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Humanitarian Crisis in Haiti: How You Can Help + Update from Yasir Qadhi


*Update from Yasir Qadhi added

I have almost been scared to watch the news because it is difficult to come to grips with the devastation in Haiti. So many thoughts come to mind, but it is difficult to put them into words. We just pray that Allah (swt) alleviates their suffering, grants them patience, has mercy on them, and we pray that He protects us from such calamities. It’s a real wake up call reminding us about the blessings we enjoy, that we are often ungrateful for – it’s unfortunate that it takes something like this to remind us of that. In any case, cutting to the chase, there’s essentially two things we can do: make dua to Allah for them, and donate.

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The following are resources where you can donate online.

Islamic Relief USA and Islamic Relief UK:

Islamic Relief USA has launched a $1 million appeal to help the victims. Please donate today to help them survive and rebuild their lives.

In addition, Islamic Relief USA is working with partners to ship urgently-needed aid to relieve the suffering.

An untold number of people are still trapped under rubble, as every part of Port-au-Prince, Haiti’s capitol, was either damaged or destroyed. Homes, schools, hospitals, even the National Palace where the president resides, were all destroyed.

Injured children that lost contact with their parents are taking refuge in collapsed buildings and under debris, as aftershocks continue to rattle the small island.

Victims are in desperate need for food, water, shelter and medicine, especially since Haiti’s infrastructure is already very modest and has now been brought to its knees by the quake.

Haiti is the poorest country in the Western hemisphere, and is also one of the most densely populated and least developed.  Nearly 80 percent of Haiti’s 9 million people live in poverty.

Charity Water- (they are asking you to donate through Partners in Health or ConcernUSA)

Partners in Health is reporting that the entire capitol city is in dire need of medical services, food, shelter and water. PIH operates one of the only pharmacies in the country; they are focusing on stocking medication and are treating an influx of patients. Both organizations worked during the 2008 storms and so they have already established emergency contingency plans for natural disaster situations.

charity: water is not a relief organization. But our partners in Haiti are. We have seen firsthand their organizational strength, supply chains and logistical capacity. We encourage you to donate directly to them to provide medical support, shelter, and clean water.

I told Partners in Health and Concern Worldwide that charity: water and our supporters are behind them. Thank you for your support during this crisis.

— Becky Straw, Water Projects Director (Charity Water)

Pictures from the earthquake:

Comments from Yasir Qadhi:

In the Name of Allah, the Ever Merciful, the Bestower of Mercy

Salaam Alaikum wa Rahmatullah wa Barakatuh

The recent earthquake in Haiti has had devastating effects on life and property, and has affected the lives of millions of people. The death toll is rising steadily, and numbers appear to increase exponentially. It is at times like these that some people renew their faith in God, while others are tested in their faith.

The pictures and videos of the destruction in Haiti melt our hearts and stir our souls: we pray that Allah makes their affairs easy for them, and blesses them with His choicest blessings. But we must do more than mere prayer. We are required at all times, and especially at times like these, to show our mercy and generosity, in the name of the God that we believe in, for the sake of the religion that we stand for, and following the example of the Prophet that is the ‘Prophet of Mercy’. I strongly encourage all Muslims, and especially our students at AlMaghrib Institute, to do what they can at this time of crisis.

Islamic Relief has taken the bold initiative of collecting a million dollars for relief work in Haiti. They are one of the most reputable charity and relief organizations in the world, and I have worked with them on numerous occasions as they spread mercy across the globe. Let us join hands with them and help out in this effort as well!

Wa salaam

Yasir Qadhi
Dean of Academic Affairs,
AlMaghrib Institute

Keep supporting MuslimMatters for the sake of Allah

Alhamdulillah, we're at over 850 supporters. Help us get to 900 supporters this month. All it takes is a small gift from a reader like you to keep us going, for just $2 / month.

The Prophet (SAW) has taught us the best of deeds are those that done consistently, even if they are small. Click here to support MuslimMatters with a monthly donation of $2 per month. Set it and collect blessings from Allah (swt) for the khayr you're supporting without thinking about it.

