Abdal Hakim Murad Ibn Al-Haytham Youth Depression The Blue Qur ...


Abdal Hakim Murad Ibn Al-Haytham Youth Depression The Blue Qur ...

Issue 13 March 2013

Abdal Hakim Murad

Ibn Al-Haytham

Youth Depression

The Blue Qur’an

The Sound of Reason

Cambridge Muslim College

Live Below the Line

Domestic Violence

Fifteen21 inspires young Muslims to be

proud of their British Muslim identity.

The name Fifteen21 is derived from

both the 15th century of the Islamic

Hijri year and the 21st century

of the Common era.

Fifteen21 aims to reconcile

both Muslim and British identity.


Fozia Parveen

Designed by

Hafizur Rahman

Contact Fifteen21




All views are of the authors alone

and not necessarily

of those held by Fifteen21

Stained glass panel by artish Huda Awad


Dear Readers

Asalamu Alaykum!


Fozia Parveen

Welcome to our 1st year anniversary

issue, our biggest yet! It is with the

permission of Allah (SWT) that we enter

our second year, Alhamdulillah.

Cambridge Muslim College, now in its

5th year is currently taking applications

for its prestigious Diploma in Contextual

Islamic Studies and Leadership. This

course aspires to create a generation

of Muslim leaders who understand

modernity, British society and the youth.

The eminent Shaykh Abdal Hakim

Murad, Dean of Cambridge Muslim

College, shares his vision for its future

and advice for young people today.

Current students Niaz, Zakiyah and

Hassan also share their aspirations.

Also this month we explore important

lessons from the life of Prophet

Muhammed (SAW) with brother Niaz

Hannan; why did Allah (SWT) make

every Prophet a shepherd? Find out on

page 50.

Newton, Flemming, Jenner, ibn Al-

Haytham – do these names sound

familiar… or not? Ibn al-Haytham, an

11th century genius, made significant

contributions to the principles of optics

in addition to physics, astronomy,

mathematics, philosophy and to the

scientific method – yes, 600yrs before

Sir Isaac Newton! Discover more here.

The Sound of Reason – favourite group?

Ours too – Interview in this issue!!!

In February, university Islamic societies

across the UK marked Discover Islam

Week. From cake stalls to calligraphy,

dawah through roses, tea and samosa,

poetry, mendhi, games and not

forgetting inspiring talks in this busy

week in the university calendar. No

opportunity was missed to share the

gift of Islam with the student community.

Here we share stressful but immensely

rewarding Discover Islam Weeks through

the eyes of 5 societies from Newcastle to

Cambridge. Be enthused and get jotting

down your ideas for next year. InshAllah.

What are the causes of depression and

what are the signs in young people? Be

depression aware this month with Young

Minds. Domestic Violence is described

as the ‘silent evil’ – learn more in our

interview with Nour.

As always, this edition is packed with all

your favourites, from poetry to art and

delicious recipes.






















Prophets of Islam: Prophet Yusuf (AS)

100 Less One: Al-Mutakabbir - The Proud

Muslim Youth Helpline

Muslim Heritage: Ibn al-Haytham

Help! I’m a Teenager! Getting Smashed

Child Line

Young Minds: Depression


Deed of the Month: Keep the Peace!

Healthy Living: Women, know YOUR Place!

Hadith: Remembering Allah (SWT)

Dua for the oppressed


Live Below the Line

Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad

Muslim Role-Models: Niaz Hannan

Muslim Role-Models: Zakiyah Gangat

Muslim Role-Models: Hassan Rabbani

Keep Calm & Smile: Newcastle University IAW





















Fear and Hope: Leeds University DIW

Be Like Tails: Cambridge University DIW

Intersoc: Sheffield University IAW

Working under Pressure: Manchester Met DIW

A Day in the Life of Prophet Muhammed (saw)

Who the Heaven am I?

The 2013 Shahbag Protests

Nominate a Role Model

In the Next Issue

Organisation Profile: Nour Domestic Violence

Interview: The Sound of Reason

Islamic Art: The Blue Qur’an

Food for the Soul

Who the Heaven am I?

Book Review: The Little Prince

Masjids Around The World: Al-Saleh Mosque

Poetry: The Death of My Tears

Recipes: White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies

National Events

Child Line









According to the command of Allah (SWT),

Prophet Yusuf (AS) put a plan in action

in order to detain his brother Binyameen.

He got his men to put a cup belonging to

the king in Binyameen’s bag. The caravan

had not gone very far when someone

shouted that the king’s cup was missing.

The brothers were stopped and accused

of stealing. They denied this and said

that if they found the cup then whoever

was guilty would remain as a slave of

Prophet Yusuf (AS). The cup was found in

Binyameen’s bag. When the brothers were

brought before Prophet Yusuf (AS), he told

them that Binyameen would stay behind as

they had agreed. The brothers on hearing

this pleaded with the Prophet to let

Binyameen go and one of them would stay

behind instead. Prophet Yusuf (AS) refused

and the brothers had no choice but to go

back home without Binyameen.

Once home, they told their father Prophet

Ya’qub (AS) what had happened and he

was heartbroken. After a few weeks they

returned to Egypt to plead for the release

of Binyameen and some food in charity

as they were in poverty. Prophet Yusuf

(AS) was well known for his generosity and

had a sympathetic heart. He took pity

on them and helped them. Soon after he

disclosed his identity to them. The brothers

hung their heads in shame and asked for

forgiveness. They were now keen to return

home and tell their father that Prophet

Yusuf (AS) was alive. The Prophet gave

them his shirt to give to his father so that

he could recover his sight by covering his

face with it. He told them to return to

Egypt with the family.

After many trials Allah (SWT) raised

Prophet Yusuf (AS) from the position of

a slave to the highest rank in the land.

Having got his sight back Prophet Ya’qub

(AS) settled in Egypt with his family.

The story of Prophet Yusuf (AS) has many

morals and lessons for us all to learn.

These include the following:

Prophets of Islam


Yusuf (AS)

(Part Three)

Azizun Nessa

AS - alayhi salaam

Upon him/her be peace

SWT - subhanahu wa taala

Glorious is He and He is Exalted

1. The belief in the presence of Allah

(SWT) and taqwa makes it easier

to bear troubles and refrain from

sin despite temptations. You will be

successful as demonstrated by Prophet

Yusuf (AS) during his enslavement and


2. In all difficulties and hardships you

should seek the protection of Allah

(SWT). Prophet Yusuf (AS) showed

his faith by seeking refuge from

Allah (SWT) when faced with the evil

intentions of Zulaikha.

3. You should always try to remain

attached to religion and take the

opportunities to show other people the

right path. Prophet Yusuf (AS) did not

forsake this duty even when in prison.

4. Being patient when faced with

hardship results in rewards from Allah

(SWT) in this life and the Hereafter.

Prophet Yusuf (AS) remained calm and

in remembrance of Allah (SWT) when

his brothers abandoned him in the well.

He bore the shame of being sold as

a slave patiently. He also accepted

his false imprisonment. In return, Allah

raised his position to the highest in


5. It is important to preserve your

honour and dignity. Prophet Yusuf

(AS) taught us the importance of this

by refusing to leave prison until his

innocence was proved.

6. To forgive and forget. Prophet

Yusuf’s (AS) brothers went to Egypt

when they were in a condition of pity

and he in a position of great power.

He could have punished them but

instead he forgave them and treated

them well.

7. It is important to integrate with

society whilst remaining true and

attached to religion. Prophet Yusuf

(AS) moved to Egypt to a place which

had a different religion and people of

different ethnicity. Yet, he integrated

himself whilst remaining true to his

religion. His character and honesty

enabled him to move upwards to a high

position from which he invited people to

the right path and Islam.

support us by joining our page on www.facebook.com/fifteen21magazine 7

In the Holy Qur’an Allah (SWT) says:

Allah is He, than Whom there is no

other god;- the Sovereign, the Holy One,

the Source of Peace (and Perfection),

the Guardian of Faith, the Preserver

of Safety, the Exalted in Might, the

Irresistible, the Supreme: Glory to Allah!

(High is He) above the partners they

attribute to Him.”

(Qur’an 59: 23)

In relation to mankind, his knowledge

compels him to submit to the truth

that only Allah (SWT) is worthy of

the attribute Al-Mutakabbir. To put it

simply, even the ability to think and

write is inspired in me by Allah (SWT),

there is nothing that I can do without

1 the 2 Will and 3 Power of 4 Allah (SWT). 5 6 great 7 and 8 elevated 9 when 10 we renounce 11 12 13 14 15 16

Therefore, the raising of mankind is

Al-Mutakabbir - The Proud

relation to Al-Mutakabbir. Examples

of this in our everyday life would be

to resist anger even when someone has

wronged you, for the sake of Allah


Every single beautiful name of Allah

(SWT) is a reminder to us about who

we are, about our own human condition

and our own whims and inclinations.

The attributes of Allah (SWT) are a

reminder to us that in relation to Allah

(SWT) All Mighty, we only become

our own greatness in the face of the

SWT – subhanahu wa taala

Glorious is He and He is Exalted

17 really 18 in the 19 lowering of 20 himself 21 in 22 ultimately 23 Great: Al 24 Mutakabbir. 25 26 27 28 29 30

Shanaz Ali

31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44



Muslim Heritage

Ibn al-Haytham

Shabina Bi-Baroo

Ibn al-Haytham was a prominent

scientist and polymath from the

‘Golden Age’ of Muslim civilization.

He is commonly known by his Latinized

name of Alhazen.

We know very little about Ibn al-

Haytham except that he was born in

965 into a poor family in the city of

Basra, Iraq.

Ibn al-Haytham made significant

contributions to the principles of optics,

in addition to physics, astronomy,

mathematics, ophthalmology,

philosophy, visual perception, and

to the scientific method. He was also

nicknamed Ptolemaeus Secundus

(“Ptolemy the Second”) or simply

The Physicist” in medieval Europe.

Ibn al-Haytham wrote insightful

commentaries on works by Aristotle,

Ptolemy, and the Greek mathematician


He soon got himself into trouble with

the ruler of Cairo, by boasting that

he could regulate the flow of the

Nile with a series of dams and dikes.

At first glance, it had looked like

such a simple problem. But the more

he studied it, the more impossible

it seemed. Al-Hakim, known to his

subjects as the Mad Caliph with good

reason, was getting impatient. Ibn

al-Haytham only saw one way out;

he pretended to be insane and was

placed under house arrest until the

caliph’s death ten years later.

While under house arrest he wrote

his Book of Optics which discussed

the nature of light and colour. He

accurately described the mechanism

of sight and the anatomy of the eye.

He was intrigued by the principles

of reflection and refraction. He

experimented with mirrors and lenses

discovering that rainbows are caused

by refraction and calculated the

height of the Earth’s atmosphere.

Before Ibn al-Haytham, vision and

light were questions of philosophy

but he explained them in terms of

mathematics, physics, physiology,

and even psychology and therefore

revolutionized the study of optics and

laid the foundations for the scientific

method. (Don’t worry I thought it was all

down to Sir Isaac Newton too!)

Ibn al-Haytham was the first to introduce

experimental evidence as a requirement

for accepting a theory, and his Book

of Optics was actually a critique of

Ptolemy’s book Almagest.

