Success Stories

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  1. I was brought up in a very loving home, but in a “tough” neighborhood and started drugging when I was 13. I’m, from Chatsworth, 20 years old and wish I knew then what I now know. Unfortunately I can’t turn back the clock or reclaim that lost time but I can resolve not to go back down that road again. I started drugging in high school because I wanted to join the older boys – soon dagga wasn’t enough and when we were introduced to Roche, Mandrax and ecstasy in the clubs we progressed to that. Before that I had a very low self – esteem and thought that drugs was my answer it gave the illusion of being tough, having respect, etc. I had started smoking and abusing drugs only occasionally, but now I was doing it daily – my parents weren’t giving me enough money, so in order to support my habit, I formed a gang in school and began extorting money from other students. Because of this, I was continuously getting involved with teachers, getting involved in fights. It reached a point where I was suspended from school and ordered to do community service. My drugging got very heavy so I decided to quit school and join the neighborhood gang. My parents had by now realized I was drugging and were heartbroken. I didn’t care, because I had control over them, I was violent, aggressive and abusive. I began terrorizing, people of the neighborhood, stealing valuables from the house and even hitting my sisters and cousins to obtain money. I turned a deaf ear to my family’s plea to stop and a blind eye to their tears. All I cared about was the drug and how to obtain money to buy it. Because of my stealing I got locked up, upon release from prison I continued drugging. When I began having encounters with the law, my parents had enough and admitted me to a rehab where I stayed 2 weeks, then ran away. I convinced my parents that I could give up the drug on my own, that I didn’t have a serious problem, but all it resulted in was staying clean for 1 or 2 weeks, and then relapsing. I didn’t realize that I was in denial of my problem. This pattern continued for a period of 1½ years. My father even went to the extent of chaining me up at home, yes, that’s right, chained me with a 35m chain, just to keep me at home. I worshipped the so much that I broke the chain and walked to the drug dealer’s house carrying the chain. If you can imagine that situation, than you can understand what control the drug had over me. My parents realized that my life was destructing, my physical health was deteriorating , drug ‘lords’ were after me for owing them large sums of money. With the realization that I would end up dead or in jail, they contacted the anti – drug forum who suggested the R.A.U.F. treatment centre. I came into the center to please my parents and still in denial of my problem. I found faults in there in their system, negativity in the programs, defects in the entire place.The degree of denial in a drug addict is so great that we fail to realize that we have the greatest defects,we are at fault,not everyone or everything around us.
    Gradually,through the constant motivation from the rauf team I started settling in.although I absorbed most of the programs,I did not put one crucial factor into practice-that recovery is holistic.we must not give up the drug, but lifestyle,playground,playmates and everything to do with the drug.This led to my downfall because when I was sent home for a weekend as part of rauf’s re-integration with my family,I decided to smoke one more time just for fun.All the negativity came back.the lying.manipulating,etc.The team was advised of my downfall and they did not hesitate.i was brought back at once and they now made a greater effort in assisting me with my problem.Everytime I went into depression or faced an obstacle in my recovery, they were there to pick me up.Through their brotherhood,love and absolute care and concern I finally made up my mind to make a complete change.They were instrumental in building up my self-esteem and gave me the confidence to tackle my problems in a rational and sober manner.They also helped in building my family bonds which I had almost completely destroyed.After one year I still remain committed to sobriety and the rauf team.

    Remember, it’s never too late to say no to drugs or to change.take a chapter out of my book and learn that drugs is a destroyer of lives and I remind myself everyday of where I am coming from and that I do not want to go down that road again…..Anonymous

  2. I’m , 44, from Durban CBD. I lived with my parents but at a very young age decided to join the neighbourhood gangsters. Soon I was joining them to rob, steal, loot, con; cheat in fact any negative vice one can think of. I was expelled from school while in std 6, for bad behavior, smoking, bunking school. I didn’t care cos I thought my life was on the streets; joining the older boys, movies, gangsterism and money – lots of money. I was brought up in a hard way and suddenly being exposed to lots of money, left me in a “dizzy” state. I didn’t care who I hurt or what I stole, I only worried about the end result, my pocket full of money. With the negative lifestyle came the drugs, starting of with dagga and alcohol.

