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Dear Friend of Ihsan,

Assalamualaikum !

Of all the videos that I have watched on the mudslides in Sierra Leone, the one below has had the biggest impact on me.

These people were traveling on what was probably a minibus when all of a sudden they found themselves trapped by a flow of water whose apparent mission was to drag the vehicle and its passengers into a gaping hole of death.

No ambulances could be summoned, no fire fighters, and certainly no helicopter to snatch the hapless passengers from instant death.

But people rushed to the scene with ropes, a few ropes, to pull out the passengers, one at a time.

We have been taught that sabr/patience is one of the greatest qualities that a Muslim can have.

Watching this video, I wonder how the passengers managed not to panic, how they resisted the temptation to jump out. Also, I wonder how they managed not to push and shove. How did each one manage to wait for his or her turn, and not focus solely on his or her individual survival at the fateful moment?

And what would have happened had they panicked or displayed selfishness?

I also wonder at the rescuers, at their lack of means, their poverty and their resolve to keep saving lives until the worst happened. I wonder at the magnanimity of their souls.

Above all, I ask, “Who held the van, and prevented it from being instantly swallowed by the monster hole?”

I have asked a field worker to find out what happened to that van and its passengers, the end of that drama. Perhaps he will even find one of the survivors, who will have an extraordinary story to tell

I will let you know when I find out, beiznillah

Meanwhile, I want to thank all of you who have generously reached out to help us help the victims of the mudslides. The rains are still pouring down. The survivors, many of whom have lost family members, their homes and all their belongings, need mattresses, blankets, flashlights, food, and above all to know that people care.

Today we have launched a crowdfunding campaign.!/

Please share this message and link with friends, family members, coworkers, Charities, and in social media.

Let us join the rescuers in the video in responding to the best of our abilities to this human tribulation, Allah’s invitation to us to be the best that we can be in these very special days of grace.

May Allah reward you

Ahmed Bangura

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