Allah Nighebaan.

This past week has been the hardest week of my life. In the 20 years of my life, I’ve seen my mother pass away, relatives fall sick, friends cry in pain, this country suffering, heartbreak and more. I always thought that the worst had passed, that there could be nothing more painful.

Its ironic how wrong I was.

Nearly 40,000 people are dead. 62,000 people are injured. 3.3 million people are homeless. The heart breaking stories keep piling up. The story of the only survivor at Springfield School, Bagh, who bunked school for a little while and came back to find a mound of rubble, underneath which lay his friends, his teachers. The story of Zafar, a boy who suffered from massive injuries in the quake, and has no one to take him home. The hospital does not know what to do with him. The unspoken stories of the many children who lay trapped under the rubble for days, and then died, because the frantic scrabbling away at rocks by their parents was not enough. The stories of the entire generation that has been erased from the face of the earth.

We’ve prayed, worked, and donated. I wish I could say that the worst is over, but its not. The rains and snow has started. Imagine, living in the open air, below zero temperature, with no food, water, shelter, blankets. Imagine, just for a second, when you change the channel because the news is ‘too much’, if you had been right there. If you’re alive today, be grateful. It could have been any one of us. Imagine, if your child was lying dead in front of you, and you could not even give him / her a decent burial.

Its easy to start the blame game. Lets blame the government, lets blame the army, lets blame God. But they are futile, for nothing in the world will bring back the laughter of an entire generation, nothing will bring back the peace in the eyes of the aged and wise, nothing will ever be the same again.

Allah Nighebaan, hum sab ka.

10 Comments so far

  1. Faisal (unregistered) on October 16th, 2005 @ 12:01 am

    Itís so painful to see, read and hear about what happened to our mother land! I just can’t stop thinking about what people would be going through, I wish I could be there to actually do something about it.. sigh!
    Anyways, It makes me proud to say that the Pakistanis living in Pakistan and across the world have reacted to this horrific tragedy in great fervor, zeal and with a compassionate heart. They say that the true character of a nation is shown at the time of crisis and it gives me some level of comfort to see that we, as a nation, are finally working together for a common goal with patience, respect and selflessness, I wish it stays like it! Itís sad that we needed a national disaster to wake us up from our trivial issues with each other but I guess one can draw some positive thoughts out of this crisis!
    I also believe that the biggest challenge is yet to come. I am afraid that with passing time, when we all get busy again with our busy life, we will start to forget or ignore about the current and ongoing needs of the 2.5 million survivors! I will be a mammoth challenge to actually support these families on continuous basis. These families will not be emotionally vulnerable but will also be at insurmountable economic disadvantage of having lost everything.
    It is high time to really think about how we are going to help the guys who are fortunate to survive. We need to be very pro-active about them and also about the ways to actually help them. I think this is where a true challenge is, letís think about what we can do to help the fortunate survivors so they stay fortunate!

    While there’s life, there’s hope.
    Cicero (106 BC – 43 BC), Ad Atticum


  2. hafsa (unregistered) on October 16th, 2005 @ 1:12 am

    really moving post, huma. i know you’ve seen much worse footage than we see on tv. as a fellow blogger and above all, as a pakistani i’d like you thank you and applaud you on all the information you’ve gathered and put up here to help anyone trying to become a part of this good cause.
    God bless you.


  3. Tehseen Baweja (unregistered) on October 16th, 2005 @ 2:03 am

    We are trying to make a consortium in NA that will allow us to buy tents in bulk from China/India/wherever and send them to the quake region.
    Tent is the most needed commodity now.
    Please email (bawejate@msu.edu) or call [001(517)6482774] for more info.
    Please spread the word.


  4. Saadie (unregistered) on October 16th, 2005 @ 2:52 am

    inshAllah we will pull it off, Allah Nighebaan.


  5. Fahad Fateh (unregistered) on October 16th, 2005 @ 3:55 am

    I agree that blaming wont help much, it never does but not doing anything wont be much helpful either. Something needs to be done or this wont stop as we have been witnessing for the past year or so.

    I posted the following on my blog yesterday.

