Ba PU ck LL Sa to B OUT la as ah ic s:
DEFENDING THE DEEN
How should Muslims respond when Islam or the Prophet (pbuh) is insulted?
The EDL and how to stop them
Gaza The UnfInished Story
Exclusive Interview with Shaykh Ibrahim Ossi-Effa
The Prophet (may peace be upon him) said:
Minhaj Welfare Foundation
“One who puts his hand on the head of an orphan out of mercy, Allah will write for him a good deed for every hair that touched his hand”. Aghosh is an ambitious £3.6million orphan care home project by Minhaj Welfare Foundation to care for every need of 500 children. If one hand of mercy has so many blessings, imagine the rewards if you helped to change the whole life of an orphan.
sponsor a unit £2000 sponsor an orphan £25 a month
Editor Sajid Iqbal firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com Education, Health & Social Welfare Worldwide Humanitarian Development Registered Charity Number: 1084057
If you have any comments, suggestions or you just disagree with any opinions or analysis expressed in The Revival please send your email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Sub Editors Alveena Salim Imaani Aslam
Editorial Team Jannah As-Sabil Irfan Jalil Adnan Adrees Irfan Khan Ya'qub Bell Iram Ramzan Humayra Sadiq Irfan Israr Khan Kashim Uddin Fatimah Zahrah Dawud Qadri Shmoun Maqsood
Muslims Have Got Talent!
Q&A on Fasting in Ramadan
The Arrivals – (The sooner they depart P11 P12 the better)
Defending The Deen
Back To Basics: Salah
Exclusive Interview with Shaykh Ibrahim P24 P18 Ossi-Effa
Walking in Muslim Shoes for a Day
Scholars Imam Manzoor Shakir Shaykh Salim Ghisa Imam Irfan Chishti
Celebrating Eid... The Halal Way
Sales & Marketing Manager Jamil Chishti email@example.com or call: 07939 839 809
Media Spokesman Zahid Maqbool firstname.lastname@example.org
Webmaster Naheem Zaffar
Graphic Design Raees Khan Jarrar Haider
There are many words we read and hear but aren’t too sure what they mean. The Revival attempts to define some Islamic terms used in this issue: Sajdha Sahw - the forgetfulness prostration which one does towards the end of the salah after the first salam. This is done due to forgetfully missing out a wajib act in salah.
Please email any feedback or comments to: email@example.com For all Sales & Marketing enquiries email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call: 07939 839 809 All rights reserved. Reproduction of pictures, articles or artwork in whole or part without written permission is strictly prohibited.
MWF (HQ) 12 Carr Road Nelson | Lancashire | BB9 7JS UK Tel: 01282 723456 | Fax: 01282 723457 | email@example.com | www.mwfuk.org
Gaza – The Unfinished Story
The opinions expressed by individual writers or contributors are not necessarily those of the editor, publisher or The Revival as an organisation.
Kaffarah - the compensation which one has to give due to breaking a fast on purpose. This is done by fasting for two months consecutively, and if one is unable to do that then one has to feed sixty poor people two meals a day. Fidyah - the compensation which one gives due to being unable to fast. This is done by giving grain to a poor person which is equal to the amount of sadaqatul fitr, or by giving that amount in cash, or by feeding one person two meals a day for each missed fast. Awrah - the area of the body which one has to cover. For men this is from the navel to the knees. For women it depends on whether they are visible to mahram or non-mahram men. In the latter case, a woman has to cover all her body except for her hands, face and feet.
Wajib - an act which is compulsory to do but because the evidence for it is not explicitly found in the Quran, it is not given the classification of fard. Tasshahud - the du’a which one reads after adopting the sitting posture after the second sajdah in salah. It starts with ‘at-tahiyyat’. Ahlul dhimmah – are non-Muslims who live in Muslim countries. Ulema - the Arabic plural word for Muslim scholars. The singular form is ‘aalim. Kafir - a person who rejects Allah and his Messenger (saw). Dajjal - the one-eyed Anti-Christ who will come and cause chaos in the world. Listed as one of the major signs of the Day of Judgement. In a hadith the Prophet (saw) mentioned dajjals, referring to the various people who will come (and have come) claiming to be a prophet.
Emails To The Editor...
Assalamu Alaykum, I voluntarily run a girls youth club Northwest London and was wondering whether you could send me hard copies of your magazine on a regular basis - would it be possible to be sent all past issues too? I think the magazine is brilliant and really hits the nail on the head with key issues. Also, how do I get my youth involved with your magazine? I look forward to hearing from you. Ma’Salaama Mrs Kosser Sheikh, London
Salaam I really enjoyed reading the magazine - especially the story of the ex-rapper who found Islam - I think it is very inspiring. That is one of the reasons why I wanted to distribute copies to my local shop where a lot of our young Asian youth hang around. Having spoken to them I got positive feedback on The Revival magazine with them telling me they enjoyed reading it too. I also leave some at work in the prayer room and distribute some to my neighbours. Jakakallah and please keep up the good work. Saima Rehman Bradford Assalamolaikum, I have just been through the magazine and I can honestly say this issue is even better than the last one I read. I’m really excited for this magazine and I know my friends would love it just as much as I did. I loved the articles on Napoleon and Salahuddin Ayubi (ra), there were many things I learned from the magazine that I didn’t know before.
However, the part about the mosques and Imams made me a little sad - a lot of the youth seemed to have a very poor perception of a mosque and didn’t find them or the Imams approachable. This is also quite confusing, as the mosque at my university is anything but unapproachable. Aini Lee, Newcastle Asalamu alaikum I hope this email finds you in the best of health - I am pleased to see Muslims working for Allah’s sake to further His deen. In that spirit I would like to provide some naseeha regarding some issues I’ve noticed in your Article: Thank God I’m a British Muslim: The author whilst considering the benefits and harms of living in the UK, has made some errors in his article. The first is the conceptual confusion from the title of the article. National identities emerged with European political philosophies concerning the nation state. They cover notions of a territorially fixed nation state, something alien to the notion of homeland for Muslims, that ranges from Morocco to Indonesia. Notions of a common culture and religion incorporating symbols such as the pub, casual relationships, union jack, literary writers like Shakespeare, heroes like Churchill conflict with Muslims notions of the Prophet’s (saw) flag being white with shahada in black, authors like Bukhari, Abu Hanifa, Ghazali, Ibn Sina and heroes like Umar ibn al-Khattab, Tariq bin Ziyad and Salahuddin who are seen as heroes as far as Indonesia. Notions of common collective memories include those of the Roman period, medieval period, the Enlightenment and world war I/II; whilst for us they evoke the seerah, the khulafah rashida,
Umar bin Abdul Aziz, the Abbassid golden era and the Ottoman Caliphs like Suleiman al-Qanooni and Abdul Hamid. A number of contemporary scholars and researchers like Dilwar Hussain have written on the above which no doubt you can explore. As such there is no conflict stating we are Muslims in Britain, but it is worrying one believes and advocates British Muslims as the two terms conflict as would the terms Secular Muslims or Christian Muslims. I hope you can consider and pass the advice on to the author and maybe make space in future editions to discuss and explore some of these issues in the down to earth style you use. Jazakhallah Zahid Sharif, Derby Salaams, I like your magazine and I think this magazine can actually help me with my lifestyle. I really want to develop a Muslim character in me. It would be great to receive every issue by post to my house... thanks! In the forthcoming issues can u please talk about the issue of “Lowering your gaze”? It would be great if you could do an article that could help us lower our gaze and it would be nice if you could also relate it to the pleasures of paradise. JazakAllah Naveed Jibril, London If you have any comments or suggestions or you just disagree with any opinions or analysis expressed in The Revival please send your email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Gaza-The UnfInished Story By Saad Ajmal
If there is one problem that unites the Muslim world in its sympathy it is the Palestinian issue. Forget the republics trying to break away from Russia and the Uighurs of China. They can be ignored just like the Kurds in Turkey, Iran, Iraq and Syria and the Palestinians who reside still as refugees in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Egypt. Forget the many African conflicts such as Darfur, southern Sudan or Somalia. The one problem that will unite Muslims all across the world is the one of Israel and the Palestinians. It is a long standing issue that has captured the imagination for a few major reasons. First, it is simple to decide who is right and who is wrong. Secondly, it is a ‘David Versus Goliath’ fight and thirdly, the Israelis, many of their leaders born in the fires of early 20th century Europe, have come full circle from being the bullied, oppressed victims to becoming the bullies and the oppressors. It would be poetic if it was not so tragic.
specialist treatment using medicines or equipment banned from Gaza, this can be - and has been - a death sentence. All this because the people dared to vote for people that foreign leaders did not want to be voted into power – Hamas won the parliamentary elections in the Palestinian territories of Gaza and the West Bank in 2006, however this was not to the liking of foreign powers. They fought to stay in power, but the previous administration, Fatah, forced Hamas out of the West Bank after weeks of inter-Palestinian violence. Hamas were able to keep control of Gaza though, repelling the Fatah party from it totally. With a greater presence in the West Bank, Fatah effectively carried out a coup, becoming the government of the West Bank, and forcing the Palestinian territories into two separate political camps. This left Gaza isolated and allowed it to be blockaded by Israel in order to try to force Hamas from power. It has also been said that a compromise solution can be reached with Hamas if it gave up its goal of the destruction of Israel. However, Hamas had offered a “multi-year peace” in exchange for the blockade to be ended, but this was not accepted, so such talk can be taken with a grain of salt.
A major partner of the blockade is the government of Egypt. Operation The conflict is one that simmers with frequent flashpoints and we have just experienced a new flashpoint recently – the raids on the aid flotillas being sent to the Gazans who have been kept in siege conditions for a long, long time. However, what people often forget in all of this is the reality on the ground. What is it really like for people of Gaza?
A little bit of exposition Lying on the eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea, the Gaza Strip borders Egypt on the southwest and Israel on the south, east and north. It is about 25 miles long, and between 4 and 8 miles wide, with a total area of 139 square miles. The territory takes its name from Gaza, its main city. The place has a population of approximately 1.5 million, a million of whom are refugees who fled to the territory in order to escape violence during the creation of Israel in 1948.