In his spare time, Ibn Al-Haytham built

the first camera obscura or pinhole

camera, in history. He went on to explain

that we see objects upright and not

upside-down, as the camera does,

because of the connection of the optic

nerve with the brain, which analyses and

defines the image.

During his practical experiments, Ibn Al-

Haytham often used the term al-Bayt al-

Muthim, which was translated into Latin

as camera obscura, or dark, private or

closed room.

Many of Ibn Al-Haytham’s works,

especially his huge Book of Optics, were

translated into Latin by the medieval

scholar Gerard of Cremona. This had

a profound impact on the 13th century

philosophers Roger Bacon and Witelo,

and even on the 15th-century works of

Leonardo da Vinci.

In 1040 at the age of 75, Ibn al-

Haytham died in Cairo, Egypt where he

had lived for most of his life.

Today, the camera has gone from the

humble beginnings of Ibn Al-Haytham’s

dark front room, the qamara, to become

a sophisticated digital device, while the

study of optics has blossomed into a

whole science covering lasers to optical

sectioning of the human retina and a

thousand years since it was written,

the Book Of Optics is still quoted by

professors training research students

to be factual and not be swayed by

opinions or prejudice.

A crater on the moon is named in Ibn

al-Haytham’s honour, as is the asteroid

59239 Alhazen.

support us by joining our page on www.facebook.com/fifteen21magazine 11


Help! I’m a


Getting Smashed

I went with my mum to A&E a few nights ago. In the

waiting room I saw an assortment of people with their

problems, some with babies coughing and crying, some

older men and women hurled over or lying on the seats.

A while later a policeman with his female colleague

brought in a drunken man who had blood on his face;

obviously he had been in a fight. The drunken man came

in shouting and attracted the attention of everybody in

the waiting room. I think the patients waiting to be seen

were also annoyed as he didn’t have to wait and was

immediately taken to get examined.

But what happened next really made me think. There

was shouting coming from inside and there was all sorts

of foul language being used, the policeman tried to calm

the man down but the drunken man continued shouting

abuse at both the police officers and the doctor. The

doctor was doing his best to heal and comfort yet this

man off the street shouted abuse as if the doctor was

trying to kill him and all because he was drunk.

In Islam drinking is forbidden, this alcohol can bring a

man down to nothing, left with no dignity.

“O you who believe, intoxicants, gambling, altars and

arrows of chance are afflictions which are the work of

the devil; you shall stay away from him, that you may

succeed.” (Qur’an 5: 90)

This verse tells us very clearly that it’s the work of the

devil and that drinking alcohol can take away all that

is good. Lastly the impact of alcohol on families; I read

a study where it said that alcohol was a major factor in

cases of domestic abuse and rape! Do we need anymore


This is how it affects the family but what about our

bodies, what about the cost financially, what about the

burden on the NHS, which is already struggling and

what about the pressure on the police every Friday and

Saturday night?

Khurram Azad


Young Minds:


Most young people experience ups and

down during their teenage years and

occasionally will feel down or upset by

certain things going on in their lives. But

some young people feel sad, lonely, down,

anxious or stressed for longer periods

of time to the extent that it can affect

their everyday lives and can prevent that

young person from doing things they would

normally do. This is known as depression.

Symptoms of depression include:

• Not wanting to do things that you

previously enjoyed

• Not wanting to meet up with friends or

avoiding situations

• Sleeping more or less than normal

• Eating more or less than normal

• Feeling irritable, upset, miserable or lonely

• Being self-critical

• Feeling hopeless

• Maybe wanting to self-harm

• Feeling tired and not having any energy

One in 10 young people aged

5 - 16 suffer from a diagnosable

mental health problem, which is three

people in every class. Two per cent

of children under 12 experience

depression, and this rises to five per

cent among teenagers which is at

least one depressed child in every

classroom, so it is not uncommon and

adults experience it too. One in 10

adults will experience depression at

some point. Robert Pattinson recently

described his two year struggle with

depression after the first Twilight.

Depression can be caused by a

reaction to something in your life

such as abuse, family breakdown or

bullying. Depression may run in your

family and be caused by genetic

factors or it may be that you are

under a lot of stress and feel you

have a lack of support.

Depression is easy to treat if you get

help for it.

Talk to someone

The most important thing you can do

if you think you are feeling depressed

is talk to someone. This could be your

parents, a sibling, friend, teacher or

GP but often talking about how you

are feeling can really help you to feel

better. People who care about you

will want to help you to feel better

so don’t feel worried about talking to


If it is something specific that is

causing the depression, for example

if you are worried about exams,

then talking to a teacher may help

to reassure you or they may be able

to offer practical help such as extra

eading to help you feel better about


Visit your GP

If you don’t feel comfortable talking to a

friend, teacher or your parents, go and

see your GP. They are there to help you to

feel better whether it is a physical health

problem or a mental health problem and

there are a number of things that they

may suggest for you. Don’t suffer in silence,

keeping it all to yourself will only worsen

your feelings of anxiety or depression and

remember, you’re not the only one to feel

like this, other young people and adults

experience depression too.


There are things you can do to help

yourself if you are experiencing


• Talk to someone

• Get some fresh air most days

• Get some regular exercise

• Do things you enjoy whether it is

skateboarding, hanging out with friends or

support us by joining our page on www.facebook.com/fifteen21magazine 15



• Try to eat regularly even if it is

small meals

• Write a diary about how you are


• Remember you are not the only one

to experience depression and you

haven’t done anything wrong. People

can help so don’t suffer on your own,

choose someone you like and trust to

talk to.

If the depression is mild, you will

probably not be offered medication.

The doctor will probably keep an eye

on your situation and offer advice

and support on diet or exercise to

see if that can help the issue without


Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

If the depression is continuing for

some time, or considered moderate

to severe, your doctor may refer you

to your local child and adolescent

mental health service (CAMHS).

They will assess you and discuss with

you what they think is the best kind

of treatment for you. This might be

cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)

which is a type of talking therapy

and aims to help you understand your

thoughts, feelings and behaviour.

Alternatively you may be prescribed

with a course of anti-depressants

to help you but the options will be

discussed with you.

The NICE guidance recommends that

young people do NOT use St John’s

Wort. This is a herbal medicine but

the guidance states that insufficient

research has been carried out to

check whether it is safe for young

people to use.

Chris Leaman








of the





Michelle Blum

“And walk not on the earth with

conceit and arrogance”

(Qur’an 17: 37).

A powerful message to all of humanity from Allah

(SWT), yet there are many of us who still choose

to live our lives with an egocentric complex. This

arrogance leads to an unhealthy environment,

full of negativity, for all of us. Unfortunately,

arrogance comes in many forms and rears its ugly

head in many circumstances.

One such circumstance often appears in the

form of arguments between family members.

Obviously, every young person growing up

has a tendency, and a right, to express their

individuality and to a degree needs to exert that

clarity for their parents or relatives. However,

with that said, Allah (SWT) tells us to “…treat

with kindness your parents and kindred, and

orphans and those in need; speak fair to the

people; be steadfast in prayer; and practice

regular charity…” (Qur’an 2: 83). It is therefore

a requirement for us to be civil and respectful

of our parents, as well as other family members.

So, when we feel the need to express our

individuality we should do so with respect, dignity

and humility even if those around us seem to be

‘in the wrong’.

This leads us to yet another circumstance where

arrogance often appears; when there is a dispute

amongst our brothers and sisters regarding Islam

(or any topic for that matter). Sometimes the

discussion turns into a rather heated argument,

whereby everyone is determined to remain

closed-minded. These arguments often end up

disrespectful and judgmental.

Alhamdulillah (praise to Allah), there is a

clear way to avoid this, Allah (SWT) tells us to

“speak good to people” (Qur’an 2: 83) and

“be moderate (or show no arrogance) in your

walking, and lower your voice” (Qur’an 31:

19). Think about it, don’t we raise our voices or

change our body language, especially when we

believe ourselves to be more qualified or more

correct than someone else? Perhaps we should be

more aware of our actions, after all, we should

“remember God’s blessings upon [us], and what

He sent down to [us] of the ‘Al-Kitab’ (The Book:

Quran) and ‘Al-Hikmah’ (wisdom) to enlighten

[us]” (Qur’an 2: 231). Not only should we study

the Qur’an for its’ wisdom, but we should be

Think about it, don’t

we raise our voices

or change our body

language, especially

when we believe

ourselves to be

more qualified or

more correct than

someone else?

studying the Prophets’ (PBUT) lives as a way to

grasp what Allah (SWT) expects of our behavior.

It is our responsibility to study Islam, in order

to be good role models, in the name of Allah

(SWT). It is also our responsibility to help each

other to keep the peace. Allah (SWT) reminds

us, “the Believers are but a single Brotherhood:

So make peace and reconciliation between your

two (contending) brothers: And fear Allah that ye

may receive Mercy” (Qur’an 49: 10). This means

that arrogance and conceit has no place in our

Ummah (community).

Just imagine for a second the amount of

differing opinions and barrage of insults that

each and every Prophet (PBUT) had to endure,

and then recall how peacefully they dealt with

it. Allah (SWT) tells us to, “Invite (all) to the

way of thy Lord with wisdom and beautiful

preaching; and argue with them in ways that are

best and most gracious: for thy Lord knoweth,

best who have strayed from His Path, and who

receive guidance” (Qur’an 16: 125). It is not

for us to force people to agree with our point

of view. In fact, if any individuals choose to be

arrogant, there is no need to join them! Instead,

choose to express your views calmly and clearly,

thus positively representing Islam and doing it

Bismillah (in the name of Allah).

support us by joining our page on www.facebook.com/fifteen21magazine 19


I’m sure many women have been told exactly

where “their place” is, be it the kitchen, the

mother-in-law’s or just indoors altogether

and silent at the same time. Okay so this

isn’t true for every single one of us women

(Alhamdulillah!) however for many women

and young girls this is the sad reality of


Young Malala was the most recent example

of this and yet her story isn’t surprising

coming from what is considered a corrupt

and developing country. I’m not talking

about Malala or other countries, I’m talking

about right here in the UK where many a

Muslimah has no idea that many a Muslim

woman has been a pioneer in the sciences,

education, business, politics and governance

and this not today but since the time of the

Prophet (SAW).

So let’s take a look at some of the myths and

constraints faced by many Muslimah’s today;

Women aren’t allowed to work;

Was the Prophet’s (SAW) first wife

not a rich merchant? Was she not his

(SAW) employer? Did she not manage

her family business and provide for her

family financially before and after all her


Marriage proposal’s only come from the

“boy’s side of the family”

Lady Khadijah was the one who sent

forward the proposal of marriage to the

Prophet (SAW). End of!

Women can’t have wealth

Sarah (wife of Ibrahim AS) was his

cousin, a rich lady. She brought quite a

package with her when they married.

Queen of Sheba = Queen = wealthy.

Once she accepted Islam, she married a

King, Suleyman (AS) to be precise and so still

remained wealthy, Queen’s generally are.

Asiyah (Pharaoh’s wife) was Queen of

Egypt and remained so when she came to

Islam until she faced martyrdom.

Lady Khadijah, businesswoman,

successful one too (just in case I didn’t

mention this lady before)

Healthy Living

Women, know

YOUR Place!

