(Sorted Newest to Oldest)
- September 17:
innalhamdolillah. bismillah. as salamu alaykum,
inshaAllah this e-mail finds you enjoying the sweetness of Ramadan. i do not think there is enough time to get the word out to many people, but i have a quick update from Houston if you want to post it (feel free to edit, and to
in houston, at least, the immediate needs of the people with which Muslims can help are (1) shelters because so many homes still lack electricity and (2) food and ice because no electricity is affecting their refrigerators and freezers.
although i did not see anyone using or staffing the ICNA Relief announced shelter at Masjid Taqwa on synott, i have heard from relatives that there is a need for volunteers to assist with sheltering at Masjid Hamza in Mission Bend on the westpark tollway at highway 6.
also, the red cross is now training volunteers to work in its shelters. anyone interested should get the experience — training and experience in red cross shelters may, inshaAllah, help them do improve/increase the relief work provided by Muslim organizations.
i have included the attached reply from the houston red cross (HRC) to my own inquiries.
people who wish to volunteer with HRC should do one or more of the following:
1) show up at the training today or at the next training session — i will keep you posted with what i learn.
2) show up at a red cross shelter and offer to help — though you may be directed to a training, and training may be good for you in any case — visit http://www.houstonredcross.org/ or watch the news to find open shelters
3) visit http://www.houstonredcross.org/contact/ and submit their request to volunteer
and alhamdolillah, I am calling this an “I like Ike” update because the Mercy of Allah is so manifest in Houston, alhamdolillah. remember the hadith where the Prophet sull Allaho alayhi wa sallam was in Hudaibiya and Suhayl came with a reply to the treaty negotiations? seeing that it was Suhayl, the Prophet sull Allaho alayhi wa sallam said that the name was a good omen, alhamdolillah. and i remember thinking before the storm that Ike was the nickname of one of America’s most respected Generals and Presidents — his campaign slogan was, of course, “I like Ike.”
mashaAllah many Muslims now have an opportunity to mobilize themselves and earn barakat by helping their near neighbors and distant neighbors.
may Allah accept from us all our good deeds, may He overlook and forgive our sins and excesses, and may He Guide all of us to the Straight Path. ameen.
abu abdAllah, the Houstonian
Begin forwarded message:
From: “MARTHA MAYES”
Date: September 16, 2008 2:39:20 PM CDT
Subject: RE: Greater Houston Area Red Cross – Contact Form
We are having a training session tomorrow morning here at the HQ office (2700 Southwest Freeway) to train shelter personnel. Depending upon how long you have been out of the system, we’ll need you to fill out an application and go through the training. It is about 2 – 2.5 hours long.
The training begins at 10am, but we’d like you to arrive about 15 minutes early so that you can complete an application.
The training is at the American Red Cross, 2700 Southwest Freeway, Houston, TX 77098 and starts at 10am.
If you cannot make tomorrow’s training, please email me and we will contact you when additional training sessions are available.
Senior Director, Community Services
American Red Cross
Greater Houston Area Chapter
PO Box 397
Houston, TX 77001-0397
(713) 526-5871 (Fax)
- September 15:
bismillah. jazak Allah khayr for the duas you have made for all of us in Houston, and jazak Allah khayr for your understanding what motivated my posts.Allahumma laa tuaakhidnee bimaa yaqooloona, waghfirlee maa laa yaalamoona, waj alnee khayram mimmaa yadhunnoon.mashaAllah, ICNA Relief is on the ball again.
I won’t copy/paste the whole text of their Ike-Appeal (notice how that spells Ikea? i bet a lot of our brothers and sisters in flooded galveston and clear lake would be so moved by donations of fresh dry furniture from places like ikea… and if anyone knows a Muslim businessman in the furniture business locally, i would suggest buying from him rather than ikea).but if the moderators permit, i will copy/paste the shelter information. and urge anyone who needs phone numbers of the people on the ground to go get them from the ICNA relief website (link above).if you are in Houston or DFW, consider visiting these shelters even if only to cheer up your brothers and sisters, bring them chai and halwa this evening, and toys for their children.
ICNA Relief USA in cooperation with local Islamic Centers have set up shelters in the following Masjids:
Masjid Bilal 11815 Adel Road, Houston, TX77067 Ph. 281-537-1946
Masjid Al-Mustafa 17250 Coventry Park, Houston, TX77084 Ph. 281-859-8203
Masjid Al-Taqwa 10415 Synott Road, Sugarland, TX77478 Ph. 281-495-3403
IANT/Collins Musallah 1600 Plano Road, Suite 200 Richardson, TX 75081
Islamic Center of Irving 2555 Easters Rd, Irving, TX75062
(the shelter information was current as of the time of posting, wAllaho’Alim)
- September 15: bismillah. video on damage to Galveston, may Allah subhanahu wata ala Help all the Muslims from there who seek to rebuild their homes and lives, and may He Guide the others to the Straight Path. ameen.MSNBC video
- September 14: innalhamdolillah. bismillah hir Rahman nir Raheem.alhamdolillah, i believe Allah subhanahu wata ala answered the duas of so many Muslims in Houston, paraphrasing the dua of the Prophet sull Allaho alayhi wa sallam, “O Allah give us the good of it (the storm), the good of what is in it, and the good of what is hidden in it, and protect us from the harm of it, the harm of what is in it, and the harm of what is hidden in it.”in Houston, about which so many media sources hyped fear for so many days, there have been so many barakat and so much aversion of harm, alhamdolillah.i started keeping a list of barakat and protections that people might overlook, and i am sure many keep here could add more.1) that Allah sent this storm in Ramadan gave us a chance to earn more reward for our sabr.2) that Allah delayed landfall of the storm so long permitted most people time to pray Isha in jamat and to make taraweeh, too.