The Gazans are fenced into what is almost like an open air prison - entering and leaving the Gaza strip can take hours - and this is when the border crossings are supposedly open! Special permission may be required before being allowed to leave. While for many this may not be a problem, for people who are ill and require
After the aggression, Hamas brutally cracked down on people it considered to have been collaborators with Israel who may have helped it in its operation to supply it with intelligence. However, this was plain old mob rule and ripe for people to work on their existing vendettas under a separate pretext and who knows what horrors people were put through without a fair trial. Since the aggression, Gaza has been anything but a peaceful and tranquil place to live. The sounds of Israeli jets may have reduced in number, but the sheer amount of damage done requires massive levels of investment and building of both homes for the population and also on other public infrastructure that was destroyed – infrastructure like the water treatment plant which has since been leaking raw sewage. However the siege on Gaza allows almost no building materials and people have been forced to
Cast Lead In December 2008 Israel launched a brutaloperation against the Strip, “Operation Cast Lead”, which was purportedly due to immense levels of rocket fire from Hamas. The truth was that previous to this there had been a ceasefire that had mostly been respected by Hamas and other armed groups, but had been violated by Israel. Israel - needing to forget its shame of not being able to pummel Hezbollah in Lebanon a couple of years earlier - launched its full fury on the Gaza strip causing huge amounts of death and destruction, destroying much civilian architecture. It attacked UN facilities including schools and warehouses containing food and other resources, destroyed the water treatment plant along with the industrial areas and also indiscriminately killed many people. Its war crimes included using white phosphorous in populated areas. The world was shocked and outraged by this destruction. So much so that the Middle East Envoy, Tony Blair, decided he needed to make media appearances telling Hamas to stop firing rockets. This was absurd considering it was Israel which was using overwhelming firepower and Hamas had been observing a ceasefire for much of the past 6 months. Much of the world was complicit in Israel’s actions with countries like the UK and the US using stalling tactics in the UN in order to allow Israel time to do its thing.
resort to living in tents or houses made of mud. Resources are scarce in Gaza – since the blockade, less than 25% of the previous levels of imported goods get into Gaza. Exports are not allowed at all, helping to further destroy the economy of the place.
So, what is exactly allowed into the Gaza Strip? Some essential items such as gas, frozen vegetables, soap and washing liquid are allowed, but items barred from entering Gaza include candles, matches, books, musical instruments, crayons, clothing, shoes, and mattresses. Since June some international pressure has been applied on Israel to lift the blockade, but instead of doing the right thing, Israel has agreed to ease the blockade by allowing in more goods and having a blacklist of items that are not al-
lowed in instead of an arbitrary list of items that previously were allowed in. We will have to wait and see what this means in practice. A major partner of the blockade is the government of Egypt. Since Hamas has links to the Muslim Brotherhood – the only real opposition to the oppressive regime in place is Egypt, it feels threatened by any success that Hamas may have and has actively enforced the blockade on Gaza. There has been some respite however in the form of tunnels going under the Egypt-Gaza
fects of grinding poverty, often lacking food, medicine and humanitarian assistance. It seems apparent now that it’s not just Gaza who is suffering but a whole community of people and we must not forget one over the other.
Aid Flotilla It is in such circumstances that people have tried to get some aid to the Gazans. First there was a convoy of aid sent at the start of 2010, vehicles driven from the UK amongst other places and they got as far as Egypt and Israel before being stopped – many goods were not allowed in and some important aid such as pre fabricated homes that were much needed in Gaza had to be redistributed elsewhere and given to other Palestinian refugees in Jordan. Yes people, the Arab regimes surrounding Israel have also kept the Palestinians in refugee camps instead of integrating them into society. Most have also carried out military operations against the Palestinian refugees if they got too rowdy, so there is plenty of ugliness and blame to go around.
border which have been a vital lifeline to allow goods into Gaza. Egypt has tried to block this by building a massive impenetrable underground wall to block the tunnels. Embarrassingly, this impenetrable wall has since been penetrated – it just takes longer to build the tunnels now. Mohammad Al-Nour is a Palestinian activist who knows what it is like to live in the Gaza strip. He was living with his family in Gaza just before the war of 2008 began, when Israel bombarded the Gaza Strip killing hundreds. He said, “…Life is intolerable here, we are clinging onto life and it is not fair. Our leaders have let us down and the blockade is unnecessary; it must be lifted so we can breathe and live a good life. I appeal to the outside world that they all get together and fight this injustice.” The blockade, now entering its fourth year, according to the Red Cross is “strangling the economy in Gaza”. The people in Gaza continue to suffer from poverty, unemployment and a weak health system. On the other hand a recent report by the charity Save the Children reported that children in the poorest parts of the West Bank face significantly worse conditions than those in Gaza. It also states that families forced from their homes in the West Bank are suffering the ef-
Following from the aid convoy, the Free Gaza movement planned to send an aid flotilla directly to Gaza in the hope of finally managing to deliver much needed aid, including banned items such as pre fabricated housing and even a dentist’s surgery. That mission tragically failed with the flotilla being attacked by Israeli forces in international waters before it even reached the Gaza coast. The result was the deaths of nine aid activists mostly from Turkey, one being a US national who lived in Turkey. The USA did not seem to show much concern. World condemnation was stark and even countries that are usually sceptical of criticising Israel, voiced their concerns (including the US and the UK, before they cowered again). However, many of the statements could have been written by the same people, as for instance the Middle East envoy Tony Blair was trotted out on TV who amongst other things made the demand that Hamas stop firing the rockets (that it had not been firing) into Gaza. There was a UN resolution passed demanding an independent inquiry into the attack on the flotilla, but Israel would only allow an internal inquiry and some countries eventually cowered to accept this line, including the UK (where 80% of Conservative MPs are members of the Conservative Friends of Israel) and the US. The Muslim and Arab world have always condemned Israel for its treatment of Palestinians. Turkey which was the only Muslim state to have good ties with Israel has now stated its relationship with Israel will never be the same since the killing of nine Turks on the Gaza-bound flotilla.
has been slammed for its treatment of its Kurdish population, however its position on the attacks on Gaza and its support for the Palestinian people is not in doubt - it has actually tried to help the people unlike other neighbours Many Arab and Muslim states have been slow to find a solution, only using the Palestinians as a political football to be used when they want to distract their people from own their actions. The regimes seem to not care a jot for the suffering of the Palestinian people. The biggest donors to the Palestinians are not the surrounding Arab states, but the EU. Chew
Since the aggression, Gaza has been anything but a peaceful and tranquil place to live. on that for a bit – the oil rich Arab countries are being outdone by the EU in providing both political and financial support to the Palestinians. Egypt is even complicit in the misery that the people of Gaza face as it does not want to recognise Hamas and keeps its border crossings with Gaza closed all too often. Sixty years since the formation of Israel and the expulsion of many Palestinians from their homes, we are no closer to a solution or Palestinian state.
The Palestinians Need You! Israel has recently agreed to ease the Gaza blockade after coming under international pressure from the UN and EU. However, the actual blockade will still continue and many essential items - especially building materials - will still be heavily restricted. Exports will also remain banned, hurting industry based in Gaza. What is required is a total lifting of the siege on Gaza. We need to also take part in order to show solidarity with the Palestinians and try to force positive action to help them. Here is what you can do to help:
Turkey isn’t itself always an innocent party, it
Write to Muslim regimes in the region too to let them know how you feel about their treatment of the Gazans.
and ships attempting to reach Gaza, the more Israel will be inclined to do something, as well as increasing pressure on world leaders.
It would be a great idea if you stopped funding the people who are oppressing the Palestinians. This is especially the case if the products are from settlements in the West Bank. This Ramadan, ask yourself if you really want to open your fast with Jordan Valley dates (the big succulent juicy ones)? Do you really want to end a day of not eating by eating food grown on stolen land? So sort yourself out here.
Also write to, and call, people living in Gaza they need to hear from the outside world and know that we care.
Disinvest intellectually. If you are at college or university, chances are that there will be some Israeli sympathisers doing the lecture circuits to sell you their propaganda. They need to as they need to buy in from future generations if they are to continue. This is the type of situation you need to get heard in. Get a few friends around and gatecrash such events, but make your point intellectually.
Learn about the crisis Read up on the issues surrounding the Palestinian cause to make yourself aware of the facts and make sure people are not allowed to peddle lies about the conflict in your presence.
Send Aid Send direct aid to Gaza through the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) http:// www.un.org/unrwa, or any other charity - Muslim or non-Muslim - that is trying to help the Gazans. It is important that money and aid reaches the people. However, the UN is more
Let the people know
likely to be able to get through vital building materials which are in much short supply.
Write to your MP or the government, even collating a petition demanding for the siege to be lifted. The lifting of the blockade won’t be an end to all the problems but it’s a start.
Also, join the Free Gaza movement, you can find more information by visiting http://www. freegaza.org/. Joining up may not result in the lifting of the blockade but the more flotillas
You’ve read the history, the facts and the plight of our Palestinian brothers and sisters - especially in Gaza. Now it’s time to act. Time to show solidarity with the people of Gaza. Time to speak up for them. It is time to help them.
The Revival They could justify their moves by saying we are under pressure from our own people. They are not even reaching to that level. It’s fear of losing their chairs unfortunately.
DEFENDING THE DEEN How should Muslims respond when Islam or the Prophet (pbuh) is insulted?
After the infamous Danish cartoons to the Teddy named Mohammed incident and now to the recent ‘Draw Muhammed Day’ on Facebook, Muslims seem to only react with anger and rage. But how should Muslims react? Should such insults be ignored or challenged and if so, how? How did the Prophet (pbuh) and companions react to insult and verbal attacks? And what lessons can we learn from our great Islamic history when the name or image of Islam was attacked? In order to get answers to the above questions, The Revival, met up with three leading Muslim Personalities. Shaykh Muhammad Al Yaqoubi A world renowned scholar from Syria. Until recently he taught in the Grand Umayyad Mosque and Shaykh Muyiddin Ibn ‘Arabi’s mosque, where he taught the various disciplines of the Shari’ah. He has travelled and lectured in North America, Canada, most European and Arab countries, Pakistan, Indonesia, Malaysia, and South Africa, and he has students in most of these countries. Amongst his many students are the likes of Shaykh Hamza Yusuf and Shaykh Gibril Haddad. This question is of the utmost importance to our Deen and the dignity of the Muslims. Unfortunately, we have failed to show non-Muslims enough deference, love and attachment to our Deen and our great figures, of which our beloved Prophet (saw) is the best of mankind. Nowadays we see that Muslims themselves are not respecting their Islam, or their Prophet (saw) or the Quran. You go to the Islamic world itself, Muslim governments, Muslims kings and presidents and prime ministers in the Islamic world itself do not bother about what is going on in their own country, let alone the West. This is why the West now has more courage, especially with these wrong and false ideals like ‘freedom of religion’ or ‘freedom of expression’. In Islam I do not allow under the banner of ‘freedom of expression’ someone to come and curse or insult a Prophet of Allah (swt). You do not insult others such as
Ahlul dhimmah living in our Muslim countries, we know that they worship Isa (as) as the son of God, Christians for example, but we don’t beat them in the streets because they do this. We sell, we buy, and we exchange business with them as needed in the Islamic world with respect of their blood and their wealth. We don’t insult them, although we know that they are very wrong by making Jesus the son of God and worshipping him and so on.