Saira Nisa

Saira Nisa is the Founding Director of

Living Wellbeing Ltd

(www.livingwellbeingltd.com), providing

Women’s Motivational Training Courses,

Life and Business Coaching and is also a

Trainer for a London based firm. Saira

is also a member of the Institute of

Entrepreneurs and Enterprise. Originally

from the West Midlands, born and

raised in Birmingham, she now spends

her time skilfully enjoying juggling

family, friends, work and business

between Birmingham and London.

Please do not argue that these women

were all “special” women and so they were

allowed everything they had. Our Lord is

Just and not One who would create one rule

for one people and another for a different

people, that would be unjust and He is not


My personal take on those who try to stop

me is; If Islam does not forbid it, then who

are humans to even try and do so?! I’m not a

rebel or out of control, I just know my rights

and it is my duty to ensure others know too.

These are just a few examples from within

our faith. Leading female figures outside

of the prophet’s families have been just as

influential but unfortunately, no one sings

their praises and so, many women and young

girls do not know of them.

I challenge you to go and find out who they

are and what they did for us all today.

Finally, I’d like to share with you some details

of a creative, interactive workshop which

I delivered for final year students at a UK

Muslim school. Whilst I was impressed with

the young ladies’ knowledge of Islam and

the few examples above, it was also an

eye-opening experience for me; some of

the young ladies had never thought about

their strengths and skills and what they could

do for themselves and the world. Some had

not thought about a career. Some seemed to

quietly accept a ‘woman’s place being in the

home’ and others whilst wanting to pursue

a career were unsure of how to go about

planning for it or whether it was allowed.

All of these young ladies however had

dreams. This was where we worked together

through discussion, through teamwork and

through art to bring colour to them and

start planning. This article contains a few

photographs of the creative work being

produced in line with the future aspirations

of the young ladies participating. Enjoy!

To Your Success.


Workshop delivered at Al-Furqan Secondary School, Birmingham.

support us by joining our page on www.facebook.com/fifteen21magazine 21



Mu`adh (May Allah be pleased with him)

narrated that The Messenger of Allah

sallaAllahu’alayhiwasallam took hold of

my hand and said:

“O Mu`adh! By Allah I love you,

so I advise you to never forget

to recite after every prayer:

Allahumma a`inni ala dhikrika,

wa shukrika, wa husni `ibadatika

(O Allah, help me remember

You, to be grateful to You,

and to worship You in an

excellent manner).’’

(Abu Dawud)

Remembering Allah (SWT), this is

what the focus this month is. The

first thing our beloved Prophet

sallaAllahu’alayhiwasallam tells

Mu’adh (may Allah be pleased with

him) is to ask Allah (SWT) for help to

remember Him (SWT). Why?

Allah (Glorified and exalted is He)


“Verily, in the remembrance of Allâh

do hearts

find rest” (Qur’an 13: 28)

This verse is so beautiful when you

ponder on it. In fact the first time

I comprehended it, I saved it as

my phone screensaver! Why? Well

because one of the most valuable

and precious things a human being

can have is a content heart and

one of the ways to help us achieve

this is to remember Allah the Most

Loving (Al-Wadud), through dhikr

(remembrance of Allah).

How do we do Dhikr?

The best thing about making Dhikr

is that it’s such an easy way to gain

huge reward, with very little effort

and its effects are priceless.

• Do you have to be in wudhu? No

• Do you have to be in prayer? No

• Do you have to be in the Masjid?


What can we say?


• SubhanAllah

• La Illaha illa Allah

Allahu Akbar

• Subhana Rabiyyal A’la

• Subhana Rabiyyal ‘atheem

• AstaghfirAllah

And many more!

Apart from in the toilet, you can do

your Dhikr anywhere:

• Walking to the bus stop

• On the bus

• Waiting in a queue

• While you are shopping

• In your car, and the list goes on and


So if all of this so far hasn’t made

you really want to try hard to always

remember Allah (SWT), check this!

Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased

with him) narrates that the Prophet

Muhammad salla Allahu ‘alayhi

wasallam said:

Allah, Almighty and Exalted, has

angels who seek the people of Dhikr.

If they find the people of Dhikr they

encompass them until they reach the

first heaven. And Allah asks his angels,

‘What are my servants doing?’ The

angels say, ‘O Allah, they are praising

You and glorifying You and they are

making Dhikr.’

Allah says, ‘Did they see Me?’ The

angels answer, ‘No, they didn’t see


Then Allah asks, ‘How would it be if

they were to see Me?’ The angels

reply, ‘O Allah, if they were to see

You, they would be making more

praise of You and more glorification

of You and more Dhikr of You.’

Allah asks ‘What are they asking for?’

The angels say, ‘They are asking for

Your Paradise.’

Allah asks, ‘Did they see My

Paradise?’ The angels answer, ‘No,

Our Lord.’

Allah continues, ‘How would it be if

they saw My Paradise?’ The angels

reply, ‘They would be more attracted

and more eager to reach it.’

Then Allah asks them, ‘Of what are

they afraid?’ And the angels say,

They are afraid of Hellfire.’

Allah asks, ‘How would it be if they

saw my Hellfire?’ and they reply,

They would be running more and

more away from it and asking more

and more protection from it.’

Then Allah said,’ I am making you all

My witnesses: that I am forgiving them

of all their sins.’

….and what more do we want?

Today, right now, let’s all make the

intention to try everyday to do a little

more dhikr than the day before. So

today I’m going to start with 50! How

about you?

May Allah (SWT) make us from the

people that ALWAYS remember Him.


Zaynab Amatullah

support us by joining our page on www.facebook.com/fifteen21magazine 23



for the Oppressed

Shaykh Hamza Yusuf

1. O You, whose mercy is a refuge for all those

In dire need who flee to You to lose their woes,

2. O master of reprieve, whose pardon is so near,

You answer all in need; they know that You do hear!

3. We beg for Your relief, redeemer of the weak;

You are enough for us, both humbled and so meek.

4. No strength can ever match Your awesome majesty,

No might can ever breach Your just authority.

5. The kings all bow like us to Your great sovereignty,

You choose whom to abase or raise decisively.

1. Yā man ilā rahmatihi l-mafarru wa man ilayhi yalja’u l-muzhdarru

2. Wa yā qarība l-afwi yā mawlāhu wa yā mughītha kulli man da’āhu

3. Bika-staghathnā yā mughītha athuafā fa asbunā yā rabbi anta wa kafā

4. Fa lā ajalla min zhīmi qudratik wa lā a’azza min azīzi sadwatik

5. li izzi mulkika l-mulūku takhzha’u takhfizhu qadra man tashā wa tarfa’u

support us by joining our page on www.facebook.com/fifteen21magazine 25

FREE Online Magazine

for Young Muslims of the 21 st Century



Stories of the Prophets (pbut)

Book Reviews & Poetry

Inspiring Role Models

Muslim Heritage

...and much more!

Nearly one billion people go to bed hungry every night, and

two million children die from malnutrition every year.

Hunger kills more people than AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis


If you’re wondering why the challenge is set at £1 a day, it’s

because the international Extreme Poverty Line was defined by

the World Bank as $1.25 US dollars a day, in 2005. If you live

on less than that every day, you’re recognised internationally as

living in extreme poverty.

Converting this to the 2005 equivalent for the UK and adjusting

for inflation, living below the Extreme Poverty Line today would

be the equivalent of us living on £1 a day.

That’s just for food, imagine having to pay for shelter, transport,

health, education and everything else using that £1. Realising

there are millions of people struggling with even less than £1 a

day puts things into perspective.

Live Below the Line is a fundraising and campaigning event

which challenges people to live below the poverty line for 5

days, providing a unique glimpse into the lives of 1.4 billion

people who live below the poverty line every day. The event

aims to raise awareness about the reality of living in extreme

poverty and raise essential funds for life-changing work.

When: Monday 29 April - Friday 3 May.

The challenge: £1 a day for all your food for 5 days.

By taking on the Live Below the Line challenge you are making

a difference to people’s lives for good. From installing water

pumps, to digging community vegetable gardens, to getting

children into school, we can’t do any of this without support. By

raising awareness and vital funds we can make a world without

poverty together.

Find out more about the challenge at www.livebelowtheline.com

support us by joining our page on www.facebook.com/fifteen21magazine 27


Thankyou for agreeing to be interviewed

for Fifteen21 youth magazine, how are


Thanks to Allah, my health is excellent!

And it’s a joy to be talking to you and

contributing in a small way to the great

work you do.

Congratulations on entering your fifth

year at the Cambridge Muslim College,

what was your vision for the college and

has this been fulfilled?

Our sense when we founded the college

was that the first significant generation of

British Muslims had the honour of building

the mosques and now the time has come

to work on the message being given in the

mosques. Often listeners complain that our

imams are not dealing with the real issues

of modern British Muslim men and women,

and especially the youth. Their culture is

too different. So the College was created

to produce a new generation of relevant

Muslim leaders who really understand

modernity, British culture, and the issues of

the youth.

Studying eighteen modules over one

year sounds very intensive. What does

being a student at Cambridge Muslim

College entail?

It’s a steep learning curve, but al-hamdu

li’Llah our students are very dedicated.

They don’t mind the hard work, learning

how to deal with modern science, modern

philosophy, other religions, social problems,

and so on, because they are motivated

to learn, and see why our programme is

important. And the students get to go on

many trips outside Cambridge. There is a

yearly visit to Rome, for instance, which is a

chance to relax as well as to learn.

What is the application deadline for


All applications for our Diploma course

have to be in by May 15th.

Do you have any further plans for the


The future is in Allah’s hands, but we

are raising funds for a building to be

constructed behind our main building in

Cambridge, which will include more lecture

facilities, rooms for scholars, and a larger

prayer room, and also a central research

library for British Muslims to come and use.

That will enable us to realize our dream

of launching a complete accredited BA

degree programme in Islamic Studies, with

up to eighty students studying on the site.

From your experience, what are the

challenges young British Muslims face


They need to learn, so they can sort out in

their minds the various challenges that the

mass media and the surrounding culture

throw at them. They need to have these

challenges clearly explained, by people

who have a culture that is authentically

Islamic and rooted in a real knowledge

of the country and its strengths and

weaknesses. And they need to have

trust in Allah, and not panic or become

downcast by current events. The ummah

has been through tough times before, but

the principle of Tawhid is the strongest

idea in history, and Islam always emerges

Muslim Role-Models

Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad

Dean of Cambridge Muslim College

strengthened whenever there is a test.

What steps do you feel need to be

considered by masjids and mainstream

Muslim organisations to address

the needs of the Muslim and wider


Imams have to know English, and have

to understand the culture of the new

generation. They have to promote unity

between different Muslim groups, it

is damaging that our mosques are so

ethnically segregated. They should promote

intermarriage between different racial

groups, and be friendly and helpful to

converts. They should smile and remember

that Islam is about the joyful celebration

of Divine gifts, not the angry blaming of

people who fall short of the ideal.

For a young person who would like to

study the classical Islamic Sciences, what

would be your advice? Are there any

countries or organisations that you would


The Arab world is on fire at the moment,

support us by joining our page on www.facebook.com/fifteen21magazine 29


and it’s hard to give any advice, since

the situation is changing so fast. The best

students, in my experience, are studying

in Turkey, and are not frightened to learn

Turkish in order to achieve that. Looking at

the map of the Muslim world, it seems that

Indonesia and Turkey are set to become the

leaders of the Ummah over the next few

years, while the Arab world will lag further

behind. The Turkish Islamic colleges are very

selective, but are very good, especially in

theology and Sharia.

