Turkey Travels: Journey of Sadaqah, Gratitude and Servitude





On Sadaqah the Messenger of Allaah  (saw)said:

‘Treat your sick by giving Sadaqah (charity).’


[Collected in Saheeh al-Jamia’ No. 3358 & declared Hasan by Albaani]

Dear Readers,

Turkey Travels: Journey of Sadaqah, Gratitude and Servitude. This year I once again embarked on a journey of  many miles to the land of civilization, to the centre of world heritage, Turkey. We call it a journey of Sadaqah and giving.




My journey to Turkey last year was one of a kind and since then, it has been a work in progress, you can read more about our work here.


I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for expressing interest and concern in terms of care, compassion, kind heartedness on the displaced Syrian children residing in Turkey and most importantly on the sadqah to meet the needs of these tender souls.


Every day, we hear of Syria, her state and a battle field. They are all over the news. Every bulletin, news panorama and current affairs. The country crumbles and falls in pieces every day. Not to forget the torments of desperate emigration – all have spawned morbid emblems of their own. Syrians living inside Syria are subject to bombings and attacks.  Mass killings and disappearances, industrial-scale torture and sexual abuse, gruesome staged executions, starvation tactics, the continued use of chemical weapons, napalm, cluster and barrel bombs, sleeping at night and never sure of waking up, strolling down the streets and never sure of returning.


Curing Eating Disorder with Sadaqah


Many people who have suffered from eating disorders and have tried many prescriptions but wouldn’t have peace and total recovery have tried the use of Sadqah. Reaching the less privileged and/or the dispersed like in the case of these Syrians and many others who would be praying and hoping for their prayers of help reach Allah could be both fun and healing to the soul and the peace of Allah will come visiting afterwards freeing them from eating disorders as a way to heal from their Eating Disorder.

Allah says in the Holy Qur’an that:

“Allah removes what He wishes and establishes what He wishes, for He has the Mother of Books”.

(Sura ar-Ra‘ad, 13: 39)


This year we donated our sadaqah to Syrian Orphans in Turkey. I left UK with gifts, clothes and money, and Alhamdulilah it turned into a journey of learning and wisdom, great experience and confirmation.



‘There is no person who is afflicted with a wound on his body, and he gives charity due to that, then Allaah expiates from him the like of what he gave in charity’

(Prophet Muhammad saaw)

In Turkey



My First Stop Was Istanbul and Meeting Sister Leyla. You can read more about this fantastic lady here.






We discussed Eating Disorders and their effect on our society. We also talked about how best to get our message across to masses living inside Turkey.

ed-turkey22 edturkey22


I visited her office in Fateh, our aim was to distribute donations and other goods to Syrian Orphan families inside Istanbul and send some donations to Orphan families inside the remote areas of Syria.






Ibn Abbas never forgot to say that the Prophet said:

 Any Muslim who gives a Muslim a garment to wear will be in Allah’s safekeeping as long as a shred of it remains on him.

(Ahmad, Tirmidhi)

To Reyhanali

The next Day I flew to Reyhanli to participate in Watanali Project.





And if anyone saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of all mankind.

Traveling to Reyhanli was a challenge. There was underlying fear of being stopped and being put under a scrutiny by security forces. Sometimes a simple act of giving can turn into an act of doubt.



The aim of this travel to Reyhanli was to participate in Watanili’s project to help Syrian Refugee Children.



All citizens should be empowered to realise their potential regardless of religion, gender, age and ethnicity. We believe that we can bring about positive change through civil society activities, as well as uncovering our creativity in the field of arts and culture.

I can never forget our drive from Gaziantep to Reyhanli. It was a journey filled with nerves and lots of sugar consumption. We were all trying our level best to stay calm. I can never thank God enough for the safe journey we had.




Waking up in the hotel room, I gazed through the window to see the rugged beauty of this city very close to the Syrian border.




In hotel lobby, it was an experience meeting other volunteers from Italy to Germany to USA to Portugal and sharing the blessed meal of the day with them.

