International Union of Muslim
Women
Regretting the Help NOT Given,
Regretting
NOT knowing the Need.
Helping Sister Aminah and Other
Sisters like her.
For no apparent reason, Sister Aminah Assilmi came to mind, a few days ago, which was, Dec. 3rd. 2010.

I didn't know Aminah well, (that's obvious isn't it…) but I wrote her a letter years ago introducing myself,
thanking her for her videos, and giving her a book I'd written on Western culture and Islam, which I published
here in Saudi Arabia in 1998. Her videotaped speeches helped me tremendously when I was embracing Islam
in 1991. Without knowing anymore about me, she replied, can you visit me? This was around 1998.

Years passed and I never got to meet her in person. But when she came so strongly into mind, I went to the
Internet to see what she was doing. I knew Aminah had heart problems. I knew it was a possibility she had
grown worse. But I was hopeful and had wrongly assumed that if she'd had a turn of bad health, that
somehow the Ummah would've let her plight be known. Yes, if I had been a part of the International Union of
Muslim Women's org, I would've known much more...

When I learned that she'd died last March, 2010 and had been homeless and had suffered so much for her
faith, I sat for a moment stunned and stinging. Then I searched more about her.

It didn't take me long, to piece together a very telling tale. Why hadn't I known about her struggle with cancer
and homelessness? I've looked into many Islamic sites and found very little about Aminah's sad journey. It is
clear that the Muslim Ummah; our committees our forums and our media, are not doing a good job; we need
to be inter-linked

I know I am not alone, when I say, we, the Muslim Ummah failed Aminah. She did so much: for humanity; for
the image of Islam—with obviously little support from anyone. Aminah's condition should have been
broadcast to the Muslim world. George Bush choked on a pretzel and the entire world heard about it. We
need to use our resources; television, radio, newspapers and not rely on one form of media. It isn't enough. I
am appalled partly at myself for not being more aware, but also at the Muslim Ummah for not making more
out of Aminah's struggles. I wish I had known she needed help. There is a lesson here: when we or someone
is in need we need to let people know. I would've helped Aminah, in a heartbeat. Together we can do a lot;
single handedly it is impossible.

The United Methodist Women's circles in the States have "prayer chains" where people contact one another
when a member of their church is in trouble or sick and in need of attention. We need this same effort.

Allah allowed Aminah to go through what she did for a reason and he took her before she became unable to
do her work any longer but through it all, we were being tested.

I don't know everything surrounding Aminah or her homelessness. I know we're in economic hard times but
really there is no excuse. She was in need of help and our duty to the Muslim Ummah is clear in the Qu'ran.
We are weak, we are pathetic; we are doing a terrible job for the image of Islam. Aminah: You are missed.
You taught me a lot. May your new home be in the Highest Heaven.

Sister Rukaiyah
Jeddah Saudi Arabia December 7, 2010
The above email came into the IUMW a couple of days ago and the writer gave permission for it's
use by IUMW.  The Sister made some valid points about Sister Aminah, but now it is time for us to
look around our OWN communities and see if there are Sisters like Aminah who need our help.  
Yes, we are facing harder economic times, but working together the way we did for the Eid Stamp,
to get Aminah a place to live and then to help her with her burial and funeral, shows that by
working together we can accomplish A LOT!

Many people donated to help pay Aminah's final costs.  You will be getting your tax information in
a few weeks.  Shukran Jazillian for all of your help.  The money donated over what was needed is
being saved until it can be used to help create a center or program where Muslim Women can learn
Islam, as stipulated when we sought funds after she passed.  

If you have any questions or suggestions, please email us.

Also, due to some very astute assistance from Sister Layla, at AMSS.org (Association of Muslim
Social Scientists),  we have done a lot of work redesigning the website.  Because we could not
import drop down menus (yet!) we have dedicated "link" boxes that you can click on to reach the
various pages.  

We have several more pages in development (including a store) that will be uploaded as available.  
Until then we ask for your  patience and your continued prayers.
Email from a Sister...
This was the house that YOUR Donations rented for
Aminah until her Death in March 2010.  Is there
someone in YOUR Community who needs your help?