3) that Allah sent the storm on the 13th night of Ramadan was a blessing. though power went out across most of the city, still for much of the night (until about 4 am in my neighborhood) the strength of moonlight was so much that the city was not plunged into total darkness.
4) Allah restrained lightning and thunder, and Ike was primarily a storm of wind, rain, and storm surge. and flood-prone Houston saw less flooding from Ike itself than it has from previous hurricanes. — this morning, with Ike itself many miles to the north, it is again raining. and we have seen as much as two inches of rainfall in many areas. so there is flooding now in many parts of Houston, but the rainfall itself has been gentle, alhamdolillah.
5) though the weather forecasters had made so many “authoritative” predictions, Allah turned the storm in its path. thus Ike had much less effect on the western half of the city than on its east, and we make dua for those of our neighbors who took the hardest effect. but part of the barakat here has been that there are so many parts of the city that can provide shelter and respite to people from the hardest hit areas.
6) throughout the night of the storm, Allah gave us so many opportunities for dhikr and tawbah. to contemplate the majesty of Allah’s Might, the completeness of our dependence upon Him, and how much more of a terror will be Qiyaamat. walking about in darkness, for example, inside our homes, wondering if the battery will give out in a flashlight, makes one think about the light that Allah will only permit to those with Iman, and then according to their righteousness and good works. do you check to make sure your batteries are not low? does your fire extinguisher need re-charging?
7) reading Qur’an by candlelight, something we know so many generations of scholars and people of taqwa did.
8 ) going outside to watch for the signs of fajr (not on the day of the hurricane though, because that was when the storm was in its fullest). on normal days the city is covered in a constellation of lights from homes, streets, businesses and industry. everywhere that Allah has dimmed those lights through outages, He has made bright the chance of enlivening the sunah of looking for the start of fajr in the darkened night sky.
9) Muslims taking care of each other, mashaAllah. friends, families, and jamaat, among all of these you could see that Muslims have responded in Houston by taking care of each other, mashaAllah. there are many more barakat, i am sure, and these are just some that i have been keeping note of. jazak Allah khayr for your duas, and please keep making them as the cities hit by recent storms continue their recoveries, inshaAllah.
- September 12: Alhamdolillah alaa kulli haal. With Ike looming so close to Galveston, a mandatory evacuation is in effect for much of the coast. We pray for our brothers in Galveston’s Muslim community as they and neighboring communities right on the Gulf will take the brunt of what Ike can deliver.Ike only has to travel some 50-75 miles inland from there to reach every masjid in the Greater Houston area. Indeed masajid all over Houston have announced that Friday night is likely to see shortened taraweeh, and perhaps in some masajid no taraweeh at all. And depending on what the situation is on Saturday, some masajid are even talking about not having iftar that night.Our qadr is determined only by Allah. But we are making dua, and we ask our brothers everywhere to make dua that Allah keep from us the storm’s worst winds, and protect us from the evil that lies in them, and that He bring us only whatever good He has hidden in the wind and rain that are coming.Jazak Allah khayr for posting this article — it is important to remember that no matter how many satellites are in the sky, no matter how many devices science may devise, no matter what computers may forecast, and no matter in whom man place their faith, Allah Knows and we do not know. Innalhamdolillah! HasbunAllaho wa ne’mal wakeel.And as the article points out, we should be grateful to Allah for what we have now, what we will be spared from during the storm, and what we will be provided with thereafter — for all provision is from Allah. Allaho Ghanee, wa nahnu fuqara.It has also been a very tough past few Hurricanes for the people of the Caribbean. Make dua for any Muslims in Haiti, where whole cities have been cut off by the storm and where many communities are known to have gone without drinking water for as many as three straight days.
- September 12: Innalhamdolillah. Bismillah. Please make a lot of dua for the people of Galveston as well as those of Clear Lake, a coastal community lying between Galveston and Houston, and home to the hosts of TDC among them our own Shaykh Waleed Basyouni.This is an excerpt from a weather service advisory report (sorry, the report text is in all caps):
MAXIMUM WATER LEVELS FORECAST:
GULF-FACING COASTLINE WEST OF SARGENT…4 TO 6 FEET
SHORELINE OF MATAGORDA BAY…2 TO 5 FEET
GULF-FACING COASTLINE FROM SARGENT TO
SAN LUIS PASS…12 TO 15 FEET
GULF-FACING COASTLINE SAN LUIS PASS TO HIGH ISLAND
INCLUDING GALVESTON ISLAND……15 TO 20 FEET
SHORELINE OF GALVESTON BAY…15 TO 25 FEET
LIFE THREATENING INUNDATION LIKELY!
