Thank You for Sending Some Warmth to Our Refugee Families

Salam and greetings of peace,

Brrr.....it is freezing cold in Chicago and as we sit warm and toasty in our homes, we wanted to thank the Almighty and all our supporters for providing RAP with the opportunity to help newly arrived refugee families again this winter.

Like previous years, thanks to your donations, RAP was able to provide more than $2,500 worth of new winter coats, blankets and groceries to the families experiencing their first Chicago winter.

Our Finance Director did the research to find the best prices and ordered in bulk to make the best use of your generous donations. We took into account the kind of groceries they need most to prepare foods that can make them feel more at home.

We are also currently assisting refugees get certified as truck drivers and hairdressers so that they can earn an income. We hope all the combined efforts and contributions are accepted by God and help those who need it the most. Once again, thank you for supporting RAP. If you would like to volunteer, please email: empoweringrefugees@gmail.com

We accept tax-deductible donations year round. If you would like to make an end-of-year donation, please make the check out to RAP/WF and mail it to RAP, P. O. Box 4962, Wheaton, IL 60189.


Jazak Allah for all you do!

The RAP Team



Naazish YarKhan, Aliya Husain, Sabina Abdul-Qadir, Talath Ahmed, Kiran Ansari Rasul, Thamreen Siddiqui and Farzana Moinuddin

Testimonials

TESTIMONIALS

"You cannot imagine how many organizations I have contacted on behalf of these people and your (group is) the only one that has even bothered to call back, let alone donate and give me info on other sources of help. Thanks so much for all the help you have given!!! I appreciate (your team) so much." - Nancy Lee, volunteer working with Iraqis in Chicago.

"Salam Alaikoom Br. Mazhar, Thank you very much for the gas you had put in my car. I was able to receive Iraqi families at the airport because of your help.

Sr. Kiran, I want to thank you for the stuff you gave me. Jazak Allah Khair. It was enough for more than three families. I was so happy when the children saw the toys. It's a feeling that I couldn't describe. Thank you very much and may Allah accept the generosity of all the people. " - Ahlam Ahmed, Iraqi Mutual Aid Society, Chicago.

"I am a doctor from Iraq. I found the social and financial support from Refugee Assistance Programs and ICNA Relief. They helped me with some essential medical books and intruments that helped me alot in my study to get back my license in medicine. Also, they provided many families that I referred to them with food baskets and othe home stuf. Also, they assisted in paying the rent for the families. We appreciate all the support that they are providing us and Jazahum Allah for their services. - Adel, Chicago. "


Hadith

DON'T DELAY GIVING IN CHARITY

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) once had several coins that he asked his wife to distribute in charity. But due to the Prophet's illness at the time, she did not have an opportunity to give out the coins. When the Prophet learned of this, he asked for the coins, placed them in his hand, and then said: "What would God's Prophet think if he were to meet God, who is Great and Glorious, while (still) possessing these?" - Al-Tirmidhi, Hadith 586

The Prophet also said: "Give charity without delay, for it stands in the way of calamity." - Al-Tirmidhi, Hadith 589

THE IMPORTANCE OF CHARITY

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: "The believer's shade on the Day of Resurrection will be his charity." - Al-Tirmidhi, Hadith 604

The Prophet also said: "Every act of goodness is charity." - Sahih Muslim, Hadith 496

EVERY MUSLIM MUST GIVE IN CHARITY

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: "Every Muslim has to give in charity." The people then asked: "(But what) if someone has nothing to give, what should he do?" The Prophet replied: "He should work with his hands and benefit himself and also give in charity (from what he earns)." The people further asked: "If he cannot find even that?" He replied: "He should help the needy who appeal for help." Then the people asked: "If he cannot do (even) that?" The Prophet said finally: "Then he should perform good deeds and keep away from evil deeds, and that will be regarded as charitable deeds." - Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 2, Hadith 524

SMILING IS CHARITY

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: "Charity is prescribed for each descendant of Adam every day the sun rises." He was then asked: "From what do we give charity every day?" The Prophet answered: "The doors of goodness are many...enjoining good, forbidding evil, removing harm from the road, listening to the deaf, leading the blind, guiding one to the object of his need, hurrying with the strength of one's legs to one in sorrow who is asking for help, and supporting the feeble with the strength of one's arms--all of these are charity prescribed for you." He also said: "Your smile for your brother is charity." - Fiqh-us-Sunnah, Volume 3, Number 98