You travel extensively in your work,

where is the best place that your work

has taken you?

Perhaps my favourite country is Brunei:

a model of an Islamic country where

ecological values are doing much to

conserve the natural environment. But I also

appreciate China, which has perhaps the

most beautiful Sharia-compliant music I

have ever heard.

What achievements are you most proud


That’s not an Islamic way of putting it!

Everything is Allah’s gift, and is by His


If you were granted one wish, what

would it be?

My prayer is for Muslims to have more

compassion and wisdom in dealing with

each other.

MashAllah you are a great role model

to our readers, but who was your

role-model when you were growing up?

When I was young role models were

less important. I suppose John Betjeman

inspired many in the 1970s, to take

tradition seriously, and to have a healthy

skepticism about the ability of science and

technology to make us happier and better


Any advice for the youth?

If you are studying, especially religious

subjects, you should read Imam

al-Ghazali’s little book ‘O Youth

(Ayyuha’l-Walad), in the excellent

translation by the British Muslim scholar

Tobias Mayer. He shows in very simple

language how to study in a way that

yields light, sincerity and blessing. My

recent book Commentary on the Eleventh

Contentions also tries to be uplifting

for young people, dealing with modern

political and intellectual questions in a

hundred short sound bites. Other advice:

don’t forget anything you have memorized

of the Holy Qur’an, because that is to lose

light after gaining it, and the presence

of the Book of Allah in your heart will

influence and strengthen everything you

do, if you have a good intention. Try

to empathise with others, and see their

situation from their point of view, whether

they are Muslims or non-Muslims. Treat

everyone with the respect due to all

descendents of our first father Adam. Do

not hate unbelievers, feel sorry for them,

because in most cases their unbelief is

the result of an ignorance which may be

our fault as much as theirs. Know that the

world is Allah’s gift, and that He needs

nothing in return, and that your worship

and gratitude are part of His gift to

you. And if you realize how much He

gives, and how little you deserve or do,

you will never stop praising Him. He is

the infinitely lovable, the overlooker of

faults; the Gifter of all beauty, so we are

surrounded by a banquet! The only rule

is: have good table manners, and do not

spoil your enjoyment by overindulgence!

Muslims are here to party, giving hamd

and shukr, and we remember that the

Sahaba had the most beautiful smiles.

support us by joining our page on www.facebook.com/fifteen21magazine 31


Muslim Role-Models

Niaz Hannan

Cambridge Muslim College Student

How are you?

Alhamdulillah, I’m doing great.

Salaam and best wishes to all of

our readers.

Congratulations on being

selected to study at the

Cambridge Muslim College

founded by Shaykh Abdal

Hakim Murad, what do you

enjoy most about your studies


Let’s see, hmm, where do I

begin? I think you got one reason

in your question, Shaykh Abdal

Hakim Murad! What a scholar.

May Allah preserve him and

keep his shadow over us. An

ocean of knowledge and piety.

Another thing that specifically

drew me to the Diploma

program at CMC was the fact

that the institution endeavours

to expose potential leaders

of the Muslim community to

a wide and diverse array of

subjects, both academic and

practical, to provide the tools

and background knowledge

necessary for more effective and

efficient service to the Deen and

the Ummah.

How did you become interested

in studying the classical


Let’s go all the way back to the

beginning in the back streets

of suburban Philadelphia, or

Philly, as we know it. There were

only about ten or fifteen Muslim

families in our area. There were

no scholars or Imams in those

days, and I’m talking about

the early nineties. Eventually,

we started using a house as a

Masjid, the Muslim community

grew exponentially over the

next decade, and we eventually

refurbished a derelict nightclub

and transformed it into a Masjid.

The Imams that we had were

traditionally trained scholars

from the Indian Subcontinent,

and I’m pretty sure they didn’t

study at CMC! That’s when I

decided that I needed to take

this journey and train to become

a Muslim scholar. I’ve been

to Buffalo, New York as well

as Kidderminster, Blackburn,

Markfield, and now Cambridge

to study. Nine years and


Where is the best place your

studies have taken you and


Aw come on, that’s not a fair

question! I love all my schools

and teachers. Darul-Uloom

Al-Madania in Buffalo, New

York set the foundation for

me and I completed my Ḥifz

(memorisation) of the Holy

Qur’ān there. An unforgettable

experience. Madinatul-Uloom

Al-Islamiya in Kidderminster

was where I commenced my

Islamic and Arabic Sciences

(Dars-e-Niẓāmī) and Jamiatul-

Ilm Wal-Huda in Blackburn is

where I graduated. If I had

to pick between one of these

three Islamic institutions, I’d say

Kidderminster. The environment

there was just amazing,

so comfortable, so open,

dedication of the students and

teachers; it was just something

else. I loved every minute of it

and now I miss it and long to go


What’s your favourite book?

The Last Don” by Mario Puzo. I

think it’s even better than Puzo’s

The Godfather”.

What are the main challenges

facing alim’s and alima’s in

the UK?

One thing that I have come

to realise is that there needs

to be a stronger voice from

the leaders of the Muslim

community. Young and future

Muslim scholars need to

utilise their strengths and

abilities collectively in order to

effectively and appropriately

propagate the beautiful

teachings of Islam to future


If you were granted one wish,

what would it be?

I wish I could teach in Al-

Madinah Al-Munawwarah

sitting next to the blessed grave

of Rasalullah (May Allah send

peace and mercy upon him).


What further aspirations do

you have?

I hope to start an Islamic school

or institution of my own in Philly

In Sha Allah, modelled upon

the ones that I’ve studied at in

the UK. I want to be involved in

the education and nurturing of

young Muslims in America.

Any advice for our readers?

That’s it right there. Read,

read, read, and keep on

reading. Make it a personal

responsibility to read a book

regularly, every week, every

two weeks, every month,

whatever works for you and

your schedule. You’ll be amazed

at how much you will benefit

from books. Finally, always

keep in touch with and follow

the guidance and wisdom of the

scholars of the Ummah. They

are our source of understanding

Islam. Value them.

support us by joining our page on www.facebook.com/fifteen21magazine 33


How are you?

Alhamdulillah, I am very good.

Congratulations on being

selected to study at the

Cambridge Muslim College

founded by Shaykh Abdal

Hakim Murad, what do

you enjoy most about your

studies there?

What I enjoy most in my

studies is that the program

is incredibly stimulating

and diverse. Every week is

different, and every week we

are introduced to exceptional

individuals from the Muslim

community. I can’t keep up

with all the names I hope

to remember for life. The

greatest treat of it all is

seminars with Shaykh Abdal

Hakim Murad. I still get struck

with amazement that I am

sitting in his class.

How did you become

interested in studying the

classical sciences?

I have been blessed with

adventurous and ambitious

parents. This isn’t a decision I

made myself, my entire family

packed up and left Canada

for seven years to study Islam

under the guidance of scholars

in India. Alhamdulillah. I

only came to recognize the

immensity of this blessing once

I returned to Canada.

Where is the best place your

studies have taken you and


I’d say my seven years in

India were most rewarding.

It was learning not only from

texts but the environment as

well. I’ve studied with orphans

who were dropped off at my

Jamea by their grandparents,

Muslim Role-Models

Zakiyah Gangat

Cambridge Muslim College Student

as they could no longer afford

to feed them. I know the

names of people who did not

own more than three pairs of

clothes, or never skipped a line

in their notebook so they didn’t

waste paper. Most importantly,

it allowed me to develop strong

relationships with people to

whom money, status, popularity

and looks were never a factor.


What’s your favourite book?

I love the Quran. I love how it

sounds, I love how it speaks to

me, many a times according

to my need. I love how it

looks, I love how it is always

soothing and I love teaching it.


Have you faced any barriers?

I am a visible Muslim as I wear

the niqab (face-veil). However,

when I encounter apprehension,

or hostility I like to see it as a

reality of the times we live in

and not something personal. It’s

part of my test in life to deal

with it in a dignified manner,

and this I try, to the best of my


If you were granted one wish,

what would it be?

I pray that Allah (SWT) looks

at me with mercy on the Day of

Judgment. Ameen.

What is your favourite

language in the world and


By virtue I would say Arabic,

however I must admit I am no

master of it. I’ll happily say

English is my second best, it

recently bumped off Urdu,

unless we are talking about


MashAllah you are a great

role model to our readers, but

who was your role-model

when you were growing up?

I grew up in Chateauguay a

small village near Montreal

with about 4 other Muslim

families. This was before the

internet, so I did not have much

exposure to other Muslims. I

would say my father was and

is one of the greatest Muslims I

know. I’ve always wanted to be

like him, and I must admit, I am

still trying.

What further aspirations do

you have?

I aspire to always continue

learning, and sharing what I

have. The more you learn, the

more you enjoy it and the more

you realize how much there is

to discover. I am still the little

kid who dreams of what they

will be when they grow up, one

day a scholar, the next a nurse,

a mailman, a police officer, an

astronaut, a lawyer, a farmer.

For now I am enjoying being

the little child who only needs

to worry about learning.

Any advice for our readers?

Learn your religion from a

beautiful source; it will give

you a life full of passion and

purpose. You will discover

yourself and you are sure to

shine ahead.

support us by joining our page on www.facebook.com/fifteen21magazine 35


Muslim Role-Models

Hassan Rabbani

Cambridge Muslim College Student

How are you?

Alhumdullilah I am very well.

Congratulations on being

selected to study at the

Cambridge Muslim College

founded by Shaykh Abdal

Hakim Murad, what do

you enjoy most about your

studies there?

The most enjoyable aspect of

my studies is the opportunity

to spend time with Shaykh

Abdal Hakim Murad and to

be in his companionship. I feel

that this is one of the greatest

blessings of Allah (SWT)

to have the opportunity to

study with such a prominent

personality. I pray that Allah

(SWT) blesses the Shaykh

with a long life so we can

continue benefiting from him.

I also enjoy meeting different

scholars who often come to

teach at Cambridge Muslim

College. In recent months I

have had the privilege of

meeting Shaykh Talal al-

A’zam, Professor William

Chittick and Prince Ghazi Bin


What is the aim of the

Contextual Islamic Studies

with Leadership Diploma?

The aim of the Diploma is to

help a scholar to contextualise

the sacred sciences in a

Modern British community. The

dynamics of every society are

different and it is incumbent

upon scholars to understand

their society and how to

interact with it. The Diploma

helps us to understand British

society, its dynamics, theories

and philosophies.

Where is the best place your

studies have taken you and


I would say Al-Azhar University

(Cairo, Egypt). It is the symbol

of Islamic scholarship and it

has been for the past thousand

years. Many great scholars and

intellectuals have graduated

from this prestigious university

and thus to me this is the

greatest seat of learning today.

In addition to my studies, the

culture and intellectual milieu of

Cairo helped to strengthen the

seed of faith in my heart.

Have you faced any barriers?

The student who embarks on

the path of seeking sacred

knowledge is always told that

he will face hardships and that

he should remain diligent and

patient if he wants to succeed.

I left my family in Glasgow at

the age of 11 which was very

difficult for me. I also found it

difficult initially to live on my

own but Alhamdulillah my Lord

has been ever Merciful and

Gracious and I was able to

finish my studies in ease.

