Thursday, 8 September 2011


Yesterday, I spent the morning in my garden knocking the last of the pears off the pear tree with the help of a hockey stick. I also picked the last of the blueberries and strawberries off the plants. The tomatoes are nearly all ripe too and there's a couple of aubergines hanging off our plant which need picking soon. The weather was overcast like it has been these past few days, but there was that distinctly cooler breeze coming in which is unique to September. You can tell that autumn is drifting in. Finally.

Autumn is my favourite season. September feels more like the start of the year than January because everyone is going back to school, collage or University. And people who are not getting ready for school or University are stretching off the summer and getting ready for winter anyway.
Everybody is getting ready for something. Cosy nights in with hot chocolate and water bottles are just a few weeks round the corner. And its getting dark earlier but autumn sunsets are the most colourful. Have you  noticed? 

Monday, 5 September 2011

All the Earth is a Place for Prayer...?

God has made this Earth for us and told us wherever we are in the world, we can turn to Him and pray. All the Earth is a place of prostration. Except of course,  when people tell us that we can't pray somewhere.

In the run up to the 10th Anniversary of September 11th, I chanced over  a programme on TV called 'The Ground Zero Mosque.' Watch it, if you haven't, it's on  Channel 4's website. I'd like to know what conclusions you draw from it. I'd also like to know how you feel about the display of ignorance shown on this programme, despite a decade of Muslims screaming 'not in my name.'

The fact that people like Pamela Geller can claim that the mosque two blocks away from Ground Zero is a victory mosque is sickening. I understand that are some people who lost family there are generally upset. But a victory mosque? Are there really people who believe that American Muslims have conspired to build a mosque a couple of blocks away from ground zero as a symbol of victory?  What  far right islamaphobic way of thinking is this?

Perhaps the decision to build the mosque there isn't the wisest. Not if it's met with such a reaction. In fact, more Muslims seem to be against it for the trouble its causing than in favour for it. But the fact that an Islamic place of prayer offends a number of American people shows, that despite our best efforts, we've really got no where when it comes to dissociating Islam from 9/11.  It seems like American Muslims will be reaping the consequences of an event they had nothing to do with for a long time to come.

Sunday, 14 August 2011

How to Lead a Revolution

These are just some thoughts I had.

Nearly 1500 years ago, a Prophet led a revolution which changed the world. He, peace be upon him, had many followers.

The youth are often crucial in leading revolutions. A man who most Muslims consider to be crucial to the growth of Islam after the Prophet died, Umar was just 27 years old when he became a Muslim. A man who became the 1st ambassador of Islam, who delivered an intelligent and eloquent speech to the King of Abyssinia to save the Muslims from being returned to the hands of their dangerous enemies, Ja'fa ibn Abi Talib  was no older than 25. There was also Mus'ab ibn Umayr, who was trusted by the Prophet to go to Yathrib to pave the way for the Muslim migration, to help unite to the divided clans of Yathrib under one religion. He was only 20 years old. Perhaps most amazing of all, the first boy to convert to Islam, a boy who did not for a second doubt the Prophet's message when others twice his age did, Ali was 10 years old.  These are just a few examples, Islam was in its early days, and indeed throughout history, pioneered by the youth, may God be pleased with them all.

Recently I've spent a lot of my time reading this book and a fair bit of time watching the news. In the light of what's been happening recently I can't help but  draw comparisons, even if these comparisons are quite tenuous. Today the youth are still trying to lead revolutions. In some areas of the world, they've succeeded tremendously and have toppled tyrannical regimes. In other areas, the youth have burnt, smashed and stolen things and hardly know why themselves.

Comparing the first example to the latter, there seems to be a  complete degeneration of the youth where young people in some societies are completely lacking direction. In the UK, politicians are racking their brains right at this very moment to try and come up with some plausible reasons as to why their youth decided to trash their own cities. Amidst the talk, I doubt any politician will point out the flaw of this country's misguided cultural tendency of excusing the youth from growing up. In the past, children grew up to become adults. Now they grow up to become adolescents. And whilst adults can lead revolutions, adolescents can't.

Friday, 12 August 2011

Just a quick post to say...

Buy my Aunty's book ;) 

Those of you who work in schools or have children in schools may have noticed that the literature on Muslims used in RE lessons isn't too great...particularly in secondary schools. Very little is known about the inspiring Muslim role models of our society, like Dr Hany El Bana, founder of Islamic Relief. Working very hard to improve the Islamic-based literature in our schools, author Suma Din has recently released a biography about Dr Hany himself, the first in a series of biographies about Muslim role models that will be used in our schools insha'Allah. The biography is also an extremely interesting read for adults, detailing his journey towards establishing the widely recognised and highly active charity that is Islamic Relief. Visit to find out more.