caring for my disabled wife.

My world had stopped but, somehow, it carried on spinning for everyone else. Every month, like clockwork, the bills came through my door, just like they always had. I worked as much as I could when I wasn’t looking after my wife, but in the end, I just couldn’t keep up with the payments.

I took out a few credit cards and even borrowed money from the bank to help cover our rent, food, and utility bills – but I couldn’t pay any of it back. Eventually, the debt grew out of control.

I went to a family member for help, and he encouraged me to get in touch with the National Zakat Foundation.

I could see an end to the depression, desperation and debt

When the NZF Caseworker asked me about my situation, I found myself talking about Idris’ death. Until then, I hadn’t even known the story of my debt began with losing him. It was only then that I realised how much it’d affected every part of my life.

I still remember the day NZF told me they could help. I held the phone in one hand and covered my face with the other, hands wet from the tears running down them. For the first time in years, I could see an end to the depression, the desperation, the debt.

They made two big payments for me: a £1600 loan and another £1500 that I owed in bills.

For years, all I’d done was worry about money. Now, that could finally stop.

My kids got their dad back

NZF’s support made my financial situation manageable again. It freed up my money, so I had enough for food and was even able to pay off some of the other, smaller debts that’d been building up.

The hardship grant made a huge difference to my life. I stopped feeling like I was carrying the weight of the world on my shoulders, and it gave me the space I needed to grieve for Idris properly. My other kids got their dad back – the one they hadn’t had since their brother died.

NZF shared a huge chunk of my burdens, so I didn’t have to deal with everything by myself. They took away some of the other pressures in my life, so I could focus on what mattered, which was spending more time with my wife, my children, my parents, and the people who are still here with me.

My depression hasn’t gone away completely, but thanks to NZF, I now have the strength to fight it.

The 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.

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