Posts Tagged ‘British Muslims’

Zakat: Putting My Money Where My Mouth Is

// August 20th, 2011 // No Comments » // Blog

** Click here for an updated list of Zakat charities for 2013 **

The recent riots in the UK only made me more certain that, as a British Muslim, this country is where my Zakat belongs.

Not because my money will be going to youth projects, or urban outreach per se – but because the UK community is in dire need of the Mercy of Allāh – and Allāh's Mercy is poured down upon those who obey Him with love.

After my last post encouraging British Muslims to spend their Zakat in the UK, I am finally putting my money where my mouth is.

Tonight, I donated my Zakat to the following three charities:

It is Allāh who decides how much a penny is worth, and how far a pound can stretch. So perhaps my Zakat did not amount to very much; but if it was earned in a halal way, and was spent as it should be, I am certain Allāh will place His Blessing in it, and thereby raise my humble donation to a level that would put billionaire philanthropists to shame – inshā’Allāh. :)

I only share this info to encourage you to donate your Zakat wisely. Allāh says:

“Tell My Servants who have believed to keep up the prayer and give, secretly and in public, out of what We have provided them, before a Day comes when there will be no trading or friendship.” [Qur'an 14:31]

May Allāh accept it from me, and from those who actually do the hard work of spending the money where it is needed – āmīn!

British Muslims: Your Zakat is Needed in the UK too

// August 7th, 2011 // 4 Comments » // Blog

Image Source: National Zakat Foundation.

** Click here for an updated list of Zakat charities for 2013 **

Alhamdulillah, many of us in the UK are blessed with sufficient wealth that we can pay our bills, send our kids to school, and eat our three meals a day. In the midst of these blessings, it's easy to forget that there are people struggling all around us. The poverty in this country is more hidden than that of overseas, and our government's system of benefits and social care – though a noble ideal – is not perfect, with spending cuts, and many people slipping through the net: especially refugees, a significant percentage of whom are Muslim.

Zakat is a sacred duty, and is not like regular charity that can be given to anyone who is in need, whatever their faith and circumstance. There are specific rules about who must pay, how much, and to whom*: one of those criteria is that priority must be given to the needy people in your own land before anyone else – your neighbours.

Therefore I encourage my fellow British Muslims to seek out such cases, and support those organisations that are working selflessly to make sure that you fulfill your duty to Allāh in the right way.

Two such charities that I know of are JIMAS (http://www.jimas.org/zakahappl.htm) and the newly formed National Zakat Foundation (http://www.letusbelieve.com/). Click through to their websites to read about the tragic cases of Muslims suffering in the UK, and how your Zakat will help them, inshā’Allāh.

True, there are many overseas causes that need our help, both in the 'homelands' of India and Pakistan, as well as in East Africa, Palestine, and so on. I strongly urge you to generously donate your sadaqah (voluntary charity) to charities that work in these areas: both to their emergency campaigns, and those working on long term development.

However, Zakat is special; it must be spent as Allāh commanded – and our Muslim neighbours have more right on us than those who are far away. This is a fact of Islam that cannot, and should not be ignored. So please spend your Zakat wisely, and encourage your families and friends to do the same.

The Messenger of Allāh, Peace Be Upon Him said, “The best of companions with Allāh is the one who is best to his companions, and the best of neighbours to Allāh is the one who is the best of them to his neighbour” 
[At-Tirmidhi]

May Allāh accept it from us. May He alleviate the suffering of those near and far, and make it easy to serve and obey Him in the way that best pleases Him. Āmīn.

* Download your FREE guide to Zakat today, as prepared by 1st Ethical: http://www.1stethical.com/2011/07/20/the-official-launch-of-our-free-zakah-ebook/

 

 

Eid-ul-Fitr Salat in the Park, 2010

// September 10th, 2010 // No Comments » // Photos

‘Īd Mubarak! I didn't have much time to take (or post) the number of pics that I usually do. But I quite like this one, cuz it captures some nice little moments, māshā’Allāh. Have a look through and see what you see! =)

Click to enlarge

New Blog & FOSIS Video Competition

// June 24th, 2010 // No Comments » // Announcements, Video

Salam blog. It's been a while. I have something to tell you. I think you may want to sit down.

I've been playing away from home.

No, no… don't cry, blog. I still love you. You'll always be my first. No, wait second… Actually, more like my third.

Anyway, stop blubbing foo, and listen up.

Sisters' Film Club has officially launched! We have produced our first videos, and have a
sparkly new blog to match, māshā’Allāh.

