What Feeding Refugees During Ramadan Taught 4 Asatizah from Asatizah Youth Network (AYN)

Let's learn from our asatizah (religious teachers) as they share their unique experiences on empathy and solidarity while performing humanitarian duties during the fasting month.
by Nuratika Ramli 2024-04-24 • 12 min read
Contributor to Muslim.Sg, a Muslim lifestyle platform to deepen understanding of faith.
2024-04-24 • 12 min read

In the hustle and bustle of Ramadan in Singapore, buzzing with vibrant bazaars and mosques brimming with activities such as congregational sunnah prayers, our dedicated group of asatizah (religious teachers) from Asatizah Youth Network (AYN) went the extra mile to provide assistance beyond our shores to those who need it.

Within the first week of Ramadan, Ustaz Fizar, Ustazah Amalina, Ustazah Nadia and Ustazah Shameem departed from Singapore to Amman, Jordan, to provide humanitarian aid to refugees camped in Jordan for a Ramadan relief project – a project started by Ustaz Fizar in 2021. It has since blossomed to provide aid to refugees in countries facing hardship and shortage of food, such as Yemen, Northern Syria, and most recently, Palestinians in Gaza.

Humanitarian relief efforts at a refugee camp Screengrab from @fzservices

Behind-The-Scenes of A Humanitarian Mission

In a special Instagram Live video with Muslim.Sg’s Editor-in-Chief, Alia Abdullah, the atmosphere was energetic yet harmonious as the entire team, including cooks, packers, and transporters, worked together efficiently to set up a smooth food distribution process. They carefully cooked and packed the food, as well as hand-delivered it on the same day for iftar (breaking fast) to refugees in a camp in Jordan. The meals were sponsored by fellow Singaporeans from all walks of life.


A post shared by Muslim.Sg (@muslim.sg)

Viewers were brought on a digital stroll through the kitchen with pots and pans of nasi mandi for the adults while pasta was prepared for the children, a commendable feat cooking for a camp of 400 adults and 200 children within one day. The pasta was an idea by Ustazah Shameem to provide food that the kids would love. Beyond meals, the team also came together to pack goodie bags with items from Singapore to give to the children.

AYN and volunteers packing goodie bags for childrenAYN and the rest of The Warmth of Mercy team packing goodie bags for the children. Photo credit: Ustazah Amalina

AYN and volunteers in Jordan a team effort from planning to distribution of mealsAYN, the rest of The Warmth of Mercy team and volunteers in Jordan, a team effort from planning to distribution of meals. Photo credit: Ustazah Amalina

“This is something very heartwarming, especially when we have a lot of asatizah on the ground, (and) especially four AYN members on the ground”, chimed Ustaz Fizar excitedly.

AYN asatizah humanitarian group photo

It was no mean feat overseeing the distribution of food for two days in Jordan before embarking on a journey to Baitul Maqdis the next day to continue their humanitarian work before flying back home to Singapore, all within a span of about eight days while fasting. The team also had a wonderful opportunity to iftar with the refugees in their tents while listening first-hand to their stories.

AYN and volunteers in a refugee camp in JordanAYN and the rest of The Warmth of Mercy team in a refugee camp in Jordan. Photo credit: Ustazah Amalina

At the time of this article’s publication, the Ramadan relief project had disbursed more than 15,000 meals during the sacred month in countries such as Northern Syria and Gaza, Palestine.

Asatizah and volunteers packing meals to be hand-delivered to refugees in JordanAsatizah and volunteers packing meals to be hand-delivered to refugees in Jordan. Photo credit: Ustazah Amalina.

Warmth of Mercy roving kitchen in Gaza Palestine The team’s roving kitchen in Gaza, Palestine. Photo credit: Ustazah Amalina.

For Ustazah Amalina, this was her second humanitarian trip, with her first being with Ustaz Fizar and Ustazah Shameem as well. Sharing a poignant experience from the trips, Ustazah Amalina said, “No matter how little they have, even in the month of Ramadan, they really embrace you and give you the most genuine smile, the most genuine conversations.” To her, it is a rare opportunity to embark on such a trip and be able to represent not only asatizah on the ground but also the youth. She hopes to see more youths be a part of such humanitarian missions

AYN Asatizah Humanitarian relief effortsLeft: Humanitarian efforts for Syrian refugees in February. Right: Distributing goodie bags to children at a refugee camp in Jordan in March. Both photos courtesy of Ustazah Amalina.

