Page 1

Issue 15

May 2013

Colin Nell Youth Ethnic Awards

Haroon Mota Rohingya Genocide

Shaikh Zayed Grand Mosque

Giving Blood

Enjoing Good, Forbidding Evil

MADE in Europe

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.


Editor 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


Editorial Shabina Bi-Baroo Dear all Asalamu Alaykum! I would like to start by offering an apology on behalf of the Fifteen21 Team for the delay of this issue. Isn’t it incredible to think that Fifteen21 is over a year old? In this long awaited issue we give you a behind the scenes look at The Young Ethnic Awards which celebrate the achievements of inspirational minority ethnic young people, aged 14-25 that have given back to Scottish Society. Here we also talk to Marathon runner Haroon

Mota, a true role model who despite being in emotional turmoil at the sudden death of his dad managed to compete the 26 mile London Marathon in under five hours.

freestyle football skills have made him one of Europe’s top sports entertainers is also interviewed here.

Don’t worry we haven’t forgotten any of your Sometimes our world seems favourites such as Masjid’s Around the World in which very bleak when we hear we tell you all about Shaykh about conflicts between people of different religions Zayed Mosque, Abu Dhabi. but now there is a glimmer of hope due to an aptly named I would just like to finish by event; Scriptural Reasoning saying on behalf of myself which is an inter-faith event and The Fifteen21 Team that between Muslims, Jews and our thoughts and prayers are with the family and Christians, exploring their friends of Nelson Mandela, religious texts. who is critically ill in hospital In our Organisation Hotspot at the moment. He is an inspirational man who gave we tell you about MADE hope to millions of South in Europe, a Muslim-led movement of young people Africans and in doing so bought light to the world. who want to see our community leading the fight against global poverty and Ramadan Mubarak from me and the Fifteen21 Team, may injustice. you have a peaceful and blessed month. Colin Nell, a man whose

Contents 6-7 8 9 10-11 12 13 14-15 16-17 18-19 20-21 22-23 24 25 26 27 28-29 30-31 32-33 34-36

Prophets of Islam 100 Less One: Al Khaliq - the Creator Muslim Youth Helpline Muslim Heritage: Jabir Ibn Hayyan Calling out to All Women of Abrahamic Faiths! Child Line Youth Ethnic Awards Diabetes in Children The 4 Ts of Diabetes Deed of the Month: Be Positively Proactive Healthy Living: Pass with Flying Colours Hadith FOSIS 50th Annual Conference Dua: for Studying Fifteen21 I’m a Muslim & I Give Blood Rohingya’s Misery Blood Donation Work Experience: How and why?

37 38-40 41 42-43 44-45 46-47 48 49 50-51 52-55 56-57 58 59 60-61 62 63 64-65 66 67

Muslim Youth Helpline Muslim Role-Models: Haroon Mota Child Line A Day in the Life of Prophet Muhammed (saw) Scriptural Reasoning Discover Islam - Emma Roberts Nominate a Role Model! In the next issue Organisation Profile: MADE in Europe Muslim Role-Models: Colin Nell Artistic Muslims and their Inspirations Food for the Soul FOSIS 50th Annual Conference Masjids Around The World Book Review: Enjoy Your Life Poetry Recipes: Cherry Sorbet National Events Child Line

52 50 64





of Islam

David: Prophethood and Kingship Sarah Ikram

AS - alayhi salaam Upon him/her be peace SWT - subhanahu wa taala Glorious is He and He is Exalted SAW - sallallahu alayhi wa salaam - May God’s blessings and peace be with him 6

After fighting the warrior Goliath, David (AS) remained as a loyal soldier in the kingdom of Saul. Allah (SWT) gave David (AS) prophethood and the Book of Psalms (Zaboor). He also had the gift of wisdom, sound judgement, and the ability to understand the language of birds and other animals. Plants, animals and mountains responded to the melodious voice of David (AS) reciting:

And We taught him (David) the making of metal coats of mail (for battle), to protect you in your fighting. Are you then grateful? (Qur’an 21:80)

Indeed, We subjected the mountains [to praise] with him, exalting [Allah] in the [late] afternoon and (after) sunrise. (Qur’an 38:18)

As David (AS) became popular and famous amongst his people King Saul became jealous of David (AS) and worried that he, Saul, would lose his kingdom to David (AS). Human nature is weak and good intentions can very easily be replaced by bad ones without one realising. David (AS) prayed to Allah (SWT) that King Saul’s good nature was stronger than his negative feelings.

David (AS) was concerned about military armour which was too heavy and restricted movement. He set about revolutionising battle armour. Allah (SWT) gave him knowledge of moulding iron and he used this to produce rings of iron that, when interlocking together, made a more flexible armour so that the wearer could manoeuvre without restriction.

King Saul called David (AS) and informed him that the enemy had gathered an army in Canaan and that David (AS) should go with an army to fight them and not return without victory. David (AS) realised this was a plan to get him killed. Still, David (AS) and his army fought bravely and returned with victory yet again. On hearing this news King Saul became even

more restless and plotted to kill David (AS). David (AS) fled from the kingdom and his brothers and loyal citizens followed him joining forces with him. Saul decided the final resolve was to go to battle with David (AS). Saul’s army travelled a greater distance to the battle point, his army was tired so they stopped to camp and sleep. David (AS) used this opportunity to disguise himself and wander into King Saul’s army base, creeping into Saul’s sleeping space. He awoke the King saying: “Oh King, you come out seeking me, but I do not hate you, and I do not want to kill you, if I did, I would have killed you when you were asleep,” he said (Ibn Kathir), “My mission is that of love, not malice,” (Ibn Kathir). The King realised his mistake and begged for forgiveness. Time went on

and after King Saul’s death Prophet David (AS) was chosen by his people to become King. David’s (AS) kingdom brought peace and the kingdom’s enemies feared to battle against him. As King, David (AS) did not take an income for his work of ruling the kingdom. In fact he earned his living by using his experience as a craftsman to make and sell weapons. David (AS) divided his day into four parts: one to earn a living and to rest, one to pray to Allah, one to listen to the complaints of his people, and the last part to deliver his sermons. His fasting habit is known in history as one of a kind. He used to fast every other day. Abdullah Ibn Amr Ibn Al-As narrated: Allah’s Apostle (SAW) said to me: “The most beloved fasting to Allah (SWT) was the fasting of the Prophet David (AS), who used to fast alternate days.” (Sahih Al-Bukhari).

David (AS) had a son named Solomon (AS) who Allah (SWT) gifted with intelligence and wisdom from childhood and who inherited his father’s gift of prophethood and ability to understand the language of birds and beasts. On the day that David (AS) died, it was so hot that Solomon (AS) called the birds to shade David’s (AS) body from the sun. Solomon (AS) prayed to Allah (SWT); “Bestow upon me a kingdom such as shall not belong to any after me, You are the Bestower,” Allah (SWT) granted Prophet Solomon (AS) this wish. To be continued...

support us by joining our page on


Al Khaliq - the Creator Allah (SWT) is Al-Khaliq the Creator, Al-Bari the Producer, and Al-Mussawir the Fashioner. It is Allah (SWT) who brings everything into existence with exact measure and precision. The three names: Al- Khaliq, Al-Bari and AlMussawir combined, point to Creation and the internal and external forms therein.

Allah (SWT) is perfect in His skills and knowledge, and His Creation responds perfectly to His designs. And we can appreciate this if we contemplate on the sun and the moon and how they operate like clockwork without lapse.

Allah (SWT) is the Master of Creation, there are no faults in his Creation and if things in His Creation appear to be out of joint; then this is merely the Allah (SWT) says in the Holy Quran: result of our own short sightedness. He is Allah, the Creator, Acknowledging the attribute of AlThe evolver, Khaliq requires the rejection of all The bestower of forms, false creators, and this may come Of (colours), To him belong the most beautiful names in the form of pride when people attribute their own appealing features Whatever is in and abilities to themselves without The heavens and on earth Doth declare his praises and glory realising that Allah (SWT) is the only evolver, fashioner and the creator And he is the exalted of forms, not us human beings. In In might, the wise. relation to this, humankind shares in (Qur’an 59:24)

this attribute Al-Khaliq, Al-Bari and Al-Musawwir by striving to sharpen our own spiritual and intellectual being in relation to Allah (SWT) by contemplating and acquiring the skills of mindfulness of our Lord and His attributes in all His Creation.