We should unite - I don’t mind marching in the streets, I don’t mind boycotting products or companies, boycotting governments or countries, doing everything possible within our limits to stop such provocations. Shaykh Muhammad Al Yaqoubi Now the West has crossed every red line in respect of norms and ethics and I don’t think Muslims should tolerate this. If you’re asking me
about how to react, how to respond, I believe we should show the highest angry level of response. We should tell the West that this is a red line you can never cross. When someone comes to claim God on Facebook, as happened recently, or when someone comes to call for the drawing of Rasulullah (saw) on Facebook, the government where Facebook is registered should have rules and limitations on the ‘freedom of expression’, and the same in Denmark. A drawer cannot come from nowhere to draw under the banner of ‘freedom of expression’, he does so because he knows his government protects him. Alhamdulillah, Facebook and YouTube were both banned in Syria for some time before this incident happened. Facebook is one of the biggest companies in the US, so when it is involved in something like this I believe Islamic countries should pull back their ambassadors from the US and protest against US policy in allowing this level of ‘freedom of speech’ – it is blasphemy, it is not freedom of speech at all. If the US government has any interest in our oil, if the US government has any interest in the strategic areas, oceans and seas, in the Middle East and the Black Sea and the Indian Ocean, and want their military floats going around freely, if they have any interests in protecting their citizens travelling to this area, they should then look out for their interests. We should put pressure on our Muslim Ambassadors to say to the US that we can stop your financial, economical or strategic interests in this area and cause damage. I don’t want to mention names but we have in the Middle East governments working in full alliance with the US.
We have 60 countries in the Islamic world that are doing nothing. We called for the boycott of Denmark and it succeeded until unfortunately there was a compromise and it was a big mistake to stop the boycott of Danish products. Muslims were united on that and their unity was one of the best examples. I believe whenever something like this happens we should follow every possible channel to stop it, without going into violence. Going into violence means declaration of war, and declaration of war is not done by individuals, it has to be done under an authority. Now when our authority in our Islamic countries do not bother much, that is their own responsibility before Allah (swt). I know the Muslim ummah listens to the ulema, so the ulema should stand up on these occasions, and should not play a role of suppressing people’s anger or telling them it’s alright or playing it down by telling them well this happens all the time. I believe when Denmark protected the drawer and defended his ‘right to express himself’ Muslim countries one by one should have cut their ties, their diplomatic relations, with Denmark and should have pulled back their ambassadors and that would have meant a lot. Denmark isn’t really a big country, and so we could have taught the West a great lesson, and every other country, that we don’t fear any country that follows the same pattern and that they will get the same treatment from the Islamic world. And this would not cost the Muslim world much. Unfortunately I believe many of the rulers in the Islamic world are puppets of the West and are more afraid of losing their chairs rather than being concerned about defending Rasulullah (saw). However when anyone stands up to defend Rasulullah (saw), I believe they’ll find amazing support and unity from the Muslim ummah.
www.therevival.co.uk spond. I believe if the ummah did this for a week on a larger scale the West would have to adhere to Muslims’ demands. We didn’t unite in doing this except for a week or so with Denmark, then unfortunately some scholars tried to compromise by starting a dialogue, any dialogue in this regards is of their own interests, and not of our interests. By continuing to boycott the Danish products we were not going to lose anything. Cheese… we’ll get other types of cheese, engines… we’ll get engines from other countries. However other countries would have understood that their economic interests should be based on respecting Muslims religion if they going to export to the Muslim world or import oil from the Muslim world. Shaykh Ibrahim Ossi-Effa Shaykh Ibrahim was born and raised in Liverpool. He is a leading Islamic scholar in the UK who has studied extensively with world renowned teachers in Syria, Mauritania and Hadramaut. He was one of the founders of several Islamic initiatives including the Ibn Abbas Institute, Starlatch Press, Badr Language Institute and the Greensville Trust. He currently resides in Liverpool with his wife and two children. I think as Muslims we have to first and foremost understand that we do not take others to account, that we take ourselves to account. The Prophet (pbuh) in a hadith in Tirmidhi says: ‘… take yourself to account before you are held to account, and weigh your deeds before your deeds are weighed’. So first and foremost you are responsible for yourselves and if Allah (swt) places you inside a position of authority, political or judicial, then you can respond in accordance to the rule of law. In the UK, as long as we are citizens here we have to respect that rule of law in its broadest and correct or applicable interpretation, so as for doing something that could be construed by the law here to be unlawful, then that is totally unlawful by the dictates of the Shariah.
I think that the Muslims should have turned inwards, ‘turned back on themselves’ and understood that what is happening is because of us. Shaykh Ibrahim Ossi-Effa
We should unite - I don’t mind marching in the streets, I don’t mind boycotting products or companies, boycotting governments or countries, doing everything possible within our limits to stop such provocations. The ulema should especially unite and take a stand - the ulema should be responsible and should lead the ummah in such manifestations. For individuals living in the West, I would say boycotting products, marching, writing articles and doing TV interviews is the best way to re-
We should respond by understanding that we as Muslims also insult the Prophet (pbuh) by our own very behaviour, by the very ideas or very beliefs that we hold to be true. By virtue of holding them in our very hearts and not doing anything about them and by not cleansing and casting them out of our hearts. It’s very easy for us to point fingers at people who may say things against the person of the Prophet (pbuh), but Allah (swt) is the one who protects his noble Prophet (pbuh), not the idle thoughts or the wanton uncontrolled reactions of people who are not themselves doing justice to the personage of the Prophet (pbuh) . We should remember the history of the Euro-
peans; having pictures depicting the Prophet (pbuh) is not something new, not something just in our day and age. We find that it existed in the time of the Sahaba. The Roman Empire show the companions a picture of the Prophet (pbuh), and what I would ask myself is why the companions being shown the picture of the Prophet (pbuh) respond by saying “that’s him”. It’s a perfect depiction of the Prophet (pbuh). Yet we have idiots in our time who draw the Prophet (pbuh) far from being a perfect depiction... one of the things that I think we can connect to this is the intermediary of the Sahaba – they were people who did not disrespect the Prophet (pbuh) in their hearts or in how they conducted themselves in this world. We as Muslims today do, so the reality is that Allah protects the Prophet (pbuh)... in their drawings they are not depicting the Prophet (pbuh) but they are depicting us. Regarding the Danish cartoons, it was a wrong reaction that opened the door to even worse; how the whole Danish ’controversy‘ was dealt with; that type of uncontrolled response; that type of retrospective reflection on the self on how we relate to the religion and to Allah (swt) and the Prophet (pbuh) . What changed in the Muslim ummah with the Danish controversy in terms of the self, did we get better? You see those who protested in the streets, those who burned down embassies, those who in their junoon (madness) tried to burn down the wrong embassy, but what has changed? Nothing, in fact I would say that it’s even got worse. What I mean is that due to how we responded people now believe they have got a license to attack the personage of the Prophet (pbuh). I think that the Muslims should have turned inwards, ‘turned back on themselves’ and understood that what is happening is because of us. I believe that there are intelligent ways to respond. I believe that we should leave those intelligent responses to people who Allah (swt) has entrusted with that, the likes of the ulema, the likes of people in leadership and the people who have some authority to respond in intelligent ways that will bring about a correction of those people who are in ignorance and are doing or saying things that insult the personage of the Prophet (pbuh). To respond like we did, I would say it is hypocrisy on behalf of us Muslims, as we live in a place where Jesus the son of Mary is insulted daily - do we hear words raised against that? We’ve got to take stock of that, about our reflection of that, we live in societies where human beings are insulted and insult others themselves, and only when certain things or realities which affect us are insulted then we act like wild animals. Regarding political lobbying, peaceful demonstrations, writing to your MP’s and so on, I think most people advocate this but they don’t know how to. I can only advocate from what I’ve received from my teachers and that is to remain true to the covenant that I’ve taken with God and one thing I advocate is that of mass demonstration to Allah (swt) and that is called dua, that is ‘ibtihal’, turning towards Allah (swt), supplicating to Allah (swt), and praying to Allah (swt) by virtue of obeying his laws. And bettering yourselves as human beings and bettering the condition of your heart. Also, developing better human attributes - treating your neighbour well, your fellow countrymen well, wanting for them what you want for yourselves. That’s the better protest. It’s not about making your point, it’s about changing those who do wrong and there is a really important difference there. Like Imam Shaf’i
Instantly we would have shifted the debate onto a ground where we were the moral champions fighting against bigots who sought to divide. Our argument is the only thing we have that could defeat them. As Allah says ‘Truth is clear from Falsehood’.
Instead all we did was march down the road, with a bunch of Muslims, shouting in Arabic, and alienating everyone who could have supported
When the defence of Islam and the Muslims becomes our last priority, we may as well admit that the people who claim that they are the Prophet’s lovers are the very ones who have abandoned him. “Soon all nations will join forces and attack you similar to when hungry people attack their dishes.” One asked, ‘O, Prophet of Allah, at that time, will we be small in number?’ The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: ‘No, you will be huge in number, but you will be scum like foam that comes with a water stream, and Allah will withdraw fear from your enemy and will fill your hearts with wahan.’ Then all asked ‘O, Prophet of Allah, what is Wahan?’ The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: ‘The love of life and the hatred of death.’ (Ahmad and Abu Dawud).
Marches demanding an end to bigotry, racism and Islamophobia could have been used to highlight the racist nature of the attacks on the Prophet PBUH, galvanising much needed support from the wider public. TV interviews where we condemned racism in all its forms, talks and speeches to non Muslims should have been organised around Britain.
Those who hate us cannot defeat us, for our arguments are truthful and sound. The fact that the lies of their propaganda are believed by so many has little to do with the power and money of their machinery, and everything to do with the pacified sleeping, unwilling and cowardly state of practising Muslims and those who lead us, who should be the vanguard of defending the Ummah but who instead are too busy focusing on trivial Islamic arguments to see the bigger picture.
Those who hate us cannot defeat us, for our arguments are truthful and sound. Asghar Bukhari
No planning, no co-ordination, no thinking. No sooner did we march, then we went back to our little Islamic circles so that we could be ‘better Muslims’. Our priority was always the minor issues over the major ones. Islam the reason why we did nothing, instead of the spur to do something.
The argument was simple ‘This is not freedom of speech, this is hate speech, designed to provoke and demonise, and demonising a people is racism – we the Muslims are opposed to any and all forms of racism and we will not stand by and do nothing to stop it’.
