Ubaid was a successful businessman – but then the recession hit. When he couldn’t pay the bills, he borrowed money from family, friends, and even payday lenders, then spiralled into a cycle of debt. By the time Ubaid contacted National Zakat Foundation, he felt like his only escape was death.
This is how NZF helped turn his life around.
For 28 years, I’ve been a market trader. My stall is my livelihood; it’s how I take care of my wife and my children. And it’s hard work – the lifting, the standing around, the cold – but I love it.
My wife stays home and raises our children. She does the cooking, the feeding, the washing, the clothing, and the nurturing. My only job is to bring home the money – and I always did… until I didn’t.
In 2008, the recession hit. Within months, my business was going under and I was losing money by the day. But the bills kept coming in: food, rent, income tax, council tax, water, energy, phone bills, school dinners, and school uniforms.
I needed help, so I asked a friend for a loan to tide me over. I promised to pay him back as soon as possible, but his money was quickly eaten up by more bills. So, I had to ask another friend, and then another. When my friends stopped giving me money, I had to turn to my family and admit just how bad my financial situation was.
Slowly but surely, my family stopped giving me money too because they realised I couldn’t pay it back, even though I had every intention to.
When they stopped helping, I turned to payday lenders. That was the worst thing I could’ve done. The interest alone was impossible to pay off, and every month, I fell deeper and deeper into debt.