SWT – subhanahu wa taala Glorious is He and He is Exalted

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 8

Shanaz Ali

Muslim Heritage Jabir ibn Hayyan I had never heard the name Jabir Ibn Hayyan and I certainly had no idea that those who do know of him, know of him as the pioneer of chemistry even attributing the science of chemistry as ‘the science of Jabir’. So the question is how did I hear of him? Well that is a short story in itself. I was looking for inspiration and asked a few people, one of whom I asked was Tariq, a friend I work with and he gave me two names; Jabir Ibn Hayyan and Tariq Bin Ziyad, who next month’s article is about. So back to Jabir Ibn Hayyan; he was born in Iran in the year 721 and settled in Baghdad after the establishment of the Abbasid caliphate. He died in the year 815 in Iraq. He was educated by the Umayyad Prince Khalid ibn Yazid ibn Muawiyah and the celebrated Imam Jafar al-Sadiq. His own father was a chemist in the court of Harun al-Rashid. He worked on the assumption 10

that metals like lead, tin and iron could be transformed into gold by mixing certain chemical substances. Jabir Ibn Hayyan, believed that all matters can be traced to a simple, basic particle composed of a lightning like charge and fire, which serves as the smallest indivisible unit of matter. He discovered as many as 19 elements, and is credited with having worked out correct measurements of specific weights and the first to distill vinegar into acetic acid. He also introduced the relative solubility and insolubility of substances in solution and the first to use glass tubes and bottles on a large scale. It is said that he manufactured a large quantity of gold with the help of a mysterious substance and two centuries later, when a street was rebuilt in Kufa a large piece of gold was unearthed from his laboratory. According to the scientist Max Meyerhof ‘His influence may be traced throughout the

whole historic course of European alchemy and chemistry.’ He is credited with having written one hundred chemical works, some of which are the most influential chemical treatises in both Europe and Asia and have been translated into several European languages including Latin. Several technical scientific terms used by Jabir have been adopted into modern chemistry. Jabir explained scientifically the two principal operations of chemistry, calcination and reduction, and registered a marked improvement in the methods of evaporation, sublimation, filtration, distillation and crystallization. Jabir also modified and corrected the Aristotelian theory of the constituents of metal, which remained unchanged until the beginning of modern chemistry in the 18th century. Shabina Bi-Baroo

Research has shown that Jabir knew how to obtain near pure vitrilos, alums, alkalis and how to produce ‘the so-called liver’ and milk of sulfur by heating sulfur with alkali. Jabir also advanced a theory on the geologic

formation of metals and dealt with many useful practical applications of chemistry such as refinement of metals, preparation of steel and dyeing of cloth and leather, varnishing of waterproof cloth and use of manganese dioxide to colour glass. Jabir was recognised as the master by the chemists of the 12th and 13th centuries who were unable to improve on his methods and so confined themselves to the quest of the legendary elixir which they never found. It seems chemistry as a science is unquestionably the invention of the Muslims. It is one of the sciences in which Muslims made the greatest contribution by developing it to such a high degree of perfection that they were considered authorities on the subject until the end of the 17th century. Jabir and Zakariya Razi are remembered as the greatest chemists the mediaeval period produced. Jabir Ibn Hayyan died in the year 815 and the original version of one of his most famous books, ‘The Big Book of Properties’ is on display at the British Museum.

support us by joining our page on


Calling out to All Women of Abrahamic Faiths! Salaam, Peace, Shalom

Meet my Jewish friend Ruth Friedman

My Christian friend Elaine Hansen

And you already know me, Saira Nisa 12

I’d like to spend this issue informing you about a voluntary global community initiative I am involved in and have set up with Ruth and Elaine. We have a global call taking place in July inshaAllah and would like to extend an invite to our Sisters in Faith;

always be enemies.

We have formed a group called Daughters of Eve and we invite our sisters (sorry gents but please pass the word on to your sisters, mothers, aunts and female rellies!) to join us in a Global Conversation on July 7, 2013 at 12pm EDT/5pm BST/6pm CET.

We know from our own experiences and work that there are many of us doing the work of reconciliation and relationship building among our sisters. As we are Daughters of Eve, we decided to host this call as a way for us to shine the light on all the women doing the good work of connecting and building relationships with their sisters of other Abrahamic faiths.

Why a Global Conversation for All Daughters of Eve? The three of us are weary of all the bad news in the world about religious people fighting with each other, especially the three Abrahamic faiths. Jews, Christians, and Muslims get a lot of bad press. We are told we hate each other. We are told we will

We don’t believe this is true. We believe we are ordinary people wanting ordinary lives for our children and grandchildren and wanting the same for each other.

There is more light in the world than darkness. Finding each other will ignite the light and help crowd out the darkness.

Young Ethnic Awards Make sure you keep the 24th October 2013 free. This is the night Roshni will be hosting a wonderful evening of celebration honoring the outstanding work which takes place in minority ethnic communities, and we want you to be part of this. We will be hosting an award ceremony with many prestigious guests, where we will recognise the extraordinary work young ethnic minority Alongside the awards we are running people undertake in their communities. the Scottish Ethnic Communities 100k fund, which aims to inspire more of the With six award categories, recognising excellent grassroots work in minority work from volunteering to exceptional sporting and educational achievements, communities. The fund offers up to ÂŁ10,000 for a community based project, we want to acknowledge the young allowing people to take their ideas for ethnic minority people who are doing their community and bring them to life. something special. Individuals have the opportunity to nominate young people The application process is simple; and aged between 14 and 25 until the 31st our multi-lingual Community Outreach team ensures that groups can apply in August, with winners announced at the any language. This will allow us to help Young Ethnic Awards (YEA) on the 24th those often considered hard to reach, October in Glasgow. who are generally those most in need 14

of help. The shortlisted community groups will then be invited to attend the award ceremony on the 24th October where we will reveal who has been successful in their application and watch their dream become a reality.

community? Well we want to hear it! We have a fund of ÂŁ100,000 to help groups of individuals who are looking to better minority ethnic communities. Apply now at

This night is sure to be one of great enjoyment for everyone involved; recognising wonderful young individuals whilst looking to the future projects that will transform our communities.

Nazim Azad

So lock October 24th in your diary now! The Young Ethnic Awards are the perfect celebration of Scotland’s minority ethnic youth aged between 14-25 years, and will recognise their achievements in 6 different categories. Got an awesome idea to help your support us by joining our page on


Diabetes in Children Lots of people have heard of the word diabetes, but actually not many people know what it is. You might have a friend or family member with diabetes, but what does it actually mean? Diabetes is a common condition in which the amount of glucose (sugar) in the blood is too high because your body can’t use it properly. This is because your body’s way of converting glucose into energy is not working as it should. There are two different types of diabetes: Type 1 diabetes means that the pancreas has stopped making any insulin. Insulin is made by the pancreas and is a hormone (a type of chemical messenger). It has to be replaced with insulin either by an injection or via an insulin pump. This is vital to keep alive, and it has to be taken every day. You can get Type 1 at any age but usually it appears before the age of 40, and is the type of


diabetes that most children have. Type 1 diabetes accounts for between 5 and 15 per cent of all people with diabetes and is treated by insulin, a healthy diet and regular physical activity. There are around 28,500 children who have Type 1 diabetes in the UK. Every year 2,000 children are diagnosed, and this number is going up each year.

are many risk factors including being overweight, lifestyle choice, coming from a south Asian background and getting older.

Type 1 diabetes is not caused by eating too many sweets or sugar and it is not linked to being overweight. You cannot catch diabetes. What are the signs of Diabetes? Type 2 diabetes is when the body is either not making enough insulin, or the insulin it is making isn’t working properly. It can be treated by keeping to a healthy weight, keeping active and following a healthy diet, but a lot of people with Type 2 diabetes need some medication as well. Type 2 is by far the most common type of diabetes in adults and there

It’s easy to remember the signs of diabetes – Just think of the 4 Ts: Toilet: Needing to go to the toilet more often, especially at night and weeing a lot is a sign of diabetes. Thirsty: Being constantly thirsty and drinking loads, but never feeling like you

By making more people aware of the signs and symptoms of Type 1 diabetes, and by making sure children and young people who have the symptoms get Being in DKA can be scary; you’ve gone the right test (a simple blood test) and from feeling a bit poorly to being really, care at the right time, diabetes can be really ill very quickly, and you need to diagnosed before DKA develops. be looked after in hospital to make you better. Being diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes does not mean that you can’t lead a long, normal and happy life. If you have Type 1 diabetes, then you can do everything your friends do. It’s really important that Type 1 diabetes is diagnosed quickly. If not, you can For more information on diabetes, visit get really unwell with something called diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). DKA can very quickly. It happens because diabetes/My-life/Teens/ the severe lack of insulin which upsets the body’s normal chemical balance leads to your body making poisonous Brittany Maher-Kirk chemicals called ketones, which is what Diabetes UK makes you so sick. Diabetes UK estimate that the right treatment at the right time, could stop around 500 children a year have drank enough, is a sign of diabetes. Tired: Feeling constantly tired and never feeling rested after a nap or a big sleep is a sign of diabetes. Also complaining of a constant lack of energy and not feeling up to taking part in any exercise could be another sign. Thinner: Losing weight very quickly and becoming thinner is a sign of diabetes, because the body uses up energy found in the muscles to keep going.

from becoming very ill with diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) before they are diagnosed.

support us by joining our page on


If your child is going to the toilet a lot, has increased thirst, is more tired than usual or is losing weight, it could be a sign they have Type 1 diabetes. If not diagnosed early enough, Type 1 diabetes can be fatal. Don’t delay – if your child is experiencing any of the 4 Ts, visit your doctor immediately for a test. A charity registered in England and Wales (215199) and in Scotland (SC039136).