S P E C I A L
* The Prophet (pbuh) said, “When a Muslim worshipper performs wudu and washes his face, then every sin that he incurred by what his eyes fell upon comes out from his face with the last drop of water. When he washes his hands, every sin that he incurred by way of his grasp comes out from his hands with the last drop of water. When he washes his feet, every sin that he incurred by way of his walking comes out from his feet with the last drop of water. Ultimately, he comes forth free of sin.” [Bukhari]
* A person came to the Prophet (pbuh) and said, “There is a certain person who spends the night in offering salah, but in the morning he steals.” The Prophet (pbuh) said, “Certainly salah will soon prevent him from this act you are mentioning.” [Ahmad] (Meaning he will give up this sin.) * By praying in congregation, the reward is multiplied 27 times. [Bukhari]
* Even the footsteps that one takes to walk towards the mosque have reward in them. [Muslim].
In this first series of ‘Back to Basics’ we will cover the second pillar of Islam - Salah. Many of us read it without knowing the importance, the benefits and even the rulings of salah. So sit back and relax and increase your knowledge and understanding of salah. By Kashim Uddin and Shaykh Salim Ghisa
us. A typical inward Muslim reaction. Unable to do anything logically because they were always caught off guard.
We needed to simply address the attack in a language the average European understood. Instead of slogans saying ‘Death to those who insult the Prophet PBUH’ playing right into the hands of the propagandists, and easily countered by arguments about freedom of speech. Our Mosque, ISOC and Muslim Leaders should have
The answer shouldn’t be ‘because my dad said so!’ After believing in the shahada (declaration of faith), the most important worship and also a pillar of Islam is salah. The Prophet (pbuh) said, “The link between a Muslim and disbelief, kufr, is his or her neglect of prayer.” [Muslim]. He (pbuh) also said that, “Whoever takes care to regularly perform one’s fard prayers will have light, status, and success on the Day of Judgement. And whoever was neglectful will have no light, no status, and no success. Instead, one will be joined with Fir’aun, Haman, Qarun, and Ubayy bin Khalaf.” [Ahmad]. It is therefore of great importance that one prays salah, as neglecting it one suffers in this world and the hereafter.
The answer was simplicity itself. All it would have taken was some planning, time and a community that was ready for any attack.
The Prophet (pbuh) said, “The first thing the servant is reckoned about on the Day of Resurrection of his works is his prayer. If it was sound, he attains ultimate success and salvation. If it was deficient, he lost and failed.” So just imagine yourself standing on the Day of Judgement, and seeing others being questioned about their salah. Can one use the excuse that one was working so they didn’t pray, or that they couldn’t be bothered even though Allah gave them a long life and intellect?! Abdullah bin Shaqiq narrates that the Companions (ra) knew nothing if neglected would lead to disbelief, except prayer. [Tirmidhi].
Defending the Prophet (pbuh) can never be done without practising Muslims changing the way they prioritise Islam. So what could we have done when the Prophet (pbuh) was insulted?
been much smarter and cut to the chase, fighting back with an intelligent response that the average non-Muslim could understand.
Asghar Bukhari Asghar Bukhari is a founding member of the Muslim Public Affairs Committee (MPAC), which describes itself as Britain’s largest Muslim civil rights group. His main objective is to make Muslims politically active and he was very outspoken and critical of the Danish cartoon controversy. He regularly represents the Muslim community in interviews and discussions on the mainstream media.
Based on the very strong implications of neglecting salah, a very famous scholar by the name of Ahmad ibn Hanbal came to conclusion that by neglecting even one salah a person becomes a disbeliever; kāfir. The majority of scholars however disagree with this opinion but it still outlines the importance of praying salah.
You’re probably asking: ‘what’s in it for me?’ Some benefits of salah have already been mentioned but there are many more virtues and rewards. * If a person prays salah properly, then the salah addresses the person by saying to him “May Allah protect you as you have protected me.” Then the salah rises towards the heaven in a state of illumination and light. The gates of heaven are opened for it (so that it may enter and be accepted). [Tabarani]
* The Prophet (pbuh) said, “Each salah wipes out the forthcoming sins.” [Ahmad] (This is referring to the minor sins.)
says: ‘Never did I debate against somebody that I wanted the truth to manifest on their tongues, it’s about transforming the other into better human beings’.
Isha - 4 sunnah ghair muakkadah, 4 fard, 2 sunnah muakkadah, 2 nafl, 3 witr, 2 nafl
Asr - 4 sunnah ghair muakkadah, 4 fard Maghrib - 3 fard, 2 sunnah muakkadah, 2 nafl
Jummah - 4 sunnah muakkadah, 2 fard, 4 sunnah muakkadah, 2 sunnah ghair muakkadah, 2 nafl
Zuhr - 4 sunnah muakkadah, 4 fard, 2 sunnah muakkadah, 2 nafl
Fajr - 2 sunnah muakkadah, 2 fard
Now that you know the nitty gritty, lets have a look at the rakats for each salah:
Sunnah Ghair Muakkadah - something which the Prophet occasionally did. One is rewarded for doing it and not sinful for missing it out. Nafl - optional prayer where one is rewarded for praying it and not sinful if left out.
Fard and Witr - has to be prayed and cannot be missed out. Sunnah Muakkadah - something which the Prophet normally did, missing it out occasionally. It is blameworthy to leave it out without excuse and sinful if left out persistently.
How many rakats for each prayer? Before going into how many rakats one needs to pray, some terms need to be understood.
If the above sounds a wee bit gibberish then just follow your local mosque prayer timetable! In any case because of the hardship of calculating the times of the 5 daily prayers, one is advised to follow the timetable of their local mosque.
Isha - time starts when maghrib time ends and remains until fajr. However it is makruh to delay it after midnight. Witr salah is exempt from this rule as one can choose to pray it just before fajr time if they wish.
Maghrib - time starts after sunset and remains until before the redness on the horizon disappears, although it is makruh to unnecessarily delay the salah until this time.
Asr - time starts when zuhr time ends and remains until sunset. However it is makruh to delay asr salah unnecessarily after the suns rays become yellow/orange (meaning when one is able to look at the sun without being dazzled).
Zuhr - time starts when the sun starts declining after zenith (midday) and ends when the shadow of an upright object becomes double in addition to its original shadow.
Fajr - time starts when the whiteness spreads from the horizon and it becomes visible and bright (true dawn) and ends when a small portion of the sun appears.
A person who is sane; not a lunatic, and has reached the age of puberty... so I’m afraid you can’t get out of it that easily! Pre-conditions of salah Before starting salah, one must make sure that: * their body is pure; free from minor and major impurity. So one is not in need of a fard ghusl and has wudhu * their clothes are pure * the place where one is praying is pure * ones nakedness or awrah is covered. For women this is covering the entire body except for the hands, face and feet. For men this is from the navel to the knees (so no salah in your shorts), although it is makruh to uncover other parts unnecessarily. * you face the Qibla (the direction towards the Ka’bah) * intention is made for the salah (after the time has come in for that prayer). One should be careful in avoiding praying during haram and makruh times.
By Shaykh Salim Ghisa I pray but my mind wanders off to things like football, TV, work etc. So is there any point of praying then? Prayer is judged based on action as this is what a person can control. Of course a person’s mind should be focused on what they are doing especially when it is worship. However, Allah is the most Merciful and is fully aware that Shaitaan will try and discourage you from praying and therefore he will use all types of distraction. Therefore a person should stick to their actions as this means you are worshipping Allah even though your desires are telling you otherwise, and InshaAllah you will be rewarded for your patience. Slowly, these distractions will start to go away and one will obtain satisfaction, so one must not give up.
1) Speaking intentionally or unintentionally. This includes giving salam to someone, or replying to someone who sneezes by saying ‘Yarhamukallah’ 2) Looking at and reciting verses from the Quran 3) Laughing out loud (this also breaks the wudu) 4) Eating or drinking. The exception is that if someone had a food particle stuck between their teeth and they swallowed it, their salah would only break if it was bigger than a chickpea. 5) Excessive movement 6) Crying or moaning in pain (due to worldly reasons)
Missing out a condition of salah or a fard act invalidates salah, these have already been listed so I will not mention them here. However there are many other acts which also invalidate salah and because they are too many to list, I will mention the most common ones.
There are too many to list here so if one is interested they can find it in any good Hanafi fiqh text books, such as Nur-ul-Idah or Quduri (English translations are available for both texts).
1) Reciting Surah Al-F’tiha 2) Reciting some other surah after it 3) Doing the fard acts in their specific places (e.g. doing ruku before doing sajdah) 4) Doing Qawmah; standing up after ruku 5) Doing Jalsah; sitting between the two sajdahs 6) Sitting down after two rackets for the duration that one can read tashahhud 7) Reciting tashahhud in both sitting postures (applies to salah with 3 or 4 rakats) 8) Reciting Du’a Qunoot in witr salah 9) Ending salah by saying salams 10) Performing salah without rushing and with contentment (related to point no. 4 & 5)
If any of the wajib acts are left out unintentionally then by doing sajda sahw (prostration of forgetfulness) the salah will be valid. If however, wajib acts are left out intentionally then the salah will become invalid, regardless of whether one does sajda sahw or not.
1) Saying ‘Allahu Akbar’ after making intention for salah 2) Standing up (if one is unable to stand up then one sits down, if they are unable to sit down then they lie down and pray) 3) Recitation of verses from the Quran 4) Making ruku (bowing down) 5) Making both sajdahs (prostrating) 6) Sitting down at the end of the salah for the duration of tashahhud
If any of the fard acts are left out then the salah will become invalid, regardless of whether it is done intentionally or unintentionally.
If urine is less in size than a £2 coin then it is sunnah to clean. I.e. The salah will count and does not need to be repeated, however the reward will be reduced unless there was no way of cleaning it off in time. If the urine is the same size as a £2 coin then it is wajib to clean and therefore if prayed then the prayer will have to be repeated. If the urine is more in size than a £2 coin then it is fardh to clean and salah will simply not count and must be prayed once the urine is cleaned off. In all situations a bath is not necessary. Why do people read salah in many different ways? There are many different hadith relating to how the beloved Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) prayed his salah. The four Imams of jurisprudence have analysed all the various different hadith and formed an opinion on their expertise. Their opinions differ and therefore, depending on which school of thought you follow, you will pray accordingly.