    At 12 years I was arrested for house breaking, ended up in juvenile detention, but just became worse. My parents couldn’t keep at home, and I turned my back on them and towards my gangster friends. I ended up in a reformatory in Newcastle where I spent 18 months, but here I spent all my time acquiring street knowledge, not reform. My life continued on the streets, stealing became worse, started smoking mandrax and achieved nothing else except encounters with the law which got me sentenced for 18 months.

    Prison was worse cos I learnt far more evil did more drugs on the inside than out. I was released from prison a hardened criminal. I was introduced to rocks in 1995, became very addicted and needed to smoke all the time. This resulted in my crime spree escalating to keep up with my drug habit. Eventually the law caught up with me again and this I got a harsher sentence, 10 years in Westville prison. I spent 7 ½ years in prison but learnt nothing in prison except the wrong things. My drugging continued in prison, Alcohol, Dagga and whatever else was available in prison. I joined the hardcore criminals and only learnt about stealing; ways to steal, thug life and how to evade the law, all negative. Upon release from prison I continued my drugging. My stealing had grown to a ‘professional’ level, but I also robbed the little old ladies of the neighbourhood and thought and felt nothing. I don’t think I had a conscience left. I now joined gangsters, got involved very heavily in the underworld. Although I nearly got killed on numerous occasions I didn’t learn but continued with my destructive lifestyle. Drugs controlled me so much that once when I got a terrible hiding from gangsters and was left for dead I still turned to it. I remember clearly being in crutches, my head bandaged, ribs bruised and broken yet I still turned to drugs. I was uplifted by R.A.U.F. and decided to give it a chance. I thought that recovery was one sided. The R.A.U.F. members gave me lots of support, motivation and love. According to their plan of re – integration with family and society, I was allowed to visit my family for the weekend, however I got carried away, thought I was fully recovered, and didn’t go back. I relapsed very quickly, and this time it was worse than before. I carried on this ruinous path, sinking lower and lower and became suicidal. I met R.A.U.F. members at the khanqa one morning and asked for help again. They were willing to take me in. Allah had opened the door for me.

    I began truly listening and for the first time I learnt about taubah. I always thought that id die a sinner either by drugs or on the streets. Never knew about taubah, never knew that Allah was so merciful. Once the R.A.U.F. members saw my willingness to change, they went the extra mile in helping me with my recovery. Thought their programs, I learnt about holistic change. For the first time I realized Allah had given me a second chance and I realized it. R.A.U.F. showed me the true meaning of brotherhood, unity and love society for the pleasure of Allah.

    Alhamdulillah I’m 3 years clean and choose to be very much a part of the R.A.U.F. organization, who continues giving me support, motivation and unconditional love. My advice to all is that our life is very short in this world and we should be continuous striving to do good and stay away from sin. There is only one path – the path of Righteousness. I wouldn’t like to see anyone, especially the youth, going through what I did. Take my life story as a lesson…Anonymous

  3. Alhumdulillah, I’m still happily married with three children, but my life could have almost been ruined by alcohol.

    I started drinking at the age of 22; even though I was married I didn’t separate from my old friends. I was working, supporting my family, had a car, although I was stealing from the company to support my habits and my friends habits too. Very soon, as will always happen, the company discovered my thefts, and I lost a very good job. This resulted in lots of idle time which I spent with my friends, drinking losing all the things I had built up over the years because I needed the money to drink. When my family threatened to kick me out of the house I decided to go to a western rehab I stayed for a period of three months. I didn’t receive any help cos I relapsed very soon after being discharged. I was re – admitted to the same rehab, but the pattern repeated itself cos I relapsed again. My family blamed the rehab and admitted me to another rehab I treated rehabs as holidays, going with the wrong intention, finding nothing beneficial to guide me and pleasing my family. I spent almost three years in and out of four rehabs. When I relapsed the last time, it seemed like I was making up for those three years cos I was drinking “27/7”. I was stealing from my sister, parents, family, friends, basically anything I could put my hands on. My habits were so bad that as soon as my wife bought groceries, I’d steal it as soon as her back was turned. My family had, had enough of me, all doors were closing on me, I was a social outcast. By the grace and mercy of Almighty, my wife found out about R.A.U.F. and set up a meeting at their offices. I went with my bags, thinking that this was another holiday; just spend some time while the family “cools off”.