BEST FORM OF CHARITY

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: "Shall I guide you to the best (form of) charity? It is to provide for your daughter when she (returns) to you (because of divorce or other circumstances) and has no one but you to provide for her." - Al-Tirmidhi, Hadith 1296

SPEND IN CHARITY

"Spend (in charity) out of the sustenance that We have bestowed on you before that time when death will come to someone, and he shall say: "O my Lord! If only you would grant me reprieve for a little while, then I would give in charity, and be among the righteous." - The Holy Quran, 63:10

CHARITY SAVES

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: "Save yourself from hellfire by giving even half a date-fruit in charity." - Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 2, Hadith 498

CHARITY IS A PURIFIER

A man once said to the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him): "I have plenty of property, a large family, a great deal of money, and I am a gracious host to my guests. Tell me how to conduct my life and how to spend (my money)." The Prophet replied: "Give (regular charity) out of your property, for truly it is a purifier, and be kind to your relatives and acknowledge the rights of the poor, neighbors and (those in need who seek your help)." - Fiqh-us-Sunnah, Volume 3, Number 3

CHARITY AND PAYING DEBTS ENCOURAGED

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: "If I had (a mountain of) gold, I would love that, before three days had passed, not a single (coin) thereof remained with me if I found somebody to accept it (as charity), excluding some amount that I would keep for the payment of my debts." - Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 9, Hadith 334

GOD IS AWARE OF THE GOOD THAT YOU DO

"They ask you (O Muhammad) what they should spend in charity. Say: 'Whatever you spend with a good heart, give it to parents, relatives, orphans, the helpless, and travellers in need. Whatever good you do, God is aware of it.'" - The Holy Quran, 2:215

Note to Non-Muslim Hosts to Muslim Refugee Families

Greetings of Peace !

We hope this blog will help you better understand the Muslim refugees you have so graciously opened your homes to. August 22 was the first day of Ramadan and will last an entire month, culiminating with the Eid Prayers. President Obama's message has some more details.

Here are some links including those of two different mosques - one in Villa Park and the other in Glendale Heights. Muslims use halal meat/chicken which is sold in many ethnic stores in Villa Park, Bolingbrook, Naperville and Glendale Heights.

The prayer schedule provided here is for the Western Suburbs around Villa Park and indicates when the Ramadan fasts begin - the time shifts daily and begins approximately an hour or so prior to sunrise - and when they end. The timings also vary by suburbs. During this time, Muslims who are fasting ( the ill, women mensurating or travellers are excempt) will eat a meal in the pre-dawn hours and then at sunset. Not even water is consumed during day hours. Prayers can be said at home on a clean rug, free of animal hair. During Ramadan, nightly prayers called Taraweeh are held at the mosque for an hour or so, after the last prayer called Esha. Prayers are said facing the Kabaa which is in the North East direction, when in Chicago.

Please email us if you need prayer rugs, prayer beads or Qurans or have questions about mosques in other areas.

P.S.
Religiously and culturally, dog saliva is considered impure so please dont' be offended if a Muslim seems hesitant to befriend dogs. Muslim women may not be comfortable hugging or shaking hands with men outside their families and Muslims according to Islam are not suppossed to drink alcohol, even socially.

'EID IS FOR EVERYONE' 1st Annual Drive- THREE UPCOMING EVENTS


EID TOYS & WINTER WEAR DRIVE : 1100 BRAND NEW TOYS COLLECTED IN TWO DAYS! OVER 500 REFUGEE AND NEEDY FAMILIES RECEIVE GIFTS!

EID IS FOR EVERYONE - 2nd ANNUAL RAP EID DRIVE - AUG 21, 2010

Many new refugee families have recently arrived and more will arrive in Ramadan. RAP is counting on YOU to help them celebrate their first Eid in America.