If there is a drop of urine on my clothes, does this mean I am impure and must have a bath? If urine is found on the clothes, body or place of prayer then the person is in the state of minor impurity. By removing the urine with water, the clothes, body or place will become clean and there is no need to have a bath. In addition to this there are tolerable allowances of how much urine is on the clothes, body or place of prayer for it to be necessary to be cleaned immediately. These are as follows;
Sometimes I miss my salah because I’m busy doing something really important but I make qadha, is that OK? There is nothing more important than establishing prayer within its allocated time as this is the direct command of Allah (swt). So a person should leave whatever they are doing and perform the prayer. Even workplaces provide allocated places of prayer if you organise it properly. To deliberately make salah qadha is a major sin and carries heavy punishment. However, if due to any circumstance a prayer has been missed then qadha is necessary. In addition to this a person must make repentance for making their prayer qadha.
Can men pray their salah at home or do they need to pray at the mosque, and what if the mosque is far away? It is necessary (wajib) to attend congregational prayer for men unless there is a valid religious excuse (as detailed in the books of Islamic Law). If a person deliberately misses his prayers with congregation he will have committed a sin. However, if the mosque is very far away (regarded as well out of the area) and it would take a long time to get there, then one should try and establish congregation in their home with their family. It has been stated in a hadith that congregational prayer carries 27 times more reward than a prayer prayed on its own [Bukhari]. However, a woman praying on her own will obtain the same reward as a man praying with congregation.
Can I read my salah in English - at least I know what I am reading then? This is not permissible as performing salah has conditions which have to be met, such as praying in Arabic as the Quran has descended in Arabic and was performed this way by the beloved Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace). The best thing to do is to learn the meanings of the integrals of prayer and also some chapters of the Quran, so that when you pray in Arabic at least you can think in your mind what you are praying.
What do you do if you’re praying and suddenly break wind, do you carry on or break your salah? As soon as one of the pre-conditions (i.e. in this case wudhu) is broken the salah is immediately broken. A person should leave his salah immediately (even though he may be in the very middle of a congregation) and perform wudhu and rejoin his prayers.
If I drink alcohol or take drugs should I still continue praying? Even though it is completely haram to take drugs or alcohol and it is stated in a hadith that when a person consumes haram he will not obtain reward for 40 days, it still does not take away the obligation of praying salah etc. Therefore, by continuing to pray the major sin of not praying will at least be avoided.
* Even the footsteps that one takes to walk towards the mosque have reward in them. [Muslim].
* A person came to the Prophet (pbuh) and said, “There is a certain person who spends the night in offering salah, but in the morning he steals.” The Prophet (pbuh) said, “Certainly salah will soon prevent him from this act you are mentioning.” [Ahmad] (Meaning he will give up this sin.) * By praying in congregation, the reward is multiplied 27 times. [Bukhari]
* The Prophet (pbuh) said, “When a Muslim worshipper performs wudu and washes his face, then every sin that he incurred by what his eyes fell upon comes out from his face with the last drop of water. When he washes his hands, every sin that he incurred by way of his grasp comes out from his hands with the last drop of water. When he washes his feet, every sin that he incurred by way of his walking comes out from his feet with the last drop of water. Ultimately, he comes forth free of sin.” [Bukhari]
In this first series of ‘Back to Basics’ we will cover the second pillar of Islam - Salah. Many of us read it without knowing the importance, the benefits and even the rulings of salah. So sit back and relax and increase your knowledge and understanding of salah. By Kashim Uddin and Shaykh Salim Ghisa 6GXOQ@X The answer shouldn’t be ‘because my dad said so!’ After believing in the shahada (declaration of faith), the most important worship and also a pillar of Islam is salah. The Prophet (pbuh) said, “The link between a Muslim and disbelief, kufr, is his or her neglect of prayer.” [Muslim]. He (pbuh) also said that, “Whoever takes care to regularly perform one’s fard prayers will have light, status, and success on the Day of Judgement. And whoever was neglectful will have no light, no status, and no success. Instead, one will be joined with Fir’aun, Haman, Qarun, and Ubayy bin Khalaf.” [Ahmad]. It is therefore of great importance that one prays salah, as neglecting it one suffers in this world and the hereafter. The Prophet (pbuh) said, “The first thing the servant is reckoned about on the Day of Resurrection of his works is his prayer. If it was sound, he attains ultimate success and salvation. If it was deficient, he lost and failed.” So just imagine yourself standing on the Day of Judgement, and seeing others being questioned about their salah. Can one use the excuse that one was working so they didn’t pray, or that they couldn’t be bothered even though Allah gave them a long life and intellect?! Abdullah bin Shaqiq narrates that the Companions (ra) knew nothing if neglected would lead to disbelief, except prayer. [Tirmidhi]. Based on the very strong implications of neglecting salah, a very famous scholar by the name of Ahmad ibn Hanbal came to conclusion that by neglecting even one salah a person becomes a disbeliever; kāfir. The majority of scholars however disagree with this opinion but it still outlines the importance of praying salah.
!DMD SRNER@K@G You’re probably asking: ‘what’s in it for me?’ Some benefits of salah have already been mentioned but there are many more virtues and rewards. * If a person prays salah properly, then the salah addresses the person by saying to him “May Allah protect you as you have protected me.” Then the salah rises towards the heaven in a state of illumination and light. The gates of heaven are opened for it (so that it may enter and be accepted). [Tabarani] * The Prophet (pbuh) said, “Each salah wipes out the forthcoming sins.” [Ahmad] (This is referring to the minor sins.)
and how to stop them By Asghar Bukhari The EDL (English Defence League) is no ordinary threat - its malice far out ways even the BNP. This is echoed by the high profile and explosive tactic of marching into Muslim neighbourhoods. Their purpose is simple. To galvanise a vanguard against the Muslims amongst the average British working class population, and polarise the wider community against us. By creating the conditions for constant clashes, the pot never stops boiling, the ensuing media headlines do exactly what they were intended to do – divide.
In the short term, EDL hate marches could easily be neutralised. The drums of confrontation have started beating, the wheels for their plans are in motion; each high profile stunt thrusts the community back into the spotlight, each stunt attempts to provoke a backlash. They are not alone, while they act as the visible front men, the right wing media slowly churn anti Muslim stories out to ensure the mood music for confrontation, giving unspoken justification for the EDL’s anger to the masses. When events happen, they will happen thick and fast. The Muslim community having little or no leadership will as ever be totally unprepared. The ‘practising Muslim’ community too, who should have been the strategic leadership and core membership of the defence of our community are pre-occupied with discussions on minor matters of faith, debating while Rome burns, thus within the community there is no push for action, nor demand for preparation
and planning. Thus a growing tide of hate and the organised machinery behind it go unchallenged and unchecked.
This alone though would not undo the organised machine building an Islamaphobic movement within the UK.
A further danger has been the recent outreach carried out by the thugs of the EDL to other groups by trying to find causes they can attach themselves on to. An example of this was the organisation and participation in pro-Israel protests in the aftermath of Israeli actions on the aid flotilla in international waters. If the EDL manage to succeed with such tactics in forming a broader coalition, brawn may be combined with brains posing a much greater and organised danger to the Muslim community. If the plan is to polarise the wider British public against the Muslim community what could we do to reverse this? Sadly the answers are always so simple, the fact they have not been acted upon shows the death of leadership in the face of such a dangerous threat.
Only real strategic organised action can do this. Mosques need to create outreach programs, open days and ‘Question Time’ style shows and run them in town halls in every town and city in the country for the locals to come and get answers. Road shows need to start, tens of thousands of DVD’s and pamphlets need to be printed, and distributed to every Muslim and non Muslim household in the country teaching them about us.
In the short term, EDL hate marches could easily be neutralised. If mosques, ISOCS and the many Muslim groups that serve the community were smart and active they would have formed a committee of action against Islamaphobia in every small community. Jointly planning and coordinating the counter to increased hatred spread by the EDL and the right wing media. When marches did turn up on their doorstep, along with reporters and TV cameras ready to film angry Muslim clashes, they would see a sea of banners and placards with slogans saying ‘Love not hate’ ensuring any televised coverage would show a peaceful community that was under siege. Instead of waving alien black flags on camera, and shouting Arabic slogans like ‘Allah-u-Akbar’ (God is Great) which means nothing to the average English Joe, a well planned counter demo would ensure millions of television viewers would see the Muslim community as the peaceful victims of racist thugs.
Hotlines need to be set up, with well publicised numbers so non Muslims can call as soon as they have a question about Muslims, if they read something that makes them worry in the newspaper, they should equally be able to have instant access to an answer from the Muslim community. Something that they currently cannot get. It is a sad indictment on the Muslim community, who now number nearly two million people in the UK, that our enemies teach the wider non Muslim community more about us than we teach them about ourselves. Until the practising core of our community, start to see that the priority of a Muslim is not simply learning Islam, but defending the Ummah and apply all their energies, their time, and considerable financial muscle in doing so, the EDL and other groups will continue to threaten our very lives here. If we do not heed the signs, refuse to take action against this threat, content in living in ghettos thinking it will all go away, we have only to look at Spain or Bosnia; the Muslims there made similar mistakes. They paid the price with their lives. It seems we in the UK have learned nothing from history.
Exclusive Interview with Shaykh Ibrahim Ossi-Effa Shaykh Ibrahim was born and raised in Liverpool, England. Initially studying for three years in Syria and Mauritania he then had the opportunity to spend over six years in the city of Tarim, Hadramaut where he studied under the hands of many high calibre teachers of our time. He was one of the founders of several Islamic initiatives including the Ibn Abbas Institute, Starlatch Press, Badr Language Institute and the Greensville Trust. He currently resides in Liverpool, England with his wife and two children. The Revival Editor, Sajid Iqbal, met up with Shaykh Ibrahim in Nelson where he was preparing for a talk. After trying to poorly imitate the Shaykh’s scouse accent, he had a lengthy chat covering issues from Tupac to drugs and alcohol abuse, marriage to culture, purification of the soul to Mosques and many more. Here are some of the questions put to the Shaykh: Ed: Youngsters nowadays, their role models are the likes of TuPac, David Beckham, Wayne Rooney etc. We always say that the Prophet (pbuh) should be our role model but the reality is for a lot of elders and youngsters, the Prophet (pbuh) is not our role model. So how can we transform the way the youngsters see the Prophet (pbuh)? Shaykh: The most powerful role models are those who are accessible. So therefore in an environment where the David Beckham’s of the world and TuPac, who’s long dead, but still sort of accessible by virtue of the power of the media, when they are the accessible sort of figures for our youth then lo and behold they become role models, because every human being needs a role model. Allah (swt) crafted in us that innate potency to follow others, to seek others, and they guide us whether we believe it to be good or not.