HELP US RAISE AWARENESS OF THE 4 Ts OF DIABETES As many as one in four children are diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when they are in diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) – a life-threatening condition that requires urgent medical treatment. For children under five years old, it’s as many as one in three. We want to stop this happening. By making sure children and young people get a quick diagnosis and prompt treatment to manage their diabetes we can avoid them becoming seriously ill with DKA. That’s why Diabetes UK is raising awareness of the most common signs to look out for – the 4 Ts of diabetes. And why we’re campaigning to make sure doctors carry out the right test for Type 1 diabetes there and then, if a child presents with any of these symptoms. We believe that everyone who knows a child, of any age, should be aware of the 4 Ts of diabetes, remember them and know what to do if they spot them. You can help us to make that happen. It’s really easy, simply...

GET your hands on more 4 Ts posters and flyers, like this one, at or by ringing 0800 585 088 (Mon to Fri: 8am to 6pm).

PUT them up where you live – perhaps in your local supermarket, community

centre, church or school. You could also ask your local pharmacy and doctor’s surgery to share the posters and flyers with other parents.

HELP us campaign about Type 1 diabetes online. You could talk about

#The4Ts on Twitter or watch our #type1aware video on the 4 Ts web page and then share it with your friends on Facebook. Go to to find out more about Type 1 diabetes, the 4 Ts and how to get involved. To hear more about Diabetes UK, including how to become a member, visit, follow @DiabetesUK on Twitter or like our Facebook page at

“This Government’s policies are rubbish!” “The Council doesn’t care about us!”


Deed of the


Be Positively Proactive Michelle Blum


Common statements heard amongst people, both young and old. These are statements heard irregardless of the particular political party leading the Government. It is definitely something that all humans are good at doing; complaining. Weather and government are probably the most frequently discussed daily complaint. In fact, I’m sure that we could probably find just about anything to complain about, if we tried. Don’t get me wrong! Complaining is important! It is a way to air our frustrations, as well as share them with like-minded individuals. The problem incurs, when people begin to allow their complaints to become filled with blinding anger and hate, causing them to, “...think that every cry is against them,” (Qur’an 63: 4). I have frequently come across individuals that are angry about a long list of grievances regarding varying policies or spending cuts, but when I asked if they wrote to their MP or complained to the government using the proper procedures, the answer was more often than not, ‘No.’

Alhamdoulillah (Praise to Allah), we are in a Country, whereby the citizens have the right to vote democratically and have their voice and complaints heard. Unfortunately, very few people actively use those rights to make change happen. Instead, they sit in their circles and passively complain about injustices against themselves or foreign lands. Shockingly, some of them go so far as to create chaos, fear and sometimes violence within communities, causing distress and further frustration or anger of the victims and witnesses. This then leads to the loudest and most extreme voices being heard, through the media coverage, often not representing the general public’s views. In turn, this results in causing more confusion, frustration and anger - the debilitating cycle continues. Surely, all Muslims realise that solving things through peaceful methods and doing good deeds, is the best way to resolve problems? Allah (SWT) tells us, “The good deed and the evil deed cannot be equal. Repel (the evil) with one which is better (i.e. Allah orders the faithful believers to be patient at the time of anger, and to excuse those who treat them badly), then verily! he, between whom and you there was enmity, (will become) as though he was a

close friend,” (Qur’an 41: 34). We are also told, “Those who repress anger, and who pardon men; verily, Allah loves the good-doers,” (Qur’an 3: 134). Further to this, as anger often leads individuals to have an urge of aggressiveness, we are told clearly, “...harm them not. And put your trust in Allah...,” (Qur’an 33: 48). Obviously, there is no question about the importance of seeking a peaceful solution to disputes. So why don’t people seem to be using the peaceful and democratic processes to make change happen? Why do these extreme views keep stealing the limelight? Why do policies and laws pass which people feel are unjust?

like minded individuals and actively write to your representatives (a great website to use is: www.writetothem. com). Participate in the hundreds of consultations and forums open for your participation. Join or involve yourself in the Youth Parliament! There are around 3 million Muslims in the UK. Imagine the outcome, if they all get positively proactive in their Government! InshaAllah!

Useful Websites England Scotland I suspect it’s because the general public either don’t know the procedure Wales or the way their Government works or perhaps they don’t realise the Northern Ireland power and influence that they have. It is our responsibility to make our voices heard! Arm yourselves with and find out how your parliament-ni-elections/ government works. Join forces with support us by joining our page on


“This is a book of which there is no doubt” (Qur’an 2: 2) Have faith and no doubt in Allah (SWT) and He will get you through what He has brought you to… your exams.

sticking revision posters I made on my wall to reducing them to little note cards in bullet point format. I even used to practice mock papers at home under timed conditions treating them as though they were the real deal. However none of that was possible without faith in the Almighty.

It’s every students ‘favourite’ (not) time of the year when the academic year is coming to a close and yet not quite without testing our Now what are those subjects you feel you’re weak at? levels of aptitude and wits first. There was a time when Prophet Ibrahim (AS) was about to be thrown into a huge fire which had been prepared by his own people as they did not wish to follow his message and this was the way they could stop him spreading the Word of Allah (SWT). A small lizard was seen by birds overhead. He First of all, turn to Him. Guidance comes from kept filling up his mouth with water from a nearby puddle and would then go and spit Him, so seek it from Him. it onto the fire. The birds cried from above Once your mind clears and your heart feels at the lizard about the futility of his actions as they saw no point in what he was doing; at peace, then make your start on all your after all the fire was huge, the lizard and his revision topics. I remember I used different mouthfuls of water, miniscule. methods of revision whenever I sat my exams. From underlining texts and notes to How prepared are you for these tests? Face it, these exams have not been set by an examining board and given to you by your teachers. These tests have been written into your life and have therefore come from Allah (SWT).


Healthy Living Pass with Flying Colours Saira Nisa

Saira Nisa is the Founding Director of Living Wellbeing Ltd (, 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 skillfully enjoying juggling family, friends, work and business between Birmingham and London.

education and yes, even sit exams yet they The lizard replied; “I know, but when I face do not have the privilege. You do, seize the my Lord and am asked what I did to help our Prophet, I can reply that at least I tried.” opportunity by being prepared. I started at the basics to prepare myself. I marked the dates and time of my exams on a calendar and then worked out a revision plan on the same calendar whilst giving myself plenty of time to revise for each subject, have time for my personal life and time to relax. I wanted to make sure I didn’t When your Lord questions you as to what cram any revision in at the last minute and you did with your life, you can say that at end up getting stressed and panicked. It least you tried if nothing else. worked for me; it might just help you in some I had those doubts too but at the end of the way. Sounds simple, yet it’s the simple things day the doubts still have to be pushed aside which can get you started. as you have to sit those tests so let’s just focus whatever the topic, mathematics, sciences, history, and let’s show our commitment to passing those tests with dignity and yes a top grade is always a bonus. Even if you fall short of a few marks on your papers, know that at least you tried and there is always another chance to sit a paper and practical exam. Life is the only test we cannot sit again.

Have faith that you are sitting a test because you have been deemed worthy of it, there are many youngsters in the world hoping and praying for the chance to have an

support us by joining our page on



There are a few possibilities to this answer, that we work so hard to prepare for our but the most common answers are: exams which ultimately will benefit us the most in this life, but we don’t put in as much effort to prepare for Ramadhan, when 1. I studied sooooo hard! fasting will be a benefit for us in this life 2. I really didn’t do enough, I need to ‘prepare’ better next time. and the Hereafter.

Anas ibn Malik (RA) narrates that the Prophet salla Allahu ‘alayhi wa sallam used to make this du’aa in the months of Rajab and Sha’baan (the two months The interesting thing is that both those before Ramadhan) and say: answers show us that exam time is so important to us!

“Oh Allah bless us with the courage and life to see the Holy month of Ramadhan”

So, what does this have to do with our hadith this month?

When I read this hadith one of the things that jumps out at me is that even 2 months before the Holy month of Ramadhan the Exam month nearly over! Alhamdulillah. Prophet salla Allahu ‘alayhi wasallam was May Allah (SWT) give you all the highest asking Allah (SWT) for the ability to catch success in this life and the Hereafter. Ameen. Ramadhan. That tells us the importance of this month and the importance of preparing Exams are given so much importance in our well for it. lives. If you think back to when you were preparing for your exams, or perhaps So, the link with exams is? you’re still preparing, how much effort did Well, we need to ask ourselves… why is it you put in?


Next month I’m going to share with you some tips that will Insha’Allah help us all REAP the benefits! For now, think of the things you could already start doing to better your relationship with Allah (SWT), because this will definitely help along the way. For some little reminders check out the previous issues of Fifteen21.

Zaynab Amatullah

Dua. for Studying

Rumaysa Malik

Allahumma la sahla illa ma ja’altu sahla, wa ‘anta taj-alul hazna idha shi’ta sahla O Allah! There is nothing easy except what You make easy, and You make the difficult easy if it be Your Will.


