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IT’S A COMMUNITY THING LMInspire.com

LMInspire Newsletter

Issue 3 | Feb / March 2009

Inside: InspiringCommunity InspiringBusiness InspiringLifestyle InspiringHumour Inspiring

Education InspiringDialogue InspiringEvents InspiringCharity InspiringRecipe

Love is in the air? Valentine’s Day

F

ebruary 14th, also known as Valentine’s

Day, has become synonymous with love,

romance, greeting cards, red roses, teddy bears and a whole host of things that are

exchanged between young men and women.

Many will argue that Valentine’s Day is a day of joy and harmless fun. But is it really?

Valentine’s Day is based on pagan culture started by Romans in the 4 BC to honour the god Lupercus. The main attraction of this ritual was a lottery held to distribute young women to young men for “entertainment and pleasure”--until the next year’s lottery. Among other equally despicable practices associated with this day was the lashing of young women by two young men, clad only in a bit of

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goatskin and wielding goatskin thongs, who had been smeared with blood of sacrificial goats and dogs. As usual, Christianity tried, without success, to stop the evil celebration of Lupercalia. Eventually the name was changed from Lupercalia to St. Valentine’s Day. It was done in 496 CE by Pope Gelasius, in honour of some Saint Valentine. There are as many as 50 different Valentines in Christian legends. According to one legend, and the one more in line with the true nature of this celebration, St. Valentine was a “lovers’” saint, who had himself fallen in love with his jailer’s daughter.

Love is in the air?

From an Islamic point of view Valentine’s Day is wrong for the following reasons:

1 Valentines Day is a pagan ritual. Imitation of any ritual or system that is opposed to Islam is prohibited. Islam is very sensitive about maintaining its purity and the unique identity of its followers. 2 It invites people to the relentless pursuit of sexual freedom bringing with it parties, balls, dances, etc. Unfortunately, these are havens of free mixing, alcohol, drugs, and illicit sexual encounters. In Islam all forms of intimacy and passion are confined to the relationship of marriage. Anything beyond this is not acceptable. 3 Extravagance and wastage. Vast amounts of money are usually squandered on purchasing useless gifts, cards and other futile items. As Muslims we need to distance ourselves from such frivolous events. We should not participate in anything associated with Valentines Day nor should we encourage it in any way. Courtesy of Voices Magazine

Al-Noor

H A L A L M E AT

Inspiring Dialogue Statements for the forthcoming year: Tim Stevens, Bishop of Leicester A truly happy new year will be one where we can learn a new care for each other and a genuine compassion for the poor. So, find a way in the new year of reaching out to those who most need affection and support and discover the happiness it brings.

Suleman Nagdi, Spokesman for the Federation of Muslim Organisations In light of the global economic slowdown, I ask that you all proceed through the new year with courage and care. To remind ourselves that we are in the world for a greater purpose which is beyond consumerism, let us look for the opportunities there are for individuals, groups and nations to work together. I ask that all of you remain firmly aware of this and continue to tackle your daily work with energy and enthusiasm.

Ramanbhai Barber, President, Shree Sanatan Mandir and Cultural Centre At the end of every year, we take stock of the past year’s success and failures. We use this to form a firm basis for a bright, prosperous and safe year ahead. This has been a difficult year for many. We have been faced with the effects of the global credit crisis, terrorism and uncertainty. Let us all act in such a positive way in 2009.

Resham Singh Sandhu, Sikh Welfare and Cultural Society In 2009, it should be a year for all nations to thank God. God is divine and deserves an attitude of gratitude. Source: Leicester Mercury

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Inspiring Events

Forthcoming Events

Ladies Charity Banquet for Gaza, Palestine.

Well Being: Gentle Science for Muslim Women

As the crisis in Gaza has continued to unravel leaving hundreds dead and thousands injured, we are often left feeling helpless of what WE can do to make a difference.