So human beings always follow and so the bottom line is that these are the ones that are accessible figures in the lives of many of our youth. If we were to ask any of our youth to describe how the Prophet (pbuh) looked, the vast majority wouldn’t have a clue. Never mind the youth, likewise the adults. If they saw a picture of the Prophet (pbuh) in his various manifestations throughout his lifetime, they would be shocked. As an example, we had an issue of the youth in the USA, in California, who liked to braid their hair and they were told, as Muslims, you can’t braid your hair; that’s the way of the disbelievers. And lo and behold the Prophet (pbuh) himself used to braid his hair. One of the greatest moments in Islamic history, when he entered Makkah, the conquest of Makkah, his hair is braided; it’s plaited into four plaits. So it’s a sign that even us as adults are somewhat unaware of how the Prophet (pbuh) was, and how he looked. Yet I think the youth could describe TuPac pretty accurately. The same with David Beckham - they could describe him pretty accurately, and some youth would even be able to describe some of the private moments in David Beckham’s life. This is the problem. Ed: What a lot of people need to understand is why do they NEED the Prophet (pbuh)? What does the Prophet (pbuh) offer us if we chose him as a role model? Shaykh: The Prophet (pbuh) brings good, not just for youngsters and not just for the elderly, not just for the White or the Black, or for the Arab or for the Non Arab, not even just for the human being, but the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) brings good for the entire creation. That’s why Allah (swt) says that: ‘I have not sent you except as a mercy to the world.’ Everybody likes to be victorious so the Prophet (pbuh) is the one who told us, ‘Through me victory is granted.’ So Insha’Allah that is victory not just in this life which, is all that people who are short sighted see, but it’s victory beyond this life. Ed: But can you give us an example. Say you’ve got a youngster whose role model is TuPac and we say to him, you know what TuPac is not the one who should be your role model; it’s the Prophet (pbuh)... Shaykh: What does he like about TuPac?
Ed: His music, his lifestyle, he’s a bad boy, he’s a big gangster... they wanna be a part of that. So we say to them, leave that, and take the Prophet (pbuh) as your role model. What do they get? Shaykh: I think it’s not necessarily they like TuPac because he’s a bad boy and they wanna be bad boys. But something about TuPac maybe, the way he holds himself and I mean the definition of cool as some would say, and every human being, especially the youth, wants to be cool. So then we bring in a new definition of cool, and the Prophet (pbuh) IS that definition. The youth of today are no different from the youth of Makkah and Madina, and when we look at the actual life and times of the Prophet (pbuh), his movement was a youth movement. The YOUTH followed him, and just as we have an issue with elders today, there were the issues with elders then, and the Prophet (Pbuh) said that: ‘when I came, the elders denied me and the youth gave me victory; they were the ones that supported me.’ So there’s something in the Prophet (pbuh) that forced or compelled the youth to take HIS way as the way to lead their lives. If we look at the sahabah, the early youth that were sat around the Prophet (pbuh), they had families; there was a dominant culture, a dominant way of life, but they PREFFERED something different that was more appealing to lead them into the actual reality of who they were at that point in time. That does not change regardless of place, regardless of gender, regardless of time, but it’s something that holds true to our day and that’s why Ali (ra) who was a youth, gives us a really compelling description of the Prophet (pbuh). He said that those who met him suddenly feared him but the ones who intermingled with him without knowledge fell in love with him. So here, what we’d try to summon the youth onto is to know the Prophet (pbuh) and as a rule that holds no exception that they will fall in love with the Prophet (pbuh) and the real definition of cool becomes apparent. Ed: Jazakallah. I think one of the reasons why people are away from the Deen, going into drugs and so on is that they want that peace of mind, they want that buzz... Shaykh: It doesn’t give it. I grew up in that drug culture. I grew up in Liverpool, which has one of the highest drug cultures today. Many of the friends that I grew up with and people inside my own family are people who took to it in every possible way
The Revival imaginable. And one thing that is clear from them is that Subhana’Allah, it DOESN’T give you peace of mind. You see, it’s a false hope - it doesn’t deliver what it promises. So what they want, they’re not going to find in the drug culture. What they want, they’re not going to find in illicit relationships with the opposite gender. What they want they’re not gonna find in that type of lifestyle. They see it on television and MTV or the magazines that promote that ‘ideal’ lifestyle; it’s a false promise. And they will find that out sooner rather than later. The problem is once they’re in the midst of it, it’s difficult to get out. Ed: An issue that some people bring up is that it is crystal clear in Islam that alcohol is haram, however the Quran and Sunnah is kind of silent about weed and coke and drugs... so because it’s silent should it be allowed... could you clarify? Shaykh: Quran and Sunnah aren’t silent about it, nothings been abandoned in the book and nothings been abandoned in the Sunnah which is an interpretation of the book. The great Imams of the religion can clarify the rulings regarding to all of those matters. Islam promotes and nurtures the intellect. Religion was sent for that. So anything that compromises on that, the law will always consider it to be haram, consider it to be unlawful. So cocaine is something which clouds the intellect. Ganja is something which clouds the intellect. Weed is something that clouds the mind. Ed: Is there no clear cut text which can be quoted that the Quran and Sunnah has openly said intoxicants including drugs are haaam? Shaykh: When Allah (swt) says in the Quran He(sw) refers to intoxications they don’t refer to alcohol per se and not to drugs per se. So they relate to anything that intoxicates so that’s clear enough for any intelligent person... they don’t need details. I mean I lived in a generation where there was no crack cocaine and then there was so therefore we saw a new drug entered into a field. You have human beings with emptiness in their soul and are always trying to craft new ways to fill that void through things called drugs and
there will always be new drugs. The beauty of the Quran is that it can take care of all that with a few words - anything that intoxicates, anything that clouds the intellect is considered unlawful. Ed: OK. But when I speak to a lot of youngsters that are into drugs or into alcohol, they all seem cool, chilled out and happy. So what I’m saying is if we want them to leave that lifestyle, how will
Islam give them that peace of mind? Shaykh: We offer that to them through 1400 years of the transformation of what the idea of ‘peace of mind’ really is, that comes with the Prophet (pbuh). And peace of mind, which is really peace of heart. That can only come through adherence of the way of the one who crafted the heart, and the one who knows how peace, or tranquillity, or serenity ultimately develops in that heart. That’s why they say ‘Verily, my Lord is on a straight path.’ The methodology for the true tranquillity and true serenity can only come - again, regardless of age, regardless of colour, regardless of deviant creed - when somebody attaches to the way of Islam and the way of the Prophets.
The purification of the heart or the purifIcation of the soul means liberating the soul, which is the essence of the human being. We are mind, body and soul. But ultimately we are soul. Ed: A lot of the time when we speak to scholars, they say you need to purify your heart and purify your soul. What does that mean and how do you achieve it? Shaykh: The purification of the heart or the purification of the soul means liberating the soul, which is the essence of the human being. We are mind, body and soul. But ultimately we are soul. We’ve existed as creatures who are spiritual without form, before we were caste into form 120 days inside of our mother’s womb. So it’s the spiritual essence that we are and it’s through liberating that spiritual essence that is an essence that has an affinity with Allah, an affinity with God. So our humanity is in our spiritual liberation, our spiritual realisation, which come about through morals, through virtues, through cleansing the self of blameworthy qualities and adorning the self with the higher qualities. Ed: So if I’m struggling to connect to Allah (swt), I’m performing my prayers but getting distracted by the Dunya... what are the steps that I can take to get closer to Allah? Shaykh: The first thing to understand is that the struggle is where the reward lies. That’s why Allah says: ‘...Those who struggle for our sake, We will guide them to Our paths’. So sometimes the struggle sends the wrong message. We inter-
pret the struggle in the wrong manner. So first and foremost, struggle is good and the nation of youth love struggle. Why would you get up at seven o’ clock in the morning of the coldest day of the year and you wear shorts up to the mid parts of your thighs just to try and get a ball and kick it between two wooden posts? The youth love struggle! Why do youths get into fights? Why get into a fight when you know you can be hurt? They love struggle! And the Prophet (pbuh) says in the hadith ‘reward is the portion of the struggle, the portion of the difficulty’. So the struggle is good. So we should engage with the struggle or embrace it thereafter. As for HOW do I get closer to Allah? Company. That’s the most important thing for the youth to understand. The human being is environmental in nature - we are as good as our environment. In more beautiful terms, the Prophet (pbuh) said ‘A human being is upon the religion of his friend’. So therefore, we struggle because our friends are struggling, our environment is struggling. And lo and behold when we change our friends, we start to see that suddenly you see a different type of struggle. Ed: So the first step is to get rid of your friends which are an obstacle in becoming a good Muslim? Because I can remember when I was young (a looooong time ago!) everyone was messing about so I started messing about. Once you’ve found the right company, then what? Shaykh: Well there are two types of people: there are people who, in bad company, can negate the badness, ie they are influences and then we have the other type of people who are influenced. And there are many youths who are influences that are not influenced. I remember my youth: I sat in the company of people who did bad things, really bad things, but I never did anything bad. When I looked at myself, regardless of the company that I was with, I was not going to be influenced by them. I was going to make my own decisions and be in control of how my life was going to turn out. The youth are the most important people and that’s why the Prophet (pbuh) would seek them out. So the appeal is that if you are one of those, then it’s you, first and foremost, who has to change, because on the basis of YOU changing, you change a lot of people who are situated around you. The Prophet (pbuh) would seek them out and even designate financial rewards for such people, because once they change then everybody else changes. Good company attaches you to the Prophet (pbuh). Good company renders you wanting to be just like the Prophet (pbuh). If he had long, cool hair, then you want long, cool hair. If the Prophet (pbuh) used to walk with force, walk with determi-
