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Caring for the Neglected


Over the last month and a half, I have received messages about caring for people in our community that have been neglected.  I’m not talking about those who are in need of food and shelter, I’m talking about abused women and foster children.

Do you remember Janelle?  The lady who commented in the “Do You Celebrate Christmas?”  We followed up with her in “Advise for Holiday Struggles”  After reading through all of the comments and suggestions, I too wondered if there was more going on in her life than just a struggle around the holidays.  She seemed to be in a tug and pull situation that had less to do with her religion and more to do with being under the control of someone else.  I’m not passing any judgement here, but when I came across this post yesterday on a Muslim Womens’ Shelter in Maryland.  I thought, I need to share this.

In the Blog 30 Mosques, 30 States, 30 Days, Aman Ali and Bassam Tariq write about their journey during the month of Ramadan, and the people they meet, situations they encounter.  On August 25th, (Day 23-Maryland ‘Battered But Not Beaten’) they wrote about their experience speaking to Asma Hanif, the founder of Al-Nisaa Shelter and some of the women who are currently living and volunteering there.

It might be the only shelter for battered Muslim women in this country. These women’s stories are a painful reminder of why the Muslim community can no longer sweep the issue of domestic violence under the rug.

Inside Islamic Community, people don’t talk about needing Psychological Help, they don’t talk about needing help for Domestic Abuse, and they don’t talk about giving up their children.  Please visit the site Muslimat Al-Nisaa and spread the word.  You might not know what goes on behind closed doors, your friend or acquaintance might feel too ashamed to confide in anyone, but if you’ve shared this information, she might find the strength to ask for help before it’s too late.

The need for strong Muslim Families who are willing to foster Muslim children in their home is growing.  In this article by Invitation-Magazine, they address the topic of Fostering in Islam.

Looking after a child in need or an orphan is an act that is greatly encouraged in Islam.   However there are a lot of misconceptions about the correct practice of fostering according to Islamic principles. This timely article gives the true picture of fostering in Islam, as well as important factors to be taken account in the provision of foster-care for Muslim children…

Just like domestic abuse situations, Muslim foster children are swept under the rug.  The community at large does not take responsibility for them, they don’t like to think about it.  People believe that ‘it can’t happen,’ because Islam is, at its core, a family centered religion.  The focus always goes back to preserving the family and the children, so there can’t possibly be children who are given up or removed from their Muslim parents.  The fact is that Muslim children all over the country are being placed in non-Muslim households, where the foster parents have no idea of the Islamic practices and do little, if nothing to encourage the continuation of religious worship.

Muslim children placed in a non-Muslim foster home will inevitably be subjected to morals and behaviors that may be accepted by the non-Muslim family but not by Muslims.

After some initial research found a great need in the United Kingdom, I found this detailed article published in InFocus News about the need for Muslim Foster Homes in Southern California.  (InFocus News is the largest Muslim newspaper in California with over 25,000 copies in circulation at each printing.)

With the growth of Islam throughout the United States, the need for Muslim Foster Families is rising.  Spread the word.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Anonymous permalink
    08/26/2011 10:35 AM

    As in any religion or culture these issues are always present weather we believe them to be or not. Thank you for providing a vehicle for those in need to find the help they need. Often, by seeing others have the same experience, women then have strength to come forward and be free of the shame to get the help they deserve.

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