FREE Online Magazine

for Young Muslims of the 21st Century

Stories of the Prophets (pbut) Book Reviews & Poetry Inspiring Role Models Muslim Heritage ...and much more!

I’m a Muslim & I Give Blood


Young Planners have joined forces with the NHS in a groundbreaking campaign to encourage Muslims to sign up to the Donor Register to give blood; contributing to a cause at the heart of British community – saving lives.

the importance of blood donation by rallying Muslims to donate blood on the day or at least sign up to the Blood Donor Register.

Donating need not imply pound-signs, just as the term ‘Muslim’ needs not reflect anything devoid of humanity. When it comes to the term ‘donating’, In fact, it is the cheapest and simplest many people automatically think of money. Upon hearing the term ‘Muslim’, way of saving lives. From a moral and Islamic view, it is a benevolent and many have unpleasant images in noble act. their minds. Both are worrying results of misconception. Young Planners, a Most Muslims in London are from London-based youth organization championing positivity and diversity at minority groups, so this campaign is more pertinent to meeting the urgent the core of its being, are conducting needs for donations from these groups, a blood awareness campaign, aimed as there are significantly less people at Muslims in London. It’s a campaign which should rightfully begin to erode from them donating blood, according to the NHS Blood and Transplant these misconceptions; ultimately bridging the gulf created by both sides department (NHSBT). of the spectrum – bad media coverage The campaign will be wholly and delusional extremists committing transformative in helping Muslims unite crimes in the name of Islam. for a humanitarian cause and will see blood stations at mosques around 14th June marks World Blood Donor Day and this campaign, ‘Muslims Give London, with Young Planners working alongside NHS staff on the day at the Blood’, aims to raise awareness of

to treat complications following the birth of her daughter. So if you or anyone you know wish to sign • Central London: Muslim World League up to the Blood Donor Register or find (Goodge Street) & London Central out more about becoming a blood donor, A lot of people are sadly unaware of Mosque Trust (Regent Park) the importance of blood donation where please visit our website or facebook page • Finsbury Park Mosque (North London) hereditary blood disorders are concerned at: • East London Mosque like sickle cell anemia and thalassemia • Woolwich Mosque (South London) Website • Al Manaar, The Muslim Cultural Heritage (most common in ethnic minorities). Facebook ‘Muslims Give Blood’ Needless to say, in childbirth, major Centre (west London) surgery or minor surgery as evidence Alternatively check out our television shows, blood transfusions underline the With supporting mosques registering difference between life and death, as loss adverts donors such as of too much blood leads the body into a state of shock, and without a transfusion, TV Advert 1 • Hendon Mosque & Islamic Centre death. • Hayes Muslim Centre watch?v=B08eFXarxuQ • Al Muntada Al Islamia “I can’t even tell you how many units of • Mayfair Islamic Centre blood I was given, all I know is that I was TV Advert 2 • Al Risalah Holloway Road Mosque minutes away from bleeding to death. The watch?v=ANmwETfMqP8 blood I received not only saved my life, Beyond the call for unity between nonbut it saved my daughter from losing her Muslims and the Muslim community, this partnership hopes to see more Muslims in mother before she was even four weeks Yasin Chiles London adding their names to the Blood old” Young Planners Donor Register and becoming regular A 26 year old mother shares her delight ‘active’ blood donors. In addition, it will and encouragement for blood donors, help the development and promotion having needed several blood transfusions of multiculturalism whilst widening the following Mosques.

acknowledgement of a principle within the Islamic narrative that Muslims do actually care about saving lives.

support us by joining our page on


A minority Sunni Muslim population (roughly 700,000), the Rohingya Muslims, survive amongst the heavily populated Buddhist community in Burma.




Human Right Watch documented during this period that the government authorities encouraged and implemented campaigns of ethnic cleansing against the Rohingya Muslims. Numerous mosques were destroyed, violent mass arrest took place and over 125,000 Muslims were displaced – they fled to save themselves from rape, torture and being killed.

In June 2012, the United Nations stated that the Rohingya people were ‘the most persecuted monitories in the world,’ in response to the Rakhine state riots in Myanmar.

In October 2012, one of the most deadliest and merciless attacks perpetrated by Buddhist monks occurred.

Now in 2013, we still see the continual brutal massacre of innocent Muslims at the hands of the Burmese government and its citizens, according to human rights groups.

Human Rights Watch documented large groups of Arakanese men armed with machetes, swords and homemade guns attacked villages while security forces either ignored the violence or joined in.

“The government should investigate responsibility for the violence in Meikila and the failure of the police to stop wanton killings and the burning of entire neighbourhoods,” said Brad Adams, Asia director of HRW.

“Burma’s political, religious, and community leaders should demand an end to the hate speech that has fuelled violence and discrimination against communities in Burma’s fragile multicultural society,” said Mr Adams.

An estimated 40 people were killed, 61 people wounded in the clashes and over 828 residential buildings were burnt to the ground and another 12,000 people were displaced during the three-day long torture campaign.

But will the government listen? Or is it on the side of the oppressor?

The Rohingya Muslim population that fights for survival in a society which encourages anti-Islamic sentiment and religious intolerance shows no hope of abating.

Numerous mosques were destroyed, violent mass arrest took place and over 125,000 Muslims were displaced – they fled to save themselves from rape, torture and being killed.

In March 2013, Meikila, a city in the centre of Myanmar, saw the same coldblooded violence occurring again.

With the well-known Sangha members of the Buddhist monkhood continuing its bombardment with sermons and distributing anti-Muslims predilection, the survival of a Muslim community declines rapidly.

So how does this bring us to where we are now?

Too many Muslim lives are being lost under the hands of governments; the international community cannot stay silent forever.

Hazma Farooq

support us by joining our page on


who donate it freely.

Blood donation Throughout the ages, in every culture is the importance of blood; whether it be the importance of the blood bonds of family, bad blood in feuds, blood brothers or blood oaths. Blood is given magnitude in all contexts and all arenas and rightly so. When blood is considered in a medical context, many of the groundbreaking procedures undertaken today would not be possible without the availability of blood. It’s not only trauma cases such as traffic accidents which require blood – heart surgery, childbirth, cancer treatments and many other procedures could not happen without blood and those


Everyone worries at some point about a hospital bed being available or having an operation, but nobody ever thinks, “Will blood be available if I need it?” People assume that the blood will always be there, assume that ‘someone’ will have donated blood so that they won’t have to.

as their blood directly impacts on the treatment of members of their community.” Some conditions require patients to receive regular blood transfusions. It is beneficial for these patients to receive blood from donors with a similar ethnic background as their blood groups and the antibodies in their blood are usually the same.

NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) provide all the blood for hospitals in England and North Wales. This equates to nearly 2 million donations a year from 1.3 million donors. Theo Clarke, Lead Donor Relations Manager leads the work NHS Blood and Transplant do with BME communities. He says; “We have some fantastic loyal donors from the Muslim community, but it is important that others join them in signing up and donating blood, I cannot stress how important it is that members of the community step up and donate blood

NHSBT are making strides within the Muslim community and have seen year on year improvement in donation figures but Theo Clarke still notes some major stumbling blocks.

“The main reason I hear that people from the Muslim community don’t give blood is that they don’t know we need it. Islam speaks of donation as a positive thing – should you have any concerns however, I would ask that you seek clarification from the spiritual leaders in your community.” NHSBT have longstanding relationships with Muslim Community associations, trying to encourage the next generation of donors to give blood. Young donors who give regularly are vital to the long term future of the blood donor base and to blood stocks. NHSBT arrange blood donor sessions in Mosques and community buildings as well as having community dedicated days at existing sessions. National Blood Week (June 10th – 16th) provides the perfect time for those thinking of donating to register to donate and those who may have stopped donating to return to giving blood.

at least 50 kg (7 stone 12lbs) and in general good health. If you’ve donated before, you can start again up to your 70th birthday and there is no upper age limit for donors who have donated in the last two years. To book an appointment or chat to someone about donation call 0300 123 23 23 or visit To find sessions local to you go to www. To find out what happens when you donate blood find out here: www.blood. Each donation can save or improve the lives of up to 3 Adults or 7 Babies.

Cherry Brown NHS Blood and Transplant

Anyone interested in becoming a donor should be aged between 17-65, weighing

support us by joining our page on


It’s becoming increasingly difficult to find work experience or a job in a field you wish to pursue. Work experience is an integral part of your application to university or employment. Relevant work experience puts you in good stead to get the course or job you want. It is a message to your course director or employer that you have taken steps to understand the career you are choosing, and that you are keen to start working in your chosen field.

Work Experience:

How and why?


Look everywhere Do not narrow your search and focus on only a few types of placements for work experience. Look at other related fields. For example if you are applying to study Physiotherapy and do not find a placement in a physiotherapy centre, perhaps you can find work in a Chiropractic Centre or a Care Home where you can show you are confidant working hands-on, have good communication skills and work well with people. These skills are important for a candidate working in Physiotherapy.

