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issue 39 vol.

islam today
September 2016

Shia Muslims and the World Council of Churches

History made; iftar at the Chilean presidential palace

The Kaba; Centre of Spiritual Energy

islam today
issue 39 vol. 4
September 2016 Contents
islam today magazine is a monthly magazine
published by the London based Islamic Centre
of England. It focuses on the activities of the
communities affiliated to the Centre, reflecting a 4 Report
culture of openness and respect towards other Shia Muslims and the World Council of Churches
religious communities both Islamic and non. Interview with Dr Mohammad Ali Shomali
The magazine is available in paper and digital
8 Summer Retreat on Social Wilayah
Kawthar Learning Circles first annual summer retreat with Dr.
Mohammad Ali Shomali

Editorial team
10 History made; iftar at the Chilean presidential palace
Latest trip of Hujjatul-Islam Sayyed Mohammad Razavi to Chile
Managing Director M. Saeed Bahmanpour

Chief Editor Amir De Martino

14 ART
Managing Editor Anousheh Mireskandari Love & Living Islam
by Moriam Grillo
Layout and Design Innovative Graphics

16 Life & Community

Hawza in a Nutshell - Lessons on Akhlaq
Contact us by Ezra Hashme
Information info@islam-today.net
Letters to the Editor letters@islam-today.net
Article Submissions submit@islam-today.net
18 Faith
The Kaba; Centre of Spiritual Energy
www.islam-today.co.uk by Tahereh Shafiee
Follow us:

20 Interfaith
@islamtodaymaguk Pilgrimage to a holy place: an image of the souls journey
to God
by Revd Frank Julian Gelli

The Islamic Centre of England 22 Health
Magnesium; Invisible deficiency
140 Maida Vale
London by Laleh Lohrasbi
W9 1QB
Tel: +44 20 7604 5500 ISSN
24 Children Corner
Back to School
Disclaimer: All information in this by Ghazaleh Kamrani
magazine is verified to the best of the
authors and the publishers ability.
However, islam today shall not be liable or 26 What & Where
responsible for loss or damage arising
Listing of events
from any users reliance on information
obtained from the magazine.

islam today September 2016 3


Shia Muslims
and the
World Council of Churches

n the Christian world Catholics are centralised under dialogue, I gave another lecture on Muslim Christian
the authority of the Pope while Orthodox and relations.
especially Protestant Christians have many different A few months ago, I was invited by the Ecumenical Centre of
denominations. In Geneva, there is the headquarters the World Council of Churches to teach in their annual
of the World Council of Churches which is an umbrella summer course. Every summer they offer a three-week
organisation for 345 churches, both Orthodox and course for Muslims, Christians and Jews from different
Protestant, with an executive committee that meets countries. Apart from studying it also gives them a

every three months. They have maintained a chance to live together and experience and
dialogue with Shia Muslims for over 20 develop honest friendship.
years. The course is structured in a way that
In November 2015, I was part of a Every Muslims, Christians and Jews listen
delegation participating in a summer WCC offers a three- and attend each other's
dialogue looking at ways to presentations. My task was to
prevent violence, especially in the week course for Muslims, deliver two sessions of 90
name of religion. Among the Christians and Jews from different minutes introducing Islam
delegates were members of the followed by a Muslim lady, a
Anglican Church, the Armenian countries.Apart from studying it also scholar from Lebanon, who was
Church, the Church of Pakistan gives them a chance to live supposed to talk about migration
and Shia Muslims from Iran. in Islam. Every year there is a
I travelled from the UK and there together and experience and theme and this year the theme was
were other participants from develop honest migration, reflecting the recent large
Germany, Iran Lebanon, Pakistan, scale exodus affecting Europe. The
Switzerland, the United Kingdom and friendship. course also includes spiritual sharing and
United States of America. The discussion was scriptural reasoning sessions as well as visits of
very positive and fruitful. I provided a Shia perspective on the United Nations, the World Council of Churches,
how to address the problem of violence in the name of mosques and the Museumof theReformation in Geneva.
religion and explained that there are three elements in the Having accepted the invitation I travelled to Geneva from 26-
Shia Islamic teaching namely rationality, spirituality and 28 July. There I met some of the professors and had informal
search for justice that when applied correctly can help to meetings and discussions with the students but the main
avoid extremism and fanaticism. This point was unanimously activity was to deliver the course. I started my presentation by
accepted by all delegates who saw them as positive elements providing some statistics about Islam and Muslims in general,
for any religious tradition to consider. In that round of giving an overview of the landscape of Islam followed by

4 islam today September 2016

The director of the Islam Centre of England, Dr Mohammad Ali
Shomali, explains the background to Shia Muslim relations with
the World Council of Churches following his recent trip to Geneva

information on the historical background. This was for all Muslims across the world. I then discussed the
particularly well received especially by non Muslims. I made meaning of the sunna (traditions) of the Prophet and the
references to the Bible, in particular to Genesis, where the significance of the sunna for Muslims followed by an
prophesy about the 12 leaders that will descend from introduction of the Ahl ul Bayt(a) - The Prophets Family - and
Ishmael(a) is told and I also explained how from the two sons explained how respected they are by all Muslims, but
of the Prophet Abraham(a) we have the descendants of the emphasising the very special place it occupies in Shia Islam.
Arabs from Ishmael(a) and Jews from Isaac(a). Then I explained I also introduced the other sources of Islam like ijma
how Islam was introduced by the Prophet Muhammad(s) as a (consensus) and aql (intellect)... Then I spoke about Islamic
continuation of the tradition of Abraham(a) and cited verses doctrines such as Tawhid (unity), explaining the meaning of
from second chapter of the Quran which describe unity of God and how the unity of God is reflected in
Abraham(a), Ishmael(a), Isaac(a), Jacob(a) and their descendants creation and revelation, meaning that the essence of
as followers of one religion that is Islam, in the sense of revelations is the same, originating from the One God. I also
submission to God. The Prophet Muhammad(s) therefore explained how unity of God should be reflected in the unity
reinstated the religion of Abraham(a). of mankind. Then we discussed divine justice explaining that
this is accepted by all Muslims but with degrees of difference
After this introduction I began to talk in general about the existing among the various schools. We touched upon the
common beliefs of Muslims and also mentioned the importance of social justice and how the unity of God should
differences among them where relevant. Using as a textbook be reflected in the unity of mankind.
my book, Islam: Doctrines, Practices & Morals, we began to Next we addressed the subject of prophethood. I said that
discuss the sources necessary for understanding Islam. I God has provided guidance to humanity in the form of
explained that the Quran, the most important source for intellect but also by sending messengers to every nation. I
Muslims, represents Gods revelation word by word. If our said how some messengers came with specific scriptures like
Christian friends want to understand how important the Abraham(a), Moses(a), Jesus(a) and Muhammad(s) and explained
Quran is for Muslims, it might help to think of the Bible and the relationship among the various scriptures and how the
Jesus(a) all in one, since for Christians Jesus(a) is considered as Quran is considered the last of Gods revelations to
revelation from God - word was made flesh. humankind. A discussion of the differences between the
Continuing with the Quran, I said that this book is the same concept of Imamate according to the Shias and the