Watanili grandly welcomes volunteers coming from every corner of the world.  The project provides a space for cultural expression where children are empowered to express themselves through the arts and humanities.


watanalimarkaz watanalilights

Volunteering and Serving Humanity are great virtues that help us achieve and attain progress and living after the tenets and instructions of true Islam i.e. peace. This experience was filled with light. Children are the light of God. Being with them was a true blessing. Pictures speak thousands of words.


watanali-34 watanali-3333h  watanali-hospital watanali-school



If you want to help with Watnili Project or send your Sadaqah to them, then please contact them here. Or Email them syria@watanili.com


Download their Inspiring Story Book Here



Next Stop in Reyhanli was a visit to Dar Al Afia- a Rehabilitation centre for injured Syrians


This visit will always stay with me.


What can you imagine of young men in their prime youth shot aimlessly with an unadulterated expectation to incapacitate them? They are neither dead nor alive, and they’re causalities of war and ghastliness. These were the men I saw in Reyhanli, more youthful than my siblings, gazing with discharge eyes at the roof sitting tight for the torment to go from their amputated bodies. It’s tragic to see individuals experiencing such injury, such enduring. How much pains have these people gone through?


The Dar al Afia hosts injured escapees Syrians from both nations of Syria and Turkey. What touched my heart most about this place was the way it was working in an unmarked building in a ground floor of a residential area. Nobody knew such places existed, just few knew about this. The house comprises of 4 rooms, a corridor, stockroom, kitchen and lavatory. 




The simple aim is to give a place to healing for these casualties of war, to make them feel enabled, to make them feel they can recuperate here. Dar Al-Afia is not owned by any military faction or political, governmental organization. Rather, set up by vary many volunteers who seek and crave to make our world a better place for living. It is difficult and it requires very hard work from volunteer to get this going. Here in this inside, a few men would cook and bolster these men, giving support to their body. The house currently depends on the personal expenses from patients due to the lack in the financial and medical support. Accounts are exceptionally constrained. From what I know so well the centre is in dire need of medical supplies, blankets, heater, water cooler wheel chairs, crutches, blood pressure measurement device, blood sugar measurement device, Spray devices, oxygen generating device, 3 electrical bed or manual, paralyzed chairs, medicines, band aids, disinfectants and other essentials. We are trying to raise some funds in Pakistan to help them. It’s not about money but about showing these people that we care. We the rest of world we watch and we extend our care to them according the dictates and commandments of Allah.


You are also welcome, if you want to help, then please get in touch with them, sending a box of paracetamol, a band aid will go a long way. Every Little Helps. You can also donate your Sadaqah to Dar al Afia.


Please Contact Dar al Afia :

Email : house.wellness.2011@gmail.com

Facebook : house.wellness.2011

icon-telephonephone : 00905395961088



After leaving Riyhanli I did wonder if it is possible to heal the trauma of war.  Syrians don’t need more people lecturing them on what their future should be and how they should behave.  We should keep in mind that the war and similar experiences can cause severe psychological damage.


img_20151117_144239612_hdr  img_20151117_150544715_hdr

“War and savagery can bring about imperceptible wounds. The waiting impacts of war on the brain can keep going long after the battling closes. The significance of medicine at war is to spare lives and to re-establish plan to those damaged in war”.



Importance of Helping the Needy -A Tool for Healing and Recovery from Eating Disorder- Give Sadaqah



 Back in Istanbul, we carried on. I went back to Sister Leyla, so we could visit some Syrian families residing in Istanbul.

little-muhammad cat



Turkey is caring for nearly 3 million refugees from Syria. Millions of Syrians of all stripes have incurred massive psychological damage, self-doubt and depression. As this trauma deepens and protracts, Syrians grow ever more isolated and alienated — from one another and from people around them.

‘’Shaheed! Shaheed!! Shaheed!!!’’ (Martyred, Martyred, Martyred)

This was wailing this was the shout of widows of war, orphans of Syria and some remnants of families.