Start early Relevant work experience is a great thing to get under your belt during summer vacations, ideally before or just after your GCSE exams. After school, life only gets busier, and your college years will be filled with endless revision and exams. You can still use your college vacation to complete work experience, but remember university applications need to be filled in before your final exams at college. So don’t leave it too late! Be proactive and look yourself Don’t be the lazy student and ask parents and family to find you relevant work experience. Finding work experience is a bit like finding a job. The experience is meant to mature you and teach you something about the real process of finding employment. It shows very positively if you approach a potential placement with your CV, dress smartly and introduce yourself confidently. It can equally show very negatively if someone else delivers your CV and makes enquiries on your

behalf. If you are not appearing in person remember that employers are curious about you, as you are about the employer, and they want to see and know if the person they are employing will fit their requirements. Quite often they make a decision on the first impression, the first impression should not be the last impression you make!

You need to look the part, and appear appropriate to the environment you are applying to. For example if you are applying to a playschool, dressing too formally in a grey suit and tie may give the impression that you are not comfortable getting your hands dirty in games and play. But if you were applying to a placement in an office environment, you may chose to dress more formally.

Prepare a CV and Covering letter Have a Curriculum Vitae and a covering letter ready to hand. It may be that you do not have a chance to meet the manager and you have to hand your details (CV and covering letter) to the secretary to pass on. It gives a good impression and the manager will take you more seriously. A letter addressed to the manger in an envelope is more likely to reach the manager and less likely to Don’t give up be forgotten in the secretary’s paper Don’t expect your first application to be tray. successful. You may try several places before you are successful. The successful Be smart applicant never gives up. Placement Make an effort and look smart. This hunting is a real life experience of job doesn’t mean trying to be someone else, hunting and in real life people don’t give it means looking tidy and professional. up job hunting.

Take what is offered Remember, if you can’t find work experience directly related to the field you want to pursue then settle with what you are offered and continue looking. It may be the only experience you find before you get busy with exams. Work experience is hard to find these days. There are still a lot of things you can learn from a placement that may not be directly related to your chosen career path (explained below). Learn from all placements If you are applying for Law but get stuck in a placement doing administrative work typing letters, you may not think it is relevant to Law but there is a lot you can learn on your placement. You may learn to appreciate the importance of organisation skills, of meeting deadlines, of liaising with colleagues to complete your work and above all, you understand the importance of maintaining confidentiality. These are all skills you may use as a future lawyer. All in all this work experience can still give you plenty to talk about at an interview.

support us by joining our page on


Selling your experience There are many things you will have learned from your work experience without realising it, the challenge is trying to realise what you learnt from the placement and how to sell your experience to an interviewer. Here is an extreme example of how to sell an experience you may think is unrelated to the career you wish to pursue: you are applying to study Medicine and the only work experience you have completed is selling luxury chocolates in a chocolate shop. From chocolates for the birth of a new baby to wedding chocolates or chocolates for special dietary needs. You learn to explore the customer’s needs through talking to the customer. You learn to deal with difficult customers and to remain calm and polite at all times. You realise the importance of teamwork to work efficiently when queues grow long. Your colleague is better at selling chocolates whereas you are better at gift wrapping chocolates, so you agree to split your roles accordingly, to ensure you give the business your best. You 36

hardly need to ask your senior for help, but in some situations you recognize when senior help is required and you contact your senior accordingly. All of these skills are applicable to a doctor working in A&E i.e. working as a team player, dealing with difficult patients with calm and resolve, understanding a patient’s needs and lastly knowing when to contact your senior is something you have to learn too. What to do at your placement Make the most of your experience. Try and get experience in different areas of the placement. Keep a diary, it helps later on when you have to talk about your experience at an interview and you can’t remember what you did on your placement. Give a good impression, perhaps you will get an excellent report from your manager and they may decide to keep you on even after your placement is over.

Sarah Ikram

Thankyou for agreeing to be interviewed for Fifteen21 youth magazine, how are you? Alhamdulillah I’m great. Thankyou for inviting me for an interview. Congratulations on completing the London marathon in April, what was your time? I completed the 26.2 miles in 4 hours, 57 minutes, Alhamdulillah! You can find a recent article about my experience at www.

Muslim Role-Models Haroon Mota Community Activist 38

You’ve scaled Everest Basecamp, climbed the 3 highest peaks in the UK, and run the London marathon, what drives you? Climbing mountains, running marathons and trying to raise money for charity is never easy. But knowing that my efforts

can make a huge difference in helping people around the world certainly motivates me to do more and more. Charity is very important in Islam, whether you’re giving money, helping people or volunteering your time, however much or little it may be, Allah (SWT) will reward us very well. So I’d say the rewarding work of charity is the thing that drives me most. One in 10 successful climbs to the summit ends in death, what was on your mind when completing your charity trek with Islamic Relief? When I first signed up for the Everest Trek I thought I was preparing to climb to the summit of Mt Everest. I’m glad I was only trekking to basecamp, which was a 2 week trek reaching an altitude of 18,000 ft, no way as risky as trying to get to the top of the mountain. So whilst on the trek I

was just so grateful that I had the opportunity to be amongst the most beautiful mountain ranges in the world, whilst also being able to raise £20,000 for Islamic Relief’s Orphan projects.

You work in London with young people who have been diagnosed with cancer, has this changed your outlook on life working with terminal illness?

Yes, I work on a Teenage Cancer Could you tell us more about the Ward where I witness suffering on a daily basis. Seeing young people Water4Life campaign? fighting for their lives is horrible, but it only reminds me how lucky The Water4Life campaign aims I am. I can’t imagine what my life to provide water to give life to would have been like in my teens the people of Africa. Water is so had I been fighting cancer. What much more than just a drink; it’s impact would it have had on my needed to wash and clean, for school & university, my dreams, my cooking, growing crops, and so family? Every living cell in our body much more. So Islamic Relief aims not only to hand out water to those is a blessing from Allah (SWT), and sometimes we forget how fortunate who are thirsty, but to provide and how blessed we are. Every day water in a way to help build and sustain communities. By running the in the UK, 6 teenagers find out they have cancer, and I wasn’t aware of London Marathon, I managed to raise £5500 for this campaign, and this before I started working there. I guess it’s reality that cancer just like the money that all the supporters any other illness can affect anyone donated will go a very long way at any time, and being reminded inshaAllah. Anyone wishing to find by this every day teaches me to be out more or to donate can visit more grateful for the health Allah

(SWT) has given me. With the Holy month of Ramadhan around the corner, how are you preparing for this year? I’ll be honest and say that I haven’t really made any preparations for Ramadhan. I’m so busy through the routines of daily life that time has flown by so quickly and Ramadhan is going to catch me by surprise. I guess this will be the case for many

support us by joining our page on


of you who have probably been busy at school with exams through the year. Ramadhan always tends to fly by too so I’d like to take my own advice and make the most of every second, and every minute of this holy month. What further aspirations do you have? I would like to continue my work of charity, and I want to carry on taking on sponsored challenges. If Allah (SWT) gives me the ability to carry on for another 50 years, I’d be a happy man. I want to better myself and focus more on my faith because nothing in life is more important than that. I lost my father recently and I’d like to fill his shoes and spend more time looking after my family. I’m also into martial arts and competed as a kickboxer, but have been out of action for a few years. I’d like to find some time and get back in the ring inshaAllah too!


MashAllah you are a great role model to our readers, but who was your role-model when you were growing up? From a very young age I was always reminded and taught at home about our beloved Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him) and the life he lived. He was the greatest man to set foot on this world and there is no better example than him. May Allah (SWT) grant us all the ability to live our lives according to his teachings and example. Ameen! Any advice for the youth? If there’s something you wish to achieve in life, then don’t just dream about it. If it’s realistic then make an effort to pursue it. Never let setbacks deter you. Life is full of barriers but overcoming them will only make you better, stronger, more determined and more driven inshaAllah. Youth only comes once

and when you age like I have, you can’t rewind or reverse so when you look back you don’t want any regrets. I guess that’s only possible if you give 100% to fulfill your potential and try to excel as an individual.

A Day in the Life of… Prophet Muhammed (saw) - One for All and All for All A few weeks ago, I passed by Regent’s Park in Central London on my way to London Central Mosque for a program. I noticed that it was really quite clean compared to some of the parks I’ve been to back in my hometown in America. It got me thinking about what I could do for my park the next time I got an opportunity. But really, could I pull it off on my own? I mean, say there’s a problem with litter in your local park. People from every corner of the community visit, hang out, and play in the park. Everyone sees that there’s a problem with litter in and around the park. Obviously, everyone wants to do something about it. Now, if one person tries to fix the problem alone, it’ll be hard. Ten people try to fix the problem, but they do it separately by themselves, it becomes a bit easier, but still pretty difficult. What if these ten people formed a group, organized an event, made some posters,


dished out some food, and got EVERYONE IN THE COMMUNITY together on one day to come and clean up the park? It’s not rocket science, I promise you. The fact of the matter is that this concept of social activism and working together to support the welfare and needs of individuals, families, and communities in society is one of the most beautiful dimensions of the life and mission of our Beloved Prophet Muhammad (may Allah shower peace and blessings upon him). One of the major aims of his Prophetic mission was social reform. What many people may not know however is that the Prophet (may Allah shower peace and blessings upon him) actually started his social activism while he was still a teenager, somewhere between fifteen and twenty years old, way before he became a prophet.

