Yousuf: The Unsung Hero who saved 300 Rohingya Muslims from Imminent Death

Muslims living in the Rohingya are often described as “the world’s most prosecuted minority”. Currently, there are about 1.1 million Muslims living in Rohingya. They have been denied citizenship since 1982 which makes them effectively stateless. 1.1 Muslims are living without any passport and identity.

Myanmar government doesn’t own them; they don’t even recognize them as a minority. As a result, if they are killed, raped, torn into pieces or even minced, nobody cares as in the books of the government, they don’t even exist.[irp]

Some groups of Buddhist in Myanmar and the Myanmar government itself is taking action against these people. Their houses are burnt, their women are raped and their children are killed leaving them no option but to flee to other countries to save their lives. Most of them have been temporarily migrated to Bangladesh and few also went to Indonesia.

Yousuf is a poor fisherman who lives on the coast of Langsa Indonesia. He is a fisherman survives with the earnings of his boat. One day, Yousuf came across a ship stranded in the middle of the ocean, laden with Rohingyan refugees who were fleeing persecution in Myanmar. The ship was broken and was on 7 hours sailing from the shore.


He immediately tried to contact authorities for the help but couldn’t wait after seeing the miserable condition of his Muslims brothers, sisters and children in the ship. There were around 300 Rohingya Muslims in the ship but the problem was that he had a capacity to accommodate only 48 out of it in his boat.

He filled as much Rohingya Muslims as he could and took them to shores of the sea which was on a sailing of 7 hours. In aggregate, he sailed for 14 hours to make a trip from the ship to shore and to come back to the ship. There were many in the water naked and stranded. He made 7 trips like that continuously, sailed his boat for 98 hours, didn’t sleep, didn’t go his home until he saved each and every Muslim brother, sister, and child from the ship.

“I had to help them, the rule of the sea is everyone must help each other, regardless of where they were from”. He doesn’t need a recognition nor a reward from anyone in this world. He needs the reward from Allah on the day of Judgement.

Only a couple of weeks after Yusuf’s heroic efforts, heavy tides caused Yusuf’s fishing boat – his source of livelihood to sink and he cannot afford the costs of a new boat. IlmFeed did a fundraiser and raised just under £5,000 which allowed him to buy a new boat.

At this point of time, it is the responsibility of all the Muslim countries to get together on a platform and force Myanmar government to stop the genocide against Muslims. Some government has been taking steps individually but what we need right now is the collective action.

Saudi Arabia has opened its borders for the Muslim fellows. King Salman has announced Saudi Iqama for 1 Million Burmese.[irp]

Turkey has not only condemned the act but also has pleaded to the government of Bangladesh to open borders for Burma Muslims and they will pay for all the expenses.

Maldives has also cut down relations with Myanmar. On the other hand, in an interview, Bangladesh Prime Minister has stated that Rohingya Muslims are not their problem.

Source: IlmFeed