Best of the Best. The two wings of Islam: Abu Bakr (ra) and Umar (ra)

Date: Friday 6 Feb 2009 Organised by: Shama Women’s Centre, More Info: T. 0116 251 4747

Date: 14th & 15th February 2009 Organised by: Alkauthar Institute More Info: birmingham@alkauthar.org M. 07968 513 083 » alkauthar.org

The Sisters of Leicester however, like many cities nationally, did not allow this defeatist attitude to phase them. For the second time, Islamic Relief was proud to deliver to Leicester a Gaza Fundraising Dinner like no other. The evening was peppered with live nasheeds, fundraising, an auction and of course a delicious three course meal.  With such a fantastic atmosphere, they raised £14,000 including pledges during the evening Alhamdulillah.

Ansaar Annual Charity Event Date: Saturday 28th February 2009 Organised by: Ansaar More Info: Shirin on 07944 936 738

Breach of Covenant: Tafseer Surat AlBaqarah Date: 20-22 & 27-29 March 2009 Organised by: AlMaghrib Institute More Info: info@almaghrib.org » almaghrib.org

Are you organising an event? Or know of any event that’s coming up in your area? Would you like us to publicise it for FREE? email: community@lminspire.com

But the people of Gaza still need YOUR help as their suffering continues...

WANTED LMInspire is looking for

To donate: Islamic Relief 56 Chatsworth Street, Leicester. T. 0116 2513450 or please visit www.justgiving.com/gaza

citizen journalists and writers to contribute towards the largest freely circulated newsletter for Muslims in Leicestershire. If you’re interested, we’d like to hear from you, please email us community@lminspire.com

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Inspiring Lifestyle

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Inspiring Charity

As the holidays are coming to an end and the sales are winding down, it seems that the supermarkets and corner shops are still trying to empty the last of their huge tins of chocolates and biscuits. When we see piles and piles of great big boxes of chocolates- buy 1get1free, or 75% off, and what do we do apart from fill our trolleys to the brim with excited giggles. And then think ‘well mum will want one, all the sisters, uncle, auntie…’ and the list continues. The offers are so great that we immediately want to share them with everyone in our phone books!

KORT

Special offers will come and go… and come again and go again. But we only have 1 body and it is the same one that we will continue with for the rest of our lives. There’s no replacement. So the next time you see a special offer in the shops like “Save £’s on this multi-pack! Buy now!”, just think, If I don’t buy it: • I’ll be saving even more money than that deal! • I’ll be helping myself and building on my self control. It will give me the confidence to know I CAN take control of my own life • I will be helping friends and family avoid these temptations and helping them to look after their bodies • I’ll be setting a good example to those around me including the children.

Remember we only have 1 chance at life. Use it wisely.

Leicester based charity Kashmir Orphan Relief Trust (KORT), a UK Registered Charity (no: 1113836), currently provides 24/7 care for over 100 children in Mirpur, Azad Kashmir, who were orphaned by the devastating Earthquake in October 2005. The care provided includes mainstream education, food, clothing, shelter and their general welfare and wellbeing. There are many more children who are in urgent need of long-term care and security.

Zaahira Kidy, Registered Dietitian Leicestershire County and Rutland Primary Care Trust

For this reason, the government of Azad Kashmir has donated 12.5 acres of land to KORT to build a NEW educational complex for over 1000 children, at an estimated cost of £2m. The construction work has already started and all money raised will go directly towards its construction and operational costs. More Info: KORT, 114a Melton Road, Leicester, LE4 6HA T. 0116 2612786 » M. 07866 715 483

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Inspiring Humour

Inspiring Recipe

Unique horse Alhamdulillah

Sensational vegetable raith dip By Zaahira Kidy

Ingredients 1 tomato, deseeded and diced finely » 1 green pepper, deseeded and diced » 1 cucumber, deseeded and chopped » 1 medium carrot, diced finely » 1/2 tsp crushed garlic » 1/2 tsp red chilli powder » 2-3 spring onions, chopped finely » 2 Tbs coriander, chopped finely » 1 Tbsp mint, chopped finely » Juice of 1 lemon » 1 tsp sugar » Salt to taste » 1 cup yoghurt » 1 cup milk » 1 Tbs cornflour

Method Marinate all the chopped and diced vegetables in garlic, salt, lemon juice, chilli powder and sugar. Add a little of the chopped coriander and mint. Leave aside. Chop the white and the green (separately) of the onion. Make a white sauce by blending the cornflour with a little water. Add the milk and cook, stirring all the time until thick. Remove and cool completely. Put through a sieve. Drain off all the liquid from the marinated vegetables and add to the white sauce. Add the yoghurt and chopped onions. Season with coarsely crushed black pepper, salt and a little garlic and adjust accordingly. Add the chopped coriander and mint. Mix lightly altogether and serve chilled.