islam today September 2016 5

In the second session, I gave an
introduction to the Muslim way
of life based on moral virtues.
Perhaps for some students this
part was more interesting
judging by the comments
received afterwards.
I talked about those values that
relate to our relationship with
God like remembrance of God,
trusting God, servitude to God,
and repentance. Then we
moved on to the relation with
ones self, how we should be
controlled in our desires and
Caliphate for the Sunnis was included. I spoke about the emotions to make sure that they do not lead us into immoral
Twelve Imams and the concept of the Mahdi who according actions. We discussed self-purification, reasoning, thinking,
to the Shias was born around 869 CE and is still alive (but learning and busying oneself with ones own problems
in occultation) while for most Sunni Muslims he is yet to be instead of finding problems in other people. Then I moved to
born. Both denominations have narrations that describe how values with respect to other human beings in general, with
the return of Jesus(a) will take place at the same time as the our parents, our children, elderly people, the sick. Not to be
reappearance of the Mahdi(a). missed was our relationship with the environment. At the
Resurrection and accountability before God on the Day of end, we had a Q&A session.
Judgement were also discussed before going into an Overall it was a very good experience for me and I hope also
introduction of Islamic religious practices which included the for the participants. People showed much interest in learning
daily prayers, almsgiving, fasting in other religions and in about the connection between Prophet Ismail(a) and Ishaq(a)
Islam, hajj (the pilgrimage), and the connection of this ritual and how the Prophet Muhammad(s) comes from the same
to the prophet Abraham(a). I explained the meaning of the line of Abraham(a). Particular interest was shown in the moral
term jihad understood to be a struggle in the way of God in and ethical life; more specifically when I spoke about
order to bring good to ones personal life, family or the humbleness in the relationship between different divine
community/society. This can be carried out by pen, by Prophets and religions and how they are basically from the
tongue or through medical help. Jihad can also include the same substance.
defence of ones country against invaders or helping I also talked a little
oppressed people. All bit about my
types of jihad should be understanding of
conducted with pure the relationship
intentions and only for between Islam and
the service of God, truth Christianity and the
and not for any personal importance of
or sectarian gain. An improving this
introduction to the relationship.
concept of enjoining the There was also an
good and prohibiting the opportunity to
evil was given explaining discuss with the
how every Muslim should director of the
try to help others in their ecumenical centre
journey towards of the WCC the
perfection. idea of having a

6 islam today September 2016

workshop on interfaith for about 20
Shias from the UK and other countries
who are or would like to be active in
this field. This would give them a
chance to know the Reformation and
Protestant movement more closely and
also to visit the WCC and the Geneva
HQ of the UN insha Allah.

A brief history of WCC

The World Council of Churches is an umbrella organisation established to promote ecumenical encounters among all Christian
churches. Its formation was the direct consequence of the first national world assembly of churches held in Amsterdam in 1948.
Initially it comprised only 147 Protestant churches and a few representatives of the Orthodox Church. These later increased to 340
adherents, including all denominations of the Orthodox churches.
Its current membership is 349 organisations. The membership is made up of most of the main Christian churches with the bulk
from Protestant, Anglican and Orthodox denominations. The Catholic Church is not an official member although it is present in the
various gatherings as an observer.
The WCC is based at the Ecumenical Centre in Geneva, Switzerland. The organisation's members include denominations which
claim to collectively represent some 590 million people across the world in about 150 countries, including 520,000 local
congregations served by 493,000 pastors and priests, in addition to elders, teachers, members of parish councils and others.
The objective of the WCC is to move principally towards the unity of Christians, but latterly it has also established ecumenical activity
with members of other faiths.

Photograph: The founding of the World Council of Churches in Amsterdam - 1948

islam today September 2016 7

Summer Retreat
Social Wilayah
awthar Learning Circles first annual summer The first lecture on social wilayah focused on its definition
retreat with Dr. Mohammad Ali Shomali took whilst underlining that it is the core of every religion. Sheikh
place this August at an outdoor facility located Shomali began by expressing how much this crucial concept
in northern Ontario. has been neglected, despite the central role it can play in
This retreat brought together the Kawthar Learning Circle building strong fraternal bonds in all faith-based
students from all over Canada, namely the Greater Toronto communities. The positive response the Sheikh has received
Area, Montreal, Ottawa, Winnipeg, and Vancouver, and from past initiatives encouraged him to continue to
allowed them to reinforce and strengthen their relationship propagate and spread the message of social wilayah.
of wilayah amongst one another. Other seekers of knowledge By surveying several verses of the Holy Quran based on
from diverse backgrounds also attended the retreat, which wilayah (2:166; 9:71; 10:62), he presented the horizontal and
resulted in approximately 60 participants, including children. vertical dimensions of such relationships as multi-directional
associations that contribute to the formation of two distinct
The three-day, two-night programme included three lectures camps, namely haqq (truth) and one of batil (falsehood). In
on social wilayah, two interactive Quranic tafsir discussions, an effort to define wilayah, Sheikh Shomali explored its
two segments on the importance of spiritual tools, and two intrinsic qualities of marifa (knowledge), taa (obedience)
interactive question and answer sessions. The sisters were and mahabba (love), with a description of the multi-
also blessed to have Sister Israa Safiedine from Dearborn, dimensional manifestation of each quality in both camps.
Michigan amongst them as she led a number of interactive Having set the theoretical backdrop of social wilayah
and inspiring discussions and answered their questions with through its qualities, he approached the definition of
great care and detail. Sr. Israa is a writer, teacher, and wilayah by considering the relationship between both camps
educational consultant who specialises in Islamic instruction. and exploring its opposing concept, namely adawa (enmity).
From September 2016, she will be teaching at the Hawza Citing various narrations and excerpts from ziyarat, he
Ilmiyya of England. established adawa as a party or group committed to
intercepting the opposing groups
success. On the other hand,
wilayah is defined as a party
committed to a shared goal and
destiny that sees the success of
one member as a shared
success, and the loss of one
member as a shared loss.

8 islam today September 2016

Finally, the Sheikh explained that there are two camps but mentality and understanding. For this, one must be ready to
three types of people: Awliya Allah (Friends of God), Awliya sacrifice ones comfort and pleasure, even to the extent of
Al-Shaytan (Friends of Shaytan) and Mudhabdhabeen bayna giving up ones life. This is truly social wilayah.
Dhalik (neither here nor there, with no clear aims or
objectives; unfortunately, many times the majority of people Sheikh Shomali then dedicated some time to underlining
fall in this camp). The third group are not organised and do the significance of loving for the sake of God as well as
not actively and consciously pursue any common goals. developing trust among the faithful in order to achieve social
Members of the camp of the truth should not think that wilayah. The lecture concluded with an interactive
everyone who is not with them is against them. They should discussion with the participants on how to love purely for the
try to communicate to others especially those who are sake of God and how to overcome some of the challenges of
undecided and stand in between two camps. Of course, this achieving social wilayah.
should happen whilst remaining unwavering to ones loyalty
to the truth. The third and final lecture continued in emphasising the
various directions of the relationship of social wilayah and
The second lecture addressed common misconceptions of how ones love for God can be measured by ones love of
wilayah and explored its practical side. Sheikh Shomali others for the sake of God. The concept of the appearance of
explained that wilayah is not simply a belief or doctrine; comradeship (jaat al muzamala) is introduced along with an
rather it is something that needs to be practised and exploration of how the unity of Shias and the establishment
actualised to the full extent. Furthermore, as indicated in the of social wilayah amongst each other is intimately linked to
first lecture, wilayah is not limited to the relation between the reappearance of Imam Mahdi(a). Sheikh Shomali then
one person and his Master; rather it connects all members explored ones role in paving the way for the Imam by first
with each other as well as their leader. putting into practice social wilayah, establishing unity
To further elucidate this concept, Sheikh Shomali drew on a amongst each other and in the communities, and resolving
number of ahadith and a multitude of passages from ziyarat internal affairs and conflicts. Through exploration of hadiths,
and duas, namely Ziyarat Ashura, Ziyarat Ameenullah, Dua Sheikh Shomali acknowledged that determination is a
Ahad, Dua Iftitah, and Dua Nudba. From this collection of necessary quality of the companions of Imam Mahdi(a) and
references, he concluded that wilayah is not only about ones he underlined that without unity, ones iman (faith) is
relationship with God or Imam Mahdi(a); rather, it is the way incomplete.
that one has defined ones position in this world by In closing Sheikh Shomali interactively explored the
associating with certain people and disassociating from the practical considerations and steps that can be taken to start
opposite group, leading to the development of intimate the pursuit of unity and social wilayah.
bonds of brotherhood with people who share the same
Full version of this article available from www.islam-today.co.uk