    I have seen alot of people arguing with others or with their ownselves, trying to decide what to call 8/10. A wrath of God that was send on its mankind in order to punish them for their sins or was it a test to see who is more deserving of Allah’s love and a higher status in heaven.

    I have few things to say here.

    * Pain is pain regardless of the way through which it was inflicted.
    * Pain does not comes with a label and so you can name it what ever you want.
    * The thing that is more important, is, to try to avoid or minimize it both spiritually and physically, before it occurs.

    It is a free world and you can decide to take what ever actions you think are right. All I want is peace and happiness for every one.


  6. Sohail Iqbal (unregistered) on October 16th, 2005 @ 7:17 am

    We, at Federal Urdu University, are trying to establish an online database of earthquake victims taken to different hospitals, for people abroad, so they can search for their loved ones form internet. We have 6 lists from different hospitals so far, we need volunteers to collect more.

    Visit the website at http://www.earthquakepk.com/cms/

    bloggers: can u post this on root page so more ppl can benefit?

    best

    Sohail Iqbal


  7. Wasif Mirza (unregistered) on October 16th, 2005 @ 10:07 am

    Maybe it is too premature to think about this issue but it is a reality of this tragedy that hundred if not thousands of children became orphans in a matter of few minutes. These children were extremely beloved and precious to their parents and while these parents were alive they would have done eveything within their means for them. The toughest test or trial in this world is that of children for their parents. Ask any sensetive parents who have outlived their children.May Allah SWT save eveyone for this severe and harsh test. However from what we are reading in US there may be hundred of orphans who need to be taken care of.

    I am aware of several muslim couple who have expressed strong intrest in adopting orphans muslim children in US. All of these couple are first or second generation Americans from Pakistan. As a matter of fact after careful thinking both me and my wife are prepared to do so. Allah swt has only blessed us with boys.
    However we are all aware of the difficulities of actually doing so in terms of paperwork and other matters. These children are Pakistani and their parents would have been proud to raise them that way. I wish these children get adopted within their own country so hey can preserve their culture, real soon.
    Just to strengthen our faith we know of a Jewish couple who have adopted a young orphan muslim baby girl. This couple actually brought their adopted daughter to an Islamic school for religious education. Allah swt made their hearts soft so that a Jewish couple is raising a Muslim girl and lettig her keep her real parents faith.

    By the way the Islamic ruling in adoption is extremely favourable as LONG AS THE ADOPTED CHILD IS KEPT INFORMED of the true relationship and the reality. In case of orphans there is an added dimension of difficulty that the treatment of orphans will be severly integorated by Allah SWT.
    If any organization or govt agency can be contacted regarding this matter please provide that information


  8. quratulain (unregistered) on October 16th, 2005 @ 10:25 am

    huma, you’re in my thoughts and prayers.

    may Allah give us strength to deal with this enormous calamity.


  9. Arsalaan Haleem (unregistered) on October 16th, 2005 @ 1:37 pm

    Huma, I am sorry to hear about your mother. I, for one, is truly amazed at your stamina and ability to continue on with the relief efforts and at the same time, continually posting all the information that you are collecting and receiving.

    God bless you, Huma.


  10. Adnan Siddiqi (unregistered) on October 16th, 2005 @ 5:10 pm

    AoA Huma

    No doubt you could feel pain of those children more than us who have been living with our mothers fathers.

    the cruel contrast of life,we sleep on bed,eat burgers,sandwitches and other stuff,have clothes to hide ourselves and those affected people are forced to eat grass(look whats happening with the superior creature of God),sky is their roof.

    such incidents often make me think that why does it all happen,yestereve,i was listenin to Mulana Tariq jamil`s CD,he was telling about questions asked by Moses(AS),Moses asks Allah,Why muslims suffer a lot in the world,Allah showed him the Jannah,when Moses(AS) viewed the Jannah,He replied,if a muslim loses his hands and legs and live till qayamah,and then enjoy such luxuries,then its not a bad deal at all.

    We should all be thankful of Allah,He loves us 70,000 times more than our mothers,may Allah shows us the righteous path-Ameeen



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