What are the main challenges

facing alim’s and alima’s in

the UK?

Job opportunities, finances and

integration in British society

are big challenges. Many

scholars find it difficult to

relate to different sectors of

the community and often lack

confidence and wisdom when

engaging with different issues.

Do you do any community or

voluntary work?

Alhumdullilah I have been

blessed to do both. I am

currently working with the Roshni

Charity in Glasgow which offer

help to women and children

who have faced abuse. I did

voluntary work in Nottingham

at the Bobbers Mill Community

Centre. I always help out at my

local mosque and currently I am

engaged with a few community


If you were granted one wish,

what would it be?

Pack up and migrate to Cairo

where I could study for the rest

of my life.

What is your favourite

language in the world and


I would say Urdu. It is such

a beautiful and eloquent

language. From poetry to love,

everything is pleasant to the

ear. Urdu is largely based on

Arabic and Persian and once it

is mastered, it is very easy to

learn Arabic and Persian.

Do you have any hobbies?

I enjoy playing and watching

football. I occasionally do circuit

training and love travelling and


MashAllah you are a great

role model to our readers, but

who was your role-model

when you were growing up?

My role models were Shaykh

Hamza Yusuf and Shaykh

Abdal Hakim Murad. These two

towering figures helped me to

understand my faith as a British

Muslim and attracted me to

spirituality and traditional Islam.

Any advice for our readers?

Whatever you do in life, make

sure you enjoy it and always

re-assess your intentions. If your

intentions are pure Allah (SWT)

will make it easy for you.

support us by joining our page on www.facebook.com/fifteen21magazine 37


Keep Calm & Smile Newcastle University Islam Awareness Week

If there is one thing about myself that

I can consider to be a unique gift from

my Creator, it is my ability to smile. I can

smile even when tears are running down

my cheeks and I can smile at the strangest

stranger on the street.

I realized that is not something everyone

could do happily and I know how a smile

can really affect someone. To come and

live in a foreign country without having

one familiar soul with me, a stranger’s

smile is all it takes to warm me up on a

cold day.

And that one week was extremely filled

with the most beautiful smiles I have ever

felt in my entire life.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said:

“Your smile for your brother is charity.”

I have always loved handing food with a

smile. I had the best day’s waitressing and

even better when I was a barista. I was

happy to serve. Who wouldn’t be when

there’s money involved.

But for 5 days as a volunteer at Newcastle

University’s Discover Islam Week, while

handing out free samosas and drinks, I

discovered Islam in a new perspective

and I discovered the real depth of a smile

that’s curved for the sake of God. A smile

intended for Allah (SWT), is one that can

give you the strength to do more when you

feel you have had enough.

The more I look into Islam, the more I fall

in love with the faith. And every time I fall

deeper in love with it, I realize that the

love is bottomless and His knowledge that

has been revealed to us is so vast that

there’s so much to be discovered in each

step. Each day I am even more convinced

that with that first step you take towards

Him, He will open doors for you and

shower you with His love in ways

you have never imagined.

I was taught to pray from a young age

and the obligation to cover myself as

soon as it became obligatory for me. I

was brought up to be charitable to my

surrounding and to be aware of the

condition of the society and live a life

to make it better. My friends kept me

safe on the fine line between fitna’ and

chastity. I’ve always been protected by

Him even when I did not give my heart to

Him. I have always been blessed with His

Love even when I did not make the true

purpose of life as my priority.

And Allah The Most Merciful sent me to

this part of the world to have just that.

Bizarre, innit? Who would have thought

I’d find Islam in its truest sense in this part

of the world where getting drunk is a

daily affair and putting on a short tight

dress in below freezing temperatures is a


“Call on Me, and I will answer you”

(Qur’an, 40: 60)

More than 20 years of my life was spent

in what the rest of the world called

a Muslim country. Some of my closest

friends are non-Muslims. All of them know

I’m a Muslim; that I pray a number of

times a day, I don’t eat pork, I don’t drink

alcohol and I wear a scarf on my head.

I don’t know how many of them silently

have the general misconceptions about

Islam because I never ask nor do I ever

feel the need to explain. If ever our

discussions were about to enter ‘tabooland’,

we would swerve. Yet here and

now I’m wondering if I have been selfish

all along.

Here I see Muslims so eager to share

Islam that they travel through rain and

snow just to share the message with

the rest of the society. Discussions are

not shunned but entirely encouraged.

And they come with a smile, a cup of

coffee and of course, samosas. Here I

saw people wanting to share the faith,

not excluding anyone and not making it

exclusive to our own selves. I know here

I can seek answers.

Hana Nor Haminudin

Continued on page 38

support us by joining our page on www.facebook.com/fifteen21magazine 39

support us by joining our page on www.facebook.com/fifteen21magazine 41


Fear and Hope Leeds University Discover Islam Week

Discover Islam Week, 2013 was

phenomenal as the Leeds Islamic

Society had the honour of welcoming

the renowned speaker, Idris Tawfiq; a

former Roman Catholic priest who used

to be part of the Vatican. Idris shared

his story on how he converted to Islam

and his relationship with Prophet Jesus

(AS) as a Catholic and then a Muslim.

Later on in the week we also had the

pleasure of welcoming Dana Abdul

Karim, an Olympic torchbearer and

Sabah Khalid, a prolific speaker and

author, who was very active during the

feminist movement in the 60’s. They each

delivered an inspiring talk addressing

the issue of Feminism in Islam, and which

ultimately served to counteract the preexisting

misconceptions and stereotypes.

Amongst the many points made, Dana

shared her father’s words of wisdom and

concrete belief that: ‘following man leads

to a hopeless end, following Allah (SWT)

leads to endless hope’. She informed the

audience how these words resonated with

her and served as a guide for her every

personal endeavour.

Besides the talks during this improbable,

eventful week, we had the pleasure of

distributing free roses in the University

campus, and this served as a form of

dawah for non-Muslims since attached

to each rose were the words of the

Divine and the Prophet (SAW). The

event received a great response and

was later released in the Asian Express.

Furthermore, the week was full of

spontaneity and surprises, as the Union

decided to cancel the Friday prayer hall

without informing the Islamic Society.

However we took the opportunity to pray

outside the Union.

Amongst the stalls, workshops, henna

stand and the live calligraphy, as I was

walking through the crowd, two non-

Muslims who had initially been stood

with one of the brothers for over an hour

happened to be taking leave, and as I

was passing by, one friend told the other

with a heartfelt sincerity, “What nice

people they are...” I smiled and walked

back to the stall. Brothers and sisters, we

have no idea what resonates with whom,

for maybe every single conversation

we had, every single smile, every single

morsel of food we shared, every single

box we carried, those 8am starts, every

single text we sent as a reminder and

every single second we stood outside in

the cold giving dawah, just maybe on the

Day of Judgement when our deeds are

accounted for, they will stand before us

on that day of reckoning, defending and

fighting for our cause.

This week was like the gentle breeze

blowing upon the heart, extinguishing the

blaze of the dunya (worldly life), as we

surely know that whosoever caused his

heart to settle with his Lord shall be in a

state of calmness and tranquillity, and

whosoever sent it amongst the people

shall be disturbed and excessively

perturbed. This week was a reminder to

us to show how impeccable and beautiful

our religion is.

I loved Discover Islam Week. I loved the

people who committed themselves to this

week. I loved everything and anything

about this week, because ultimately it was

about one thing, God, the Prophet and

everything that embodies this religion.

We are beautiful. Our religion is


Let us work to become more refined

individuals as the knowledge of our

religion strikes our senses and makes our

heart quiver. Let the fear of Him and the

consequences and failures be the drive,

as ultimately the Heavens and Earth are

in fear of Him.

And with this wing of fear, be granted a

wing of hope, so we can fly to Him.

Haneen Shabib

support us by joining our page on www.facebook.com/fifteen21magazine 43


Be Like Tails Cambridge University Explore Islam Week

Explore Islam Week (EIW) is the most

exciting and anticipated week in the

Cambridge University Islamic Society

(CUISoc) calendar. The nationally held

week long initiative is not only a great

dawah opportunity which gives us the

chance to present Islam to non-Muslims

and break down barriers, but through

it’s very essence it brings together

communities and strengthens friendships.

This year, EIW was held in Cambridge

from 16th to 24th February and our

humble aspirations centred on the aim of

creating an open, diverse and tolerant

environment where anybody could ask

questions, put forward their views and

discuss a range of topics. Issues ranged

from economics to women, spirituality to

the existence of God, an appreciation

of Jesus (AS) by Muslims and Christians,

to sharing the powerful experiences of

people who found Islam in unexpected


The week began with a talk about the

nature of spirituality and the essence of

being Muslim with some powerful poetry

beautifully delivered by Ali Fadhil, and

what appears to be becoming of true

ISoc fashion - servings of warm mint tea.

The evening was a good introduction to

the idea of being at peace with oneself

and Allah (SWT), and served as a

pertinent reminder for us all.

One of the most unique events hosted,

was an Evening of Poetry, a means of

expression and spirituality that nothing

compares to. Five poets included

Cambridge student, Ali Khan, visiting

poets Abbas Zahedi and Ibrahim Sincere,

former student Shafiqa Aslam, and a

local teacher, Tony. We included a poem

of one absent poet, Talha Ahsan (award

winning poet extradited to the US in

2012 after spending six years in high

security prisons in the UK, despite not

being found guilty of any crime).

Samia Aziz

The highest attended event was by far

‘Jesus in the eyes of four billion’. Lord

Rowan Williams and Paul Bilal Williams

sought the similarities between the two

faiths, with respect to Jesus as a leader,

spiritual guide and a blessing to the

whole of mankind. Lord Williams spoke

of leadership and eloquently reminded us

all as Jesus did, “if people appoint you

as heads, be like tails”.

No EIW in Cambridge is complete without

a thought-provoking, philosophical

and insightful discussion led by Shaykh

Abdal Hakim Murad (Timothy Winter).

The question, ‘Is God Merciful?’ was

addressed. In reminding us of the

limitations of the human heart, intellect,

and the very nature of time itself,

Shaykh presented divine beauty, the

magnificence of our Creator and His plan.

We often forget that characteristics such

as compassion and mercy are also names

given to God.

The final event of the week was an

eye-opening lecture on finance and the

banking crisis, introduced by Shaykh

Abdal Hakim and carried forward

by Tarik El-Diwany. The Shaykh used

prophetic examples to speak about the

requirement of honesty and integrity

of all parties in our financial dealings.

Tarik shed light on the flaws of the

current economic system, which based

upon borrowing and interest rates simply

cannot sustain itself. The event bought the

week to a close and was described as

‘awesomeness incarnate.’

This year’s EIW saw some of the largest

event turnouts the ISoc has seen for quite

some time. The feedback was positive,

and throughout the week there were some

really interesting and inspiring questions

asked. Often it is the conversations

we share with people after events, as

reminded by Idris Tawfiq in his talk,

which remain with us for a long time.

When somebody comes to you after

an event to tell you it made them re-

evaluate their relationship with God and

the Qur’an, or when people thank you

for putting on events that enable them

to ask fundamental questions, you know

that all those hours spent planning events,

tracking down speakers, discussing poster

designs, updating social media, booking

rooms and making phone calls were truly

worthwhile. Alhamdulillah. Celebratory

fresh cream cake ended the week but

truly all praise is due to Allah (SWT).