islam today September 2016 9

History made; ift
Chilean presiden
After five years continuous efforts, the Muslim communities in Chile were able to
organise an iftar (breaking of fast) at the Chilean presidential palace last Ramadan.
Hujjatul-Islam Sayyed Mohammad Razavi was one of the special guests. On his
return from his third visit to Chile he gave us the following report

T his was your third trip to Chile, what was the

purpose of it?

This trip was an important one since for the first time in
a Persian handcrafted vase and a
miniature art work which I
London. She
Chilean history and possibly in Latin America; the local appreciative of it.
Muslim communities were able to have an iftar ceremony At a later date we also had an
under the sponsorship of a head of state. Chilean Muslims opportunity to invite
were invited at the presidential palace La Moneda, by the government officials to the Shia
country president Michelle Bachelet. Islamic Centre of Chile in the Las
Representatives of the countrys Muslim communities, Condes area of Santiago.
guests and visiting scholars such as Sheikh Faisal, Sheikh Among the attendees of this official
Ghassan and I were invited. Regrettably Sheikh Ghassan, iftar were representatives of the
head of the Shia Islamic Centre, had to cancel due to the Orthodox Church, Iraqi, Iranian, Syrian
death of his father in Lebanon. and Saudi ambassadors, university
There were Sunni, Shia and Sufi Muslims. People as far professors as well as the personal
afield as Iquique in the north of Chile attended the function. representative of the Chilean president for
Iftar started with the Maghreb azan (evening call to prayer), religious affairs.
prayers and meal in presence of the president. We thought I was very fortunate to meet the distinguished guest Ignacio
she will come quickly and go, but she remained with the Sanchez, head of the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile,
guests throughout the evening. who was very pleased to have attended the iftar and later
The President was the first to address the invitees. In her facilitated my visit to ten universities across the country
talk, she mentioned that this would not be the last time that where I gave lectures and talks.
an iftar would be arranged in the
palace and that she You also attended the Al-Quds Day. Tell us about it?
intended to establish it
as a continuing In Chile Muslims do not have Al-Quds Day in the streets so
tradition. Shia Muslims have been organising Al Quds Day at the
During the centre by inviting officials and ambassadors from Muslim
dinner the and non-Muslim countries.
Shia Muslim We were pleased to see the Palestinian ambassador and
community some members of the Palestinian Club. This club is a very
presented influential organisation in Santiago. I briefly explained how
her with a this day came about, and gave a short history of Al-Quds
gift on and its importance for Muslims. I also underlined the
behalf of all position of this city and how it belongs to all monotheistic
the Muslims - religions and not a single tribe or ethnic group. The

10 islam today September 2016

tar at the
ntial palace

significant part of this occasion media

commemoration came when were also present as well as other delegates. We were all
the Palestinian officials warmly received but in an official way. The archbishop was
acknowledged and thanked very friendly and very welcoming, and open to dialogue. He
the late Imam Khomeini for explained that in accordance with the directive of Pope
initiating such a day. Francis, this year was named The Year of Hope and Mercy.
I was then invited to the He believed that our presence in Santiago provided a great
Palestinian Club for an iftar and opportunity for further dialogue and meetings. In this same
seated next to the mother of the meeting one of the bishops, in the presence of the
Chilean President, Mrs Angela archbishop, expressed the view, based on his research, that
Margarita Jeria Gomez. She was ex- Saudi Arabia was behind the support for Daesh/ISIS and
Executive Director of the United Nations their activities to which the archbishop appeared to agree. I
Entity for Gender Equality and Empowerment also visited a left-wing University in Santiago in completely
of Women (2010-2013). Among the guests there were different setting.
some military officials and also the ambassador of Vatican
in Chile, Mons. Ivo Scapolo. The ambassador also Can you tell us more about this visit?
personally praised Imam Khomeinis initiative in
establishing Al Quds Day which was a touching gesture. My last meeting was at the University of Art & Social
Sciences in Santiago where I was invited by chair Edward
Have you had any discussion with the Vatican W. Said to be the member of a
Ambassador? panel discussion on Islam and
geopolitical imperialism
I was invited to visit the Vatican embassy in Santiago and co-sponsored by the
the ambassador. I had a long discussion with Ambassador Centre for Islamic
Scapolo about Islam, the differences between Shia and Culture in
Sunni schools of thought, etc. He was interested to get collaboration with the
further clarification on who are the terrorists and who is Chilean Committee
behind Daesh (ISIS) and other related topics. for Solidarity with
In my short stay I was fortunate to have several meetings Palestine.
such as this. After Ramadan, I also had a meeting with the I was not asked to talk
archbishop of Santiago de Chile, Cardinal Ricardo Ezzati about religion, but I
Andrello. The cardinal had previously met the two Muslim explained that as a
Shia representatives, but in a less formal setting. In this minister of the religion, I

islam today September 2016 11

could speak about social What is planned for
justice through the the future?
teachings of the Quran,
Prophet Muhammad(s), Just before coming
Imam Ali(a) and the back, I visited the
practices of the Ahl-ul- Muslim graveyard.
Bait(a). Unfortunately some
Sunni Muslims are
The University is privately objecting to the burial of
founded and currently has Shia Muslims in the Muslim
around 1000 students of which allotment and this has created
around 700 are from the deprived a big problem and a major
countries of Latin America. I spoke to concern for us. When I was there a
some professors who had left their jobs at Shia Muslim passed away and because of
places such as Preston, Berkley and Harvard to be their rejection the body was buried in a Christian
part of this university. graveyard, with a Christian ceremony. That encouraged me to
Being mostly from a leftist/communist background some of arrange a meeting with the officials of the graveyard and
the professors were not interested in discussing religion or explain the Shia Muslims requirement. Fortunately they
have agreed to allocate a plot of
land uniquely for Shia Muslims
with 400 graves on three levels.
We are considering buying the
whole area and then selling it
according to demand. The
purchase of multiple plots
makes financial sense at it
would be cheaper. When all
these arrangements are made
acknowledging its importance, but I told them that insisting we will look for donations or a big company to buy the whole
on not having a religion on its own is a religion. The session lot and sell it later as per the requests of the Shia
was followed by many good questions and answers. After my population. This is one of the practical plans we have for the
talks one of the former professors from Berkeley University future. The community is also looking for a piece of land to
told me he had discovered that he was a Muslim because build an Islamic centre. This would have to be an iconic,
Islamic principles on social justice did not contradict his way purpose-built place, a building reflecting Islamic culture and
of thinking. architecture becoming an attraction also for non-
When I arrived there I did not shake A similar building already exists in
hands with ladies and perceived that Chile, in the northern city of
somehow, they got offended but Iquique, established by the
once the ice was broken the Moroccans. It attracts many
same ladies were keen to talk visitors.
to me and learn more about
Islam. My talks were very How did you find the
short but the Q&A section cooperation among
was quite long, mostly with various followers of
the academic staff and Ahl ul Bayt(a)?
some politically left-leaning
students who made an effort My last trip took 25 days
to pop in briefly and ask mostly during Ramadan
interesting questions. in which I was able to
assess the community.

