Four Decembers ago, Allah gifted us the opportunity to distribute a few punnets of food in Manenberg.
Allah! What a heartbreaking experience that was.
Realizing the need, we made the intention of distributing food there monthly in the hope of bringing some relief to the people living there.
But I also had a bigger niyyah, to teach my then nine month old daughter, Amatullah, that there are people worse off than ourselves. And though our challenges were tough, there were people who were facing greater challenges than what we were.
For those who don’t know, Amatullah had a rare skin disorder called Epidermolysis Bullosa, which basically meant that she could blister or lose skin easily due to her lacking the anchoring protein that keeps the layers of our skin together.
I wanted her to acknowledge her challenges, but also to know that there are people worse off, who haven’t eaten in days and who didn’t know when next they’d have another meal. I wanted her to know that Allah tests us all differently, and that every challenge was meant to bring us closer to Him. I wanted her to live with the knowledge that though our challenges seemed more difficult, that we should never undermine the circumstances of another.
I didn’t know how we were going to do it, or whether or not we’d be able to maintain monthly food distributions, but I wanted to raise my daughter to be grateful for whatever circumstances Allah gifted us with.
I didn’t know how we were going to do, but then in an impromptu meeting with Aunty Yasmin, she told me that some people were so moved by our feedback of the mini distribution that they were considering doing it monthly.
Our Du’as had been answered. Allah facilitated a way. And so Mission Manenberg was born. 💓
December 2015 she experienced her first MM distribution, and December 2018 she experienced her last.
Mission Manenberg gave us an opportunity to introduce her to the life of others. It gave us the opportunity to discuss Allah’s gifts, and how he gifts everyone differently. It gave us the opportunity to discuss elements of gratitude and to aid us in forming lasting bonds with others that will, insha-Allah, benefit us in Hereafter.
Mission Manenberg started with a niyyah and no means, and through the barakah of people coming together and making mashurah, it grew to be faaar beyond our expectations.
Our Amatullah has departed from her earthly abode, but her memory and legacy remains.