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Wednesday 24th July 2024,
Hope for Nigeria

#GrenfellTowerFire: Muslims Are Real Life Superheroes

Grenfell Tower

It was at 2.07 am that I received the first message of the day about the great fire in Grenfell Tower in West London. It was on a particular Whatsapp group I am in.

At 2.15 am a brother asked the most important question in any crisis: “Can we do anything?”

By 2.47 am, more updates had filtered through indicating the scale of what was happening.

At 2.56 am, discussions had begun about delivering some water bottles and blankets to those in need.

At 3.20 am, “a few of us driving down now with water”. The first van of brothers with aid was on its way from Tower Hamlets in East London.

 

Grenfell Tower

 

3.34 am: another message from another brother: “we on route”

And so it began before most of the city had woken up to the horrific news, these real life superheroes were on the ground helping those in need.

Having fasted for 19 hours on a hot summer’s day and spent the Ramadan night standing in prayer, the brothers barely had time to eat their suhoor before beginning their fast again. Most people went to sleep after suhoor, not these guys. Off they went again and carried on assisting as they could in the sweltering heat, quenching the thirst of others while their throats dried up from the thirst from fasting.

 

Image result for Muslims Saves people on Grenfell Tower Fire

 

At 6.05 I received another Whatsapp message, this time from Dr Shameela Islam-Zulfiqar, a seasoned charity worker who had set up a fundraising page for those affected by the fire. The target was £10k. £130 had already been donated. 12 hours later, the figure stood at just under £50k.

 

Image result for Muslims Saves people on Grenfell Tower Fire

 

These were the emergency services from the Muslim community who, in the dark of the night whilst others slept or sat mesmerised by the news (the bystander effect), went out and took action. Ignoring their need for sleep, their exhausted bodies and obligations in the morning such as work, they sacrificed it to take action when it was most needed. Being on the other side of London was not an excuse for them.

You will not have seen them on the news and may never hear their names. But Allah knows each and every one of these superheroes and what they did today, and their reward lies with Him alone.

Our community sometimes goes to great lengths to create “good PR”. It is the sacrificial actions of brothers and sisters like those who dedicated their time and efforts today to helping during the crisis without thinking of PR which really reaches the hearts of the people.

It is truly an honour to know these courageous inspirational heroes, the true flag-bearers of Islam. Their actions instill a much-needed sense of pride and honour at a time when the world has made it a habit of making you feel ashamed to be a Muslim.

May Allah have mercy on all those impacted by the fire, may He grant the dead Paradise, accept them as martyrs, and give patience and understanding to those left behind. May He fill us all with the courage and bravery to take action when needed rather than sit on social media just watching the drama unfold.

– Brother Fahad Ansari

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