12 islam today September 2016

There is some intra- There are certainly
community cooperation, but conditions for the Shia
much more is needed. Muslim community to
Santiago is a very big city flourish there, but at the
and Shia Muslims are moment due to lack of
scattered in different places. places for Islamic
For example during Ramadan education, no sooner do
the Afghanis had iftar within children finish school than
their houses. The Pakistanis did families leave Chile and go to
come to the main Shia Islamic Brazil and Argentina as there
Centre although they have managed are better facilities for Islamic
to buy a flat for their gathering right in upbringing of the youth. There is an
the middle of the town where the Pakistani area in South America known as known as
community is located. Most of them are single and the Shia Triangle between Paraguay, Argentina
first generation immigrants. We have two groups of and Brazil, where recent Shia Lebanese migrants come
Lebanese, some arrived
in Chile 130 years ago
losing their religious
identity over time to
rediscover it later. They
can be considered
reverts to Islam in the
real sense of the
meaning. The Islamic
Centre of Chile is run
mostly by these reverts
and Chileans convert to
Islam. There is another
Lebanese group who are
new arrivals; they are
mostly single. They live
very close to their businesses and they hold their iftar together. According to Sheikh Faisal almost 250 people
nearby. Their area is far away from the Shia Islamic Centre. attend the morning prayers and around 500 people attend
They assist the Centre but they have their own other daily prayers.
I will be visiting this area in my next
I do believe there is a need for a visit to assess what kind of
religious scholar to be based there assistance can be provided.
with his own office where he can Visiting the Antarctica part of
visit all the communities and Chile is also in our plans but
meet their members without that would be in
being affiliated to any existing summertime.
organisation or community.
Ideally a minimum of three Sayyed Razavi will, God-
scholars are required to be willing, be visiting Chile in
there permanently, for the the coming Islamic month
south, central and northern of Muharram.
areas. This is something we
have been discussing and to
which are looking to find a
Hujjatul-Islam Sayyed Mohammad
speedy solution.
Razavi is the head of the Family Section at
the Islamic Centre of England

islam today September 2016 13


Loving and living Islam creative, and to unite hearts for one
common purpose. Participants of
At the Living Islam Festival, a beautiful space where we can all ages and all walks of life took
celebrate our faith and heritage, it was heartwarming to see part in the tile making project. It
that the reality of British Muslims is far from the narrative was a labour intensive affair that
we are exposed to." - Rosina Haujee Arts and Culture called on each individual to prime
organiser and roll out the clay before using
bespoke cutters to forge their tiles.
This summer I have been busy on a number of projects. To my surprise, and delight, the
One of the most rewarding has been a legacy project in workshops were oversubscribed
conjunction with the Islamic Society of Britain to celebrate with participants having to wait
their 25th anniversary. I had the privilege of being one of six patiently for a rolling pin to
artists being showcased at the Living Islam festival in become available. It was rewarding
Lincolnshire. for me to witness them taking the
The Living Islam Festival or
LIfe takes place every two to
four years at the
Lincolnshire showground
and has been running since
2002. The event is a project
aimed at encouraging opportunity to engage in
Muslim youth to feel art, an activity which
empowered by their faith promotes positive mental
and to develop a strong and health and wellbeing yet
balanced Muslim identity. is greatly underestimated.
There are scouts and other They placed their pieces
enriching activities for of clay on the framed
children and young adults, board that would later
and also inspiring talks, house the finished
panel debates and activities mosaic. This afforded
for parents to indulge in. them the chance to see
My activity took part in the how the work would
newly established Arts and eventually develop as a
Culture marquee and contribution to a greater
involved the facilitation of a good. Here was an
mural, two in fact, in example of art being used
collaboration with visitors to for social action; to
the festival. It was a chance improve the wellbeing of
to encourage people those involved and to
to be foster stronger
relations with
those slightly
socially, culturally or religiously.

This really was an amazing space - wish I'd had

a bit more time to spend there!" - Hifsa Iqbal

Clay is a sacred material. We are made of clay and

collectively there lies an intrinsic connect between it and us.

14 islam today September 2016

In my workshops I share this
revelation with participants and
asked them to gently mould the
clay in between their hands in
order to make this physical
connection. Many express that
the clay has a grounding and
calming effect and come away
from the workshop feeling
pleased by the experience. The The Arts and Culture marquee at LIfe 2016 showcased a
motivation behind this project wealth of Islamic Art through the work of contemporary
was to create a piece of artwork Muslim artists. It included photography by Sara Russell and
that would stand as a legacy for Rooful Ali, storytelling by Jumana Moon, geometric pattern
the four days we collectively spent presented by Saba Rifat, Toqeer Sethi offering poetry and
together to enrich and inspire song and myself showcasing ceramics.
The Islamic Society of
Britain was established
in 1990 with the aim of
developing a deeper
understanding of Islam
amongst British Muslims
our lives. In that time we and those of other faiths
were able to complete two and no faith. In order to
mosaic murals consisting achieve this aim, ISB
of over 1,700 tiles in two seeks to undertake
distinct colour ways. social action work to
The finished pieces will improve
stand as a reflection of neighbourhoods and the
the harmony and beauty country for the common
that unfolds when good.
individuals come together
with good intentions. And Both murals will be housed
a testimony in the times in Islamic centres in
of poor media London and Manchester
representations of
Muslims, that the beauty For more info visit:
of Islam, as reflected www.isb.org
through its art, is and will
remain one of the
which we
can remind the world of the majesty and
splendour our religion encapsulates.
Islam and Muslims are not filled with hate
Moriam Grillo is an international artist.
we are filled with love and compassion, She holds Bachelor degrees in
kindness and generosity, patience and Photography & Film and Ceramics, her
sincerity. All of which were evident in current projects include a commission for
the Queen Elizabeth hospital in
abundance at the Living Islam Festival Birmingham.
2016." - Hifsah Iqbal, event organiser.

