This is the very first time that I am posting something on social media, I didn’t had to but I wanted to tell you all about My visit to a world that I had only seen on TV.
Last week, I decided to go and see the actual world of sex trafficking that I had been hearing about. Little did I know that the food drive was conducted only so that a child is not lulled into slavery. I had been living in Columbus for the past 11 years now and not in my wildest dreams had I known that this world of sex trafficking in which Muslims are the victims exist in few miles away from our home. For me this was a ‘thing’ that prevails only in metro cities like NY, Chicago, Vegas etc.but never here in Columbus- or at least I was successful in fooling myself
A hungry stomach of a child as young as 6 or as old as 16 can easily be lulled to slavery and to drugs.
But wait a second, why am I writing about it, its not my job right? Where is the police, the FBI, the human rights people?? Let them take care of that Why am I even bothered.
I can like everyone close my eyes and pretend I have not seen anything, have not seen a little girls in rags, have not seen a boy without shoes coming to take a box of food because he have none. OR I can fear Allah and try to do my part as a Muslim so that when the day of Judgement comes and I’m standing in from of the Almighty fearing for my deeds, I can at least say ‘I helped save a child from slavery’
Any time, a child could be pulled in this dangerous path, it has happened before, its happening now, let’s not wait or depend upon FBI to do they part, lets do our part as Humans, as Muslims. I strongly believe Allah has exposed us to see all this because He wants us to take this as an opportunity to come closer to Him. Any amount donated will NEVER make us poor, but it will only make us richer – richer in heart, spirit and monetary for that matter, because Allah do not keep loans, He gives back 7 times more than you spend in His way.
The truth is I don’t have it in me to go out and help them, I’m too week. But luckily for us one of our sister is strong enough to stand up and fight for these girls, for these children - Zerqa Abid, she is trying to do as much as she can without much support, the least we can do is join hands with her and tell her that we got her back. She needs monetary help to sustain her project to fight against sex trafficking, the least we can do by sitting in the comfort of our home is to go online and donate on a monthly basis, as little as $25/ month - a trip to Tim Hortons cost more than this but imagine it could save a girl from being someone’s slave. Lets help her before these rascals take our daughters, before they deepens they roots. Fi sabi Lillah!
Farhina Salman's Facebook Statement
A Columbus Community Member
Thank You for helping hundreds of youth and families!
Hot Meals, Non-perishable foods, Eid Gifts, Toys and More...
Assalamu alaikum and Eid Mubarak,
A week before Ramadan, I was devastated and was almost giving up on MY Project USA because of the financial liabilities and almost no financial support from you. I was heart broken for all little girls and boys who would lose the only Muslim organization that is looking after for them on the west side of Columbus. I was sad but didn't have any other option to avoid further loans from credit cards and elsewhere. I informed the trustees and the directors of this organization that if we didn't get at least $50,000 this Ramadan from you, I would wrap up the project regardless of how painful it would have been. Alhamdulillah, you responded too our fundraising campaign and have already contributed more than $65,000. This amount gives a new life and momentum to our project and I am so very grateful to Allah Ta'ala and you for this support. Thank you.
You have also contributed 2574 hot meals, about 2100 uncooked meals, 450 goody bags, 400 toys, and a lot of non-tangible support, happiness, confidence and boost in the self esteem of hundreds of youth and their families. Thank you, again. May Allah SWT immensely reward each and every supporter of MY Project USA, ameen.
In addition to the financial support, what I see as a great achievement this Ramadan is the expansion in our outreach and the endorsements by prominent scholars, community leaders and community members. Shaykh Yasir Qadhi and Sh. Omar Suleiman endorsement was a milestone fr the Muslim community. Some sisters, like Farhina Salman, also wrote moving statements that we will be sharing with you in coming weeks.
Please continue to pray for us and support us however you can. Help us reach our second tier of fundraising goal $100,000 so we could buy the machinery and supplies necessary for MY Deah's store and could hire trained staff to help our underprivileged families more efficiently.
MY Project USA is Zakat eligible since it falls in to six of the eight categories of Zakat as commanded by Allah SWT in the following verse of Quran:
"Zakat expenditures are only for the poor and for the needy and for those employed to collect [zakah] and for bringing hearts together [for Islam] and for freeing captives [or slaves] and for those in debt and for the cause of Allah and for the [stranded] traveler - an obligation [imposed] by Allah . And Allah is Knowing and Wise. (Quran 9:60)"
The first and second category of “poor and for the needy” applies since we are helping poor local and refugee Muslim families.
The fourth category of "bringing hearts together" applies since we serve all needy people regardless of their faith, ethnicity or race. We also work with individuals that are attracted to Islam and Muslims and prefer working with us to learn more.
The fifth category “freeing captive” applies since we are addressing human trafficking, the modern day slavery, prevention and intervention. We are specially focusing on freeing sex-slaves from their masters and then helping them in re-establishing their lives.
The sixth category of "paying the debt" applies since we take care of families, single moms and family violence victims dealing with debts and financial instability.
The seventh category “the cause of Allah” applies because we are protecting and empowering Muslim youth and families in America. Through our work we are addressing drugs, gangs, violence, suicides, radicalization, homelessness, and hunger through capacity building of the individuals and the community. Through the documentation and publicity of our work we seek to address Islamophobia as well. Our goal is to preserve Islam and Muslim community in America at its best.
According to the majority scholars, Zakat can be given to those who volunteer to fight in the cause of Allah (SWT) and do not receive a fixed salary from the government. This also applies to the operational cost/salaries of a non-profit organization like ours that fits the other categories of zakat eligibility.
Of course people can also donate from any Sadaqa funds for this cause as well.