“My father is Shaheed”

“My son is Shaheed”


That’s what I heard from these people. Imagine the very many stories that are gone and untold, many generations that must have been wiped off the surface of the earth.


All I can say is the situation in Istanbul has gotten worst. You don’t know how to give hope to these broken souls. The worsening financial climate, recession and trauma of war is just too much. For many of them even smiling has become an act of hardship. They can’t seem to break away from the plight they’ve suffered and are continuing to suffer.


Miracles Happen


Here I saw a miracle happen in Little Muhammad’s Family.



Can you imagine your hometown lying in chaos? Can you imagine this neighbourhood under siege, under bombing? Can you imagine airstrikes every day?  The grocery store down the street is suddenly destroyed, your friends are fleeing, and you watch a family of seven be reduced to two? Each day, ambulances and vehicles arrive to drag away piles of dead bodies. You can barely walk without perceiving the odour of flesh, blood and bodies shattered from the destruction and effects of bombardment, when medical assistance is required but isn’t found.

These are the experiences and scenarios of the scene in Aleppo Syria currently. This has been the scene since 2010.

Little Muhammad. You can read more about his courage here. Two years ago, he came to Istanbul. In Aleppo one night, our little Muhammad lost up to 7 members of his family. By the time he was awake he realized that his life had taken an unimaginable turn. He had lost both his legs. His father carried him from Aleppo to Istanbul. In Istanbul he went through many operations. Alone the bereaved father didn’t know what to do. Sister Leyla became a sister to him. At night time nightmares would haunt both father and son. He married Marwa, a young lady who had come to Istanbul from Aleppo. The war had killed her father. She became a patient and loving wife and mother to this family. Little Muhammad’s father suffered four heart attacks. He’s on heart medication for life time now. He can no longer work. It’s a sad plight. Their rent is 1000 TL which is paid by a kind Turkish lady. Sister Leyla also helps in so many ways.

On 19th November this year, Allah blessed little Muhammad with a little Rehmat, a baby sister. Day before, sister Leyla and I were in Eyup Sultan. According to the words of Sufi Poetess Nai’mah Ismail Nawwab, she qualifies and personifies the Eyup Sultan as a Medina of Istanbul.

eyups eyup45

On return to sister Leyla’s house; she said,

‘Maha I’m so tired, tonight I’m going to sleep and not wake up till Duhr Afternoon prayer time’’.

turkey-journey-5 turkey-journey-8

We had gotten home from Fateh Istanbul after a two hour sitting in the commuter. We were exhausted. We were having our supper when we received a phone call from Muhammad’s father.




He was requesting Sister Leyla to come to the hospital. At midnight she went to hospital. The baby’s heart had stopped. But miracles happen and this little angel came back with a graceful body into our world.




The restoration of happiness became imminent and joy came to the faces of this family. Something I’ll never forget.


Sister Leyla is indeed one of the blessings in Turkey. She’s a woman of great strength and courage and I’ve learnt so much from her. She’s taught me about patience, gratitude and servitude to humanity.

hospital-visit  nuday-syria


Allah is Self-Sufficient: it is you who are the needy. If you turn away, Allah will replace you by another people, and they will not be like you.

Quran 47:38



 (O Prophet!) Tell those of My servants who believe that they should establish Prayer and spend out of what We have provided them with, both secretly and openly, before there arrives the Day when there will be no bargaining, nor any mutual befriending.


(Qur’an 14:31)

If you want to donate your Sadaqah to NuDay Syria, then please click here.


The flame of love is the light of Heaven that illuminates the soul. The most ardent passion of human heart that has been from inception, ever since the creation of this world.

Flying to Pakistan, my homeland was hard. For days I roamed the streets of my neighbourhood ensuring all was safe and sound and no bombs were being dropped. All I know is that life is about giving and serving. We need to break free from the Demon of Eating Disorder and go out there to serve and help bring some relief to people. Helping others is connected to a believer’s worship of God and the requests that are granted afterwards.


One hadith in particular that underscores this message comes from a collection called An-Nawawi:

Whosoever removes a worldly grief from a believer, Allah will remove from him one of the griefs of the Day of Judgment. Whosoever alleviates [the lot of]a needy person, Allah will alleviate [his lot]in this world and the next. Whosoever shields a Muslim, Allah will shield him in this world and the next. Allah will aid a slave [of His]so long as the slave aids his brother. Whosoever follows a path to seek knowledge therein, Allah will make easy for him a path to Paradise. No people gather together in one of the houses of Allah, reciting the Book of Allah and studying it among themselves, but tranquillity and peace descends upon them, mercy envelopes them, the angels surround them, and Allah makes mention of them amongst those who are with Him. And whosoever is slowed down by his actions will not be hastened The best lesson that got back home with me is about appreciation. We people gripe an excess of and this makes practically every one lives far from appreciation.

Lesson in Shikwa

Have you ever thought how much Shikwa (Persian word for complaining) we do? Individuals react differently to their evolving mitigating circumstances. When we complain, we are continually discussing certain parts of our lives that we are not happy with. In the wake of faulting other individuals, themselves, and destiny, they in the end blame Allah.  The association with God that you used to love does not appear to be consoling any longer. You have a feeling that your conviction has broken. You feel like the world has plotted against you and consider Allāh in charge of that mischief, incidentally oblivious to the truth that burdens and disasters come upon everyone, even the prophets. We fail to remember or recall that we are honored with in-numerous blessings.

Allah hears every unspoken word, sees every unseen wound and mends every unbearable pain.




Allāh has effectively composed our story and the plots in our lives. In any case, that does not mean we will like it. That is the reason iman is amazingly key to clutch. Appreciation is must.  This is the first step towards being thankful to Allah and people around you. Stop complaining about the economy, weather, politicians, traffic, or ‘the system’. Refrain from blaming your Masjid, Imams, parents, spouse, in-laws, children, or boss. If you think with an open mind, you may find more positives in your circumstances and the people around you than negatives. We’ve begun a Daily Gratitude posts on our Instagram. I don’t have adequate words to express gratitude toward God for every one of His gifts. These ventures and voyages have made me thankful for every single second of life.


A Great Exercise in Gratitude and Healing

Spend 15 minutes daily to think about things that you should be thankful for: Recall people in your life, whom you may have taken for granted like your parents, spouse, children, co-worker, or teacher, who were caring and loving.List some of Allah’s gifts that are not tangible or were not obvious to you before. Sulayman, a follower of the Prophet’s Companions, once said: “Remembering His blessings makes one love Allah.”This simple mental exercise not only makes you a grateful person, but also a healthy one. According to a 2001 research bythe Institute for Research on Unlimited Love (IRUL), based in Ohio, just 15 minutes a day focusing on the things you are grateful for will significantly increase your body’s natural antibodies, will make you less vulnerable to clinical depression, and will keep your blood pressure and heart rate stable.

Thanks to you all who had put one thing or the other to make the mission a possibility and the journey to Turkey a reality. Thank you for your prayers for my safety and well-being.


Charity/Sadaqah removes illness!

The author of the book Najafiyat, Sheikh Ali Dakheel relates that Al Haj Abdul Husayn Abu Reeha related to him that Al Haj Rasheed Roomaani who was a Syrian businessman once became extremely sick. His family had surrounded him with despair, crying for him.

The sick man asked his family whether they wished him to be well. They admitted eagerly that that was their hearts desire. Well he asked them to give all the food and grains stored in the house as charity. Shortly after he recovered and is said to have lived up to the age of 130 years.

Indeed the Holy Prophet Muhammad (S) says: “Cure your sickness with charity.”



About Author

Islam and Eating Disorders founded in 2012 – run by Maha Khan, the blog creates awareness of Eating Disorders in the Muslim world, offers information and support for sufferers and their loved ones.


Leave A Reply