islam today September 2016 15


Hawza in a Nutshell
Lessons on Akhlaq
by Ezra Hashme

his year the Olympics have been somewhat of a and broke a leg. The doctors advice was to take it easy with
learning curve. Watching the athletes perform the training but John was as resilient as ever. The more set
brilliant feats with complete composure and backs encountered through injury and rejection the more
finesse is always a joy. Some athletes come he learnt the benefit of patience.
close to perfection but still not good enough for gold While others were eating and drinking what they wanted,
because another comes along and outperforms the prior. John restricted himself to a strict diet. His taste buds were
You can literally feel the winners jubilation, the sorrow of always craving for the tastes and pleasures of life but he
the vanquished and elation of the supporters. One or two had to stay strong and keep those urges under control.
questions came to mind; what separates the very best from This was the hardest challenge because John loved a kebab
the rest? And what preparations did they go through to be and curry. Being surrounded by people who occupied
where they are? themselves with many distractions sometimes Johns
After reading many inspiring stories, a common theme kept temptations would take the better of him.
repeating itself. Many athletes live similar lives; uphold the
same rules and by sticking to the fundamentals they garner However he learned very quickly that the more he got
success. The following fictitious character is the involved with these meaningless distractions the further
embodiment of many Athletes striving and dreaming for away he was from the goal of being an Olympic champion.
success. Well call him John Doe. In his field he slowly climbed the ranks but it was still too
low and his climb was too slow. He wanted more, he
For young John, it all started with a dream, a dream familiar expected more from himself and so he did more, utilising
to us all, which is a dream of success. His dream was to the idea that if one wants to become a master in a field
become an Olympic champion. The difference between him then he/she should dedicate at least 10,000 hours. He
and the rest of us is he tried to make this dream a reality. adopted this idea and became successful. He was selected
John had some natural talent but wasnt the fastest nor the for the Olympic team and finished 5th overall. This might
strongest, there were others who were physically better. But look like a failure for some but he tried hard, worked to the
John had a dream; he had ample drive and dedication. John best of his abilities and made it with the best.
worked hard to overcome his limitations but still lost. He
was told that, he was too small, too weak and would never
I hated every minute of training, but I said, Dont
be able to do it. Even his family doubted him. However he
didnt give up; he listened more, read more and slowly quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a
learnt the secrets of his art. He learnt to live a clean life, champion. - Muhammad Ali
staying away from anything that could harm him or limit his
abilities. While all his friends went partying he stayed home Johns lifestyle and that of other athletes have a remarkable
to rest and prepare for the next day. resemblance to the Muslim way of life. We wake up early to
At dawn while the whole neighbourhood was still fast pray, we limit our diet and only eat whats halal. We fast for
asleep, he was up and already doing his routines. He tore a spiritual and physical wellbeing and we control our urges
muscle, which set him back a few weeks. He learnt to and many more things. Our aim is not to win a gold medal
rehabilitate himself. As soon as John got better he slipped as we are not preparing for the Olympics. We do this not

16 islam today September 2016

just for a few years but every day for the rest of our lives. So 2. Deontological view: An action is good regardless of the
why do we do it? We do this only to get closer to the one outcome. This seems more plausible but dont you think its
true love. That is where the pleasure in this world comes a little narrow-minded? I am committing a good deed, so I
from and the unimaginable pleasure waiting for us in the care not what the consequences are.
next world.
A companion of Imam Sadiq(a) rushed to the Imam and
said: Oh Imam, I have heard terrible news. This person has
Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek
been going around and saying this about you. Imam
and find all the barriers within yourself that you Sadiq(a) became angry with his companion. He said: The
have built against it. - Rumi person who committed backbiting towards me shot arrows
in different directions. I did not hear him so it is as if the
Our aim is to achieve a pure heart; only a pure heart can arrow missed me; but by telling me this news, you have
be a vessel that can hold the pure love. We cleanse this picked up the arrow from the ground and aimed it at my
heart of ours with the best detergent in the known heart."
universe; youve guessed it, a good akhlaq. The man must have thought he was protecting the Imam
by telling him this truth, in reality he was hurting him. So
In ethics there are three views: sometimes even if the action seems good we have to think
about the consequences.
1. Teleological view: An action is only good based on its
outcome. What is a good end? A good end can be any goal, 3. Virtue ethics: This argues that an action is good when it
for example some material gain, happiness or even gaining come from a good quality.
proximity to God. Even though at first glimpse it seems like
a good viewpoint it does have its drawbacks. We cant Well continue this topic next month insha Allah (God
always claim the ends justify the means; I cant break into willing).
someones house to perform my prayers; can we argue that
this is for the greater good or that we are seeking
closeness to God?
Ezra Hashme is a third year student at
Hawza Ilmiyya of England

islam today September 2016 17


The Kaba;
Centre of Spiritual Energy
A person who circumambulates this House (the Kaba) seven times and performs the two Rak'at
Salat (of Tawaf) in the best form possible will have his sins forgiven". Prophet Muhammad(s)

Imam Ali(a) said: Those who go to Makkah for

obligatory and voluntary pilgrimage (Hajj and
Umra) are the envoys of God and His gift to
them is forgiveness".

18 islam today September 2016

uring the month of Ramadan we had the God accepted the prayer of the prophet Abraham(a),
opportunity to recite many supplications the patriarch of three major monotheistic faiths.
requesting God to grant us the possibility of For centuries, millions of people yearned to go to the
performing the sacred Hajj-pilgrimage to sacred symbolic house, the Kaba, to perform the sacred
Makkah this year and in years to come. pilgrimage. Due to the destruction of the Kaba through
For those of us who are fortunate enough to be able to the ages, Prophet Abraham(a) together with Ishmael(a)
carry out this important ritual this year, there is a sign reconstructed the Kaba (Baitullah - the House of
that maybe, after all, our worship during the month of God). It was Abraham(a) who actually established the
Ramadan has been accepted by God. rituals of the Hajj, which was to recall the events and
practices of his life, his wife Hagar and their son
Pilgrimages to holy places are not exclusive to Islam; in Ishmael(a).
fact almost all religions have similar practices in one Following the same ancient tradition, the Hajj has
form or another. Holy places in general and places of become the largest annual pilgrimage in the world with
pilgrimage in particular have a specific characteristic that Muslims of all denominations, races and nations coming
enables the body and the soul to fall into unison with together from all corners of the world. This ritual is
each other and with the energy that emanates from the listed as one of Furoo-ad-Deen (branches or pillars of
place itself. These are ideal places to achieve divine Faith) and takes place during the last month of the
consciousness and enlightenment. But just as the fasting Islamic calendar, Dhul Hijjah.
of Ramadan distinguishes all other fasts from the fast in
Islam, the Hajj is a pilgrimage like no other pilgrimage in This year more than two million people will begin the
its mode, essence and symbolism. In the preparation for journey of their life and will gather in Makkah and
this important journey we have found great companions around the Kaba in the heart of its valley, to answer the
in the preceding, spiritual laden months of Rajab, call of their hearts. The period of performing rituals of
Shawwal and Ramadan. Hajj occurs between the 8th -12th of Dhul Hijjah. This
An adequate preparation increases the opportunities of year Dhul Hijjah is expected to commence around the
reaching the core of this great journey. Hence the ascetic 3rd or 4th of September with the week of the Hajj
practices that we are encouraged to perform in these beginning on the 10th or 11th of September 2016.
preceding months should equip us with the tools we
need to take with us on this unique journey. Among the several rituals of this pilgrimage there is the
distinguishable performance of tawaf (circling) of the
The Hajj pilgrimage offers us yet another chance to Kaba. Seven times we circle the house of God, repeating
testify to the oneness of God and to witness and the ritual devotions in Arabic:
celebrate the oneness of humanity as the creation of Lord God, from such a distant land I have come unto
God, without discrimination on the basis of race, nation Thee.... Grant me shelter under Thy throne."
or gender. People prepare for the grand pilgrimage and
the union of humanity is its social significance. During Caught up in the whirling scene, lifted by the poetry of
the Hajj, Makkah becomes the most spiritually energised the prayers, we orbit Gods house in accord with the
centre of the world and even possibly in our known atoms, in harmony with the planets and the Universe. If
universe. In fact Makkah remains an active spiritual you were in Makkah during the Pilgrimage you will hear
centre at all times, as a result of being the focus point for this sacred chanting coming from every heart, every
one fifth of the world's population during their daily direction and every being around you:
prayer. Labbaik Allah Humma labbaik Labbaik la sharika laka
According to the Islamic teachings, it all began at the labbaik Innal hamdaWan-ni'mata Laka walmulk Laa
beginning of human history, from the first man; Adam(a), sharika lak.
who first built a house dedicated to God's remembrance. My Lord, here I am at Your service, here I am. There is no
Later down the centuries the house was re-modelled by partner with You, here I am. Truly the praise and the
the prophet Abraham(a). In the Quran we read the provisions are Yours, and so is the dominion and
following statement from Abraham(a): sovereignty. There is no partner with you.
Our Lord! I have settled part of my descendants in a
barren valley, by Your sacred House, our Lord, that they
may maintain the prayer. (Quran 14:37). by Tahereh Shafiee