We pray that our efforts are accepted.


support us by joining our page on www.facebook.com/fifteen21magazine 45


Intersoc Sheffield University Islam Awareness Week

IAW is always one of the biggest events

of the year for Islamic societies, and for

the University of Sheffield, this year was

no different! With stalls in and around

our Students’ Union providing literature,

free henna and cupcakes, we were able

to reach out to the non-Muslim audience

at our university to spread the message

of our religion. Throughout the week

there were a number of evening lectures

on a variety of pertinent issues such

as women’s rights in Islam and the true

identity of Prophet Muhammad (SAW)

from Islamic scholars and academics

to allow people to engage on a more

intellectual level.

As well as this outreach to non-Muslims,

many Muslims themselves are under the

perception that Islamic societies are for a

specific niche in the community and feel

that they would be judged by attending

events, a misconception that we have

particularly tried to change this year.

Our last event of the week was a first

of its kind at our university, an intersoc

event titled ‘Want to Know More?’ held

in collaboration with six of the main

societies with Muslim members: USIC,

SMSA, Alulae, Pasco, Palos and Arabs.

The main aim of this event was to provide

a relaxed atmosphere that combined

gaining knowledge with entertainment

and offered a chance for Muslim

students of different interests to meet

each other as well as get more involved

with societies. The event was held in our

Students’ Union and it saw introductions

from each society highlighting their aims

and events, followed by workshops.

The 5 workshops offered a variety of

activities from calligraphy and basics

of Urdu to Malaysian traditional games

and introduction to the history of Arab

civilisations and the conflict in Palestine.

Whilst conversing with many attendees

over free tea and coffee provided, many

were surprised to hear that alongside

the religious lectures we hold, we also

partake in other events such as local

volunteering, socials and sports.

From this innovative event, we have

realised the potential of and need for

outreach work to the student population

at the university. Every Muslim student

should feel at home within the Islamic

society and it is our aim to make this

happen. We hope to repeat this event at

the beginning of next year.

Mohamed Yusuf

support us by joining our page on www.facebook.com/fifteen21magazine 47


Working under Pressure Manchester Metropolitan Discover Islam Week

The question I asked myself was “Where do I begin?” as I

was informed by the society president that I will be heading

Discover Islam Week 2013. The usual situation during DIW

centered on setting up stalls around the university campus

and giving dawah; however, as a head, I had the ambition of

setting up a marquee outside the busiest campus at university;

the Business School. Unfortunately the marquee permission was

not granted therefore we went back to basics, stalls around


As the week started I felt under immense pressure due to the

fact that it was my first time to lead such a large project, and

that I had to be a role model for the young volunteers and

help them out with their work. The week was a great learning

experience and an opportunity to share our work with the rest

of the university community. I reflect back on DIW and how it

has given me confidence in myself.

Abdullah Sheikhi

Discover Islam Week is in my opinion,

the most rewarding week of the

academic year. To spread the truth of

Allah’s Oneness (SWT) and that Prophet

Muhammad (SAW) is His final Messenger

is something close to all of our hearts. No

opportunity should be missed!

We began organising in November and

the months that followed were intense yet

rewarding. We went from co-coordinating

volunteers and organising dawah

workshops to the minutest of details,

such as liaising with the Student Union

in order to book venues on campus. We

organised dawah sessions for ourselves

and volunteers to ensure we were all well

prepared. Alhamdulillah, they were the

basis for our training, learning what to

say to Atheists, Christians and agnostics,

and how to deal with awkward questions

such as, ‘why don’t men wear hijab?’

But what actually emerged from the

experience was different. We soon learnt

that dawah could not actually be taught

in a classroom setting, where we had

the comfort of our friends. Similarly to

any controlled environment, it rose-tints

what the real world brings. People are

persistent about their own beliefs and

doing dawah can actually be daunting in

real life. But the important thing is not to

be disheartened by a few stutters through

the conversation. Go back with a smile

and try again!

Taybah Malik

Speakers were one of the most important

elements of the week. We had the

pleasure of hosting Brother Idris Tawfiq

who talked about his conversion to Islam

as well as Sister Alima Ashfaq who

spoke about women’s rights in Islam. To

bring someone more experienced and

knowledgeable on Islam can be a further

push for people in the right direction.

Although our main purpose was to invite

scholars for non-Muslims to benefit, they

are also very inspiring for Muslims too,

giving us a deeper understanding of our

own faith.

As hard as it may be to balance

assignment deadlines, exam revision and

our Islamic duties, my advice is trying your

best to make time! There are things you

will learn by giving a few hours of your

time for the sake of Allah (SWT), such as

patience and gratitude. Remember, if you

do things for Allah’s (SWT) sake, He will

help you through struggles Inshallah.

support us by joining our page on www.facebook.com/fifteen21magazine 49


A Day in the Life of… Prophet Muhammed (saw)

- A Prophet in Shepherd’s Clothing

Throughout his infancy and childhood,

Prophet Muhammad (may Allah shower

peace and blessings upon him) lived with

his foster mother Halimah (may Allah be

pleased with her) and her family. When

he was six years old, the Prophet’s mother

‘Aminah took him to visit his father’s grave.

On their way back home, she suddenly

became very ill and left this world soon

after. The Prophet (may Allah shower

peace and blessings upon him) was

orphaned a second time.

After his mother’s passing, he lived with

his grandfather Abdul Muttalib who was

about ninety years old at the time. The

Prophet (may Allah shower peace and

blessings upon him) loved his grandfather

very dearly. Sadly, when the Prophet

(may Allah shower peace and blessings

upon him) was eight years old, his beloved

grandfather Abdul Muttalib also passed

away, and he was orphaned for a third

time. The Prophet (May Allah shower

peace and blessings upon him) learned

about the meaning of life and death at

a young age and this helped to train him

for his mission later on as the leader of

mankind. Before his death, Abdul Muttalib

instructed his son Abu Talib, the Prophet’s

uncle, to look after him. Abu Talib treated

his nephew Muhammad (may Allah shower

peace and blessings upon him) as his own

son and was his guardian for the rest of his


Abu Talib had a big family with many

children and it wasn’t easy for him to

support such a family. So when the Prophet

(May Allah shower peace and blessings

upon him) was about eight years old, he

started working as a shepherd for his

uncle in order to help him out financially.

He would take the sheep and cattle of

his relatives and the people of Makkah

to the surrounding deserts to graze. Abu

Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with

him) narrates that the Prophet (may Allah

shower peace and blessings upon him)

said, “Allah never sent any prophet except

that they herded sheep.” His Companions

asked him, “Even you?” He replied, “Yes,

I used to herd the sheep of the people of

Makkah for money.” (Narrated by

al-Bukhari, Hadith no. 2262)

Every Prophet Allah (SWT) ever sent to

this world spent some time working as a

shepherd. But why? Why did Allah (SWT)

make every Prophet a shepherd? Simple.

To perform any task, training is necessary.

Allah, the Most Wise gave all of the

Prophets (peace be upon them) this special

training so that they would eventually

be ready for the huge responsibility of

prophethood and delivering Allah’s (SWT)

message to the people. There are many

important life skills that one acquires from

being a shepherd. Some of these are:

1 Responsibility. The shepherd holds full

responsibility and accountability for

looking after the flock, even if the flock is

at fault of its own actions.

2 Leadership. A leader physically may not

always be out in front, just as the shepherd

sometimes works behind the moving flock,

but spiritually, a leader is the one who

leads from the front, by his/her example.

3 Patience. Sheep don’t always stay

together; they go wherever they like

and just follow the path of other sheep.

In order to control them and keep them

together, one needs a high level of


4 Protection. The shepherd protects the

herd. Cattle have limited sight and can

only see so far. There are various seen

and unseen dangers such as wolves, other

beasts and diseases which may harm the

herd. A human who stands taller has a

further view and can see danger as it is

approaching. The first to notice danger

is the shepherd who gives an advanced

warning to the herd, just as the Prophets

(peace be upon them) see dangers

and warn their followers. They have the

clearest vision and a vantage point that

none of us have. They know exactly what

is good and what is potentially harmful for


5 Simplicity. A shepherd lives a very simple

life and doesn’t take all of his possessions

with him to the desert. He only carries the

essentials with him to his job, no matter

how rich he may be. A shepherd eats very

simple food and has simple and basic


6 Closeness to the Creation of Allah

(SWT). Shepherding pulls one out of

the artificial world and brings one

closer to nature. We were all created

from this earth and are part of nature.

Being too far from nature results in less

contemplation of the Creation of Allah

(SWT) such as the sun, moon, stars,

heavens, mountains, rivers, oceans, plants,

etc. The Prophets of Allah (peace be upon

them) took advantage of this time to think

and reflect about nature.

When a person has experience in leading,

organising, and controlling animals,

performing these activities with people

becomes easier.

Abdullah ibn Umar (may Allah be pleased

with him) narrates that Allah’s Messenger

(may Allah shower peace and blessings

upon him) said, “Every one of you is

a shepherd (guardian); and you are

accountable for your flock (that which is

in your care)…” (Narrated by al-Bukhari,

Hadith no. 2558)

Mufti Niaz Hannan

support us by joining our page on www.facebook.com/fifteen21magazine 51

The 2013

Shahbag Protests

In February 2013, we saw the sentencing

of three of the most prominent members of

the Jamaat-e-Islami, the opposition party,

in Bangladesh.

The 2013 Shahbag protests by the

people demanded that the government

should implement capital punishment

upon Abdul Quader Mullah, 64, for war

crimes committed in the 1971 Bangladesh

Liberation War.

The International Crimes Tribunal of

Bangladesh sentenced Mullah to life

imprisonment for crimes committed during

the time Bangladesh broke away from


The war of independence brings the

accusation of killing up to three million

people and raping thousands of women by

the opposition, the Pakistan Army and local

Islamic parties.

A second member, Delwar Hossain

Sayedee, vice president of the Islamic

party, was sentenced to death later that


Both verdicts brought about protests. The

supporters of Jamaat–e–Islami began a

country-wide protest which quickly became

punishing and destructive.

The police opened fire and used

truncheons to control crowds, both for and

against convictions, a total of 52 people

are known to have been killed throughout

the 2013 Shahbag protests. Human Rights

Watch placed most of the deaths upon

the authorities use of live ammo. The

brutal killing of Ahmed Rajib Haider, an

activist and blogger, who welcomed the

verdicts, also lead to escalation and mass

protests breaking out in different areas of


Underhand workings continue to plague

the hearings; December last year saw

the chairman of the tribunal resign as it

emerged he was collaborating with the


How much truth is there behind the

evidence being presented and is the death

penalty just? Or do we see a government

looking to empower itself by deluding its


Time will tell if the verdict of death will

be inflicted. Today we still see Bangladesh

recovering from the liberation of 1971.

Hazma Farooq

support us by joining our page on www.facebook.com/fifteen21magazine 53

Nominate a Role Model!

Over the past 13 issues Fifteen21 has showcased many inspirational role-models from the

Muslim community in the UK. From youth activists like Neelam Rose, to Humza Yousaf,

a trail-blazing young politician in Glasgow to Aisha Yasmin, a young aspiring designer

from Birmingham hoping to make it big in the Big Apple!

