Bismillah

I have always known Swat to be popular and much-visited for its picturesque valleys and beautiful landscape.  Many a Pakistani tourist has enjoyed frolicking on its green hillsides and picnicking along the tree-laden banks of its gurgling and raging Swat River. Perhaps the memories of my bygone, peaceful and somewhat magical family visits to this scenic valley, are the reason why it is even more painful to swallow today's bitter reality: this beautiful land is now a war zone, where Muslim is killing his fellow Muslim brother. Swat's dwellers, who have for decades hosted throngs of tourists, are now being evacuated to other areas of Pakistan as a result; displaced from their homes and biding their days in refugee tents, with their future a big question-mark of uncertainty.

Pakistan's government has launched an offensive against the Taliban militants hiding in Swat valley, as a result of which the people who lived there have been evacuated beforehand. This past Saturday, Karachi witnessed unrest, as some vehicles were torched, and three people murdered, in protest of the decision to have these IDP – Internally Displaced People – relocated to the southern, coastal city. DAWN News reports that the entire country is giving them the cold shoulder, with no city welcoming them. People who were till now living in their own homes located in Swat, have been made to shelter in tents for no fault of their own; some media reports even go so far as to say that they are “living like cattle” in their camps, and are hounded by heat, disease, and snakes. UN reports that the number of these displaced people – an entire population by now – is 2.4 million! Their children are reportedly, and understandably, experiencing extreme trauma due to having to live in tents as refugees. And yet, despite their pathetic situation, they receive indifference from the rest of the Pakistani population, which just looks away and goes about their daily lives, as if thinking “them, not us”.

idp-children

Photo courtesy: Dawn.com

Humanitarian aid in the form of clothes, food and makeshift tent furnishings has been on its way since this Swat offensive commenced. However, these people also need another precious gift: our du'a. Muslims should never underestimate the power of du'a, particularly the du'a made in the absence (or without the knowledge or request) of their brother/sister in Islam.

Sometimes I wonder at the kind of amazing relationship that existed between the Ansar of Madinah and the Muhajireen who left Mecca. When the latter arrived in Madinah, Ansari families welcomed these strangers into their very homes, as if they were their own blood brothers. One Ansari, Sa'd Bin Al-Rabi' even offered his Muhajir brother, Abdur Rahmaan, whom he took into his home and helped, to take one of his two wives in marriage, if he so desired (whom he'd promptly divorce for him) [Sahih Bukhari]. As for Muslims today, we can not even tolerate the IDP being transferred to our own city, just because of our 'clique' mindset that promotes ethnic and political dissension. It's not like they will be living inside our own homes, is it!?

As for the saddest part of this whole fitnah: Muslims smiting their own brothers' necks in obedience to the non-believers. As we fall prey to the trials/fitan prophesized by Prophet Muhammad [صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم], we cave inwards and harm our own people, traumatizing our young children – our future generation -, and undermining our country's political stability, and our ethnic unity/brotherhood.

My request to every reader is to remember these IDP in your thoughts and earnest duaa's every day. As believers, we should know that the power of earnest duaa's, intended to relieve the distress of our poor and unfortunate brethren, can really move mountains and bring about miracles! And do not forget to follow it up with donations, which are important to ensure that at least we are doing whatever little we physically can for our brothers and sisters in Swat.

Truly, if you have a roof over your head, food in your stomach, access to clean water, a stable job, air-conditioned rooms in your house, and a lack of fear of the future, indeed, you are better off than millions!

May Allah help and compensate the IDP of Pakistan, both in the dunya and the Akhirah. ameen.

Source: Dawn News

32 Responses

  1. abu abdAllah Tariq Ahmed

    Bismillah. Ameen to your duas, sister. Truly there is much sadness in the decisions made by Pakistan’s government. Whatever happens in Pakistan, all sides will be accountable to the innocents who have been displaced. May Allah reward the affected families for their patience, and strengthen them against their hardships. May He guide all the parties to make choices that do not injure the civilian population. And may He punish those who transgress against the women, children, elderly, homesteads, schools, etc. of Swat and every similarly once-tranquil land now-abused. And may He forgive us for our mistakes and our sins.

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  2. ameera

    So much going on, it leaves one dazed as to what we can actually do. My prayers are with them. Wish there was more we could do.