The Revival nation, you wanna walk just like him. The Prophet (pbuh) had a different type of swagger - it was a divine swagger; a definition of cool. When you become privy of that, you wanna walk like the Messenger, you wanna talk like the Messenger, you wanna pray like the Messenger. If the Prophet (pbuh) said ‘the coolness in my eyes is through prayer’ then you want the same. When the Prophet (pbuh) fasted, you wanna fast just like him. The sahabah would say we want to fast just like you, the Prophet (pbuh) would respond with DON’T; they said, but YOU do it, we WANT to! That’s a sign of love. That’s a sign of a desire to imitate. The Prophet (pbuh) said, the only thing that can convince the sahabah NOT to do it is to tell them, ‘I’m not like you, I sleep with my Lord; he feeds me and he’s the one that nourishes me with drink. If you have that, then continue fasting in that manner. Otherwise, stick to Ramadan, stick to Mondays, stick to Thursdays, stick to White Nights, stick to Black Nights, do those things that are in the capacity of each and every one who loves me.’ Religious beings have religious etiquettes, will have religious morals, will have religious virtues, will have religious practises and when you’re amongst them, lo and behold it becomes infectious. Believe me, religion is a sweet thing. When a human being tastes something sweet, by nature he falls in love. Ed: One really big issue we have currently is the one of finding a marriage partner. They don’t wanna date, they don’t wanna go back ‘home’, they don’t wanna marry their cousins - how do they go about finding a practising compatible life partner? Shaykh: I think the issue is a bit more complex and what I mean by it’s more complex is part of it, as quickly as were marrying, we are divorcing. So a lot of times if it’s left to the actual choice of the youth; they haven’t lived long, not experienced long enough to know what makes a successful marriage. Usually what drives the youth is issues which relate to the lower gut, the lower self: sexual desires, desires based on lust, desires maybe based on the outward appearance of the female/ male and they aren’t the necessary ingredients that make a long marriage. Ed: What are the ingredients? Shaykh: The point I’m tryna make is that it’s a combination of reasons, the one I just mentioned cannot be ignored. I mean the Prophet (pbuh) said that a woman is married for four reasons: the first thing he said was ‘for her beauty’ ; that’s the first thing so there are issues of attraction that are very important. The second is ‘her family’; the youth don’t necessarily know the nature of her family, her parents, her grandparents, where they came from? What etiquette they were raised upon? They don’t know that parents may have a greater eye on that regard. Issue of wealth, occupation, the youth aren’t clear on that. Maybe the knowledge comes from a combination of different sources. Likewise her religion the Prophet (pbuh) said ‘take the one with religion or your hands will
www.therevival.co.uk be worn will perish’. The ulema say you shouldn’t take religion exclusively, the other three are also reasons in how you choose a successful wife (partner) to have a successful and blossoming marriage. They all play a part but religion must govern all of those. It should be the primary reason why you marry a woman or a man. The project for us is how do the parents as well as the youth come together on this project in a successful way. It’s not like the parents should be the one to decide nor is the youth to decide in their own way, that’s disastrous. The issue is how do we come together as a community in order to create successful marriages. Ed: Just a quick point on that... if it’s my life, I’m getting married not you, it’s not my mum and dad who have to live with my wife, so why do I have to ask my dad ‘is it okay if I get married to her?’ It’s my choice, it’s my right, my obligation... it doesn’t concern anyone else who I get married to as long as I’m happy, she’s happy. What I’m actually saying is if I find someone attractive, someone who is compatible the the parents should say: ‘if your happy, we’re happy!’ Shaykh: So you gave birth to yourself did you? If you gave birth to yourself then that would be okay, but so long as somebody else gave birth to you then that somebody else also has a role to play in that important decision... a very important role. To have such an attitude is very individualistic, and egotistical. It’s an attitude which in Islam is totally anti- ethical too. We must understand that after all they are parents, they are married, they have been married long enough to give birth to you and to raise you and to still care enough about you to want to make a decision inside of your life. I think it would be problematic if you had parents who didn’t care who you married. You see, on one level, when a parent wants to be involved in who you marry, that is a declaration of love. We may not agree with their choice but we got to understand what is their motivating factor ultimately... these are parents that have a profound love for their children and love for their soon to be grandchildren, that’s why they want to be involved in the process. Ed: In this day and age what advice can you give to young couples on what is the best way to raise kids in an Islamic way... because it’s quite hard because of the TV and the environment. When I was young, whatever my Dad said I would just do it, but now these youngsters first ask Why? Who are you? That’s the attitude of the times we are living in. So what’s the best way to make sure a youngster is brought up correctly and Islamically? Shaykh: You have to look at the things that influence human beings and the Lord tells us human beings are influenced by three things. He’s influenced by himself and that’s a powerful influence. He’s influenced by his family. And he’s also influenced by his environment. The most powerful of them is the environment, then comes the family and then comes the individual. The objective of Islam is to ensure that the environment, as well as
the family, are congruent with what is dictated by the faith so that the individual is naturally lined with Allah (swt). The Prophet (pbuh) says every newborn is born upon fitra - they are born on the primordial way, an innate attraction and desire to know and worship Allah (swt). It’s the parents who alter that situation and render the child Christian and change the archetype to the messianic way i.e. the deviant way or the Judaic or even Zoroastrian. So it’s the parents that by extension create a family which is the environment that is going to alter the nature of how our child is. So when we speak about how do we raise Muslim children properly we have to take into account that we have to have Muslim families. Muslim households. We have to have fathers who pray, mothers who pray, fathers who fast, mothers who fast, fathers who smile and mothers who smile, fathers and mothers who have the great lovely attributes of the Prophet (pbuh); compassion and mercy etc. The household has to be a loving and beautiful household, if you look at the youngsters from the sahara... if you look at Abdullah Ibn Aamr, what family did he come from? Look at Ayesha Siddiqa - what family she was raised amongst? Look at Anas Ibn Malik - what family was he raised amongst? Abdullah ibn Abbass- what family was he raised amongst? So with all of the great second generation of the sahaba you will find they were raised in beautiful households where their parents were beautiful people. So those beautiful attributes were thereby imprinted upon the children and lo and behold when they stepped outside their doors, they found the society. Likewise that also re-enforced those great divine and lofty principles. So this is the challenge... it is to create smaller private environments, and likewise public environments also, that are conducive towards the practising faith. Ed: Lastly one final question that everyone asks about is Imams and mosques. What is the real and true role of the mosque in this day and age because I always say it should be like a community centre, with games, pool tables, weights... where kids enjoy going and also learn the Deen but then I get the fatwas... then I shut up.... Shaykh: The nature of the mosque in the name itself means ‘a place of sujood’ and where people bow and prostate to Allah (swt) and in Islam we have a broad sense of what bowing and prostrating is unto Allah (swt). The sahaba would sit in the mosque in a social sense and joke and laugh and wrestle inside of the Masjid as well bowing and prostrating there. They would dance with spears and Aisha (ra) would be on the shoulders of the Prophet (pbuh), and this was in the area of the formal Salah, we should understand worship in its broadest sense. The mosques have to relive the Prophetic experience in the sense that the mosque of the Prophet (pbuh) did. It embraced all different types of people even non-muslims, killers and criminals and even prisoners of wars and its embracing of them was an act of worship to Allah (swt). So we need a greater definition of that. One of the problems is that when was the last time we had articles or conferences or meetings on what is the true role of the mosque in British contemporary society? You see it’s like we complain about the issue, but do nothing to bring about the solution of the issue, and we perpetuate the problem by not solving it. Ed: Jazakhallah and thank you for your time and answers. It has been a great session and I’m sure our readers will benefit from what you have said. For the full interview visit The Revival website: therevival.co.uk
Serving the Muslim community of the United Kingdom at a time of sorrow and grief
Free Ghusl Training Service
National Death Committee
Repatriation to anywhere in the world
0845 600 3100
For more information and advice please call our 24 hour bereavement line
Muslim Funeral Services - Jarvis Street - Jarvis House Oldham - OL8 2BG Muslim Funeral Services coverage is throughout the United Kingdom with facilities in the following towns and cities:
Liverpool - Manchester - Bury - Rochdale - Ashton-Under-Lyne - Hyde - Bradford - Leeds - Halifax * price excludes any disbursement, cemetery fees
Muslim Funeral Services are recognised by
and all major airlines around the world.
Celebrate The Halal Way! Eid
By Zahid Maqbool
We all wanna have fun on Eid but rather than getting up to no good or causing havoc in your hired Lambo on Wilmslow Road or Green Street, why not celebrate Eid the Halal way? I don’t mean just visiting your relatives or sitting in the Masjid but enjoying yourself having fun… but keeping it Halal. Here’s some ideas for you to check out on Eid:
Fancy Surfing? Learn to surf at the Ticket to Ride Surf Academy on Perranporth Beach, widely regarded as the best surf school in Cornwall. Surfing a wave is a totally unique experience far removed from anything and everything else. Surfing creates an unforgettable feeling of captivation, achievement and total exhilaration. From only £30! See: www.ttridesurfschool.co.uk THE Deep Acquarium The Deep, one of the most spectacular aquariums in the world is located in Hull, East Yorkshire. This award-winning visitor attraction is home to over 3,500 fish including spectacular sharks and rays – making it the perfect family day out. The Deep is open everyday 10am - 6pm (last entry 5pm). From £ 9.50 per person See: www.thedeep.co.uk Big Toys Driving Experience Climb behind the wheel of a fire engine, juggernaut or double decker bus! Take on the ultimate driving challenge with this exhilarating big toys driving experience. A truly unique thrill, you’ll enjoy the ultimate adrenaline rush as you climb into your choice of three monstrous vehicles – a double-decker bus, a juggernaut or a fire engine. With a variety of challenges including slaloms and off-road obstacles, this exciting experience is your chance to prove that you’re King of the road! A variety of prices starting from £99. Location: Lincolnshire, Midlands See: www. Days-Out.BuyGift-online.co.uk GO APE from £15.00 It’s not in the dictionary, but if it was, Go Ape would be described as a ‘high-wire forest adventure’.
That means that there are giant obstacle courses up in the trees using ladders, walkways, bridges and tunnels made of wood, rope and super-strong wire, and top it all off with the country’s best zip lines (including the longest at 426 metres). Search it on You Tube! You will get kitted up with harnesses, pulleys and karabiners, get a 30 minute safety briefing and training and then let loose into the forest canopy, free to swing through the trees. Of course, instructors are always on hand, regularly patrolling the forests (not in monkey suits unfortunately!) The result is spectacular. The Go Ape experience gets the adrenalin pumping, gets people out of their comfort zones and above all (no pun intended), it’s just great fun. There are 26 Go Ape courses up and down the country. See: www.goape.co.uk
Something Different Rage Karting and Blind Driving!! Blindfold 4x4 Driving and Off Road Rage Karting. Location(s): Bournemouth, Brighton, Bristol, Kent, Buckinghamshire, Cumbria and Hertfordshire.