If you would like to nominate an inspiring role-model to be featured in a future issue of

Fifteen21 please email us at letters@fifteen21.com with the following details;

• Role-Models Full Name

• Contact Phone Number / Email

(if known)

• What inspires you about this person

(max 150 words)

We look forward to receiving

your nominations!

The Story of Prophet Samuel (AS) and King Saul (David & Goliath)

• *NEW* Young Minds – Cannabis Psychosis

• Muslim Heritage – Mariam ‘Al-Astrolabiya’ – Scientist, Inventor

• Look, Smile, Chat! Deaf Awareness Week

In The Next Issue…

• Masjids Around the World - Schwetzingen Castle Mosque

• Regular Features – Poems, Book Reviews, Recipes, Stories

Out on Friday 26th April 2012!


Organisation Profile

Nour Domestic Violence

What does Nour do?

Nour is a charity which aims to engage

the public, and especially the minority

muslim communities, to become aware

and take action against this silent yet

prevalent social injustice – domestic

violence. At Nour we also have a strong

Islamic ethos and seek to condemn

domestic violence using Islamic literature

from both the Quran and the

prophetic teachings.

Thankyou for agreeing to be

interviewed for Fifteen21 youth

magazine. You recently held Domestic

Violence Awareness Week (18th - 24th

March). What were both your biggest

challenges and achievements during

this week?

As always, it is hard work to organise

and orchestrate all the events for

Domestic Violence Awareness Week,

and the behind the scenes planning is

very time consuming, but SubhanAllah

the team at Nour are amazing and work

tirelessly and the week is a reflection of

their passion, sincerity and commitment

to this cause. Though this feels like the

biggest challenge at times, I think the

real challenge is trying to attract the

public and get the masjids engaged

in our events. It is without doubt, our

biggest achievement is always receiving

the positive feedback we get from the

general public and from survivors of

domestic violence.

Do you only support Muslim victims?

Our duty of care and the services we

provide at Nour do not discriminate

against any client regardless of their

background, and thus our services are

always open to everyone.

What does Islam say about domestic


Islam talks heavily about the status

and rights of women, the rights of men,

the rights of children, and even the

rights of the elderly. Adhering to these

teachings gives no opportunity for this

oppression. The Holy Qur’an and the

Hadiths do go into more detail about the

treatment of wives and husbands, about

marital discord and even about physical

violence making clear that Islam never

condones domestic violence. The words

from the Holy Qur’an are heavy and

pure like gold, yet these words are often

neglected as if they are as light as a


Do you feel there is enough awareness

amongst young people about domestic


Awareness is growing amongst the youth

but there still needs to be more done, there

is no limit to understanding and its value is

immeasurable. Speaking from experience,

domestic violence is an issue generally

perceived as something that happens

rarely and thus is not the focus topic of

most teenager conversations, most definitely

because domestic violence is under-reported

and sometimes marginalised. Most children

grow up too shy or afraid to talk about

domestic violence in their households, or

they simply accept it as a way of life and

become desensitised by it.

Reports reveal that more than 40% of

victims are male, how can you explain

this change?

This may be more reflective in the change

in reporting and the changing attitudes

that men can also suffer from domestic

abuse, which has enabled more to come

forward to seek help. It is also easy to

imagine domestic abuse taking a physical

form, however most survivors of domestic

violence will give testament that although

the physical abuse hurt and wounded, the

psychological torture is what really kept

them caged and left scars that are invisible

but hurt more. Thus it is easy to assume that

men do not suffer from domestic abuse as

they generally tend to be stronger, however,

domestic violence is about dominance

and control and it is wrong to assume that

women are never the perpetrators. Domestic

violence is gender unbiased.

What are the signs that someone is

suffering from domestic violence?

There are many signs, and they are not

always the textbook signs as many victims

formulate their own coping strategy and

become very good at hiding the abuse

they are suffering from. Signs however can

include withdrawal from social gatherings,

a change in personality, depression, and

even weight loss. But no-one should rely on

signs to determine if a person they know is

suffering from domestic violence; it is almost

a silent evil.

support us by joining our page on www.facebook.com/fifteen21magazine 57


Nour Domestic Violence


0208 904 8193

From your experience, what are the

most common reasons people stay in

relationships which are abusive?

The clients who have approached Nour

often cite many reasons for staying in

such relationships. These reasons include

wanting to give another chance to save

their marriage, to stay for the sake of their

children, or because they do not know of

other options that they have because they

may be financially dependent on their

partner or worst yet, because they have

been told that their partner has Islamic

rights to inflict such abuse. Regardless of the

reasons, at the primary level, the sufferer is

made to feel almost invalid and dependent

on their partner as part of the control

psyche which the perpetrator adopts.

What steps, do you feel need to be

considered by masjids and mainstream

Muslim organisations to help victims?

Mainstream Muslim organisations and

Masjids, have a common role, to serve the

community for the sake of Allah (SWT).

These institutes including our Imams need

to be able to deal with issues arising

from domestic violence, openly discussing

domestic abuse and ensure that they do not

shy away from this issue. This will surely give

confidence to sufferers that they are not

alone and that support will be available,

and also to perpetrators that their crimes

are not unnoticed.

What advice would you give someone

who is a victim of domestic violence,

where can they get help?

First and foremost they should not blame

Allah (SWT) but seek refuge in Him. All

that happens does not go unnoticed and

Allah (SWT) is the best of Planners, the most

Merciful and the most Just. Only through

Allah (SWT) will they find comfort and

peace. Islam is not just worship, it is also

action, and thus the next advice would be to

find the strength to seek help, like contacting

Nour or any other domestic violence charity.

Any help, even from Nour, ultimately comes

by the mercy of Allah (SWT).

How are you?

Alhamdulillah, life is beautiful.

Who are The Sound of Reason and how

did you both meet?

We are Ku and Francis, 2 converts from

Canada trying to change the world, one

heart at a time, through the messages in

our music and the actions of our daily

lives. We met in the first year of high

school, oddly enough in music class, but

then only really became friends a couple

of years later, and have been friends

ever since.

You have never signed with any record

label, and remain independent, why is


We have had the opportunity to sign


The Sound of Reason


with a label before, but the terms were

not right. In exchange for the backing

of a label we would have had to give

up control of our content (lyrics) and our

image, which kind of defeats the purpose

of why we started ‘The Sound of Reason’

in the first place. We write our own

lyrics, and our goal is to teach through

our music and to get a positive message

into mainstream music. If we have to

compromise that in any way, the increased

sales and popularity that would come

from signing with a record label would be

worthless to us.

Do you play any instruments?

Yes, Ku plays the guitar, but actually

only started playing the guitar when we

created our group, The Sound of Reason,

so that he might be able to play our songs

live, but before that he had never touched

a guitar in his life.

What were your dreams and aspirations

as you were growing up?

Both of us had aspirations of becoming

teachers. We also had a love for music.

Through The Sound of Reason we have

been blessed to be able to teach on a

mass scale through our music. It’s truly

a blessing putting in so much hard work

and seeing your dreams become reality.


Who or what inspires you in your


Although it is going to sound like a

typical standard answer, the truth is

that our biggest inspiration was Islam. It

was because of Islam that we take it so

seriously, and always put 100% effort

support us by joining our page on www.facebook.com/fifteen21magazine 61


into everything that we do. We were so

inspired by the different teachings and

moral and ethical lessons in Islam that we

felt that we should share them with others

in the hope of inspiring and educating. We

understand fully how these messages within

Islam can be quite heavy, and daunting at

times, and can also come off as “preachy”

to non-Muslims, so we have made sure to

package the message in a way that the

listener can be of any background (Muslim

or non Muslim) and still appreciate the

message without being turned off.

We love your song ‘At Our Mother’s Feet’

in aid of improving maternity healthcare

and education for women, how did you

get involved with this project?

A while back the ‘Made in Europe’ team

approached us to write a song for their

‘At Our Mother’s Feet’ campaign’. We

just happened to already have written

the ‘Mom song’ for our upcoming album

‘Hope and Fear’ so everything came

together very nicely. Alhamdulillah

it’s amazing to be involved with such

a noble and worthwhile project. Visit

www.atourmothersfeet.org.uk for more

information to see how you can help

If you were granted one wish, what

would it be?

Jannah. We talk about it all the time. How

we wish we could just go to Jannah right

now! Being able to fly, explore all the

beauties of this universe and more, eat

anything you want AS MUCH as you want,

never have to worry about anything, no

time limits, just be able to sit back in the

sun on the beach relaxing forever, playing,

laughing, chilling with animals! Haahahhaa,

oh man. Jannah. That would be our one

wish, the only thing that could satisfy.

What barriers have you faced, either on

a personal or professional level?

Honestly, too many to count. On a personal

level, everyone is tested personally and

we are no different. We have struggles

every day just like everyone else. On a

professional level, it’s a struggle to get

heard without the backing of a label. We

run everything ourselves, from the song

writing and production to the marketing

of ‘The Sound of Reason’. It would be a

lot easier if we had a label or a big team

behind us but at the end of the day we

do it to stay true to our message and our

values. We ask everyone reading this, if

you support our music and our message

please tell as many people as you can

about our music. Word of mouth is the best

way for us to get heard and we count on

the fans of our music to help us out. After

you read this article, please send a mass

email to all of your friends telling them to

listen to our music. JazakAllah Khairun.

Do you have a favourite movie or TV


Well neither of us owns a TV, so I guess

that’s out. And as for movies, we’re both

huge fans of wildlife documentaries like

Planet Earth. We call it the ‘SubhanAllah’

DVD set because while watching it you

can’t help but say SubhanAllah every few

seconds. Beautiful, we highly recommend


Any advice for the youth?

The kind of general advice we could give

to the youth would probably be things

they’ve already heard many times before

“Be good, don’t be bad”, so instead of

giving some general advice, we might

just say, surround yourself with positive,

practicing Muslim friends, and every now

and then maybe ask them for some advice

on how you could become better as a

person, a Muslim and a friend. No-one

would know your positive and negative

traits better than those that are closest to

you. Also never stop the communication

between you and Allah (SWT), even if it’s

just in talking to Him in your head, and

making dua. Having Him as your best and

closest friend will make you ready for

anything this life can throw at you.

support us by joining our page on www.facebook.com/fifteen21magazine 63


The Blue


The Great Mosque of Qayrawan in

Tunisia is one of the most ancient mosques

in Islam having been founded in 670 CE.

Most of what can be seen today dates

from the two major construction phases

in the ninth and the thirteenth centuries. It

remains one of the most impressive Muslim

religious buildings in North Africa, and is

dominated by a giant minaret modelled

after the Roman lighthouses that were

found along the Mediterranean coast.

Another of the treasures of Qayrawan is

located in the library of the mosque. It is

an unusual Qur’an believed to date to the

early part of the tenth century. In common

with other Qur’anic manuscripts of this

period it is written on sheets of parchment

(made from the skin of sheep or goats)

with the text arranged in lines along a

horizontally formatted page. The Arabic

text is written in the rather rectangular




script commonly known as Kufic that was

employed for Qur’ans written between

the end of the seventh and the end of

the tenth centuries. One area where the

Qayrawan manuscript diverges from

normal practice is in the overall colour

scheme. Instead of black and red ink on

plain parchment, we encounter a blue

page with letters written in gold. The blue

staining of the pages was achieved with

indigo dye.

