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Words Apart - Her Ramadhan Diary

How different can one month really be for two women?

Call 0207 733 2104 (weekends: 01189 098 462)

Text RAMD47 £10 to 70070

Meet: Aaliyah Hassan

Age: 32

Children: Umar (8) Sumayyah (6)

Biggest Ramadhan goal: Surviving a hectic month and the long fasts in the summer heat

Biggest Ramadhan fear: Not having enough energy for the expected guests (!)

Budget for Ramadhan shop: Whatever it takes to keep everyone fed!

Dear Diary,

Eeek! Only two days to go. So much left to do. Kids and hubby have been helping clean all day. Want to get a deep clean sorted before cooking prep gets underway. Got ‘bring a dish’ Iftar to prep for Umar’s school. PTA gathering is going to be the biggest for years. A ton of shopping left to order, plus their Eid gifts too. Whole family will be coming for iftar on the 6th. So much fridge space needs clearing. Need to empty out space in cupboards too. Ramadhan calendar left to decorate. Have to sort Eid party bags, maybe a crescent-shaped piñata this year? Umar’s going to try itikaaf this year with Musa. That should be interesting, he seems confident he can handle it. Can’t wait to hear this new Imam at the masjid for tarawih! Samosas done at least! Exciting and busy busy busy- cannot wait!
- Aaliyah

Meet: Sara Ali

Age: 31

Children: Yusra (7) Amina (5) Ibrahim (1)

Biggest Ramadhan goal: For the kids to see Umar this Eid; for him to come home.

Biggest Ramadhan fear: Losing custody of my kids.

Budget for Ramadhan shop: Whatever is left in the account.

Dear Diary,

Kids called “Terrorist Twins” today. Missing Abi more than ever. It’s been nearly 6 months. Still can’t afford it. Kids are dying to see their dad. Baby doesn’t remember him, breaks my heart. Amina wet the bed again. The girls can’t stop fighting with each other. Even teachers have commented on it. Social services called to meet about ‘concerns for children’s wellbeing’ today. Don’t think how I’ll survive if I lose them... Everyone on Facebook is sharing pics of their Iftar prep, Ramadhan decorations. I don’t know how I’ll afford anything for the kids this time. The phone’s been cut off, the debts rising. Can’t bear the idea of another Eid alone. No one comes round anymore. Feel like the living dead and alone – so, so alone.

- Sara

Aaliyah and Sara’s experience of Ramadhan are literally worlds apart. While most of us think of Ramadhan as a time for family, gifts and joy, for the families HHUGS support – like Sara’s -  it can actually be a dreaded time, where all the hardships of the year are compounded. The lack of community support and overwhelming sense of isolation intensify during this traditional time of community and togetherness. Children have little of their own to look forward to and feel the absence of their father more acutely than ever, as they see Eid being a time of family, gifts and joy for others. But with your support, in this month of immense rewards, we can draft a dramatically different diary entry for Sara and her family.

Help Sara turn a new leaf in her diary this Ramadhan

The Prophet (saw) said “For me to walk along with my brother to fulfill his need is more beloved to me than to make I’tikaf in this mosque of mine for a month.” (Tabarani)

Call 0207 733 2104 (weekends: 01189 098 462)

Text RAMD47 £10 to 70070

Feed a family struggling to get by

£50 Food Pack
£250 food vouchers for the month

 “They took all the money I had saved, not even leaving behind enough to buy bread.At the time, we were left with nothing. I didn’t have any family to fall back on.”

Essential supplies to start families off in this month of meat, poultry, pasta, rice, fruit and tinned goods for the most-needy families.

Unite a family torn apart

£150 for a month
£50 for Eid visit

Help unite elderly parents, young children and aggrieved wives with their absent son, father and husband in this month traditionally spent with our families. Prisons in remote locations, financial constraints, long travelling times, often mean these visits are rare. With your donations, you provide fuel/transport for a month's worth of prison visits.