Omar Usman is a founding member of MuslimMatters and Qalam Institute. He teaches Islamic seminars across the US including Khateeb Workshop and Fiqh of Social Media. He has served in varying administrative capacities for multiple national and local Islamic organizations. You can follow his work at



  1. Dan

    January 14, 2010 at 2:10 AM

    Thank you for posting this.

  2. Amatullah

    January 14, 2010 at 2:46 AM

    SubhanAllah, may Allah ta’ala alleviate their suffering.

  3. iMuslim

    January 14, 2010 at 5:10 AM

    Ameen to the adiyah in the post. This is a frightening, and reality shaking event. It also highlights a sore spot on the Western hemisphere – i.e., the place where all the rich people are meant to live. We have poor people in our midst – whether it be in places like Haiti, or homeless on the streets. May Allah help us to help them. Ameen.

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  5. Farhan

    January 14, 2010 at 9:39 AM

    Have you seen the ones who denies the religion?
    They are the ones who repel the orphan.
    And who are not hasty in supporting the poor.
    – Surah Ma’un

    Do we deny religion or are we going to help?

    • ibnabeeomar

      January 14, 2010 at 1:10 PM

      awesome reminder

    • servant of Allah

      January 14, 2010 at 2:28 PM

      assalamu alaikum,
      you just gained a good reward, given i donated a valuable amount based solely on reading those verses.

      may Allah make the Muslim ummah amongst the elite


  6. MR

    January 14, 2010 at 11:16 AM

    Very sad and tragic disaster. The pictures are heart-wrenching. The relief effort is very positive from what I have seen and read. Hopefully many lives can be saved.

    • MuslimahCA

      January 16, 2010 at 2:34 PM

      Actually from what I have heard, donations are coming in but there is no way to wire the money over to Haiti. Even celebrity activist are going in themselves with bundles of cash to Haiti.

      What is Islamic Reliefs plan, do they need volunteers. Who’s going to go in and get this money and any sort of aid to them.

      What do I do :(

  7. Nadia

    January 14, 2010 at 11:30 AM

    Ameen to all the duas. I pray that Allah grants the Haitians relief during this extremely difficult time.
    I think Farhan’s post was spot on. Alhamdulillah, in the Quran Allah highlights how the believing Muslim will act with speediness in a time like this. Islamic Relief was quick to launch a $1 million appeal, I hope everyone will donate to it or other reputable charities insha’Allah.

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  9. Abu Idris

    January 14, 2010 at 7:55 PM

    Jazakallahu Khairum,

    Thank you for posting some information that gives us some links through which we can help our brothers and sisters in need. I’m sure many of us feel more comfortable about giving our donations to a muslim organization that has your endorsement.

  10. Muhammad

    January 15, 2010 at 9:35 AM

    Almaghrib should do something with Islamic Relieve to help the Haitian people. I believe something similar was done for Pakistan last year. What they need the most now is money, so I hope almaghrib will consider this, they do a lot of help by just doing something over the phone with Islamic Relieve. Dua is not enough.

    • sincerity

      January 15, 2010 at 9:46 PM

      Who does anything for Pakistan??

      LAst year’s fundraising by Islamic reief and almaghrib was for Palestine/Gaza …Not for Pakistan!

  11. Ibn Masood

    January 15, 2010 at 1:33 PM

    Anyone know how we can get on volunteer teams to go help out there physically?

    • MuslimahCA

      January 16, 2010 at 2:36 PM

      I have no idea, but please let me know once you find out.

      Many orgs. cant get the money and aid into haiti. The bank systems and all electricity is out, celebrities are going in with bundles of cash.

  12. amad

    January 15, 2010 at 2:07 PM

    These photos bring the horror of Haiti to your screen:

    What a tragedy subhanAllah…

  13. Faisal

    January 15, 2010 at 9:07 PM

    Link to Islamic Relief in Canada:

  14. Umm Anas

    January 16, 2010 at 1:13 AM

    Assalaamu alaikum wa rahmatUllahi wa barakatuh,

    I ask Allah to guide the Haitian people to His worship through this calamity. Ameen.

