‘Himmat-e-Mardaan, Madad-e-Khudaa’: ‘Hyemath Kashmir’ in Unison with ‘Nuqoosh-e-Rah’ Scramble to Enhearten Türkiye Quake Victims
Highly proud of our people, for we frankly didn’t expect such an overwhelming response: ‘Hyemath Kashmir’ Founder & Vice-president Azhar Malik
“Our contributions may not be much but we want to tell our brethren in Türkiye that we have been anguished deeply by this catastrophe and their loss”: ‘Nuqoosh-e-Rah’ Founder Sheikh Rizwana
Srinagar, Feb 15 (GNS): Deeply moved by the tragedy befallen the brethren in Türkiye, earlier this month, two Kashmir-based charity groups, ‘Hyemath Kashmir’ alongside ‘Nuqoosh-e-Rah’, came forward and with sheer faith and hope appealed compatriots to make any sorts’ of contribution to facilitate its dispatch as a token of love and solidarity with the quake-ravaged people, literally living across seven seas.
Not knowing how the appeal will fare out, Founder and Vice-president of ‘Hyemath Kashmir’ (Hyemath/Himmat – Courage) Azhar Malik says it was three days after the devastating earthquake that the Turkish embassy in New Delhi asked for contribution towards the victims and his ‘Trust’, thought of playing its part. “Once we went through the requirements, we sent out an appeal to our people in Kashmir to come forward with their contributions”, says Azhar.
“Little knowing how the appeal will be reciprocated by the people, we were nonetheless left astonished as the people came from far and wide with different things to donate at our two collection centres setup in Indra Nagar and Nowhatta”, a buoyed Azhar says.
“We as a team of thirty people were literally put to test as people came with raincoats, sweaters, beanies, gloves, sanitary pads, dry fruits, sleeping bags, milk, baby formula, diapers and other essential commodities until we recently received a requisition that the embassy has only sought blankets and sleeping bags”, says Azhar.
“We received nearly two hundred blankets, over 300 sleeping bags, over a hundred jackets, three boxes of sanitary pads, four large-sized boxes full of dry fruits, two large sized boxes of dry milk, over four hundred pairs of socks and other commodities.”
“Since the day we sent out the appeal, we have been continuously receiving calls from volunteers across Kashmir to join the initiative, which is quite heartening for all of us”, says Azhar.
“It wouldn’t have been a possible thing for us to do, had India not allowed the aid”, says Azhar adding “We are thankful to Fast Beetle – Srinagar-based courier and parcel service company, which ferried the collected aid from Kashmir to the Turkish embassy in New Delhi, absolutely free of cost.”
“We are highly proud of our people for we frankly didn’t expect such an overwhelming response, we saw people coming to the collection centres with their donations even during the snowfall”, says Azhar while talking to GNS.
“We are currently on standby as the embassy is yet to make any further requisition and once we receive any (requisition), we’ll go back to collect more donations as and when sought”, says Azhar.
Asked what actually inspired them to name their charity group as ‘Hyemath’ (Kashmir), Azhar says it was in the year 2020, when the Covid pandemic was at its peak and they in a bid to help out the people came on ground. “Every once, we helped out anyone, he/she would cheer us saying ‘Rab Dinow Himmat’ (May Allah be on your side) and this ‘Himmat’ is what our strength, courage and more apt to say our ‘Hyemath’ is all about.”
“From 2020 onwards, we have been assisting the needful families in weddings and empowering the underprivileged sections of society in any way possible besides holding mass Iftari during holy month of Ramadhan”, he said adding we as a team believe that more empowerment of our people, will ultimately help us to donate more and make our society self-sufficient.
“There currently are 25 members in our Trust, 5 registered and 20 on voluntarily basis”, he said adding while I am the Founder and vice-president of the ‘Trust’, four other persons are Fazieel Bhat as President, Saheem Ashraf as General Secretary, Mohammad Ilyas as Joint Secretary & Media Secretary and Babar Mubarak as Treasurer.
The contribution would have been less, had we not been complimented by Sheikh Rizwana – a Quran tutor, running a charity group ‘Nuqoosh-e-Rah’, says Azhar.
“Rizwana’s contribution towards the initiative has been immense throughout and we are highly thankful to her”, Azhar said.
When GNS reached out to Sheikh Rizwana, it learnt that the 32-year-old female from Saida Kadal Srinagar, despite being at odds with life, has not only been an online Quran tutor (Tajweed and Tafseer included) for over 250 (female students) in Kashmir, with a regular attendance of a sizable number of students from mainland India and outside, but at the same time has completed her DFSM (Dietetics & Food Service Management) degree and is currently working as a Biochemistry teacher at prestigious RP School (Boys) at Alamdar Colony, Lal Bazar.
Rizwana has been enduring protracted illness from 2006, however it has not held her back from carrying out philanthropic activities, whenever the situation arose.
“I have been involved in societal welfare activities from a very long time now, apt to say from the time when I was myself earning comparatively less”, says Rizwana.
“I have been unwell for last 17 years now owing to which I remain bed-ridden for most of the time”, says Rizwana adding I braved the odds and mustered courage and joined RP School where I would collect donations from my fellow teachers and donate it among the needy people in the community.
“I underwent a surgery in the year 2019, following which however my locomotory issues aggravated, resulting in me remaining bed-ridden for most of the time. A year later i.e 2020, I formally started my online classes for teaching the Quran.”
Explaining further Rizwana says, as the things appeared out of my control, I would think and rethink for hours altogether what should be I doing from here on, and in the middle of all this, I thought of religion ‘Islam’ more actively to please my Almighty Allah and it was then that I decided to teach the Holy Quran. Once I made my decision public, I Alhamdulillah got a good response and it has gone fairly well from then onwards with the blessings of Allah the Almighty. I am currently teaching over 250 female students all across, even worldwide, with the permission of my Sheikh Maulana Rehmatulla Mir Qasmi (DB) – founder and rector of Darul Uloom Raheemiyyah Bandipora.”
“I had initially started my classes free of cost, but many of the students turned out to be non-serious and truant which left me with no option then to charge the fee with the only intention to donate the collected amount among the needy people in the society”, says Rizwana.
Regarding the Turkey earthquake, Rizwana says when she saw some of the video-clips on social media, she was moved by the devastation caused by the earthquake. “Watching those heart wrenching scenes, I decided to put my share in whatever possible way and asked the students to make their contribution. It was quite heart-warming how the students responded to the appeal”, says Rizwana adding, “Our contributions may not be much but we want to tell our brethren in Turkiye and Syria that we have been anguished deeply by this catastrophe and their loss.”
“Being myself bed-ridden I was clueless as how to make it possible the aid reaches to the intended place – and it was then a social-worker Asif Mushtaq (Huzaif) introduced ‘Hyemath Kashmir’ to me and I donated the collectibles to them.”
“Despite facing many health issues, it is only because of the sheer blessings of Almighty Allah that I continue to strive and do whatever I can for the larger benefit of people”, says Rizwana.
“I am highly thankful to my Sheikh Maulana Rehmatullah Sahib, Mufti Abdul Rashid Qasmi, Qazi Imran and Mufti Mansoor among other scholars who have guided me every once I need to contact them on any issue”, Rizwana said.
Notably, a catastrophic and destructive Mw 7.8 earthquake struck Türkiye and Syria on February 6, 2023 – leading to death of nearly 42000 people and injuries to over 70000, as on date, besides causing widespread damage to residential houses and other buildings. (GNS)