team building event and certainly should be high on corporate team activities For more info ring Event Advisor on 0845 094 5539 Bedw Barn luxury self catering cottage Bedw Barn is a newly built 5 star self catering property offering luxury accommodation in Mid Wales, with its own indoor swimming pool, sauna, spa and aroma steam unit. Together with the luxury of having a relaxing treatment, carried out by the owner of Bedw Barn who runs a beauty therapy business from her own home, giving the opportunity for all guests to have some pampering. But do not be deceived by its tranquillity, Mid Wales has a lot to offer and there is certainly plenty going on: Horse riding, fishing, quad trekking, shooting, wind surfing, para-gliding, sailing, golf and loads more. For more details ring Tel: 01686 622767 See: www.bedwbarn.co.uk
Off Road Rage Karting Off Road Karts are like quad bikes with roll cages, very quick and very fun! Drive as quick as you can, drift round the corners and tackle the twists and turns of the purpose built track. The challenging course offers a really quick race round in the summer but a very muddy and dirty time in wet weather! Blindfold 4x4 Driving Do you trust your friends/colleagues? Well, that trust is certainly put to the test with this challenge. Will you hold your nerve as you are blindfolded and directed round an off road track in a 4x4 by your passenger? You can guarantee the course is full of tricky turns and twists. It is down to good communication and listening skills to get you across the terrain. This is a great
Guardian Angel Chapter 4: Noor By Adnan Adrees So the hordes of hell broke through into Earth for a moment and took over all levels of government. In one day everything went to hell. And now they’re after a girl? And not just any girl. The girl. Jabber had always said there was no such thing as coincidences or luck. I guess this is what he meant. I leapt from rooftop to rooftop, carrying the unconscious Noor wrapped in my long coat. Of course as soon as I’d seen her it had started to rain. Some things never change. It had been almost 3 years since I’d last seen her. I guess I should be thankful to the mask I’m wearing. It would be better for all if she didn’t know who I was… not after our last conversation. “If that’s what you want” she had said. I remember the look on her face. The pain in her eyes. “It was never a question of what I had wanted,” I whispered three years too late. She stirred; the sedative they had given her must be wearing off. Settling down on top of an old industrial estate I laid her down carefully. Watching her. Unsure of what I was going to say. Then slowly those familiar brown eyes blinked open, adjusting to the light until they found me and she smiled. Blinking again her eyes shot wide open. Suddenly, aware of where she was. Stumbling to her feet she glanced around trying to take in the scene. “What? What’s going on? Who are you?” She stopped to glance at herself “and why am I all wet?” I couldn’t help but smile. “This is a rescue, and I’m the rescuer. As for why you’re wet” I gestured to the sky still smiling “it’s raining.” “I can see that. But who are you?” a measure of calm returning to her voice. “A more important question is why are the Red Guard after you?” I replied, not wanting to start out with a lie. Not that I could lie to her even if I had wanted to. “That’s a long story.” She glanced around, taking in her surroundings. “I’ve got time.” “Why are we standing on a rooftop?” she asked, still as random as ever. “Because all the streets are monitored by CCTV. So unless you want to return to the custody of your friends the Red Guard, it’s better if we stay out of sight,” I replied, as the rain began to pick up pace “and preferably indoors.” “Hmmm,” she mused and then almost by some coincidence the rain stopped. “Well that’s convenient. And you didn’t answer my question.” “Neither did you,” she had noticed “besides I don’t have to tell you anything.” “Hey I just saved your life at great personal risk to myself! I think that merits some answers.” “I WAS KIDNAPPED! What do you want from me?” her temper flared. “I just want to help. And the best way I can do that is if you tell me why
they’re after you.” She stared at me with a measure of fury in her eyes. Finally as if some decision had been made she took a deep breath and calmed down. I was beginning to think she wasn’t going to answer when she finally spoke. “I came here to get some answers from my Shaykh but I was too late... He was murdered just before I got here… I have no idea why or what any of this means. Next thing I know the Red Guard are throwing me into the back of a van.” She was editing. “There’s something more, isn’t there?” “I’m allowed my secrets. Besides I’m not saying anything more until you answer some questions too.” I didn’t like where this was going. I was going to have to be very careful about what I let slip. “What would you like to know?” “Who, or what are you?” “Think of me as your personal Guardian Angel.” I chuckled. Her eyes widened by a fraction before she went bright red and looked away but said nothing. I could tell she was embarrassed and it was hard not to grin. The wind changed direction and I caught a whiff of her floral scent. I paced around her “Do you remember how everything suddenly changed a few years ago? How government policy changed overnight and how they introduced the Red Guard, the curfews and how everything went from bad to worse.” Her forehead creased as if in confusion. I suddenly wondered if I had said something overly complicated. “Yes, but what’s that got to do with anything?” “Well the short version is, real evil crossed into our world and is constantly working to bring humanity to its knees,” I paused waiting for her reaction. When she said nothing I continued “And it’s my job to stop them.” “So you chop up people with that sword?” I laughed. “Not people, creatures from hell, this sword is made from a special metal. It contains a fragment from the Holy Prophet’s (peace be upon him) sword.” “I thought that was in a museum somewhere in Turkey?” “That’s just a replica. Anyway, the fragment from the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) sword combined with the special metal is what gives it its power and allows me to vanquish demons.” She rolled her eyes. “Oh please, do you really expect me to believe that?” “Well you met the Red Guard up close and personal and have seen what’s happening in the world, what do you think?” “So what? You’re like God’s little
The Revival Power Ranger?” she didn’t get to finish. I spun around placing myself between her as a presence I had just felt loamed towards us. “What’s wrong?” A huge familiar figure just leapt onto the rooftop. I couldn’t believe it, it was Slade. “Aren’t you supposed to be dead?” He smiled. “Well the thing about me is,” he stepped out of the shadows followed by five other clones of himself “there’s just a whole lot of me.” The clones spread out as if stalking their prey into a corner. I took up a defensive position placing myself between Noor and the Slade clones. In absolute concentration I shadowed their footwork making sure they didn’t find a clear path through to Noor. They would come in hard and fast. Their plan was obvious. One or two would attack me while the others moved in to take Noor. Not gonna happen. Not today, not ever. The Slade directly ahead leaned forward onto the balls of his feet as a snarl ripped from his lips. As he lunged forward I barely managed to twist away and smashed my fist into his skull and sent him flying. Another Slade screamed in rage and tried to grab me in a bear hug. I slammed my entire weight into a punch and hooked him right in the mouth sending him over the building edge. But the third Slade was already on me, this was his plan all along, no time to counter as he slammed his immense weight into me as we brawled. I brought up my arms to protect my head anticipating the hit. There was a flash of light that hit Slade turning him into dust. I glanced in the direction the light had originated and there stood Noor with what looked like a glowing Bow made entirely of light? For a second I thought I must be seeing things, I blinked and the bow was still there. I realised that the ray of light that hit Slade must have been some sort of arrow? “What the...?” “No time, watch out!” she screamed before firing another arrow past my left ear. I spun around in time to see more dust hit the floor. More and more Slade clones were coming onto the roof. I guess I had no choice. Drawing my sword, I swung it at the advancing Slades. “DARK LIGHTENING!” A broad burst of lightening ripped across the roof taking out four Slades in one go. In that moment, I felt it drain my energy just a little. As swiftly as I could, I dashed across the roof as Noor fired off a few more arrows providing cover as the Slade Clones tried to dodge them. I knocked one right off the roof, and kicked another in the gut as he crumbled before me. Then in a swift motion I brought down my sword turning him into dust instantly. Finally there was but one Slade left, who had used the time I was fighting the others to generate a Shadow Ball the size of an immense boulder. He smiled as he released it towards us. It ripped up everything in its path in a wave of destruction. I slammed my Demon Slayer into it, slowing it down as it continued to push towards Noor. “NO!” I screamed, as I took my final stance and with a single thrust of my blade redirected the immense Shadow Ball into the sky where it exploded. A moment later, the night was once again quiet. It felt as if time had suddenly stood still. The final
www.therevival.co.uk Slade had disappeared into the night as quickly as he had appeared. And for the moment we were safe. A cool breeze blew across the rooftop and the moon perched high above peeked out from behind the clouds bathing the city in a white glow. Taking a deep breath I turned to Noor who was still standing there holding her light-bow as it slowly disappeared. ”What was that?” She smiled “It’s why I came back to London and probably why the Red Guard are after me.” She waved her hand and a flower appeared made entirely of light. “I can make any shape I really want.” She waved her hand again and the flower turned into an apple of light. “Like a machine gun?” I was actually impressed. She laughed “nothing that complicated. Nothing that has moving parts anyway.” The apple disappeared. I smiled “I see. Well I think this is making more and more sense. You’re a lot like me. You have a gift too.” She didn’t seem convinced or too delighted. Neither was I. “Can I return it? It’s really not my colour.” “It’s not that kind of gift.” I chuckled… seemed to be doing a lot of that lately. “They must have a tracker on you.” I mused already knowing the only answer available “that must be how the demon found us so quickly.” She flinched at the word ‘demon’. “What do we do?” “Well, I could operate on you and remove it,” her eyes shot wide open “but that could be messy, and time consuming. The other option however is I give you a little shock from my Demon Slayer sword frying the trackers circuitry. There shouldn’t be any real damage.” “Fine... do it!” she held out her hand. I drew my Demon Slayer and the air instantly began to crackle with its power. Holding out the blade for her. “One finger on the blade should do it but,” she didn’t let me finish. A little too eager she grabbed the blade and the current instantly threw her backwards. I had to reach out quickly and grab her before she was thrown from the roof! I sighed “reckless.” I could feel her heart beating, and her slow breath. Thankfully no permanent damage had been done, the shock must have simply knocked her out. “Well can’t leave you lying around here.” Reaching up to my mask, I activated the Angel Com system and radioed Sanctuary. After a moment a voice crackled over the radio. “Sanctuary here.” “I’m headed to base... and I’m bringing a guest.” I added reluctantly. “A guest? You’ve never brought anyone back before?” “It’s the hijaabi... it’s Noor.” There was a silence for a moment. “Still got a thing for this girl huh?” I could just hear the smile in her voice. I sighed “that was a long time ago.” “No not really.” High above the city, two figures appear seemingly standing on nothing but mid air dressed completely in white. They stand watch, expressionless cloaked in a heavenly glow. “His powers continue to grow.” “Our orders are clear, we are not to interfere. This is his fight.” “What about the girl? If they want her, she may pose a risk.” “We can’t risk exposure, let’s wait and see how it plays out.” One of the most important realisations of life is that it’s a process. No one expects you to get it right from the start, but we must take heed; sins of the past cast long shadows.
The Revival Feast
rfan By I han rK Isra
In Palestine, a favourite dish made by the locals is Musakhkhan, a dish that is usually eaten using the hands and which literally means something of which is heated.
Al-Motubug is a stuffed pastry with a delicious beef, onion and leek filling. It is a very popular and classic Saudi Arabian dish, yet the ingredients required to make Al-Motubug are easily available. If you are ever visiting Saudi Arabia you should definitely try it there as it’s absolutely delicious! Serves 10
The dish is seasoned with sumac, a spice made from the ground dried berries and is sold in Middle Eastern shops, it has a slightly sour and tangy taste. Musakhkhan is made by cooking chicken until tender and succulent with plenty of onions. You can use more spices, such as allspice or saffron, and garnish the top with fried pine nuts. Once the chicken is cooked, it is wrapped in shrak or marquq which is a type of thin Arabic bread. