While in Istanbul, we witnessed a remarkable display of brotherhood of Islam. Everyday, there were scores of public iftars organized by officials of various districts in the city, starting with the mayor of Istanbul.
While in Istanbul, we witnessed a remarkable display of brotherhood of Islam. Everyday, there were scores of public iftars organized by officials of various districts in the city, starting with the mayor of Istanbul. Free iftar was provided for about 50,000 people everyday.
Contrast this with the attitude of the elite in Pakistan who organize iftar parties at five-star hotels for their friends, few if any ever fast yet they all attend such parties eagerly. The poor in Pakistan starve and are only sheltered by the Sun, their plight made worse by the floods.
In Turkey, even more remarkable — and touching — was the care and concern expressed by the common people toward Pakistan’s flood victims. In addition to the government’s own contribution, on Friday August 27, a train carrying 450 tonnes of food and other relief goods left Istanbul station for Pakistan. It will reach there in about two weeks.
Also on Friday August 27, at every masjid in Turkey, Jumu‘ah Khutbah was about the plight of Pakistani flood victims. Volunteers appealed for donations holding boxes at mosque entrances. The Mufti of Istanbul informed us that the Turkish people had donated more than $40 million through such appeals.
It is such acts of compassion that reflect the unity of the Ummah, not meetings between government officials most of whom go through the rituals and indulge in vacuous rhetoric but do little practically to alleviate the suffering of the people — their own or others.