Single mum who fell into depression bounced back to raise her five children

Stories of Asnaf: Afflicted with health and personal problems, she doesn’t let these issues get the better of her.
by Zakat.SG 2020-02-03 • 4 min read
A one-stop portal on all things Zakat in Singapore
2020-02-03 • 4 min read


Not all heroes wear capes. Some are simply dressed in T-shirts and jeans and have families and problems just like we do; if not more. Madam Aminah (not her real name),  a mother of five, is also an entrepreneur and above all, an inspiration. She shared with us how her life turned around for the better when she needed it most.


Suffered health and financial problems


Madam Aminah has been afflicted with health problems for over ten years to the point that she was declared unfit for work. She was diagnosed with rheumatism and spinal problems, which prevented her from walking long distances and standing for extended periods of time.


It was even more unfortunate that she had to face these issues alone. In 2002, Madam Aminah underwent a divorce from her husband. She then lives in a rental flat with her five children.


Following these tribulations, Madam Aminah found herself unable to financially support her children’s education or pay her own hospital bills.


“At times, my children did not attend school because we did not have enough money for their travel fares to school,” said 42-year-old Madam Aminah.


As a result, Madam Aminah fell into depression and had to undergo treatment at the Institute of Mental Health (IMH).


Bounced back up to support her children


Despite everything, Madam Aminah never gave up hope. She refused to allow her circumstances to stop her from building a livelihood adequate to support herself and her five children.


“No matter what, I wanted my children to have an education,” she explained.


In 2012, after making an appeal, Madam Aminah successfully received the aid of Zakat from a nearby mosque.


Independent again


“Alhamdulillah, I was able to use the money that I received for my children’s school expenditures,” she said.


With her adopted sister’s encouragement, Madam Aminah used a small amount of money from the distribution of the Ramadan Zakat Bonus to kickstart a small business selling snacks and Malay desserts.


“I’m grateful that I’m finally able to become independent again,” she said.


It is heartening to know that Madam Aminah and her family are in a much better place in their lives than before. May they continue along the path of success.




Eight Asnaf

Madam Aminah’s family falls in two of the categories of 8 asnaf who have rights over Zakat – asnaf fakir and miskin.


Asnaf Fakir and Miskin refers to one who has insufficient means of livelihood to meet his or her basic needs and the Zakat disbursement includes monthly financial assistance, special assistance during Ramadan, and supportive programme grants.



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(This article was first published in 2018 on



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