Even before Islam came to Arabia, the Arabs would respect the sacred months of the lunar calendar. Pilgrimage to Makkah would take place during these months and fighting was forbidden. On one occasion, a trader from Yemen had come to do business during this busy season. He sold some merchandise to a local trader from Makkah, but this buyer wasn’t paying up for the stuff he took. The Yemeni man didn’t know anyone in Makkah and thus, couldn’t find anyone to help him out with his problem. The thing with the Arabs was that they would make agreements to help each other out in times of need, but most of the time, they weren’t really bothered about who or what was right and wrong as long as they got what they wanted. Yep. That’s the “Days of Ignorance” for you. The Yemeni man now turned to the leaders of Makkah, the Quraish for help.

The fact of the matter is that this concept of social activism and working together to support the welfare and needs of individuals, families, and communities in society is one of the most beautiful dimensions of the life...

The Prophet’s uncle, Zubair ibn Abd alMuttalib, collected the heads of the Quraish in the house of Abdullah ibn Jud’aan and they made an agreement which became known as Hilf al-Fudul (the Pact of the Virtuous). The Prophet (may Allah shower peace and blessings upon him) participated in the meeting as well. In this pact, the Makkan leaders united and mutually agreed on three things: 1) No person will be subjected to persecution, regardless of whether he/she is a native of Makkah or an outsider; 2) From now on, there will be no opportunities for cruelty to occur. An oppressor’s cruelty will not be overlooked anymore no matter; 3) We will push for the rights, welfare, and support of those who are needy and unable to support themselves.

They then went to the Makkan who wasn’t paying up and delivered the payment to the Yemeni themselves. Not only is it permissible for Muslims, but it’s also recommended for them to form alliances with non-Muslims and organisations that aim to assist the oppressed, repel injustice and immorality, and uphold the honour of our global human family. We should be involved as much as we can in local charities, in care homes, community clean-up projects, in volunteering at Shelter and more. “Help each other in righteousness and piety, and do not help each other in sin and aggression…” (Surah al-Mā’idah, verse 2). Mufti Niaz Hannan

support us by joining our page on


Scriptural Reasoning

I attended an interfaith event in the first week of June at Makkah Mosque in Leeds. The event was called scriptural reasoning. People from the Jewish and Christian faith also attended the event. The aim of the event was to read and discuss selected passages from the Torah, Bible and the Qur’an. The selected verses from the Bible were from Chapter 5, from the Torah we studied verses from the book of Exodus Chapter 22 and 23, and finally from the Qur’an we studied verses from Chapter 17. One common theme from all three passages was to do good deeds.

“Do not follow what you do not know. No doubt, the ear and the eye and the heart all are to be questioned” (Qur’an 17:36)

It applies that we should not blindly follow something. The latter part of the verse refers to Judgment day. Muslims believe that on Judgment day their lips will be sealed and their eyes, ears The verse from Chapter 17 of the Qur’an and heart will speak for them. They will I liked was; be questioned about what they did on 44

this Earth. Did they do good or bad? Everything is recorded so the verse is a warning that everyone will be questioned. It was interesting that in the book of Exodus it talked about not charging interest. In verse 25 it says; “If you lend money to one of my people among you who is needy, do not treat it like a business deal; charge no interest.” In Islam, charging interest is also forbidden. Dr Zakir Naik from India says that interest is not allowed because it makes a rich person richer and a poor person poorer. The Christian text talked about loving your enemies. In verses 43 and 44 it said;

It was debatable as to what peacemakers actually meant. In Syria, some countries think that supplying weapons to the rebels will create peace. Whilst other countries think supporting the Government will create peace.

You cannot take one verse in isolation without reading the full passage. This is an important message since today many people against religion hand pick verses from the holy texts to try and defame the religion.

Another verse which caused debate was “And not equal are the good deed and in the book of Exodus where it says in the bad. Repel [evil] by that [deed] which verse 21; is better; and thereupon the one whom “Do not ill-treat or oppress a foreigner, between you and him is enmity for you were foreigners in Egypt.” [will become] as though he was a devoted friend.” If God is commanding Jewish people not (Qur’an 41:43) to oppress the foreigners then why are they oppressing the Palestinians? This It teaches that the evil deed should was a thought that came into the minds be repelled with a good deed so our enemies may become our good friends. It of many of the people attending the event. It shows that the scriptures teach us shows that the religious person needs to good things but sometimes the followers lead by example. don’t always obey them. Humans are not The verse that caused much debate within perfect. the group was verse 9 from the book of In conclusion, by comparing the scriptures Matthew where it said; we found that the passages are very similar. In addition, you cannot understand “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they a verse by not understanding the context. will be called the children of God.”

The culprits behind the Woolwich murder and the recent attacks on mosques by the England Defence League will not succeed to cause hatred within the community. We need to continue to promote harmony within the community and to enhance our understanding of each other to achieve peace.

“You have heard that it was said, Love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” This is very similar to the teachings of Islam where it says in Chapter 41;

support us by joining our page on

Zeeshan Arif


Discover Islam - Emma Roberts When did you become interested in Islam? I became interested in Islam in kind of a funny way, I guess. I went to a Catholic school, because I knew I believed in God, I just wasn’t sure which religion was for me. Anyway, I learned very little about Islam in Christian Ethics. I started a new job in January 2011, alongside a Muslim co-worker. All of our shifts are 8 hours long, just two people, working at a hotel desk. So you end up talking a lot with your co-workers. I started to ask him questions about his religion. I think the first questions I asked were whether or not he prayed five times a day. At the time, that seemed pretty excessive. I was just curious how someone could do that. He explained everything to me. I asked him some of the stupidest questions and I asked questions all day, every day. But, Alhamdulillah, he was very informative and patient with me. 46

This happened for about 2.5 years. I also did reading in my spare time and I tried to learn as much as I could. But about 3 months ago, I was researching and it just clicked that I wanted to convert. So, I took my Shahadah about 7 weeks ago. Did you have support of family and friends? For support, I’d really like to focus on my sister, she took her Shahadah 3 weeks after I did, and I don’t think I’d feel such a level of support without her. My brother was totally cool with it as well. He even said I looked good in a hijab. My mom was shocked at first, she asked lots of questions and she’s really enjoying learning about Islam. My dad is not a fan in any way but I won’t talk about that. My grandpa is wonderful, he said he loves us and he thinks it’s great that we aren’t giving up, despite all of my extended family hating it. My grandma is trying to

come to terms with it. What was it like when you took your Shahadah? The moment of my shahadah felt as if a weight had been lifted. I was thinking about converting for a while, and I had done so much research, but I finally took my shahadah and it felt like everything was right. Since becoming a Muslim how do you feel within yourself? I used to be mad and sad all the time. Literally, all the time. I went through some very depressing periods. I might get a little agitated at moments, but now I get over it almost instantly. And I feel very comfortable within myself; I feel like this is where I was meant to be. And spiritually, I feel content too. I had been searching for a religion, and I’ve finally found the one

that spoke to me. Since becoming Muslim what lifestyle changes have you made? I didn’t have to give up too much since I converted, except my wardrobe, just kidding. I just gave my friend my tank tops & tee shirts. But on a serious note, I didn’t give up anything really. I never really drank alchohol, I never ate meat (I was vegetarian for 11 years before I converted). I never went to bars/clubs,

I never dressed provocatively. I just had to buy some loose fitted clothing and scarves. I wore a turban for the first few days after my conversion, then after a week, I was wearing a full hijab. Would you recommend other people to read and look into Islam? I would refer non-Muslims to learn about Islam. The media portrays it in such a bad light, it’s very saddening. I used to be a believer of all the things the media

had to say. I was dumbfounded to learn the truth. If people were more open to learning about Islam, then they wouldn’t focus on the rare occasions when a minority make a bad name for the good practicing Muslims. Islam is a religion of peace, and I wish more people could see that. Interview with Bushra Hussain Shahadah – “There is no God but Allah, and Muhammad is his messenger” declaration of faith

support us by joining our page on


Nominate a Role Model! Over the past 15 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 with the following details;

e m a il N a l l m u E F e ls er / d b o m M u N e o len R o on h s r P e • t p c is h t on ta n) t C u • abo w u o o n y k es (i f r i p s n h at i 0 wo rd s ) W • 15 (m a x

We look forward to receiving your nominations!

… e u t Iss

x e N The

In id & v a D f

tory o

The S

sn o i t a ct



ng i r a p Pre

*N •


riag r a M ut


is A s i h T s


tory s i H im


ay m U e Th


Sp n i s d a



dha a m a R




orie t S h t ai

nterf I * EW



us M * EW

rt 3 a P liath

res u t a e F


Boo , s m oe

s, w e i v Re



tor S , s e ip


Out on Friday 20th July 2013!

