Women Affairs of Al-Mumtahinah Home Inc.(AMH Inc.) began as an advocate for women. We would help women with their daily needs and at times provide resource informations.
One day at the Masjid in Baltimore, we saw that their was a need to assist women who were homeless or abandoned. Women were treated with no respect living at the Masjid with no care or concern at all or privacy.
We began by attending our community meetings at 5am in the morning stressing the need for a home for sisters. Masha’Allah with patience, and consistency the Imam at the time gave us a key to a home a brother gave him to help the men in the community. AlhamdulliAllah!!! Allahu Akbar!!!
We began spreading the word to local Islamic businesses, sending out emails, passing flyers and word of mouth. We opened a thrift store at the Masjid to pay for our operation expenses and to provide quick assistance to women and their families. AlhamdulliAllah.
It is now almost 4 years and the road for us as a homeless shelter/resource information and Emergency food awareness organization has been dealing on a monthly basis with temporary setbacks (late payments on operation expenses), minimal to almost no support from those we thought would be on the front lines with us, many of our sisters/brothers especially our professional sisters/brothers, and subtle to overt backlash.
We have learned from it all to stand firm in our belief in Allah and to trust Allah for all of our personal and organizational needs. We also have gained the respect and true loyalty of a committed and very diverse local and national support base.
With the help of Allah we have made it to a benchmark in our history as an organization. We are at the place we thought we would not be.
With Faith, patience, and perseverance we can look back at assisting over 1000 women with their children through the shelter program We can look back at providing resource information, business leadership training, emergency food,household supplies to the community at large, clothing to those in need and household Items to those who cannot afford to purchase it.
We can say that we are setting an example for our brothers and Sisters in our community by doing exactly what Allah has commend us to do as an Ummah (Community).
“A Muslim is the Brother/Sister of a Muslim; he/she does not wrong him/her nor does he/she forsake him/her when he/her is in need; Whosoever is fulfilling the needs of his brother/sister, Allah is fulfilling his needs.” AlhamdulliAllah we are a good example of Allah’s promise.
JazakAllahu Khayr for your continued support.
Muslim Woman Claims She Was Denied Homeless Shelter
Mother Of 2 Blames Religious Beliefs For Ouster
POSTED: 9:17 a.m. CDT August 7, 2003
SAN ANTONIO -- A homeless Muslim woman claimed she and her two young children were denied shelter at the Salvation Army recently because she refused to participate in Christian Bible classes.
Nadia Auxila told KSAT 12 News that when she and her two daughters checked into the Salvation Army Hope Center at 521 W. Elmira, she was told that everyone had to attend Bible study classes.
Auxila claimed she told a Salvation Army official that attending Bible study classes would be in direct conflict with her Muslim faith.
The mother of two said she was told to check in and discuss the matter with the shelter's director.
"They have me in my room, I had dinner there with the children," Auxila said. "Then, there was announcement ... for everybody to come to bible class."
Auxila claimed she then told a Salvation Army official she couldn't attend the Bible study.
"They said 'If you don't attend Bible study, you have to leave,'" Auxila said. "So, I packed up my stuff and I left."
A Salvation Army official told KSAT 12 News that Bible study classes are not mandatory for people seeking emergency shelter and are investigating the incident.
Auxila said she ended up seeking refuge at the Samm Shelter.
Copyright 2003 by KSAT.com All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Muslim Women Who Become Homeless Have Limited Options
Her experience at a Salvation Army shelter in Texas led Nadia Auxila McIntosh to open the al-Mumtahinah home, a shelter for Muslim women in Baltimore. (By Sarah L. Voisin -- The Washington Post) By Jackie Spinner
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, December 29, 2007
They sleep in mosques. Or on the streets. Or in Christian-oriented shelters that might hold prayer meetings or services at odds with their own religious beliefs. For Muslim women without a place to live, particularly those who have been battered or are immigrants, being homeless can test their faith at the time they need it most.
When Muslim women are sent to shelters that serve the general population, they are often exposed to lifestyles that challenge their faith, such as drinking, abusing drugs, eating pork and undressing or bathing in front of others, says Imam Faizul Khan of the Islamic Society of Washington in Silver Spring. They return from such shelters "with sad stories," he says.
The Virginia Muslim Political Action Committee estimates that several hundred Muslim women are homeless in the Washington region, based on U.S. Census Bureau data and local surveys. That is a small fraction of the homeless population and of the estimated 250,000 Muslims in the region, but local Islamic leaders say the problem has grown in recent years. Kahn said homelessness in the Muslim community was almost unheard of several years ago.
Some Islamic leaders have begun to raise money to establish more shelters that cater to the Islamic community. There are now just two serving the Washington-Baltimore area, according to local mosque leaders. The leaders said they were unaware of any in Northern Virginia.
A four-bedroom, one-bath shelter in downtown Baltimore, the al-Mumtahinah home, holds 12 women. When the brick rowhouse is full, shelter director Nadia Auxila McIntosh squeezes women into a sitting room or dining room. The Islamic Center of Maryland runs another shelter in Gaithersburg, with room for six to eight.
Social workers, clerics and lawyers who work with Muslim homeless women said most were driven from home by abusive husbands or are unable to work because of their immigration status, leaving them without money for housing. Some face both troubles.
"If a battered Muslim woman is also an immigrant, she may be that much closer to homelessness," said Mazna Hussain, an attorney with the nonprofit Tahirih Justice Center, a women's advocacy group in Falls Church. "If she doesn't have the right to work, she can't build up a safety net."
A woman who identified herself as Fatem, using the nickname her mother called her as a child in Mali, came to Tahirih for help after she fled an abusive husband in the area. She is now seeking an immigration status that would allow her to work without relying on her husband's income. She entered the country legally in 2002, but her husband refused to help her apply for permanent residency.
Fatem, who declined to give her full name for fear of retribution from her husband, said she has been staying with her daughter at a townhouse in Virginia that shelters homeless women of different faiths. The people who run the shelter are tolerant of her Muslim faith, Fatem said, but it is difficult to be homeless, to have nothing, to lose the respect of her family.
"I lost everything," said Fatem, who has two children from a previous marriage in Mali whom she has not seen in almost eight years. "I don't have anything no more. I feel really shamed for my family living in just a shelter."
But Fatem said she feared for her life if she stayed with her husband, a social worker.
"He made me hungry," she said. "He was sleeping with his ex-wife and made her pregnant. Every little money I make I had to give to him. He beat me. He pushed me to fall down. My daughter cried. She think I'm going to die."