This Ramadan, RAP is collecting:


1. Gift cards to Toys R Us, Target and Wal-Mart

2. Checks made out to RAP/ WF, PO BOX 4962

Wheaton, IL 60189-4962

3. Cash (zakat accepted too)

4. Non perishable food like rice, flour, sugar, lentils, oil, dates, salt, tea, potatoes, bread.

5. Cleaning supplies

6. Personal care products


Drop off date: Sat. Aug, 21, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Venues:

Seemi Muzna Hamid: 31 W. 17th St. Lombard, 60148

Hadia Bangash: 202 Violet Lane, Batavia, 60510

Mehmooda Ahmed: 2311 Haider Ave. Naperville, 60564 Ph.: (630) 369-4206

Humaira Basith: 7709 Linden Ave, Darien

Kiran Ansari: 154 Castlewood Ct, Roselle

Naazish YarKhan: 1146 Coventry Circle, Glendale Heights, 60139 Ph. (630) 5452013

Henna Raza, 180 Plumtree Lane, West Chicago, IL 60185


Venues needed in the Northen Burbs....!!!



Tax receipts will be provided. Ask the kids to join in by sending hand-made Eid cards with your donations. Please send checks latest by August 21, 2010.



Questions?
empoweringrefugees@gmail.com OR

w
ww.facebook.com/refugeeassistance



2010 ACCOMPLISHMENTS



Thanks to the opportunity given by the Almighty and the generous support of community members like YOU, RAP was able to accomplish the following in 2010:



* 42 complete kitchen kits collected and distributed to new families


* Meeting with Senator Dick Durbin & Congressman Keith Ellison to advocate for refugees

* Payments made for Truck/driving lessons, USMLE exams, CNA Courses

* Donations to ICNA’s food pantry and refugee field trip

* Rent payments and one-on-one mentoring with new families

* RAP Board and supporters logged in more than 2,000 volunteer hours!

* Membership in the
Golden Door Coalition


*
Volunteering at
O.W.L











Thursday, December 9, 2010

Thank You for Sending Some Warmth to Our Refugee Families

Salam and greetings of peace,

Brrr.....it is freezing cold in Chicago and as we sit warm and toasty in our homes, we wanted to thank the Almighty and all our supporters for providing RAP with the opportunity to help newly arrived refugee families again this winter.

Like previous years, thanks to your donations, RAP was able to provide more than $2,500 worth of new winter coats, blankets and groceries to the families experiencing their first Chicago winter.

Our Finance Director did the research to find the best prices and ordered in bulk to make the best use of your generous donations. We took into account the kind of groceries they need most to prepare foods that can make them feel more at home.

We are also currently assisting refugees get certified as truck drivers and hairdressers so that they can earn an income. We hope all the combined efforts and contributions are accepted by God and help those who need it the most. Once again, thank you for supporting RAP. If you would like to volunteer, please email: empoweringrefugees@gmail.com

We accept tax-deductible donations year round. If you would like to make an end-of-year donation, please make the check out to RAP/WF and mail it to RAP, P. O. Box 4962, Wheaton, IL 60189.

Jazak Allah for all you do!

The RAP Team

Naazish YarKhan, Aliya Husain, Sabina Abdul-Qadir, Talath Ahmed, Kiran Ansari Rasul, Thamreen Siddiqui and Farzana Moinuddin

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Monday, August 31, 2009

Ibtisam's Sewing Corner - Customer Feedback


"I have used Ibtisam for numerous shalwar kameezes for my daughter and I, and each time she does an excellent job. She pays attention to detail, and is very neat and clean in her work - you will only see straight lines. She also understands the importance of clothes fitting well, and therefore is meticulious in her work, she understands all sorts of fabrics, and works well with each of them." - Masooda Rahman, Wheaton.


An Experienced Professional Seamstress For Shalwar Khameez, Abayaas and more
Formerly a Master Tailor/ Fitter
Make an appointment with Ibtisam Ali today!
562 Pershing Ave. Apt# F
Glen Ellyn IL 60137 ph :630-793-9186 Referrals available upon request

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Shata Faisal, an Iraqi Mom on Life, Survival, Hope and Suffering



