Raised of £800,000 target
we sit and stare
At that forlorn
and empty chair,
Your place of rest
before that fateful day,
When you were taken,
leaving us in disarray
This year, my husband,
your empty chair
Joins meagre meals
and deep despair.
My head conjuring up
your presence again
Alone in this household
I struggle to maintain
This iftar, Daddy,
I need you in your chair
Growing up, a girl yearns
for her father there.
Bullied and broken,
your advice I long to hear
I’m lost searching for
the love once held so near.
I wish you knew, Abi,
I kept my first fast, called the adhan,
Even this meal with Mama
I helped prepare!
So many things I can’t tell
your empty chair.
This year, my ageing eyes
can barely look, my son.
Will I see you free again
before my life is done?
Within the hollow
of your empty chair,
I raise my frail hands
in ever-desperate prayer.
When we gather for iftar,
this and every year,
Show a family that your love
remains forever near.
Though their cherished father
we can’t replace,
Take a seat at their table,
to help fill his empty place.
Life, as they once knew it, is hollowed out
entirely now the main breadwinner is
While the dates at the table promise to be sweet, the arrival of Ramadan is often bitterly painful for vulnerable and isolated families.
As Maghrib descends, families gather together at the table, yet each nurse their separate, unspoken traumas inside. Their plates are half full, but their hearts entirely empty. Children’s voices crack with emotion as they call the adhan, longing to witness their father’s pride at their efforts this season. Mothers, crippling under financial strain, slowly stir the pot, worrying what their husbands are eating.
Elderly parents - already weakened with age – lose their appetite altogether, questioning whether they will live to see another Ramadhan with their beloved sons. This Ramadhan, it’s not just the food that doesn’t taste the same, but his vacant place in the family leaves less to savour.
As we welcome the beloved guest of Ramadan into our homes, the empty chair reminds HHUGS families more acutely of the cherished guest missing at their iftar table.
This Ramadhan, you can fill not only their empty plates, but the void in their broken hearts.
You can help support single women, crippling under financial strain, struggling with escalating bills, spiralling debt, and rising food expenses. Support young children who- in the absence of a father- struggle to navigate the pains of adolescence, often dealing with being ostracised and isolated too. For families in despair, a single glance at that empty chair can flood them with grief. Revive hope in the hearts of a family aching with loss. Fill the emptiness in their hearts and at their tables this Ramadhan.
Take a seat at their iftar table this Ramadhan. Fill the void in their hearts, one table at a time.
Eid gift, or a Ramadhan Gift Box for the whole family (£35)
Restore joy to the celebration of Eid with gifts of clothes, toys and treats. The absence of a father can taint the days of celebration for many HHUGS families. In households where food is scarce, gifts and new clothes are considered a luxury out of reach. You can deliver much-needed delight to a child through a gift voucher for Eid, giving families the independence to choose a gift according to the child’s age and interests. You can also provide a Ramadhan Gift Box to delight the whole family. Though their father may be absent that day, your gift can show them how cherished they still are.
“On Eid they sent us a box of gifts which had little presents and Surayah was so happy, I cannot express what her happiness did for me. She was asking, ‘Who is HHUGS?’ and I said, ‘they are our helpers in Islam.’”
Unite a separated family this Eid, by enabling a prison-visit
While absent in the home, prison visits are the only opportunity for families to spend quality time in their loved one’s company. These trips are not always easy, however. The average UK prison visit is a 120-mile round-trip. For an elderly parent in poor health, or a single mother with small children, mobility constraints and the high cost of travelling to a remote location, make prison visits impossible. As a time of family and togetherness, Ramadhan makes the pain harder to bear for the families of prisoners. Following two years of lockdowns where prison visits were suspended for the most part, these trips have renewed hope in the hearts once again for families. This Ramadhan and Eid, a brief reunion can fill the yearning of their hearts and strengthen their resolve to carry on.
“When your husband is no longer in your daily life, you really look forward to that one visit. My son would ask me, ‘how many more sleeps until we see him?’ […] I remember saying, ‘how is anyone going to take us?!’ –but these volunteers, who had their own families to deal with, actually took us all the way up north on Eid. I was so grateful to them for their generosity.”
Essential counselling £50 per session
Bearing the loss of your father and husband in dramatic circumstances cannot be underestimated. Women and children have often witnessed traumatic raids, followed by the struggle to survive through poverty and isolation. This harms the emotional wellbeing of a prisoner’s family. Children, bullied at school, often bear shame and anxiety, while their mothers barely cope with the burden of caring for a family alone. As for a prisoner’s elderly parent, fear and isolation cause depression that can fast escalate. With past lockdowns compounding feelings of isolation, the pandemic has further exacerbated poor mental health in HHUGS households. This Ramadhan and Eid, there remains a huge void to fill. However, with the right support, the essential emotional healing can start today.
"The therapy and the counselling has provided me a safe space to speak to someone, without fear of any judgement, knowing that it’s safe, secure and private. That is the most fulfilling and most comforting thing to have – to know that whatever you feel and you’re struggling with, that there’s someone you can offload to who is a professional, that understands how the mind works. It has changed my life so much and I am grateful that I have that. Alhamdulillah for HHUGS providing me with that safety net.”
Feed a family for a month £250, or a food pack £50
Losing the main breadwinner in the home means that it is not only just the plates that often remain half-filled. Gone too is the security of adequate nutrition for the children, the guarantee of regular wholesome food and a pared down iftar, relying solely on the bare necessities. With bank accounts frozen and benefits withheld or delayed, HHUGS families often struggle to feed their children. With soaring food costs and uncertain work opportunities due to the ongoing pandemic, families are struggling more than ever. They won’t be looking forward to iftar the same way we will, this Ramadhan. The gift of food vouchers can fill that void, providing families with nutritious food to break their fasts with throughout the month.