The Power of Dua

On feeling a sense of helplessness as people in Singapore are exposed to videos of others suffering and starving, Ustazah Nadia shared, “If you are feeling that way, know that you are not alone. All of us are deeply affected by what is happening around the world.” 

Ustaz Fizar playing a game of ball with children at a refugee campUstaz Fizar playing a game of ball with children at a refugee camp. Screengrab from @nadia.hanim.ar

She urged that although we might not be able to physically help, we can still make dua (supplication) to help ease their suffering. Dua is a powerful tool and Ustazah Nadia echoed this sentiment through a hadith by Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. in which he said, “Dua is an act of worship” (Sunan At-Tirmizi).
Beyond making dua, Ustazah Nadia also mentioned other ways we can help through monetary contributions to credible and trustworthy organisations with a proven track record, such as Rahmatan Lil Alamin (RLAF)

Remember to Also Help Our Own Locals

While much focus has been on helping our brothers and sisters suffering in those countries, we must also not neglect our own locals and community in Singapore who are in need as well. Ustazah Nadia reiterated, “As much as you wish to help everyone around the world, we do not forget our own.”

You can do your best within your own capacity by considering giving food or simply checking in on someone near you. By helping others, even in the smallest of acts, we realise we actually hold power in our hands and that there is always something right and charitable to be done. 

Ustazah Shameem added, “We are just tools and Allah s.w.t. sent us here (Jordan) to represent all of you there (in Singapore). So, we bring all of you here in our hearts.” She reminded viewers that we should focus on the things we can do rather than the things we cannot do. Every deed that we do, even the tiniest amount, is significant for Allah s.w.t. 

Ustazah Shameem stirring a pot of food for a humanitarian reliefUstazah Shameem stirring a pot of food. Screengrab from @shameemsultanah

Ustazah Shameem also shared a hadith of a lady with two daughters, who was given three dates by Aisyah r.a:

“A woman entered upon Aisyah with her two daughters, and she gave her three dates. (The woman) gave each of her daughters a date, then she split the last one between them. She (Aisyah r.a) said: 'Then the Prophet s.a.w. came, and I told him about that.' He said: 'Why are you surprised? She will enter Paradise because of that.'”

(Sunan Ibn Majah)

This hadith exemplifies that our deeds are not judged by grandeur but by sincerity. The smallest of deeds, such as making a child happy, sharing meals, or helping to carry groceries, can be the reason you attain Allah’s blessings. So, when Allah s.w.t. blesses us abundantly and financially, we raise our standard of giving more than our standard of living.

Asatizah preparing bukhari riceScreengrab from @nadia.hanim.ar

All four AYN members on the humanitarian trip in Jordan spoke highly of the support given by their family, friends and the community. They humbly acknowledged that without the blessings of their loved ones, this humanitarian trip would not be possible. 

Ustaz Fizar added that this humanitarian trip was impactful with the presence of female asatizah, which saw more communication and encouragement as children at the refugee camps were open to interacting with them, whom they see as motherly figures. 

Female asatizah with children at a refugee campPhoto credit: Ustazah Amalina


All good deeds, big or small, are treasured in the eyes of Allah s.w.t. Ustazah Nadia shared an excerpt from her online post, “We strive to perform even the smallest acts, with pure intentions, and for the sake of pleasing Allah. And these acts are treasured in His sight. So, do not underestimate the power of the smallest of deeds, as they can have profound consequences and contribute to making the world a better place. The world is never an ideal place for us, but at least we want to be a part of making it bearable for us to live in it until the day we return to Allah s.w.t.”

At the back of their humanitarian shirt by Ustaz Fizar is a hadith in which Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. said,

خَيْرُ النَّاسِ أَنْفَعُهُمْ لِلنَّاسِ
“The best of people are those that bring the most benefit to humankind.”

(Sahih Ibn Hibban)

AYN Humanitarian relief shirtPhoto credit:Ustazah Amalina

May we embody our asatizah’s resilience, determination and kindness to spread warmth and happiness to others around us. We dua that Allah s.w.t. grants them ease in everything they do and rewards them for every step they take. Amin.

And Allah knows best.

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