Crisis Aid started in 2005 during the Pakistan earthquake when brothers from our local masjid gathered funds and appointed four brothers to purchase urgent needed supplies to get to the most remote parts of Kashmir. The task was difficult but by the permission of Allah they fulfilled the trust that the local masjid had put on them.
From them Crisis Aid remained dormant until the Syrian crisis began in 2011. However Crisis Aid did not get active in aid work again until 2013.
This period of inactivity was a difficult period as we all watched on our screens the atrocities taking place – the oppression, the fleeing of the citizens, the mass murders and killings of men, women and children. Then came the stories and pictures of the camps and the dire circumstances the Syrians were living in. In some cases it was unbearable to even watch or listen to these reports considering the comparative luxurious lives we lead.
Our inactivity was caused by a mixture of distrust in the charities claiming to be working with the Syrian people; procrastination and thinking someone else will be doing something to help, along with being occupied by our own very busy lives. Most of the local community held inside them their anger, frustration and sadness.
This continued until one day one of our trustees was on holiday in Morocco, away from the hustle and bustle of the busy life we have here in the UK. Watching the news every day, he had no choice but to absorb the news and the suffering in Syria. During that period Bashar al Assad bombed an area in southern Syria with chemical weapons. What we saw of the suffering, murder and illegal killing of innocent people dropped us all to our hands and knees in prostration to Allah, the Most High. We asked him to give us the ability to help these poor and oppressed people.
We all know the great reward of helping the poor and the oppressed, so we immediately began consultations and started to research what the scholars of Islam were advising in regards to helping the Syrian cause. Suddenly it all became as clear as day – we found our purpose for the next few years; everything in our lives began to revolve around helping refugees and displaced Syrians.
A Friday sermon in our local masjid was conducted specifically to announce a call to help the poor and needy in Syria. The response was massive and a team quickly developed leading to a meeting that very weekend. – soon we had an objective, a method and resources. We decided to call ourselves Keep Syria Warm (KSW) as the winter was approaching and we were collecting blankets and warm clothing.
Due to our extensive contacts the KSW campaign quickly spread across the country with many people ready to offer their help. There was great sentiment and compassion for the people of Syria. From 2013 to 2014 we quickly filled over 100 containers nationwide with food, clothes, blankets and other items. We travelled to Turkey and Syria ourselves and we distributed the aid all the while assuring the aid was being delivered to those who needed it the most by our partners on the ground.
In June 2014 we decided to fade out the KSW campaign and register our old charity Crisis Aid. To this date we continue our work with a view to expanding the charity to help all those that are in need around the world.
- To support the victims of poverty, disaster, war and oppression around the world.
- We believe in equality, dignity and freedom for all, regardless of faith or nationality.
- To apply our skills and experience at the time of crisis to all who are in need.
- To be on the ground ourselves delivering aid and support wherever possible.
Crisis Aid believes that in order to achieve our mission and vision, we need to ensure that our work has the greatest impact. We need to be accountable first and foremost to Allah, Lord of the worlds. For He is recording all that we do and He will hold us to account. In that regard we fear Allah as much as we can and conform to teachings in the Qur’an and Sunnah of the Prophet (pbuh). Thereafter we are accountable to the UK charity commissions and finally our stakeholders who are our donors and trustees. We are working towards improved transparency, information sharing and better evaluation.