islam today September 2016 19


Pilgrimage to a holy place:

an image of the souls
journey to God
Journey to the Holy: The Pilgrim as a Spiritual Explorer: Says Frank Gelli

Ill labour night and day to be a pilgrim runs the pious traveller was an Iberian nun called Egeria. Her
end line of writer John Bunyans famous hymn, He detailed reports of the Holy Week liturgies in
who would valiant be. Indeed, Bunyans celebrated work Jerusalem also stimulated Christians everywhere to
and English literature classic, The Pilgrims Progress, is an pursue the same experience. The stream of pilgrims
allegory of the Christian life as a spiritual trek. A journey and never dried up. Actually, it still goes on.
a return, through manifold tests, trials and temptations, back
to the Creator. A pilgrim is not to be confused with a tourist. His
expedition must involve spiritual preparation and
Christians have always believed that the Holy has especially prayer, deliberate facing of hardships, financial and physical
manifested itself at certain sites. Jerusalem is the most sacrifice. It demands discipline and effort. Sometimes a
important but so also are the tombs of eminent saints and violent man went to Jerusalem because of remorse for the
martyrs, like those of Santiago de Compostela in Spain and crimes he had committed. Englands King Henry IV was
St Thomas Becket in Canterbury, England. The key motive struck by disease after usurping the throne of his
is devotion, a desire to beg help from Heaven, for oneself or predecessor Richard II, whom he had murdered. A seer told
for others. The pilgrimage can also be undertaken in the King that he would not die until he had seen Jerusalem.
thanksgiving for graces received or as an act of penance, to Henry prepared himself for the task and he did indeed die in
atone for certain sins or simply to strengthen the pilgrims Jerusalem only, it was not the holy city in Palestine but a
faith. chamber so named in Westminster Abbey, after he was taken
The Christian tradition of a pilgrimage to Jerusalem goes ill there. Divine irony, as well as chastisement, perhaps
back a long way. In 326 AD St Helena, mother of that
Roman Emperor Constantine who rescued the Church from The pilgrim could be either solitary or travel in company.
pagan persecution, travelled on pilgrimage to the Holy Land. Geoffrey Chaucers Canterbury Tales is a case of the latter.
A zealous woman of faith, Helena wished to visit the places After Archbishop Becket in 1170 was slain at the altar in his
connected with Christs life, death and resurrection. She then Cathedral, pilgrims from all over England flocked to his
built churches on the Mount of Olives and announced the shrine at Canterbury. It became one of five great centres:
discovery of the True Cross. Her example gave the impetus Rome, St Michael at Mount Gargano (Michael being the
to the great Jerusalem pilgrimage of the Middle Ages. A later Archangel of that name), Santiago de Compostela and, of

20 islam today September 2016

course, Jerusalem. The restrictions on Christians. Other incidents followed later.
Canterbury Tales is a Pilgrims then armed themselves for self-defence. The
collection of 23 stories, Jerusalem pilgrimage rapidly transformed into a crusade. The
related by members of sad results are well-known. However, Crusades over, the
a group of pilgrims on ancient tradition of a peaceful religious journey was happily
their way to St Thomas restored. When the young St Ignatius of Loyola visited
shrine. Chaucer was Jerusalem in 1553 in fulfilment of a vow, the only minor
not a pious writer and hassles he met was not from Muslims but from local fellow
his tales are sometimes Christians!
licentious or merely
entertaining but others Unlike the Haj to Mecca, mandated for Muslims in the
show genuine piety and Quran, there is no single, central place of pilgrimage which
zeal. The Prioress Tale, all Christians are commanded to visit. For an analogy with
for instance, shows Islam, you perhaps should think of Sufis and Shia, who,
martyrdom as a gift of alongside the obligatory Haj, often travel to various shrines
divine mercy and a of sainted men and women. In some cases people of the two
bringer of grace. Alas, religions even mingle together at the same place. F.W.
at the Reformation the Hasluck, in his fascinating Christianity and Islam under the
shrine was pillaged and Sultans, tells of many Christian sanctuaries in the Ottoman
destroyed by the Empire frequented by Muslims and of Islamic ones revered
monstrous Henry VIII. by Christians. A priest told me that it is not uncommon
Today prayerful today to find Muslims visiting the Catholic shrine of Fatima
pilgrims have largely in Portugal. The name of the Prophets beloved daughter
been replaced by presumably is what attracts them there.
heedless, camera-
clicking tourists. Finally, there is a surprising connection between pilgrims
and explorers. This has been traced by the profoundly
Thank God, Britain retains two living pilgrimage sites. One is religious poet T.S. Eliot in his Four Quartets. He declares that
at Walsingham (once housing a replica of Jesus house at in the end, like the traveller who set off to explore distant
Nazareth) in England and the other at Haddington, in lands, the pilgrim will find himself back at home where he
Scotland. Both dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary. started and know the place for the first time and be much
Protestant iconoclasm devastated them but pilgrimages were enriched for it. A thought well worth meditating on.
revived in the last century. I have many times led my
parishioners to Walsingham and gone alone to Haddington.
Uplifting places. An old friend of mine, Lord Lauderdale, now
with the angels in Heaven, was the prime mover behind the
Revd Frank Julian Gelli is an
Scottish Marian pilgrimage. He was a faithful Anglican and
Anglican priest and cultural
told me: I feel my duty to repair some of the harm my critic, working on religious
ancestors did to this tremendous place. dialogue. His last book The
Prophet and the Priest', is
available on Amazon Kindle.
A somewhat peculiar if temporary mutation befell the
Jerusalem pilgrimage after 1009. Until then Christian
pilgrims went always unarmed and the Arab authorities in
Palestine did not molest them. That was until Cairos
despotic and erratic Caliph Hakim had the Church of the
Holy Sepulchre demolished and began imposing harsh

The Alto del Perdon mountain statues representing pilgrims on

the Camino de Santiago near Pamplona in Spain.