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  3. Amad

    Wallahi, with a leader like Zardari, it is no wonder that the nation is in complete turmoil. Everytime I hear the title President Zardari, I feel like it’s a bad joke that is getting worse by the day. A jaahil, ignorant, uneducated, corrupt, thief like Zardari is “Pure-land” ‘s impure leader. A leader who would probably crucify his own kin for his personal gain, is now in charge. Mr. 10% is now Mr. 100%. When will the West realize that putting up puppet leaders who are hated by the majority of the nation’s inhabitants will never lead to fruitful results?

    I know the issue is about the humanitarian disaster, but I can’t help blame who’s at the top. Responsibility lies with the leader, just like Katrina was Bush’s disaster. But at least Bush was sincere to his nation… Zardari isn’t sincere to his own family, let alone the nation.

    Ya Allah, help this nation from the affliction of destructive and corrupt leadership, replace it with sincere governance, and remove the evil of both types of extremism– lack of religion and overzealous religion.

    Sr. Sadaf, can you pls provide a link to US/UK organizations who are collecting funds for the innocent people caught up in this civil war.

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  4. anonymoslim

    salams

    I wanted to genuinely ask the following question, simply ‘coz I don’t know better myself: I keep hearing in the media that it’s the Taliban who are threatening to try and take over jurisprudential control of entire Pakistan, and that’s why the govt. is having to pre-empt or defend the nation; otherwise it had kinda begrudgingly agreed to hand over control of the NWFP/swat to the Taliban.

    Of course I’ve also heard/and know that Obama wanted an attack on the Muslims in Pakistan anyway.

    My question simply is: is it true that taliban were making this attaempt/threat to take control of the other parts of Pakistan, and is thta what triggered the offensive or not?

    I genuinely don’t have a clue, and just wanted to know ‘coz people keep saying different things and I myself haven’t been back to Pakistan for donkey’s years, even though I really wanted to go.

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  5. Hassan

    Although I am no fan of Zardari and feel deeply sorry for IDP, and encourage myself and others to help them, I want to remind that TTP (tehrike taliban pakistan) needed to be taken out. Zardari did truce with them, and they violated, and while in control they beheaded a guy for keep trousers below ankle, and then when his father complained, they beheaded him. The army of Pakistan showed very much restraint but had to take action.

    And do not think there is no foreign hand in it, go to Pakistan and ask anyone (some of my friends did that) who is fleeing from that region, they tell that there are people from Uzbek, Afghan, Gurkhas (nepalese) fighting on behalf of India and Russia, India wants to take revenge of Kashmir, while Russia wants to take revenge from USA and Pakistan for its defeat in 80s. They want USA to get trapped as they were, and Pakistan to suffer as it was the main channel.

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    • akim

      they beheaded a guy for keep trousers below ankle??!!

      haha please tell me you don’t believe this rubbish

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    • Amad

      The brutality of some of the killings (even if we were to assume that this was a battle casualty), the bombing in Lahore, and other attacks on everyday civilians is completely removing any sympathy that people may have felt for the TTP and its sympathizers.

      The situation is so complex and there is so much propaganda from all sides, that I can’t make full sense of it. It does seem that these are seeds of Musharraf that are now blooming.

      I can only repeat, that May Allah save Pakistan and Pakistanis from all extremism.

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    • Uncle Tom

      you can always trust Muslims to believe in Conspiracy theories. What kind of rubbish is this “revenge from USA and revenge from Kashmir”.

      If the Pakistani upper class (burger class) people started caring, things would not be this way. Go to hi-fi areas of Karachi and Islamabad, and see how people are affected by this.

      When the people can “elect” a criminal as their leader, what more can you expect?

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  6. Your sister

    As salamu alaykum,

    Inshallah, may the most Merciful make this disaster the road to Jannah for each person affected; May the most Beneficent make this lead more Pakistanis to wake up and take action and stand up to corrupt leaders and to change themselves so that Allah will change their situation in ways that we could not have imagined.. Ameen.

    For all interested, IMO, one of the most effective Islamic NGOs to donate to is ISLAMIC RELIEF. I know the staff in Canada, and have volunteered with them on many occasions. They have truly impressed my with their dedication, quick action approach and minimal operating budget. I know they are working towards a few fundraisers in the GTA atm. In case you haven’t noticed – I have an ulterior motive, Inshallah I can also have a share with you in your good work. Tryin’ to save myself with this half date of advice. You can too :)

    Despite being student who is drowning in severe debt, I invest my time and whatever money I can with Islamic Relief , because Allah knows, there will come a day when I will need that money working for me more than anyone else in does Pakistan today. We are all going to be an IDP on a day that comes closer with each breath that we leave behind. On that day, may each of us be with the ones that we love for Allah. Ameen

    http://www.islamic-relief.com/Emergencies-And-Appeals/emergency.aspx?emID=58.