    What are the etiquettes of making du’a for non-Muslims as long as they are alive (although there are some Muslims in Haiti… may Allah aid them and have mercy on them)?

    I am trying to figure this out, because I always thought that we couldn’t make du’a for non-Muslims except for them to be guided, and the only evidence that I know of (and I don’t know much…) beyond that du’a is when the prophet salla Allahu alayhi wa sallam would say to the Jews when they would sneeze. ‘yahdeekum Allahu wa yuslihu baalakum’ instead of yarhamukAllah. Would it be right to ask for mercy for non-muslims when the Prophet salla Allahu alayhi wa sallam wouldn’t?

    I understand that this is a very sensitive time and I don’t want my question to convey a lack of compassion, but I am sincerely conflicted with so many Muslims making du’a for non-Muslims.

    I have been under the impression that any other type of du’a (besides what was mentioned above) is not permissible. WA Allahu A’lam.
    If one of our shuyookh could please address this, i would really appreciate it.

    baarak Allahu Feekum.
    wa salaamu alaikum wa rahmatUllah,
    Umm Anas

    • DE

      January 16, 2010 at 12:28 PM

      Jazzakillahu khairan sister for bringing this up, my sentiments exactly. I see too much duaa’ being made without asking for the guidance of these people through the calamity that has befallen them. Let us not get so emotionally blindsided by the images of destruction such that we forget what will truly help them.

      On Wiki, it says the Muslim population is a mere 5,000. I ask Allah to protect those Muslims who are alive and to have mercy and admit to Paradise the ones who are dead, ameen.

      • person

        January 17, 2010 at 12:26 AM

        or be so enveloped by a lack of mercy that we forget what will help our OWN selves and refuse to come to the aid of our fellow human beings! if the prophet said a prostitute will be forgiven for giving a dog water, why are you so hung up on these issues?? help your fellow human being, that is an essential teaching of islam!

        • DE

          January 18, 2010 at 10:23 AM

          You’re not getting the point it seems. Mercy and compassion is one thing that should be inherent in every Muslim, in degrees according to what is proper. And from the UTMOST mercy and compassion is to wish for the guidance of a people so they will get an ever-lasting benefit, instead of a mere temporary one. With that said, we should not neglect making duaa’ for their guidance and use our resources to help them in order to open their hearts to Islam.

          Who said anything about refusing to come to their aid? Did anyone even say this? Stop reading between the lines and making assumptions.

          And if you were to see the bigger picture, you would understand that all of the attention is given to Haiti right now, by non-Muslims and Muslims alike, and thus I fear that the Muslims who are still suffering in other parts of the world are being neglected by their brethren. Our priorities should always be for the Muslims. We already so easily forget their plights and suffering because we are so far removed from it; add to that the overwhelming media attention on Haiti, it’s no doubt that we will forget even more now.

          So let’s be balanced here, and not let our emotions take over everything.

          • Muslima02

            January 18, 2010 at 3:41 PM

            As’salaam Alaikum,

            While advising I think you have failed to heed your own, wa’Allahu Alim. You allege that with the attentions of the world now being focused on the Haitian people, that we have in some way shape or another forgotten the plight of our brethren. Rather, in fact, there are pockets of Muslims in the US and around the world who have re-focused and re-doubled their efforts on places such as Gaza etc. I, for example just received in my in-box an invitation to some sort of relief benefit having nothing to do with Haiti. I am certainly sure this will continue, albeit, not as focused as before but in time, bi’ithnillahi ta ala, all the same.

            Is it not possible that in all of Allah’s wisdom He azza wajall has allowed mankind to simultaneously focus on one task/person/group of people collectively? When you are a parent, more specifically a stay-at-home mom and you are fighting illnesses from both kiddies and have to be in the room with the one whom is in more need at the time while your heart and thoughts are still with the other. Such is the case I believe for the Muslim Ummah. You’ve made it as though all efforts for needy Muslim causes have been halted, dropped and entirely abandoned. With regards to the previous poster reading between the line, I think you’ve misunderstood the intentions of your brethren – which is simply to render aid and to Empathize with the victims.