islam today September 2016 21


agnesium is the second most important is needed by the body in large amounts. The average
essential minerals for humans. human body contains about 25 grams of magnesium.
Magnesium is needed for more than 300 While beans and nuts, whole grains such as brown rice and
biochemical reactions in the body. whole wheat bread, and green leafy vegetables were once
Without magnesium we could not produce energy, our commonly consumed are good sources of magnesium, in
muscles would be in a permanent state of contraction, and the last century due to industrialised agriculture and
we could not adjust the levels of cholesterol produced and changing diets, magnesium consumption has increasingly
released into the bloodstream. diminished. Modern diets contain foods which not only have
Although magnesium is naturally present in many foods, low magnesium but also eliminate the existing amount of
added to other food products, available as a dietary the mineral from the body.
supplement, and present in some medicines (such as Most dark coloured sodas contain phosphates. These
antacids and laxatives), it's quite possible to be deficient and substances actually bind with magnesium inside the
not know it. This is why magnesium deficiency has been digestive tract, rendering it unavailable to the body. So even
dubbed the "invisible deficiency." By some estimates, up to with eating a balanced diet, by drinking soda with meals
80 percent of Americans are not getting enough magnesium magnesium is flushed out of the system.
and may be deficient. And 70 percent of women in the UK Refined sugar is not only a zero magnesium product but it
are reported to have an inadequate intake of the mineral. also causes the body to excrete magnesium through the
Magnesium is a macro-mineral, which, unlike trace minerals, kidneys. The process of producing refined sugar from sugar

22 islam today September 2016

cane removes molasses, stripping the magnesium content Symptoms of magnesium deficiency initially include
entirely. appetite loss, fatigue, nausea, vomiting and weakness. As
Drinking caffeinated beverages such as coffee, tea and soda the deficiency progresses, you may experience numbness
regularly, also elevates the risk for magnesium deficiency. and tingling, seizures, muscle cramps, personality changes
Magnesium levels are controlled in the body in large part by and abnormal heart rhythms. Recommended daily
the kidneys, which filter and excrete excess magnesium and allowances of magnesium for men is 400 milligrams and
other minerals. But caffeine causes the kidneys to release 310 milligrams for women. Many investigations have found
extra magnesium regardless of body status. the top 10 magnesium enriched foods as below:
Once magnesium enters the body through food
supplements, or topical applications, it is broken down and 1. Spinach 1 cup: 157 milligrams
released to form independent magnesium atoms, or ions. 2 .Chard 1 cup: 154 milligrams
In its ionic form, magnesium has a positive charge, 3. Pumpkin seeds 1/8 cup: 92 milligrams
commonly noted as Mg2+. Magnesium cations function as a 4. Yogurt or Kefir 1 cup: 50 milligrams
part of the structure of the body through their presence in 5. Almonds 1 ounce: 80 milligrams
bone. But arguably more important is their function as cell 6. Black Beans 1/2 cup: 60 milligrams
regulators in hundreds of chemical reactions throughout 7. Avocado 1 medium: 58 milligrams
the body. Magnesium is used by every organ in the body, 8. Figs 1/2 cup: 50 milligrams
especially the heart, muscles, and kidneys. Most magnesium 9. Dark Chocolate 1 square: 95 milligrams
is stored in bones and organs, where it is used for many 10.Banana 1 medium: 32 milligrams

biological functions. The secret of magnesiums far-reaching Assessing magnesium status in the body is difficult because
impact on the body is how it functions within the cells. most magnesium is inside cells or in bone. The most
When magnesium levels get too low in the body, blood commonly used method for assessing magnesium status is
tends to clot even if there is no wound, cut or measurement of serum magnesium concentration, even
haemorrhaging. When this clotting occurs within blood
though serum levels have little correlation with total body
vessels, it creates the risk of heart attack or stroke. The
magnesium levels or concentrations in specific tissues.
secretion of adrenaline increases abnormally. Cells begin to
Other methods for assessing magnesium status include
over-respond to the stimulation of adrenaline stimulation.
Cholesterol production and metabolism become abnormal. measuring magnesium concentrations in erythrocytes,
All muscle cells, including those in the heart and blood saliva, and urine. No single method is considered
vessels, tend to contract and become unable to relax. There satisfactory.
is increased production of free radicals and susceptibility to
oxidative stress. Arteries stiffen and develop a buildup of
plaque as a result of too much bad cholesterol and too Dr Laleh Lohrasbi is a
much calcium. Glucose is not properly processed as a result pharmacologist. She has
worked as an editor for the
of insulin resistance, which can lead to Type II diabetes and medical section of
a whole spectrum of other disorders, all leading to heart Hamshahri, a daily newspaper
disease. in Tehran.

islam today September 2016 23

Children Corner

image 1

Back to school
ear Children, Assalam Alaikum Now look at image 2. Here comes the kind teacher who
during her teaching years has seen many children who find
I hope youve had a lovely summer holiday and it difficult to go to school alone. They feel shy and most
are ready to go back to school. It was a long holiday and probably afraid. The teacher has come to comfort and
some children might find it difficult to go back to the normal encourage him. She introduces Ali Akbar to the other
routine of going to school and study. Some of you feel children so as to break the ice.
happier staying at home with your families or prefer to have
longer holidays in order to play and be cheerful. But dont But Image 3 shows a different story. It is now three o clock
worry, the holidays will come again. in the afternoon and Ali Akbar's mother has come to pick
Now it is time to concentrate on your school work. him up. Although Ali Akbar is happy to see his mother, he
Everybody knows the importance of studying and although appears to be reluctant to leave school and go home as he
your family would love to have you with them all the time, has had such a lovely first day at school.
they still want you to be well educated and ready to face the
world. There is nothing better than a good, understanding and
patient teacher and good, friendly class mates. We all
Now look at image 1 which our illustrator Ghazaleh has remember our first day at school and although we might
drawn for you. It is the first year of school for Ali Akbar. He have been too shy to take out the time to befriend other
does not want to let go of his mum. He keeps crying and children we eventually found our way and often after many
asking his mother to stay. All the other children are looking years, we still think of those friends and our kind teachers.
at him and feel sad for him. At the same time they are
surprised that he doesn't like to go to school where they can We wish you a happy and wonderful school year! Enjoy your
all be friends, learn new things and play. time.