An Imam was selling his horse in the market. An interested buyer came to him and requested if he could get a test drive. The Imam told the man that this horse is unique. In order to make it walk, you have to say Subhanallah. To make it run, you have to say Alhamdulillah and to make it stop, you have to say Allahu Akbar. The man sat on the horse and said Subhanallah. The horse started to walk. Then he said Alhamdulillah and it started to run. He kept saying Alhamdulillah and the horse started running faster and faster. All of a sudden the man noticed that the horse is running towards the edge of the hill that he was riding on. Being overly fearful, he forgot how to stop the horse. He kept saying all these words out of confusion. When the horse was just near the edge, he remembered Allahu Akbar and said it out loud. The horse stopped just one step away from the edge. The man took a deep breath, looked up towards the sky and said Alhamdulillah! And. . .

Riyaz Jasat

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Inspiring Business

Shafs

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BEAUTY AND HOLISTIC CLINIC

Shaf’s Beauty and Holistic Clinic, has given me the best of both worlds. Being a successful businesswoman as well as doing my duties as a devoted mother with 3 beautiful children (MashaAllah). My business has now been running successfully for the past 5 years. My qualifications include diplomas in Beauty and Holistic Therapy. My main inspiration was my dad, Faruk Daud who himself was a successful businessman. I have a variety of different clients, not just from Leicester but from as far as London, Lancashire and Birmingham. Clients get impressed when they step into my salon. They say they feel like they are in a different world. It’s not just a beauty salon – Holistic means treatment of the whole body. My main aim when each client walks in to my salon is to ensure that they leave with a smile after they have been provided with a comfortable and personalised service.

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W.A.T.S. (Widening Access Through Sports) has been running for 5 years and aims to raise aspirations of Muslim females between the ages of 11 and 18. Girls are hool A day at the Sc n of Art & Desig able to come onto the Loughborough University Campus and take part in different sports (using state of the art facilities) and Chemistry - con ducting experi ments education activities in a completely private environment with female tutors. By taking part in workshops covering everything from teamwork to confidence building , careers, presentation skills and different academic tasters, participants are able to explore all the different options open to them after completing their GCSE’s. Sport activities have included swimming, badminton, archery, athletics, football, tennis, aerobics, pilates and much more!

237 Goodwood Road, Leicester LE5 6TR T. 0116 212 5317 • M. 07830 074 089 Email: shafina.faruk@gmail.com

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Inspiring Community

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Activities run by the project include: • Non Residential 5 day summer school – next one will take place in Easter 2009, limited places via application only. • Football camp – running over 4 days in the summer in a halal environment with Muslim female coaches teaching many skills besides football, ending with a tense and nail biting finals match. • W.A.T.S. Activity days – either in school or community groups. • School Sport Days • Archery Club – catering to Loughborough and Leicester residents • One off academic workshops and sport tasters Based at and funded by Loughborough University, the W.A.T.S. Project is one of a kind!

Walking Outdoor House wor th at Chats

For more information contact: Rahmanara Chowdhury at r.chowdhury@lboro.ac.uk or call the Widening Participation Office on (01509) 222488

Sheikh Speare Tuition was set up by Tushar Bhuiya in 2008 to serve the growing demand for English tuition in Leicester’s Muslim community. In the rush of a busy classroom environment, pupils’ individual needs aren’t always met; 1-1 personalised support can ensure that they are. Tushar – a qualified English teacher, who taught at Madani High School – is also a former lawyer and professional copyeditor. This background allows him to develop children’s punctuation, grammar and speaking skills – areas identified as weaknesses in our youth.

Many Muslim parents have already seen the benefits of employing a friendly yet inspiring tutor. Mohamed Nur, a local pharmacist, says: ‘Sheikh Speare is great! My children love the lessons and their confidence in English has increased so much.’ However, an effective knowledge of English has a much wider significance. In the mission to promote Islam in the UK, the weapon our youth will need is not the sword, but the pen.

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