Organisation Profile MADE in Europe Thankyou for agreeing to be interviewed for Fifteen21 youth magazine, what is MADE in Europe?

MADE in Europe is a movement of young Muslims who feel restless about the injustice and poverty that exists in the world.


Who is behind MADE in Europe and is energy and water, providing recycling facilities and promoting eco-conscious there a story behind the name? living in their khutbahs. We’re running this campaign across 9 European MADE in Europe was started 4 countries in partnership with FEMYSO years ago by a few people who (Federation of European Muslim Youth are passionate about seeing Muslim & Student Societies). Later this year youth leading the fight against global we’ll be launching a Green Up Toolkit poverty. We want to make people to support more young people to aware of the opportunities that we green up their mosques. For more info: have living in Europe and how we can galvanise these to create change for greenup the world’s poorest people. We are European Muslims, “made in Europe” Sidra Hussain shared her experience ourselves, we are part and parcel of Live Below the Line in the last of the society and ready to fulfill the khilafah (stewardship) Allah (SWT) has issue; do people really live on £1 a day in poorer countries? entrusted us with to protect and care for the planet and all its people. The World Bank measures the extreme poverty threshold as $1.25 a day and What campaigns are you currently it’s estimated that 1.2 billion people running? survive on this amount. The stark difference between Live Below The One of our biggest campaigns at Line and the reality faced by these the moment is called ‘Green Up My people is that this amount has to cover Community.’ It’s a drive to support EVERYTHING, not just food and drink. our mosques to become more It’s education, healthcare, transport, environmentally friendly by making clothing, energy and everything else. simple changes such as conserving

That really puts the experience of Live Below The Line into perspective when we found it tough to make £1 cover just our food and drink.

Is there any success stories you could share with our readers, on the impact that MADE in Europe has had?

With Ramadhan fast approaching, could you share some tips on ethical food and consumption?

One of our biggest campaigns to date has been At Our Mothers’ Feet which aimed to inspire Muslim charities to increase their work on maternal health. Three years ago when we started the campaign over half a million women died every year during pregnancy or childbirth yet less than a third of Muslim charities did any work in this area and it wasn’t something that was really talked about publicly in the community. As a result of the campaign, 14 different organisations have now started or increased their work on maternal health including Muslim Charity, Al Khair Foundation and Muslim Hands. Every time I see a TV appeal fundraising for a maternal health project or open the paper and see an advert, I feel very proud that MADE in Europe played a role in bringing this issue to the fore which inshaAllah will help to save thousands of women’s lives. For more info: aomf

Our big push for Ramadan this year is going to be making people conscious of how their eating habits impact on the environment and people. Many of us are guilty of over-eating during the nights of Ramadan and there is a lot of wastage. Annually the UK throws away 15 million tonnes of food which is a staggering amount. Another issue is the source of our food – it is all very well being halal but if people, animals or the environment have been exploited in any way during its production, then it is not tayyib (good, wholesome) as commanded by Prophet Muhammad (SAW). We are asking people to keep two simple things in mind this Ramadan – eat less and eat tayyib (for example Fairtrade, organic, free range). We believe that eating ethically is not an optional extra or something to do only if you’ve got spare time on your hands – it is a core part of living the deen.

Sarah Javaid facebook: MADEinEUR twitter: MADEinEur support us by joining our page on


Muslim Role-Models Colin Nell Football Freestyler


Thank you for agreeing to be interviewed for Fifteen21 youth magazine, how are you?

Of course we have to ask who your favourite football team is!

I actually support Charlton Athletic FC who are in the English Championship I’m well thank you Alhamdullilah, at the league. My father is from Kent and used moment I’m very excited about many projects coming up in the near future and to take me there as a boy which has stuck with me. This was my first introduction into working hard and feel very blessed by Allah (SWT) to be able to do something I football and this is a more traditional approach as opposed to picking any have a real passion for. team I fancy! Charlton have had some Congratulations on your achievements glory years however most are shocked when they hear this!! worldwide, could you tell us more about what you do? You have worked with the likes of Shahrukh Khan and Timbaland, what is I am a professional football freestyler the best thing about your work? which for those who don’t know is the art of performing tricks and skills with a football at the highest level. This can be Working alongside big names such as spread across many different styles such Shahrukh Khan and Timbaland was a great pleasure, not only because I am a as live shows, corporate entertainment, fan of their work but because it has given sponsorship and promotions as well as workshops and master classes. I have also me the experience with working with had the pleasure of working on numerous professionals at the highest level. I guess it proved to me that I have the skills and commercials, print media and films over the past 10 years which has led me onto talent to be the very best. choreography and consultancy for some With the Holy month of Ramadan of the world’s biggest brands.

around the corner, how are you preparing for this year? I prepare the same as I do most years which is as we draw closer I adjust my time table and work ethic so that I am ready. This would mean eating less and resting at the right times. This year will be a big challenge as it is during the height of the summer and this is the busiest time of the year for me but the best rewards come with the biggest challenges. How important is your faith to you in the work that you do? My faith and belief in Islam is a big factor with my work and life. It allows me to stay on track and also find the reasoning behind what I do. My lifestyle as a Muslim has helped me become more positive, patient and trustworthy of Allah’s (SWT) influence in my life. That said it doesn’t mean that I don’t have to work hard, we still have to work hard on all areas of our work and lifestyles continually.

support us by joining our page on


What achievements are you most proud always the people in each country that make me feel so welcome. I have been of? all over Europe such as Germany, Spain, Italy, France even Slovenia! Twice to Over the years I have met some wonderful people and experienced some America and Los Angeles and numerous beautiful countries as well as worked on trips to Egypt and the UAE. I recently some ground breaking projects, however returned from Azerbaijan and soon off to Gothenburg in Sweden. My favourite has the projects that I am most proud of to to be Egypt because I am fascinated with date is where I had worked alongside the Pyramids and love the African/Arab Feltham Young Offenders Prison and culture with food, weather and people, UCLH Hospital in London. Both projects being half Arab myself! were working with kids, one happened to be in a situation where they had If you were granted one wish, what fallen on bad times and needed some guidance and the other was working with would it be? sick children who just wanted a smile put onto their faces and to have a good time. It would most definitely be to have Paradise granted for my family, friends Both projects took a lot of thought and approach however the satisfaction I took and myself! That’s me just being lazy we from both places made me feel like I was must work for that too!! doing a good thing. What further aspirations do you have? You travel extensively in your work, where is the best place that your work I have a new company now in www. where I help to inspire has taken you? school children and other organizations so I would like this to grow and continue I am very fortunate that I have been for many more years to come as well to some wonderful places however it is


as continuing to inspire and work at the highest level with my brand of freestyle football and as a specialist at www. MashAllah you are a great role model to our readers, but who was your rolemodel when you were growing up?

religion and gender. We should aspire to make a difference and be the best in whatever way we can be. Always be good to others and most importantly your parents. Remember to work hard always; this goes with all things so dare to dream that anything is possible with Allah’s (SWT) help. Aim for the moon and if you miss you’ll be amongst the stars!

Thank you it warms me that you say this however my role models growing up were 2pac the rapper, Muhammad Ali, Zinadine Zidane, and Prince Naseem Hamed. I have very different reasons for liking each but what I look for is someone who stands up for his belief and is prepared to face challenges, a true professional who is a person of the people and can walk with kings but not lose the common touch. Any advice for the youth? I would say that you must have your priorities right in life. That fine balance between work and day to day life. The Qur’an has guided us through the Book but we must be people who can get along with each other no matter what race, support us by joining our page on


Artistic Muslims and their Inspirations I was first introduced to this painting when I was in Year 8, and I was deeply touched but too embarrassed to tell anyone except the teacher‌ once. Here was a piece of art, established and well recognised without any human or animal imagery. For Kandinsky it was a space where realism loses its authority and abstract expressionism reigns supreme, a sovereign who kindly accepts Muslim subjects. Islamic history has seen instances of iconoclastic incidents and idols have been willfully destroyed so a creative tension has always existed with literalist symbolism and types of a more allusive nature. Was the Nose of the Sphinx a victim of Iconoclasm?


Calligraphy in the Arabic language is the most distinguished and categorically Islamic art style that was adopted throughout Muslim countries, transcending race, language and location to occupy a cultural space within an Islamic theological framework. This was the style that would present to Muslims and non-Muslims verses of the Holy Qur’an in the shape of a bird or even a horse to convey the beauty of Islam.


Isl mic

Islamic calligraphy demonstrates the possibility and accepted practice of traditional Muslims to blend their art with local tastes and cultures, to create a localised expression of Islamic symbolism that bears the standard for Islamic orthopraxy in art. Orthodox Muslim belief and practice has always been able to assimilate the best of cultures and where possible, accommodate even the most extreme elements that seemingly clash with Islamic norms. Muslims today can see in the art of abstract expressionists such as Kline,

Tobey and Soulages to mention a few, that means and modes of artistic expression exist that allow Muslims to incorporate such details into a mutually beneficial destiny, a vision we should try to share with our neighbours. I’m still studying art at the moment so these are the paintings that cool my eyes and ignite my soul but the future is still unmapped, there are plenty more holy places to imagine beautiful religious art. The Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said: “Be kind, for whenever kindness becomes part of something, it beautifies it. Whenever it is taken from something, it leaves it tarnished.” (Imam Bukhari’s Book of Muslim Manners.)