    I was admitted as a patient in a two room house with 19 other patients. Immediately, my mindset was negative and as soon as the craving struck I ran away. The R.A.U.F. team came to pick me up from home and I went back. However I ran away again, walked from Isipingo to Durban to my wife’s working place to hassle her fro money I got very drunk that day. To my absolute shock the R.A.U.F. team where back again to pick me up. I had nothing to give them, in fact I was inconvenience to them, yet they continued striving in trying to uplift me. If they showed so much enthusiasm, why couldn’t I? After all its my life! It was shab e baraat, the explained the significance of the night to me, everybody was engaged in zikr and Ibadat – I went to sleep! However, something woke me up, up till today I cannot explain what it was, I got up made wudhu, went to the jamaat khaana and read two rakats of namaaz. I didn’t know what to read, I just prayed to Almighty to forgive me I cried and cried till I couldn’t anymore.

    That was the turning point in my recovery, the next morning I woke everyone up for fajr – me the laziest , the person who considered namaaz a burden , May Allah forgive me, was eager to read namaaz. I started listening, absorbing the programmes and putting into practice the valuable lessons R.A.U.F. was teaching me.
    When I was released from R.A.U.F., I adhered to all the conditions put to me, even being accompanied to the shop by my daughter.

    I’m 7 years clean and the R.A.U.F. team still keeps in contact with me. I have never experienced such concern as shown to me by R.A.U.F., especially Ebrahim Dawood.

    My family was still wary of me, but I accepted and realized that my actions would prove to them that I’m finally on the straight path. they even used to lock me outside when they went shopping and put locks on every grocery cupboard. I accepted this as a reaction to my disastrous actions. Alhumdulillah, they trust and respect me once more, but I don’t ever forget where I’m coming from. My message to all addicts is to get help immediately, be committed and sincere to our creator, to recovery and to yourself.

  4. I walked around with a shopping packet for months. I wish I could say it was a packet full of groceries for my family, sad to say it was a packet full of drugs. I’m 49 from Bonella. Today I am clean, but sometimes I wonder how I got here, cause I could have been dead a long time ago.

    I’m from a family of 10, the youngest, thus the ‘baby’ of the house. My entire family is very islamicly orientated and thus I had a very strict Islamic upbringing. I was about 18 when I noticed a group of about 7 boys smoking dagga, always hanging together; they seemed carefree, happy, and ‘cool’. They used to mock and taunt me calling me ‘nerd’, holy boy, and sissy. I succumbed to their invitation to experiment with dagga and my game of shame had begun. Sadly, not one of those 7 boys is around to verify my story, all destroyed by drugs. My drugging became progressively worse, as any drug addict can verify, and soon people complained to my parents. However, I was so strong in denial I lied to my family that people were just making rumors because they didn’t like me. I was becoming a manipulator and smooth talker. My family were also in a state of denial cause they couldn’t accept their perfectly, pious son could do such wrong thing acts. Two years later they accepted I had a problem and took me to a psychiatrist to help me with my dagga problem. The psychiatrist became my best friend, because he prescribed tons of pills for me; and I was exposed to sleeping tablets, tranquilizers, uppers, downers (poppers), hence the shopping packet.

    Still wasn’t doing it for me and I found stronger drugs on the street: Rohypnol, Vesprex, Roche. The prescribed pills were immune to me so I popped anything that would get me high! I was gone so bad tat if I was given cyanide and told it would give me a high, I would have it. I was now a fully fledged addict, I had various jobs but I didn’t give any money at home. All the money went in supporting my drug habit. I used reverse psychology on my family; it was them that took me to a psychiatrist. Thinking marriage was a solution to my drug problems; I got married at 26, but while playing in the snooker league, got introduced to alcohol. One more drug to my ruin, one more excuse (my wife) to justify my drugging. I had numerous encounters with the law, got involved in fights which didn’t even involve me. Too many times I didn’t go home, I either passed out on the streets or woke up in the police holding cells unaware of how I got there.