The videos are part of a submission to the FOSIS video competition – an annual contest open to all UK Islamic Societies. As this is our first production, we would really appreciate your support. Please watch, vote for, and share our videos via the SFC blog. Feedback welcome!

JazakumAllah khair.

UK General Election 2010: The Muslim Vote

// April 19th, 2010 // No Comments » // Blog

Less than a fortnight ago, the British Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, finally announced that May 6th, 2010 would be the date of the next General Election. Prior to and since, a variety of means have been used by the powers-that-be to encourage both the apathetic and the undecided to participate in the vote, including the broadcast of the first ever leaders' debate between the heads of the three main political parties.

However, in my opinion, the most interesting development surrounding the election has the been the launch of not one, but several voting campaigns targeted at Britain's relatively small community of Muslim citizens. The concentration of Muslims within a handful of constituencies, combined with the strong possibility of a hung parliament, has motivated community leaders from various backgrounds, to urge their followers to simply, “Get out and vote!”.

The following are links to web-based campaigns I have come across so far:

Continue reading at MuslimMatters.org…

More Muslim Firemen Please

// December 22nd, 2009 // 4 Comments » // Blog

Here is a random thought I've been having lately that was frankly too long for Twitter. Besides, my poor neglected blog needs feeding.

Muslims that 'serve'

Such a big hoo-haa has, and continues to be made of Muslims serving in the British army. I understand the controversy, but it's not the only career choice that involves service with an associated risk of personal injury, and possible self-sacrifice. What about the brave souls that face the daily hazards of working for the emergency services?

I wonder, how many Muslim firemen, paramedics, police officers, coast guards, etc, are there in the UK? They are not career choices that I hear spoken about much, though admittedly my circles are limited, and I haven't bothered to look up the stats.

I understand there being issues about institutionalised racism in the force, so a lack of Muslim police officers would not be surprising. I'm not sure that same excuse applies elsewhere though.

If I were a guy, I think I may have considered signing up to the Police, at least to eventually join CID. I love detective work: problem solving, chasing down the bad guys, the free donuts. Or is that just the Americans?

If my hypothetical sons were not budding imams, scientists, engineers or doktars, I think I'd approve of one of the above. Hey, I'm not so liberal a hypothetical parent to accept any career choice. For example, circus clown is definitely a no-no. Though if he spent his life bringing smiles to the faces of sick orphans, then maybe? Darnit! I haven't even conceived yet, and I'm already a pushover.

Anyway… have you ever considered working for the emergency services? Sure, the pay isn't amazing, but I'd hope it wouldn't just be about the money. Lots of akhira points to be earned, and several worldly perks methinks.

For example, have you heard the phrase: “there's something about a man in uniform”?

Why Can Muslims Eat Big Macs?

// November 7th, 2009 // 7 Comments » // Blog

The following is a response to a post written by one of my colleagues at Ijtema.net, on the conditions that make meat permissible for Muslims to eat. Here is an extract to whet your appetite:

The whole zabiha vs. non-zabiha debate can get pretty emotional and even lead to fights. Surprisingly when one learns about it in some depth it's not all that complicated. I will list the 5 conditions the 'ulema have laid down for a slaughter to be permissible to eat, and then list some common misconceptions about the concept of zabiha.

The following five conditions must be met together when slaughtering an animal that is permissible to eat and requires slaughter… Click to read more

I recommend you read that post first – one, because it contains useful fiqhi info, and two, because my response will naturally make more sense that way.

Response

Tbh, the only thing I'd like explained to me, is why a Big Mac purchased in any McDonalds branch located in Western secular democracies, such as the UK and USA (for the most part), is considered by some to be permissible for Muslims to eat?

I completely understand the ruling about the meat of animals slaughtered by the Christians and Jews being permissible (excl. porcine flesh, blood, etc). But unlike the label 'Kosher', which actually has some value and meaning attached to it, McDonalds, and by extension, most fast food retailers in the West, do not offer any guarantee that the cows used in their burgers have been slaughtered by either a Christian or a Jew (irrespective of their level of practising).

Are the scholars who condone this working on a matter of probability? I.e., the majority (whatever % that is) of citizens in the US identify themselves as Christians, and hence the likelihood of the person slaughtering the animal being a Christian is high, and thus the meat automatically becomes permissible, unless clearly stated otherwise?

I really am curious, because I know a few people who follow the “People of the Book” rule that far, but they never ask the person serving the meat who did the slaughtering. We don't need to ask if the product is sold as halal/ kosher – but otherwise, shouldn't there be some responsibility on the individual consumer to at least enquire?