Also significant is the treatment of the

letters themselves. By the tenth century it

was common to employ dots to distinguish

the different letters that share the same

basic shape. The calligraphers of the Blue

Qur’an chose not to do this, and the result

is a text that is much harder to read for

non-natives of Arabic.

The sheer cost of staining the parchment

sheets and writing the complete text

in gold (gold was also used for the

decorative details such as verse markers

and headings) suggests that this was

made for a royal patron, and it has been

plausibly suggested that this was one of the

Fatimid caliphs who had come to power in

the region of Qayrawan after 909. In 969

this Shi‘ite Muslim dynasty captured Egypt,

founding the city of Cairo that was to be their

capital until 1171.

Fatimid art is famous for its quality and its use

of opulent materials. One of the best known

examples of Fatimid art is a rock crystal jug

carrying the name of the caliph al-‘Aziz (r.

975-96) that is now in the treasury of the

cathedral of San Marco in Venice. It can be

imagined that the idea of a blue Qur’an

with shimmering golden script would have

appealed to these caliphs.

The idea of writing in gold on a blue

background was well known in Islamic

architecture, and early examples are still to

be seen in the mosaics of the Dome of the

Rock in Jerusalem. This practice is also picked

up in the mosaics of the mihrab arch in the

Great Mosque of Cordoba in Spain. A more

immediate source for the Blue Qur’an can

perhaps be found, however, in the contacts

maintained between the Fatimid caliphs

and the Christian Byzantine emperors in

Constantinople. The Byzantine court made use

of blue stained parchment with gold writing

for diplomatic correspondence. There also

exist Byzantine religious manuscripts with

pages stained purple (an imperial colour) and

the script written in silver.

The Blue Qur’an is among the most famous

works of Islamic art, and has been called

“one of the most extraordinary luxury

manuscripts ever created.” It is one of the

most mesmerising manuscripts produced

in Islam. The angular gold Kufic script was

executed using the technique of chrysography,

in which ground gold suspended in solution is

carefully applied.

Rumaysa Malik

support us by joining our page on www.facebook.com/fifteen21magazine 65



for the


“It is better to sit alone than in company

with the bad, and it is better still to sit with

the good than alone. It is better to speak

to a seeker of knowledge than to remain

silent, but silence is better than idle words.”

Prophet Muhammed, Peace be upon him

Nasruddin Goes Fishing

One day, Mullah Nasruddin decided to

go fishing. He called upon his good friend

Rabbi Moishe. They got their poles and

bait together, rented a small rowboat

at the local harbor, and off to sea they


After an amazing afternoon of fishing, the

two men had caught thirty fish. An elated

Mullah Nasruddin said to Rabbi Moishe,

“Better mark this spot so we can come

here tomorrow!”

The next day Mullah Nasruddin met up

with Rabbi Moishe at the rental harbor

for another day of fishing.

“Did you mark the spot?” Mullah

Nasruddin asked Rabbi Moishe


“Of course,” replied Rabbi Moishe, “I

painted a big white X on the bottom of

the rowboat.”

“You fool!” Shouted Mullah Nasruddin

and slapped his forehead, “What if we

can’t rent that same boat today?!”

Ehsan Khan


Originally written in French, this book

celebrates its 70th anniversary this

year. The Little Prince is extremely

philosophical, especially for a children’s

novel. Every line is sprinkled with

nuggets of wisdom, and analogies

that need thorough thought, reflection

and contemplation to do the book any

justice. The author, Antoine de Saint-

Exupéry deals with various themes that

are rooted in childhood like curiosity

which is encapsulated in the character

of the little prince. The narrator, a

pilot, who has crashed his plane into



the Sahara desert, meets the enigmatic

little prince. After a lot of questioning

the narrator discovers that the prince is

not from earth; but from a tiny nearby


The asteroid is inhabited by three small

volcanoes and a proud coquettish rose,

whose very existence brings the heart

broken infatuated prince to planet

Earth. The source of the prince’s love

roots from his sense of responsibility

towards his beloved rose. His belief that

she was the only rose of a kind to be in

existence drove the little prince to invest

all his time in watering and protecting

her. But his departure from the asteroid

came about due to the flowers peculiar

way of manner towards the prince who

Samina Kauser

felt he was too young to know how to

love her. “One should simply look at

them and breathe their fragrance. Mine

perfumed my entire planet. But I did

not know how to take pleasure in all her


Saint-Exupéry uses the little prince to

discover one of the baffling conundrums

of the world, the secret to relationships.

The fox eloquently explains to the

little prince that investing oneself in

another person makes that person, and

everything associated with him or her,

more special. “As it is the time you have

wasted for your rose that makes your

rose so important”.

Masjids Around The World

Al-Saleh Mosque

Location: Sana’a, Yemen

What is so striking about this

mosque are the tall and slender

minarats, they are over 100

metres high. The columns of

each minarat are patterned

with red stone whilst the domes

and the rest of the exterior are

white. The minarats dominate

the skyline dazzling worshippers

with the contrast in colour.

The mosque is situated in the

ancient city of Sana’a which

is the capital city of Yemen.

It is the largest and most

modern mosque in the city. The

mosque is named after the

former president Al-Saleh, who

commissioned the mosque at

a reported cost of $60 million

(approx. £40 million).

It is reported that the structure

was built from locally imported

materials. The main structure is

built from reinforced concrete

and adorned with a variety of

stones. The design of the mosque

boasts traditional Yemeni

designs known as Himyarite

architecture with modern

construction techniques.

The entrances of the mosque

are elaborately decorated with

arched doorways. The arched

doorways continue inside the

mosque, resting on decorated

pillars and leading to an

expansive courtyard to the rear.

The main hall is very impressive;

it covers an astounding 13,500

square metres and is adorned

with an array of chandeliers



44, 000

and calligraphy. The interior

of the five domes can be seen

from the main hall which are

elegantly decorated. The

mosque also includes several

buildings such as a library and

is surrounded by expansive

gardens. In total the mosque

and its accompanying buildings

cover an area of approximately

27,000 square metres. The

total capacity of the mosque is

44,000 and includes separate

seating for women.

The mosque may have cost vast

amounts of money but it is an

inspirational building. It also has

a library and is equipped with

modern facilities. The mosque

has become a beacon of hope

for the region. Alhamdulillah.



Zeeshan Arif

support us by joining our page on www.facebook.com/fifteen21magazine 69




My emotions live only to be harmed

I want none other but you and yet I

want you not the same

Silently confiding my sadness in you

from a distance

How my eyes long for the affection

now concealed behind a demeanor

so cold As I relieve the nights of a

tortured soul

My heart tells me you are still my love

and yet my wounds tell me it is not so

I would forget it all if you would

merely change

Lying to myself so that I can believe

your tragic lies

So helpless as I see my hopes blown

around like a cloud beneath the seven

skies How much you have taken of

me. Yesterday you promised me a

thousand promisesYet once more you

break me into a thousand tears


The Death of My Tears


I plead with you not to scream as you

proceed to beat me

I’m scared, can you not see? I’m

scared and only my heart stands


For what fault of mine are you

punishing me?

Your strikes almost meaningless whilst

I tremble in fear

My body feels no pain as I die a little

more inside

No one to hear my cries as I realise

I’m alone just as I was yesterday

There’s nowhere for me to turn so I

close my eyes and pray.



I spoke to my soul as it lay so

tormented in your hands

The true hurt begins the moment your

violence stops.

Was it not enough that you saw fear

in my eyes?

My bruises could not begin to

describe how I feel inside

Why would you do this to me?

This was never what I chose to be

I wonder what’s on your mind; I

wonder if you wonder what’s on mine

I can’t sleep through a pain so deep

and real

Enough. I can cope no more.

I searched for a way out but the

weakness in my heart stopped me

As I stare at the cup in my hand and

bring the poison closer to my lips

Imagining you lamenting at my soon

to be corpse laying on the floor

Till death do us part, and so I shall

choose to suffer no more.



When I cease to breathe maybe you

would acknowledge my existence

I would not see it but maybe you

would wipe my tears

I would not feel it but maybe you

would kiss me after all these years

I would not hear it but maybe you

would say sorry

And I would not know it but maybe

someone would relate to me and

learn from the mistakes upon the

pages of my story.


Nour Domestic Violence


0208 904 8193

support us by joining our page on www.facebook.com/fifteen21magazine 71


Recipes Need:

White Chocolate

Cranberry Cookies

makes: 30 - 40 cookies

Nusayba Malik

• 150g butter

• 150g plain flour

• 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

• 50g ground almonds

• 50g porridge oats

• 50g dried cranberries, raisins, sultanas or


• 50g brown sugar

• ½ teaspoon of vanilla essence

• 50g caster sugar

• 100g white chocolate, cut into chunks

• 1 large egg yolk, or 2 small egg yolks

Prep time:

15 minutes

Cook time:

10 minutes


1. Preheat the oven to 180C/gas 4.

2. Melt the butter, and allow to cool.

3. Sift the flour and the bicarbonate of soda into a mixing bowl.

4. Add the ground almonds, oats, dried fruit, soft brown sugar, caster sugar, vanilla

essence and the chocolate chunks and mix well.

5. Mix the cooled melted butter with the egg yolk and pour into the dry ingredients,

stirring to combine.

6. With your hands, form into walnut-sized balls and arrange slightly apart from each

other on 2 baking trays.

7. Gently flatten the biscuits slightly and place in the preheated oven for 8-10 minutes

or until golden.

8. Allow to cool a little on the trays before transferring them to a wire rack to finish


support us by joining our page on www.facebook.com/fifteen21magazine 73

National Events


The Zawiya Centre

T: 0121 766 8364 W: www.thezawiya.com

Arabic, Tajweed, Youth activities & Study circles

for both brothers and sisters, various dates


Islam Bradford Centre

T: 01274 395521 E: info@islambradford.com

Study Circles, for brothers and sisters (separate

classes), various days & times


Cambridge Masjid

T: 01223-350134

E: cambridgemosque@gmail.com

Arabic, Study Circles, Qur’anic Studies for both

Brothers & Sisters, varies days & times


Edinburgh Central Mosque

T: 0131 343 3802

E: edinburghmosque@hotmail.com

Arabic, Tajweed, Youth activities & Study circles

for both brothers and sisters, various dates

To add your local study circles, conferences, events or courses please email events@fifteen21.com


Masjid An-Noor

T: 0116 262 5440 W: www.idauk.org

Monthly Youth Programme for boys, starts first

Saturday of each month


York Central Masjid

T: 01904 413 123

E: contact@yorkmosque.org

Brothers Qur’an Circle, every Friday, between

Maghrib and Isha Salah Sisters Qur’an Circle,

every Sunday, 11am to Dhuhr Salah

In The Next Issue…

The Story of Prophet Samuel (AS) and King Saul (David & Goliath)

• *NEW* Young Minds – Cannabis Psychosis

• Muslim Heritage – Mariam ‘Al-Astrolabiya’ – Scientist, Inventor

• Look, Smile, Chat! Deaf Awareness Week

• Masjids Around the World - Schwetzingen Castle Mosque

• Regular Features – Poems, Book Reviews, Recipes, Stories

Out on Friday 26th April 2013!

Similar magazines