    My family gave me lots of ultimatums; give up drugs or else… But I always managed to manipulate them. They took me to faith healers, hakeem’s, Moulana’s and I played along with them, laughing at them, not realizing that I was a laughing stock myself. I was sliding downhill very fast. I couldn’t get a job, couldn’t fend for and tend to my families needs. Family and friends ostracized me, and that gave me another excuse to take solace in drinking and drugging on an even larger scale. Being so deep in denial of my problem, I was racking up excuses to drug fast and furious. Being in denial had me blaming everybody and everything else besides myself. I had strayed off the path of righteousness, and my imaan was hanging by a thread when R.A.U.F. picked me up off the streets of Durban and put me on an out – patient programe a for 6 months period. I didn’t really believe I would live a sober life again. Whilst in the out – patient program and still being in denial, I relapsed very badly but the R.A.U.F. team picked me up again and Ebrahim Dawood saw it fit to admit me as an in – patient and his love, humanity, caring, support and supervision I started accepting that I had a serious problem. I was finally coming out of denial and with that came the hope that I could live a decent life again. I spent all together 14 months at the R.A.U.F. treatment center, I learn’t to listen and listened to learn. I started cherishing the teaching of deen and really craved Allah’s mercy and grace unlike the craving of drugs. I had surrendered to Allah and felt transformed. I spent 2 years teaching in R.A.U.F., and by Allah’s grace, went for hajj in 2003/04. I’m clean 8 years, have a loving wife and lovely kids. It was my mothers dua that I reform, be a good Muslim. Participant of R.A.U.F. , through Allah’s mercy and the dedicated team of R.A.U.F. I fulfilled it. My advice to addicts and parents – It is only when we show disrespect to the teachings of deen that the wrath of Allah falls on us. Follow the simple R.A.U.F.- take what is lawful to us, shun what is forbidden to us.

  5. Hooked on dagga by the age of 11 and mandrax by the time he was in Grade 8, more than half of Senzo Mabaso’s life has been spent in a blur of drugs, alcohol and crime. Durban – Senzo Mabaso, a 30-year-old recovering drug addict from Newcastle fought back tears as he shared his story of struggling with drug addiction and alcohol abuse.

    Mabaso explained that he arrived in Durban to attend school but started smoking cigarettes and dagga at the age of 11. Then in grade 8, Mabaso was introduced to the drug Mandrax. He added that although he was intelligent and not lacking ability, his focus on drugs and alcohol caused him to fail that year. Mabaso dropped out of school, started drinking heavily and his drug addiction increased, so his mother sent him back to Newcastle. However in an effort to turn his life around, Mabaso returned a year later, went back to school, completed his matric and got a job as a security guard. But his recovery was short lived. Mabaso began stealing at work in order to support his drug addiction. He began using heroin and was later suspected of stealing at work, so he stopped going to work in fear of going to jail. He subsequently found employment at a security company and repeated the same mistakes from his past, and was eventually fired for stealing. Having no secure income, Mabaso turned to a life of crime and started robbing shops and homes, which landed him in and out of jail. Disappointed and defeated by his inability to turn his life around, his mother kicked him out of their home.

    Rejected and alone, Mabaso ended up in the streets of Durban where he was involved in an incident and was shot in the leg and landed in hospital. Upon hearing the news his mother came to see him during his hospitalisation, which lasted for four months.

    Mabaso is now based at Refocus and Uplifment Foundation (RAUF), a halfway house founded by Br.Ebrahim Dawood. Mabaso explains that, as part of the treatment to keep his mind off the drugs, each morning there are programs which help motivate and exercise the mind. The programs include reading, exercising and different sport activities. Additionally, they are taught many different skills which enables them to assist with gardening, building, baking and painting. The patients also visit schools to help create awareness to motivate young people stay away from drugs and alcohol. As Mabaso chose to remain at (RAUF) he motivates and encourages other drug addicts, who come to the centre, to receive help, by sharing his testimony and he also intends to continue with his studies. He has already attained skills in building and plumbing. Mabaso hopes that by making these new decisions regarding his life and his future, he will be able to finally make his mother proud as she was one of the main reasons he survived and turned his back on a life of crime and addiction.


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