    .

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      • Sadaf

        Jazakillahu khairan, sister. May Allah compound your half-date to a great reward even more than the Mount of Uhud, and ease all your difficulties in this world and the next. Ameen.
        Brother, I have no clue about any genuine charities in North America or UK. So I am very grateful to this sister who has provided the links to Islamic Relief, which she knows to be genuine. I request all readers to please provide information regarding any other trustworthy charities/NGO’s that can facilitate donations from the West for the IDP of Pakistan.
        Also, there have been numerous reports that a lot of funds/ration embezzlement IS going on in Pakistan i.e. charity money and other items collected in the name of the IDP are being used by others. So, please, beware of scams, and send donations only to trustworthy charities/organizations.

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  7. Miako

    This is sort of my standard shpiel, but I feel like I ought to mention it, as I have little enough money myself, and will be needing it myself before long.

    Students, and anyone lucky enough to be living near a university (or a research medical hospital), can often find money by volunteering to do research studies. The simple ones pay around $10 an hour, for nothing more than answering some questions. The more complex ones require blood donations, or enforced stays in a hotel (they’re studying flu and stress), or any number of other things. But they also pay more. And you’ll know that you are helping in two ways.

    Also, donate blood! They pay you, which you can subsequently donate, and the blood is in need nearby.

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  8. muslimah4good

    May Allah have mercy on us and give us toufeeq to practice toba and beg for His forgiveness! Ameen

    Sahih Bukhari Volume 1, Book 2, Number 46:
    Narrated ‘Abdullah:
    The Prophet said, “Abusing a Muslim is Fusuq (an evil doing) and killing him is Kufr (disbelief).” Narrated ‘Ubada bin As-Samit: “Allah’s Apostle went out to inform the people about the (date of the) night of decree (Al-Qadr) but there happened a quarrel between two Muslim men. The Prophet said, “I came out to inform you about (the date of) the night of Al-Qadr, but as so and so and so and so quarrelled, its knowledge was taken away (I forgot it) and maybe it was better for you. Now look for it in the 7th, the 9th and the 5th (of the last 10 nights of the month of Ramadan).”

    Sahih Bukhari Volume 1, Book 3, Number 85:
    Narrated Abu Huraira:
    The Prophet said, “(Religious) knowledge will be taken away (by the death of religious scholars) ignorance (in religion) and afflictions will appear; and Harj will increase.” It was asked, “What is Harj, O Allah’s Apostle?” He replied by beckoning with his hand indicating “killing.” (Fateh-al-Bari Page 192, Vol. 1)

    Sunnan Abu dawud Book 35, Number 4245:…Ibn Mas’ud said (This version adds) He (the Prophet) said: All their slain will go to Hell. I (Wabisah) asked: When will this happen Ibn Mas’ud?

    He replied: This is the period of turmoil (harj) when a man will not be safe from his associates.
    I asked: What do you command me (to do) if I happen to live during that period? He replied: You should restrain your tongue and hand and stay at home.

    When Uthman was slain, I recollected this tradition. I then rode (on a camel) and came to Damascus. There I met Khuraym ibn Fatik and mentioned this tradition to him. He swore by Allah, there was no god but He, he had heard it from the Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him), as Ibn Mas’ud transmitted it to me (Wabisah).

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  9. Khalid

    salaam aleikum,

    it is worth noting that as the country is being bombed and is burning, the pakistani govt. and its ministers
    were and are having a good time at the night clubs in NY,

    here are the photos of their night out.

    regards,
    Kw

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    • Amad

      Thanks Khalid for further evidence that Pakistan’s leadership is as morally bankrupt as they are intellectually.

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  10. AbuMoaaz

    O Allah, save our brothers and sisters from this great test and grant them their land back. O Allah, grant victory to the sincere Muslims and destroy those who have ulterior motives. O Allah, save Pakistan!

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  11. abu abdAllah Tariq Ahmed

    bismillah was salamu alaykum.

    alhamdolillah my relatives Karachi who are involved with relief efforts tell me that many residents have opened their homes to their brothers and sisters from Swat. for them these days have been like the ansaar welcoming the exodus of muhajireen.

    true, there have been those Pakistanis whose response may earn them nothing except perhaps Wrath on the Day of Judgment. but we should mention all those who are doing good.

    when people ask why bad things happen, they fail sometimes to accept that fitnah and trials like these separate filth from what is pure. when Pakistan’s founders prayed for that dream, maybe they never imagined how many trials and how much fitnah would come to make their land and people “pak.” subhanAllah.

