Ruqayyah was battling anxiety, depression and diabetes when her application for Universal Credit was rejected. Struggling to support herself, she was put on suicide watch as she inched closer and closer to giving up on life.
This is how your Zakat lifted Ruqayyah out of poverty and showed her that life was still worth living.
I’ve suffered from anxiety, depression and diabetes my entire adult life. People assume diabetes is worse because they’ve heard it can kill me. But what they don’t know is that anxiety and depression can kill me too. It almost did a few years ago. After that, my doctor decided to put me on suicide watch.
My whole family is in Egypt, which means I had no one to turn to for emotional, physical or financial support. Eventually I ran out of money and faced eviction, which forced me to apply for Universal Credit. I lived on the bare basics for weeks while I waited for a decision, only to be told my application had been rejected.
Just when I thought things couldn’t get any worse, my son had a heart attack in Egypt. I had to take out a loan from a local charity so I could afford a plane ticket and travel to him. Thanks to a kind friend who lent me £370, I had money to cover my living costs while I was out there.
In a whirlwind of unfortunate events, I found myself on a plane to Egypt, facing eviction, overwhelmed by debt and poverty, praying that I wouldn’t have to bury my son.
When I arrived back home, mentally and emotionally exhausted, I finally called NZF and asked for help.
NZF promised to pay my rent
My Programme Officer at NZF conducted an assessment and decided that I needed emergency support.
As a single woman with no husband to take care of me, and with children who were battling their own illnesses on the other side of the world, I was truly alone.
Only… I wasn’t now.
NZF promised to pay my rent until we could find another way for me to get the support I needed. They paid £350 every month for two years while we fought the Department for Work and Pensions and Bradford Council over their decision to refuse me Universal Credit.
NZF also paid off my debt to the local charity, as well as the £370 I owed my friend. With that debt cleared, my mind cleared too, and my depression became slightly more manageable. I didn’t feel like I wanted to die anymore.
In the end, after two long years of dealing with solicitors, relentless paperwork, and a number of appeals, the government accepted my Universal Credit application. They provided me with a monthly living and housing allowance, which meant I could finally afford to pay my rent and cover my basic living costs.
Your Zakat was my way out
Before NZF’s hardship grant, I couldn’t imagine a way out of my difficulties. Everything seemed so completely hopeless. All I could do was pray that God would rescue me.
“And whoever fears God – He will make for him a way out.” (65:2)
Zakat was my way out; my way out of poverty, depression, fear, stress and anxiety. NZF saved me from the darkest corners of my mind, and their kindness gave me a reason to wake up each morning.
If you don’t already give your Zakat through NZF, please do. I am living proof that their support isn’t just life-changing, it’s life-saving too.
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.