“Eid was empty without my husband. These occasions are supposed to be spent with your loved ones so it was difficult to enjoy them without him. But HHUGS made it easier when they took me all the way to go and see my husband on Eid day. These volunteers, who had their own families to deal with, actually took us all the way up north on Eid. I was so grateful to them for their generosity.”

Heal a family scarred by detention

£200 for a month of therapy
£50 per session

 “I can’t even put it into words about what it has done to me – I suffer from depression; emotionally and psychologically I’m not doing well. I live with it, these constant reminders in the house. I can’t sleep properly and sometimes I don’t eat. It’s like I have lost the will to live.

Professional, culturally sensitive counselling for women and children traumatised by raids and arrests, or by the separation from their children, and former detainees trying to resettle into family life post release.

“Without HHUGS I would be so lost.  The support, comfort the encouragement from you has been amazing. I never thought I would be able to pick myself back up again.  You have made a big difference to my life and to the lives of others.  I’ve seen it with the HHUGS families based in my city. The counselling sessions have made me feel as though I am not alone.”

£500 - Shelter a Family left in disarray

“When I entered my home, the front door was smashed. I felt I was in a forest. The house was upside down - we couldn’t recognise anything. I didn’t know how to sleep or rest.

From providing a roof over their head, replacing a door broken in a raid to protect them from the elements or basic essentials of heating, electricity, water and gas.

I couldn’t apply for any benefits because I wasn’t a UK national, I didn’t have anything for rent or food. It wasn’t legal for me to work. Eventually, the council gave us a house but they wanted me to pay for the rent, the bills but I had no income. I was very depressed. HHUGS were paying for my bills and my rent. I think if HHUGS were not there I wouldn’t be alive right now.”

£500 Empower Your Sister – Develop Independence

Help struggling mothers develop independence through driving lessons, English lessons, educational and vocational courses to help them into employment.

“This new course which HHUGS have paid for will mean I’m working on a self-employed basis, I can do more hours, meaning more money with which I can pay off my debts and just live a reasonable life without having to ask people…that’s the hardest thing about this situation. It’s good for my children to see that their Mum is going to work and providing for the family. I don’t want them to grow up with the mentality that you can sit at home and everything will come to you.”

Deliver Gifts of Joy

£10 Eid presents for a child
£50 for a family

“The children grow up without a father figure, not having what their friends have, not being able to ask their parents for Eid gifts, feeling deprived and inadequate compared to their friends.”

Just as we put together lists of presents for our friends and families, show that little bit of love for the HHUGS’ children this Eid. We all love a thoughtful present and the joy it will bring for the children who get by on so little is a beautiful investment to make.

“Wallahi, it really does make such a difference knowing that we haven’t been forgotten about by everyone. May Allah reward the whole of HHUGS with the best of both worlds, ameen. Honestly, when you are on your own knowing you have someone you can turn to and who is looking out for you is priceless. I can’t describe it.”

£350 Make it a Day to Remember: Host an Eid Extravaganza

Unite isolated families who would otherwise have no plans for the day

HHUGS Eid parties play a crucial part in uniting people who spend Eid alone and without anybody to celebrate with. Your donation will cover the cost of venue hire, catering and activities for children ranging from face-painters, bouncy castles and entertainers for the day. 

“The children felt special after receiving Eid gifts from HHUGS and attending their Eid parties. We finally started to feel more normal, like there were some people who weren’t afraid to associate with us. HHUGS saw us as human beings, not as criminals. They treated us as part of the Ummah.”


Call 0207 733 2104

(weekends: 01189 098 462)

Text RAMD47 £10 to 70070

Bank transfer:
Al Rayan Bank
Sort Code: 30-00-83
Account number: 01269701

Cheques/postal orders
Payable to “HHUGS” and posted to:  HHUGS, Office 36, 88-90 Hatton Garden, London, EC1N 8PN