“I couldn’t apply for any benefits because I wasn’t a UK national. It wasn’t legal for me to work. I had no income. I was very depressed. HHUGS paid for my bills, my rent, my food. I think if HHUGS were not there I wouldn’t be alive right now.”
Connect the isolated with Eid gatherings and family events
No one deserves to be left alone in times of hardship, even moreso in the month of Ramadhan. Yet this is the reality families of prisoners live with, day in and day out. Often presumed guilty by association, they are ostracised by their own communities, and face harassment. This Ramadhan and Eid, when other families come together, the wives, children and elderly parents of prisoners will be feeling that emptiness more intensely than ever. You can step in and fill the emptiness inside with the sweet embrace of a community that cares. With your support, we can facilitate Eid gatherings where families can connect with others who truly understand.
“They [HHUGS] also arranged Eid parties we could attend. We finally started to feel more normal, like there were some people who weren’t afraid to associate with us. HHUGS saw us as human beings, not as criminals and terrorists. They treated us as part of the Ummah.”
Shelter a family with the cost of rent, utilities, and vital repairs
Following an arrest, many families of prisoners have their assets confiscated. Without the means to pay the rent, they face eviction and constant harassment from bailiffs. Often they haven’t even the means to fix a front door smashed in a raid. Exposed to the elements, they are forced to live without basic security in their own homes. And with thousands in the UK falling into rent arrears due to redundancies, homelessness is a terrifying reality many HHUGS families now face. This Ramadhan, you can give them the shelter of a safe home filled with security and hope.
“They used to knock really hard. Sometimes I would feel that the door was going to break. Sometimes people would scream from the letter box, ‘open the door!’ […] I used to shake out of fear. I would continue shaking until they left. For a long period of time, I was very nervous. All my finances were cut. I didn’t have money for food. My health began to deteriorate.”
Support a child’s physical and emotional wellbeing
On top of the trauma they have endured, children of prisoners are often stigmatised and ostracised by
peers at school, and the community at home. Bullied and lost, many succumb to mental-health problems
and often even turn to truancy and delinquent behaviour. Girls are particularly vulnerable when they
lack a solid male role model in their lives and can resort to looking for that lost love in harmful
places. All children struggle in the absence of social support and role models who cherish them.
Your support can fill this emptiness inside. Academic support and recreational activities, as well as needs-based psychotherapy and mentorship, can help HHUGS children tackle their inner turmoil and find comfort in the attention and affection they yearn for.
“Yusuf used to stay in his room alone all day, but HHUGS, they paid attention to him, taking him on Islamic conferences and retreats. […] His approach to things became different, he would know right from wrong and he became a positive healthy young man. He changed his attitude towards me from hostility to kindness and he began helping me look after our family. […] I couldn’t have imagined that they would have such an impact on him. I believe I would never have been able to help Yusuf in the same way.”
Help a single mother to gain independence through education and training
Hindered by material poverty and social isolation, the wives of prisoners struggle to fill the absence of losing their main financial provider. Many face the additional challenge of language constraints as well as a lack of basic skills and work experience. Without support for childcare and funding for education, they’re unable to improve their situation, while their association with a terror suspect further reduces their chances of employment. With the pandemic having cost thousands their livelihoods, this is a time of even greater hardship for single mothers who already have the odds stacked against them. But a generous investment, this Ramadhan, can change that, giving such single mothers skills she needs to gain financial independence.
"I have a few modules left of my course funded by HHUGS. When I finish, I hope to apply to become a Teaching Assistant Level 3 in school. I didn't have experience in the school so this has given me a lot of knowledge; It looks very good on my CV and will help me get a job. We are the only ones responsible for our families. […] Our days are consumed with our families and dealing with the prison, the case. You don't get time or have the money for studying. So, such courses help us to become independent. Without HHUGS, this would not have been possible."
Relieve a single mother struggling with debts she cannot pay
Following the arrest of their husbands, wives of prisoners are left to pick up the pieces on their own. With assets confiscated and benefits frozen, they quickly accumulate rent arrears and unpaid bills. In some cases, they inherit the debts of their husbands, which were previously unknown to them. With limited financial resources, these become near impossible for them to pay off. At a time when thousands of UK families are suffering from mounting debts, the wives of prisoners are left alone and utterly helpless. Your generous donation can help clear her debts and ensure she breathes a sigh of relief this Ramadhan.
“I’ve been borrowing money the past week and a half. Wallahi, I don’t know what we’re going to do over the weekend. I’m just really dreading when the agent finds out the rent is overdue.”
The best of deeds through
AutoNate your Sadaqah this Ramadhan - whether for all 30 days, every Friday or for the last 10 nights
Ensure you never miss the best times to give Sadaqah by automating your giving in the best month of the year. Never miss Laylatul-Qadr again!
Simply sign up once, decide how much you want to give daily, and then focus on your other worship. With our convenient and reliable automated giving service, you can be assured you won't miss out on reaping the rewards of a night greater than a thousand months.
“Take up good deeds only as much as you
are able, for the best deeds are those done
regularly even if they are few.”
to Autonate your giving
Got the intention but not the means?
You’ve already secured half the reward!
Now grab the other half by signing up for
Race to Jannah with HHUGS.
We’re looking for 200 winners to raise £100 or £1,000 each this Ramadan.
Find out how easy it is to reap the beautiful generosity of this ummah at its best and secure great reward during this incredible month.