Considering how, in the West, tasks of manual labour (especially such messy, unpleasant ones) are usually consigned to low paid immigrants, which could be of any religion – and also, how meat can, and is, imported from anywhere in the world – I think such a 'catch-all' fatwa is more than a little risky.

In the UK, we are blessed in that halal meat is relatively easy to obtain – at least if you live in cities and towns with significant Muslim populations. However, that didn't happen overnight. This state of ease came about through necessity. The first generation of Muslims wanted to feed their families food that they could trust was halal. Without this demand, the market to supply halal produce – a market presently worth millions of pounds annually – would not have been established.

There are about two million Muslims in the UK but an estimated six million consumers of halal meat nationwide. Michael Oakes, board member for rural affairs at Advantage West Midlands, said British Muslims consumed 20% of all red meat sold in the country while making up just 3% of the population. [Source: BBC News - Farmers aim for halal meat market]

Further, the market has now begun to evolve to the next level: in response to recent halal meat scandals, a national halal monitoring committee was established to ensure correct slaughtering practices; major supermarket chains now stock halal produce in outlets with a significant Muslim customer base; and several new providers have sprung up to respond to the growing demand for organic meat (one example here).

Thus I believe that the 'catch-all' fatwa actually causes more harm than good in the long term, by discouraging the enterprise that would lead to a more certain state of affairs. Either we 'lay' Muslims have misunderstood the nature of this particular ruling (which is entirely probable), and/or the original need for such a fatwa no longer exists, especially as far more permissible alternatives are now commonly available. In reality, no-one is going to be placed at a life-threatening disadvantage from choosing to eat a 'fillet-o-fish', or vegetarian equivalent, in place of eating meat of unknown origin. And in the few cases where they are, then a whole new set of rulings apply, with the aim of preserving life and health.

Demand drives supply: Muslims in the West must continue to demand the supply of trustworthy zabiha meat, and also start putting their inherent, entrepreneurial skills to use. After all, the UK Muslim market proves that there is much reward – both earthly and heavenly – to be earned from doing so, inshā’Allāh.

Charity Week 2009 – Day 1

// October 22nd, 2009 // 3 Comments » // Photos, Video

This year, Charity Week will run from the 19th to the 25th October, inshā’Allāh. Here's a wee video I made for my ISoc, to mark Day 1:

Please donate online NOW, writing “IMPERIAL COLLEGE” in the comments section of the donation form (we're in competition with the other participating universities). All money goes to Islamic Relief's orphan fund. So be generous! :)

Please also leave a comment below (anonymously if you wish) to let me know how much you donated, so I have an idea of the impact of the video, and also, to encourage others to follow suit, inshā’Allāh.

Update – Photos from the Henna Stall we ran today (Day 4):

Henna Me, Baby Hand 2 (My Hand!) Hand 1 Concentration I wish I could do that!

Eid in the Square 2009

// September 26th, 2009 // 4 Comments » // Photos

This is the fourth year that Trafalgar Square has been used to host post-Ramadan festivities for London's Muslim community.

Even so, today was only my first time experiencing '‘Īd in the Square'.

I did have a good time; but I attribute that more to the gorgeous weather, and the wonderful company I was blessed with.

The event itself was 'alhamdulillah': a good effort, but I'm not sure that I will return next year. Though I did like the fact that there were plenty of non-Muslims walking about, checking the stalls, and generally mingling in.

I guess it's good for us to be seen enjoying ourselves, with our families and loved ones, i.e., Muslims can haz fun!

Click here to view the rest of the photos from ‘Īd in the Square 2009

Workshop on How to Teach Qur’an to the Blind & Visually Impaired

// September 21st, 2009 // 2 Comments » // Blog

The following was forwarded to me by e-mail. Please pass it on! Also, please contact the organization directly for more information, or if you wish to mirror their work in your own locality, inshā’Allāh.

Baseera Institute will be launching on 16-20th Oct, 2009, inshā’Allāh. It is a charity dedicated to teaching the quraan to the blind and visually impaired, and is set on a similar model to Madressa Noor in South Africa.

Inshā’Allāh we will be holding braille workshops for people who wish to teach quraan to the blind and visually impaired from 16-20th Oct, 9am-5pm.

If you know anyone who is blind or visually impaired who wishes to study the quraan then bring them along, or if you are generally interested in our charity project come down.

I have attached the poster with all the details to this email [see below]. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to ask.

We also have a group on facebook ”Baseera Institute”. If you have not already done so please join and I will send you regular updates.

Click poster to enlarge.

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