Mubaroque Shah

support us by joining our page on


FOOD for the


On the authority of Abdullah bin Mas’ood (may Allah be pleased with him), “I asked Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) which deed was best.” He (the Holy Prophet) replied: “The prayer at its appointed hour”

A Love Story Once a Muslim young man loved a Christian girl, they wanted to get married but her parents would not accept because he was a Muslim. It was a big dilemma for them but they both loved each other sincerely and thought nothing should separate them. One day, the Muslim man got very ill and was dying; he was on his death bed. A friend of his was beside him, he told him: Say Shahadah, say La Ilaha Illa llah Muhammadun Rasulullah, but the Muslim man didn’t say it, he cried and told his friend, I’m afraid that if I die as Muslim I will not find my beloved in the Hereafter! So I want to become Christian, hopefully I will meet her in the Hereafter. And he became Christian. He came out of Islam and became a murtad. And right after he

went out of Islam he died. So he died as a non-Muslim. The girl that he loved came asking about him, she found his friend and asked him if he’d seen the man she was devoted to. He sadly told her that he died. But he did not tell her that he’d left Islam for her. She was very sad and cried, and said, “I fear not to meet him in the Hereafter, so I bear witness that there’s no God except Allah (SWT) and Muhammad (SAW) is the Messenger of Allah (SWT). She embraced Islam! Later on she died, and died as a Muslim and her lover had died as a nonMuslim. She won Paradise and lost him, and he lost her and his salvation. SubhanAllah, the wisdom behind this story is for one to remain steadfast onto their faith; none of us know in what condition we will leave this world. Ehsan Khan


Masjids Around The World Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque



Over Capacity: 40,000

Zeeshan Arif

Location: Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE)

The first things you notice about this mosque are the array of pure white domes which shine in the sun. There are in fact 82 domes of 7 different sizes. Each dome is adorned with a gold plated pinnacle. The dome layout and floor plan was heavily influenced by the Badshahi Mosque in Lahore and the huge rectangular courtyard is surrounded by rows of archways which are covered in a line of minarats.


The idea behind the eighth largest mosque in the world came from the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al-Nahyan who is buried within the grounds of the mosque. His vision was to create a mosque which united the cultural diversity of the Islamic world. The archways are Moorish whilst the domes are typically Arab. The mosque in fact ‘unites the world’ because materials from all over the world have been used to construct the mosque. For example, the carpet was made in Iran whilst the chandeliers were from Germany. Materials from more than 10 countries were used whilst over 3000 workers built the mosque. The courtyard is over 150,000 square metres in size and covered in white marble with an extravagant flower design. The beautiful mosaic adds elegance to the floor. The marble doesn’t burn your feet when the sun shines on it. So even in the height of summer you can pray in the courtyard. The mosque has four minarats,

over 100 metres tall covered in white marble in each corner of the courtyard. A library is located in the north east minarat which houses some rare manuscripts that are more than 200 years old. The library was made to be used by the community, there are books translated in several languages such as German and Italian. The mosque has underground car parking and has prayer facilities for sisters. There are pools and fountains around the mosque walls. It is a very welcoming mosque and is kept really clean. Elevators take you to the Wudhu area which is decorated in black and white marble. The main washing facilities are decked in green marble. There are cleaners near the Wudhu area to wipe the water from the marble floors. The centre piece of the mosque is the main prayer hall which can accommodate

up to 40,000 worshippers. The prayer hall boasts the world’s largest carpet covering a staggering 60,000 square feet. There are large extravagant arches which surround the 3 domes in the main prayer hall. In the centre of each dome is an exquisitely designed chandelier which is made of glass panels, 24 carat galvanized gold and Swarovski crystals. It is very colourful and makes a change from the pure white columns and domes. In total there are 6 chandeliers which add colour and intrigue to the mosque.

“O mankind! We created you from a single soul, male and female, and made you into nations and tribes, so that you may come to know one another. Truly, the most honoured of you in God’s sight is the greatest of you in piety. God is All-Knowing, All-Aware” (Qur’an 49:13)

The above verse promotes the concept of tolerance and mutual understanding between different cultures. The mosque embodies this by incorporating different architectural designs and uses materials from many different countries. The mosque was built at a cost of $545 million and The Sheikh Zayed Grand Centre is responsible for maintaining the mosque. On the building will inspire both Muslims and non-Muslims, and serve as a platform to their website they say the inspiration for the mosque came from the following verse: enhance culture and knowledge within the region.

support us by joining our page on


love towards our beloved Prophet (peace be upon him) grew several folds. Al-Arifi uses such incidents to portray that we can If we reflect upon our experiences use the exact same blessed techniques with others, we find that people have different natures like the varying nature to handle volatile situations as well as REVIEWS of the land. There are those who are soft, gaining love and affection from people and those who are hard. There are those around us. who are generous, like a fertile land, and those who are miserly, like a barren field In another section Al-Arifi explains how that can neither hold water, nor produce a person’s temperament affects their fruit. People, therefore, differ immensely. views and decisions. For this reason, the Prophet forbade that a judge should pass a verdict when they are either Therefore Al-Arifi uses this analogy Enjoy your Life thirsty, hungry or even feeling the urge to to explain that people should be By Abd Al-Rahman Al-Arifi answer the call of nature. This is because approached differently according to their nature. There are many examples these matters may affect a person, and This is a self help book that explains to subsequently influence their decisions of the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) you how to essentially enjoy your life encounters with Bedouins who said or did and judgements. Additionally in such by developing inter-personal skills and situations it is paramount to address your inappropriate things. developing one’s character and conduct. nafs (ego) before passing judgements or The author uses personal anecdotes, The Prophet’s (peace be upon him) crucial decisions. Qur’anic references as well as references mercy, character and conduct shone from the Sunnah of our beloved Prophet in such situations where he handled (peace be upon him) to prove his points the situation without upsetting the two of cultivating a successful relationship Samina Kauser parties. Explaining the mistake in such a with people. But this book isn’t black and way that rectification of it was immediate white like that, treating everybody in one and anything but bitter, moreover the specific way is not going to produce an amiable response all the time.



The Creator, He who creates everything from nothing and creates all things with the knowledge of what will happen to them. God is He who has created seven heavens, and, like them, the many aspects of the earth. Through all of them flows down from on high, unceasingly, His creative will, so that you might come to know that God has the power to will anything, and that God encompasses all things with His knowledge. The sky, so beautiful and glorious, God said, “then turn thy gaze again towards it.” As regards this roof of light, don’t be content with just one look look many times, see Are there any flaws? Since He has told you to look often at this excellent roof, examining it for flaws, know then, how much discernment the dark earth needs.



Jallaluddin Rumi, Mathnawi

support us by joining our page on


Recipes Cherry Sorbet Serves 8

Nusayba Malik

Need: • 4 cups pitted sour or sweet cherries, fresh or frozen • 1 cup water • 2-4 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar or superfine sugar


Method: Prep time: 15 mins

1. Puree cherries, water and sugar to taste in a blender until smooth. Strain through a fine sieve, pressing on the solids to extract as much liquid as possible. (Discard solids). 2. Process in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s directions until firm and slushy. Transfer to an airtight container and freeze until ready to serve.

Total time: 40 minutes to 3 hours

support us by joining our page on


National Events

To add your local study circles, conferences, events or courses please email



The Zawiya Centre T: 0121 766 8364 W:

Masjid An-Noor T: 0116 262 5440 W:

Arabic, Tajweed, Youth activities & Study circles for both brothers and sisters, various dates

Monthly Youth Programme for boys, starts first Saturday of each month



Islam Bradford Centre T: 01274 395521 E:

York Central Masjid T: 01904 413 123 E:

Study Circles, for brothers and sisters (separate classes), various days & times

Brothers Qur’an Circle, every Friday, between Maghrib and Isha Salah Sisters Qur’an Circle, every Sunday, 11am to Dhuhr Salah

… e u s s I e Next

Cambridge Cambridge Masjid T: 01223-350134 E:

In Th

Arabic, Study Circles, Qur’anic Studies for both Brothers & Sisters, varies days & times

ry of D

The Sto

tions Expecta

Edinburgh Edinburgh Central Mosque T: 0131 343 3802 E:

Arabic, Tajweed, Youth activities & Study circles for both brothers and sisters, various dates

oliathavid & G


- Yes



– Th n es

th Stori

Interfai * W E N * •

yads in e Umay


P •


bout M This is A

istory uslim H

g for R reparin

Part 3

k Revi

s, Boo s – Poem


F Regular

cipes, ews, Re


y 201 l u J h t 0 y2


Out on F


Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you