ALL NEIGHBORHOODS…AND POSSIBLY ENTIRE COASTAL COMMUNITIES…
WILL BE INUNDATED DURING THE PERIOD OF PEAK STORM TIDE. PERSONS
NOT HEEDING EVACUATION ORDERS IN SINGLE FAMILY ONE OR TWO STORY
HOMES MAY FACE CERTAIN DEATH. MANY RESIDENCES OF AVERAGE
CONSTRUCTION DIRECTLY ON THE COAST WILL BE DESTROYED. WIDESPREAD
AND DEVASTATING PERSONAL PROPERTY DAMAGE IS LIKELY ELSEWHERE.
VEHICLES LEFT BEHIND WILL LIKELY BE SWEPT AWAY. NUMEROUS ROADS
WILL BE SWAMPED…SOME MAY BE WASHED AWAY BY THE WATER. ENTIRE
FLOOD PRONE COASTAL COMMUNITIES WILL BE CUTOFF. WATER LEVELS MAY
EXCEED 9 FEET FOR MORE THAN A MILE INLAND. COASTAL RESIDENTS IN
MULTI-STORY FACILITIES RISK BEING CUTOFF. CONDITIONS WILL BE
WORSENED BY BATTERING WAVES CLOSER TO THE COAST. SUCH WAVES WILL
EXACERBATE PROPERTY DAMAGE…WITH MASSIVE DESTRUCTION OF
HOMES…INCLUDING THOSE OF BLOCK CONSTRUCTION. DAMAGE FROM BEACH
EROSION COULD TAKE YEARS TO REPAIR.
May Allah preserve and protect the Muslims in these communities and those in Houston and throughout the path of this storm. The advisory report language is very serious, full text available here.
When I lived in Southern California, I was a Red Cross disaster services volunteer from 2004 to 2006. MashaAllah there are a great many classes that are offered in a wide variety of disaster relief services, almost all of them at no charge.
I urge you to consider taking these classes so that when the need arises you can volunteer your experience to groups like ICNA Relief. You will be exposed to every level of disaster relief training (depending on the resources of the local Red Cross) from setting up shelters, to setting up kitchens to feed thousands of people if necessary, to coordinating with local government agencies, and much, much more.
And should it happen that you could lend your help, but there is no Muslim relief organization there on the ground then I urge you to work with whatever local disaster relief organization is in place, be it a local governement agency, the local Red Cross, or any local civic group.
If you live in So. Cal. and other areas that are disaster prone — like the Gulf — then your local community may (or may not) have created its own C.E.R.T. program. CERT stands for Community Emergency Response Team and is a program whereby citizen volunteers train, get certified, and then agree to be mobilized in times of disasters to assist in varying levels of disaster relief. Newport Beach and Huntington Beach in So. Cal. have fantastic programs, and I enjoyed the NB program experience tremendously.
Finally, because I have seen a lot of posts in other threads that make me think this comment is necessary, I want to suggest that no one should withhold their participation in any disaster relief just because the name and symbol of the American Red Cross is what it is. If you learn anything about the history of the organization, you will know that it was started in Switzerland.
The Swiss volunteers who started it wanted a clear way to show that they were neutrals — not belonging to any combatant forces, because the group started out by offering aid after bloody conflicts would rage outside towns in the countryside, and no one would be present to care for the dead and dying.
So the group did a sensible thing — they took their country’s own flag and inverted the colors. Being Swiss, that means they inverted the Swiss flag, turning its white emblem red.
Alhamdolillah, in Muslim countries the natural response was that the symbol of their organizations should not be a cross, and they adopted the crescent — though perhaps a red liyaa would have been more of a blessing.
In almost every other country of the world the local organization is either called Red Cross or Red Crescent, and the umbrella international group is literally both: ICRC — International Red Cross and Red Crescent.
Jews who want their own symbol and those who have no respect for cross or crescent and “reformers” alike protest the two existing symbols, and perhaps someday it will all be just a red dot.
But what is indisputable is the good that this group does throughout the world. Far from perfect, it is a very human organization, and in the US a very much volunteer-manned one. The bulk of ARC personnel at any disaster site will be ordinary Americans — volunteers.
So you can refuse to help feed, clothe, and shelter your neighbors on a day when earthquake, fire, or flood has driven them from security to need help. And if you refuse, rehearse your explanations and excuses to your Rabb.
Or you can abstain from getting involved on a day-to-day basis with ARC, and instead get trained, be ready, strengthen groups like ICNA Relief by virtue of what you have learned, and stand side by side with your neighbors when they need you most.
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