Shatha Faisal: There was no way to “live” in Iraq and we exhausted all options to even be able to survive there. Early of 2005 when we used to live in Baghdad, we kept receiving written notes from unknown party that we should leave our neighborhood because we were “terrorists”. We ignored these threats and put our fate in Allah’s hands. May 23, 2005 at 11:30 PM Talal (the father) came from work and we were getting ready to eat dinner outside in the backyard since there was no electricity. So Talal turn on a gas operated generator and we settled to start eating. Suddenly, something exploded near us and apiece of metal hit the generator and set it on fire. Talal and Faisal, who was 4.5 years old at that time, got burned from the gasoline that spilled out of the generator. Talal got sever burns on his legs and Faisal had 90% of his body severely burned. We rushed him to a hospital, hoping to find a clean room or bed so his burns don’t get infected, we were turned a way since there was no clean room or bed suitable for his situation. We went from one hospital to another while Talal and Faisal were suffering and crying from pain. We went to the 16 hospitals in Baghdad, but no single hospital was able to care for them. One doctor said to us, Faisal is going to die so stop trying. Two days latter, the we went to Jordan seeking medical treatment. Three days latter, Faisal died. 17 days latter, Talal was released form the hospital and we went back to Iraq. Two months after we returned to Iraq, someone bombed our $300,000 supermarket and our only source for living. We were trapped in our home fro two months with no work, no hope, shocked, and afraid to be killed.

Click to read her whole story.

Friday, August 21, 2009

One-on-One with Noah Merrill of Direct Aid Iraq

Most refugees arrive in the United States with little more than the clothes they are wearing and a few personal possessions. They face the difficult challenge of starting over in a new land. It is important that refugees are welcomed when they arrive and receive support as they adjust to their new lives in our communities. These are the families that end up faring best.

Bisharo, 17, Flees African Refugee Camp with Family


It isn’t easy for soccer enthusiast and Wheaton, IL resident, Bisharo Amir, 17, to speak of her past. “My mother gave birth to my little brother under a tree, with the sound of bombs and machine guns blasting, and through it all my brothers and sisters who were small children were crying for her attention,” she shudders. “Can you imagine that?”

Bisharo is originally from Somalia. “My little niece there,” she points to a three-year-old, “children her age shouldn’t have to see so much killing, so much blood, but they have. That’s not good. I don’t think about it, otherwise I won’t be healthy mentally, physically, emotionally. I just don’t think about those days,” says Bisharo. “I can’t believe that a 7-year-old had a gun and wanted to kill people.”

Click to read her entire story.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Thank you from African Families

Most Exciting Day Ever in USA, Say Refugees

Mon, Aug 17, 2009
Posted by: ICNA Relief Chicago

Yesterday, ICNA Relief volunteers took Iraqi Refugee children and their parents on a field trip. Volunteers started picking up the children from their homes in Rogers Park at 9:30 AM before heading to Safariland located in Lombard. Children including boys and girls ages from 4 to 14 years had a wonderful time riding on Roller Coasters, Go Carts, Max Flight, Bumper Cars, Mary Go Round and playing other games. They also enjoyed the pizza and pop in the lunch break.

After the Safariland adventure, volunteers took the children and parents to the Islamic Foundation to offer Zuhr prayer and to give them a tour of the Masjid. "They were all very impressed with the size and beauty of the Islamic Foundation as it was their first time since they have arrived in US form Iraq to see a Masjid and school of this size and elegance," said Saad Siddiqui, coordinator of ICNA Relief Chicago chapter.

From Islamic Foundation, they were taken to ICNA Relief Thrift Store located on Ardmore and Roosevelt Rd. At the Thrift store, the parents and children picked-up cloths, shoes, toys, school bags, and many other things of their like and size free of cost. They were also given the rice, cereal, oil, canned, and other food items at no cost from the Food Pantry located inside the Thrift Store to help them prepare for the month of Ramadan. The Thrift Store was the last stop of this day long field trip and from there, volunteers took them back to their homes.

"Alhamdulillah it was a very humbling experience for all the volunteers," said Siddiqui. "The children and their parents were very happy as many of them commented that this was the most exciting day of their life since they have come to US. We would like to thank all the volunteers who spent many days preparing for this program and sacrificing the big part of their weekend with these children (many of whom are orphans) when they had the option to be with their own families and friends".

To help ICNA Relief financially or if you'd like to volunteer in the similar activities in the future, please don’t hesitate to send us an email at Relief@ICNAChicago.org.