            Yes, I get your argument – May Allah first and foremost guide them, then aid then and from his infinite wisdom have Mercy upon them one and all, Ameen.

            Please end this thread and go on to another which yields more benefit, we are really beating a dead horse here.

            Jazzakum Allahu Khairan

    • person

      January 17, 2010 at 12:25 AM

      why would it be haram? the qur’an prohibits making dua for someone who dies on other than islam to be forgiven or go to jannah, but what would prevent us from making dua for someone’s pain and suffering to go away? its a sign of iman to feel compassion for your fellow human.

    • Muslima02

      January 17, 2010 at 2:39 AM

      So, for example – if my non Muslim mother is in the hospital suffering from pains of whatever illness has befallen her. If she says to me, “pray for me and ask God to have mercy on me and cure me”, my only response should be, “you’re not Muslim so that really can’t happen, however, I’ll definitely ask God to guide you to Islam.” How hard-hearted is that? I don’t think the sister means any harm or to come across insensitive, but it’s definitely off-putting. What happens beyond death is out of our hands, however, we have a chance to change people’s lives both directly and indirectly. I don’t think we serve a God that calls for us to restrict our mercy/dua to Muslims only. Religion or lack thereof doesn’t change the suffering of a people, however it does make the coping aspect of it easier, seeing as though we can put things in proper perspective.

      A popular Christian by the name of Pat Robinson is saying this is Punishment for the Haitian people for making a pack with the Devil. So the Christian Ummah shouldn’t feel sorry nor pray for them, what sort of sense does this make. This is that old “sins of the father” type of thinking.

      wa’Allahu Alim

      So with that said, May Allah azza wajall guide, aid and have mercy upon His slaves Ameen.

  15. Muslima02

    January 16, 2010 at 1:51 AM

    As’salaam Aleykum Wa’Rahmat’Ullahi Wa’barakatuhu,

    At times like this when the damage seems unmeasurable and the recovery insurmountable, I hope that, at-least for the children whom make up a majority of the populous of Haiti we can offer our sincere Du’a. In times like this we should not forget our religion, which is the only in the sight of Allah azza wajall. Yet we should not forget our humanity which is a Mercy to us from our Lord. We are so fortunate to live in a place where we do not suffer from food shortages, extreme poverty, streets and buildings with poor infrastructure. Let’s firstly thank Allah and then turn to him in repentance and gratitude and ask Him ta ala to aid those of his slaves He has made less fortunate.

    My mother and father in law as of yesterday returned from their home in Trinidad. My mother in law who is originally a native of Venezuela told me that they also suffered an earthquake there in Venezuela. It was 5.4 but not as devastating as what the Haitian people felt. She told me in Haiti they share a custom which is an old one with Trinidad, which is to go potty using a pan at night (which is kept under the bed) because most of the bathrooms are detached and a walk away from the house and it’s shared with many – this is still the situation for Haitian people. It’s troubling that we are quick to act when there is a crisis, yet once it’s is out of our minds and collective consciousness we forget the rights the less fortunate have on us. Please give as much as your income allows, even if it is five dollars. If not then at-least ask Allah to grant them ease, relief, mercy and sustenance from Him.

    A reminder to myself and my family first and then to my extended family in Islam.

    Jezzak Allahu Khairan.

  16. Asha

    January 18, 2010 at 4:30 PM

    This is what being Muslim means. When you barely have anything, you give to another human being who may need it more! Allahu Akbar! May Allah free Palesine.

    • Muslima02

      January 18, 2010 at 4:56 PM

      This really almost moves me to tears. May Allah keep us all upon the Haqq, Ameen.

  17. Syed J

    January 26, 2010 at 9:20 AM

    Wa alaikum as Salaam wa Rahmatullah Sh Yasir,

    Jazak Allah Khair

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