24 islam today September 2016

image 2

image 3

Illustrator Ghazaleh Kamrani

islam today September 2016 25

Through September walk itself lasts approximately six hours Time: 1.15 PM - 2.00 PM
(including a lunch break!) Fee: Free drop in
Commentary (Tafseer) of the Holy Qur'an
Venue: Meeting point - Euston Station,
Conducted by Shaykh M S Bahmanpour London NW1 2RT Gardens of Paradise (Lecture)
Venue: Islamic Centre of England, 140 Time:10.00 AM sharp
Maida Vale, London W9 1QBMore Fee: Registration 5, Sponsorship 75 The phrase most frequently used in the
Time: Every Friday starting at 7.30 PM More info: https://www.facebook.com/ Quran to describe the Gardens of Paradise
Tel: 0207 604 5500 events/ 1212765205414150/ is Jannat tajri min tahtiha al-anhar,
Gardens Underneath Which Rivers Flow:
these gardens are the archetype upon
which all traditional Islamic gardens are
Open House Dialogue based. They also contain some profound
7 September 12 October spiritual symbolism. The talk will be given
Various topics discussed in an open by Emma Clark, PSTA.
platform Calligraphy Course
Venue: High Wycombe Library, HP11 2DH
Venue: Islamic Centre of England, 140 In this non-traditional calligraphy course,
Time: 2.00 PM - 3.00 PM
students will not use reed pens and
Maida Vale, London W9 1QBMore Fee: 5
repetitive copying. Instead, they will return
Time: Fortnighly on Tuesdays starting at
to the original source of Arabic calligraphy,
18:45 PM the Kufi family of styles, and study it with a
Tel: 0207 604 5500 modern design approach. They will learn
More Info: the essence of the letters and how it 15 September
https://www.facebook.com/OpenHouseDial expresses itself in different styles; spacing,
ogue/?fref=ts proportions and the uniquely Arabic Textiles of the Islamic World
concept of kashida; compositional
approaches including the highly Textiles of the Islamic world are wide
specialised Square Kufic. Each of these ranging and exquisite representing many
3 September design notions will be accompanied by a
different histories and cultures through
practical exercise to anchor the theory and
form, colour and pattern. John Gillow - who
Calligraphy Tour 2016 allow students to learn from each other.
The course will culminate in a final project will be leading this talk - is an expert in his
where the student chooses a word or field and both entertaining and informed!
Join us on our calligraphy tour and delve
phrase and creates their own composition
into something new and exciting whilst
for it. Venue: High Wycombe Library, HP11 2DH
helping our Orphans Worldwide campaign.
We will be joined by the talented Samiur Time: 6.00 PM - 7.00 PM
Rahman from House of Calligraphy who Venue: Arab British Centre, 1 Gough Fee: 5
Square, London, EC4A 3DE
will guide you on your master class in
calligraphy. The best part of the day is you Dates: Sept 7, 14, 21, 28 and Oct 5, 12
get to take away a piece of beautiful Time: 6.00 PM - 8.00 PM
artwork created by YOU and gift it to a Fee: 205 17 September
loved one. More info: http://www.arabbritishcentre.
History of British Muslims Symposium
Venue: Hasanat College, Leigh Road,
Brimingham, B8 2YH Cambridge Muslim College is pleased to
Time: 10.00 AM - 4.00 PM announce the forthcoming symposium on
Fee: 30 sign up 10 September
the history of British Muslims. Various
More info : https://muslimhands.org.uk/ speakers will address important historical
events/2016/calligraphy-tour Glass making, cutting and trading in the
figures and events. Supper will be provided
Sassanian empire
Program available:
A gallery talk by Anne Haworth,
independent speaker. Gallery talks last 45
The Great London Monopoly Walk p-content/uploads/British-Muslim-History-
minutes. They are given by Museum staff
or guest speakers and are suitable for all
SKT Welfare proudly presents to you The levels of knowledge.
Great London Monopoly Walk 2016! Join Venue: Cambridge Muslim College, 14 St
#TeamSKT as we travel up and down the Paul's Rd, Cambridge CB1 2EZ
Venue: Room 52, British Museum, Great Time: 9.30 AM - 7.00 PM
real life Monopoly board, paying a visit to
Russell Street, London WC1B 3DG Fee: 10
each of the famous streets in London! The

26 islam today September 2016

Depression and Islamic Counselling 27 September to inspire future generations with
messages of empowerment and support.
This short programme on Muslim mental Stories From Palestine The show, now in its 6th year, returns once
health will address some of the core again in London to empower women with
mental health difficulties experienced in motivating speeches; spectacular
Event organised by Palestine Solidarity
the Muslim community from the exhibitions, a dazzling runway show with
perspective of Islamic counselling. The Islamic designers, live entertainment, a
talks are open to the public for Muslims luxury dining experience.
Venue: Desmond Tutu House, Ashgrove,
and mental health professionals. Islamic
Bradford BD7 1BN
counselling based on the teaching of Islam Venue:The London Marriott Hotel
Time: 6.00 PM - 7.30 PM Grosvenor Square, 86 Duke St, Mayfair,
is a therapeutic approach to working with
mental health problems that has been London W1K
practised in the Muslim community for 30 Time: 4.30 PM - 10.30 PM
years Abdullah Maynard has been an Fee: Normal ticket - 49, VIP - 65 +
Islamic counsellor for 20 years 2.75 (booking fee)
independently and with the Lateef Project. 29 September More info:
He also teaches Islamic counselling. http://urbanmuslimwoman.co.uk/
Islamic Buildings Restoration
Venue details & Booking: Email Abdullah
Maynard abdullah.maynard@hotmail.com Buildings from across Islamic civilisations
Time: 2.30 PM - 5.00 PM express the countries and cultures of their
Fee: 50 6 October
origins but through them are woven basic
More info: http://live-timely- Islamic principles and philosophy. Waleed
mda9duxu.time.ly/event/islamic- Pilgrims' Progress, Pilgrims' rest: in
Arafa has built buildings in far flung places
counselling-working-with-head-heart-and- and uses these experiences to convey the search of the camps on the Hajj roads to
the-resilience-of-children-a-maynard- importance of restoration. Mecca
In this talk, Claudine Dauphin, Centre
National de la Recherche Scientifique,
Venue: High Wycombe Library, HP11 2DH
discusses recent fieldwork investigating the
Time: 6.00 PM - 7.00 PM
22 September archaeology of two pilgrim roads in Jordan,
Fee: 5
running 425km from the Syrian border to
the Saudi Arabian frontier. Using RAF
Ethics and Islam The Muslim Farmer
aerial photographs of 1953, and applying
modern archaeological methods, the main
Speakers Lufti and Ruby Radwan discuss why 1 October Hajj road was plotted, and six medieval
environmental ethics are central to Islamic
and twelve Ottoman camps and
philosophy and practice. Learn about how a
Arabic and arabesques: Themes in Islamic caravanserais were discovered. This study
working farm in Oxfordshire operates with
art allows us to reconstruct the natural
respect to these principles and why this is so
landscapes of Hajj pilgrim resting places in
necessary today..
A gallery talk by Carolyn Perry, Jordan as sacred landscapes a first in
independent speaker. Gallery talks last 45 Islamic landscape archaeology.
Venue: High Wycombe Library, HP11 2DH minutes. They are given by Museum staff
Time: 6.00 PM - 7.00 PM or guest speakers and are suitable for all Venue: BP Lecture Theatre, British
Fee: 5 levels of knowledge. Museum, Great Russell Street, London
Venue: Room 34, British Museum, Great Time: 4.00 PM - 5.00 PM
Exploring The Islamic Faith Russell Street, London WC1B 3DG Fee: Free, booking essential
Time: 1.15 PM - 2.00 PM
Speaker Dr Ahmad Achtar of Heythrop Fee: Free, drop in.
College, London talks about what we really
know about Islam. The conflicting
messages today are confusing but the
original message was so simple and The Urban Muslim Woman Show '16
emphasised peace and tolerance.
Disclaimer: islam today does not necessarly
A pioneering event that is aimed solely at endorse or recommend any of these events. Their
Venue: Bucks County Museum, Aylesbury, promoting strong and independent female contents and individuals or groups involved in
HP20 2QP professionals, entrepreneurs, designers and them. We are not responsible for changes to times,
fees or venues. Further information should be
Time: 6.00 PM - 7.00 PM students within the Muslim community. It sought direclty from the organisers.
Fee: 5 is a celebration of the many achievements
and successes of Muslim women and aims

islam today September 2016 27