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  12. Mustafa

    Does anyone know if the Edhi Foundation in Pakistan is doing relief efforts? From what I hear, they are one of the best organizations in Pakistan that help the needy and have very good relief efforts set up out there.

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  13. saba rehman

    AOA!!!

    my name is Saba and i’m working with Al-huda Pakistan to collect aid for the IDP s ……….. i recently came across this article and i wondered if any one wants to contribute…we need a lot of financial aid as these people do not even have the basic necessities like clean drinking water,clothes and medicines to name a few…i any one wants to donate please contact me…inshaAllah i will let you know how you can lend a helping hand to these people.. JazakAllah,and waiting for your response.

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    • Amad

      Sr. Saba,
      How can people contribute to Al-Huda? Is there an official website or other means of contributing efficiently and conveniently?

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  14. sister1

    Are there any local NGOs in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad working to accommodate the refugees and how can local Pakistanis in those cities help?

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  15. shahgul

    I too am no fan of Zardari’s, but if he is successful in eliminating the fitna of the Taliban from that part of the world, I would support him in doing so.

    The Taliban themselves need to be given dawah to. They have no idea what they are doing. Yesterday, they abducted a busload of school children. There are also reports of them having abducted homeless men, drugging them, and then sending them as suicide bombers. They have no boundaries. People have seen videos of people being beheaded for ‘spying’ for Pakistan Government. Where is the justification for that?

    It is not true that Pakistanis are ignoring the IDP’s. There have only been pockets of inhospitality, specially in Karachi. This happened in response to a the leader of MQM calling Karachites to arm themselves. He said that the Taliban will try to come to Karachi posing as IDP’s. I think this is an example of the most shameful racism I have ever witnessed in my life. I don’t know how the educated and modern people of Karachi keep falling in this pit again and again.

    In many cities the local ansar are providing support to these people without involvement of any agencies. Individual citizens have opened their homes and purses and are providing free room and board to hundreds of strangers daily.

    This time of trial is a litmus test for Pakistan and Pakistanis. For expatriates, it is a test of how much we love our wealth.

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  16. saqib

    The entire country is giving them the cold shoulder?

    Then what about the people in Takht Bhai and Mardan etc that have opened their homes for the refugees from Swat, Dir, etc.. (all in NWFP)

    Yes i’ve read the articles about Punjab and Sindh politicians saying they would support the IDPs but not allow them to enter. They might have changed their minds since then. But don’t say that no one in the NWFP is helping by saying the entire country is giving them the cold shoulder. I know a lot of people taking truck loads of supplies from Islamabad to the camps/homes in the nwfp as well..

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  17. Faizan

    Majority of Muslims in Pakistan are not living a life that is according to Quran and Sunnah. Muslims in Pakistan had the opportunity for a long time to repent from their unislamic way of life and correct their actions. But the “UnIslamicness” kept on rising and thus the wrath of Allah they are experiencing. The good/bad deeds of Muslims go up to the heavens and then the rulings from Allah descends down according to our deeds. One can argue that not all Muslims in Pakistan are bad….My response to that is they are very few in numbers and thus have to suffer the consequences of the majority. Allah will reward the good Muslims who are caught up with this operation. I don’t see any point in criticizing the Pakistani leaders. Allah put these tyrannical leaders in authority to teach Muslims the lesson of neglecting their deen. Criticizing Pakistani leaders will not improve the affairs of Pakistan. Only through sincere repentance and with true Islamic way of life Allah will bring the change towards betterment in Pakistan.

    Muslims in west can learn a big lesson from this tragedy of Pakistan. We have so much free time and wealth that we too, like most Pakistanis, waste in UnIslamic activities. We Muslims in west can consider this a wake up call and should make reform in our life to leave the sins that we commit every day. Free time and wealth that we waste in entertainment, can be used in the rememberance of Allah, learning the deen, worshipping Allah and thus by getting closer to Allah.

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    • saqib

      What makes you think you know what Allah’s intentions are? People going through hardships are being cursed by Allah? And people who are living comfortable lives in a Western country are blessed? Maybe you can interpret Allah’s intentions for putting our Prophet SAW through hard times.

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  18. Talha

    Subhanallah… Amazing to see to the muslims have been conned by Western media!

    If the quraan tells you who is your enemy, you will think twice before believing it… it becomes a side thought.. as if the quraan is not applicable in todays time….

    In todays time we follow the maslaha of our scholars!

    Yet when CNN or BBC reports something we belive it without checking with our muslim brothers and sisters…

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