A Muslim rail worker at West London station has won the Samaritans Lifesaver Award after saving 29 people from taking their own lives.
Rizwan Javed, 30, from East London, works for the MTR Elizabeth Line at Ealing Broadway station. He won the Samaritans Lifesaver Award in 2018.
The award recognizes people who use their talking and listening skills to save lives, My London reported.
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Rizwan said it was “overwhelming” to win the award.
“It’s a symbol of all the hard work of, not only myself, but colleagues and the Samaritans. It reminds me I can do better, it doesn’t stop here, the journey continues,” he said.
In 2015, the 30-year-old completed the Samaritans’ Managing Suicidal Contacts training course which trains rail staff with the skills to help someone at risk of suicide on the railway.
“Having this training quite early in my career gave me the confidence and awareness on how to identify vulnerable people and approach a vulnerable situation,” Rizwan said.
“The Samaritans has helped me help other people.”
Rizwan continues to be a positive influence in the station, regularly wishing commuters a ‘good morning’ or a ‘lovely day’ to bring a smile.
“It’s given me a positive mindset, I want to continue to make a difference in my life and spread awareness so others can do the same,” he said.
“Being in a customer focused environment, it’s important to deliver that exceptional customer service.
“I can change myself [to make] the changes I want to see in the world. As much as it sounds cheesy, we need to spread love and engage with each other in London a lot more than we do.”
Allah tells us that “If anyone saved a life it would be as if he saved the life of the whole humanity.” Quran 5:32
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death amongst youth aged 10-34.
In general, suicide is viewed by Muslims as taking away the gift of life given by God. The Qur’an says to trust God, have faith in the mercy of God, have patience, and not to destroy life.
Muslims believe that people are all interdependent. Taking a life unjustly, be it your own someone else’s, is the same as taking the lives of all of humanity. Likewise, saving a life is the equivalent of saving all of humanity.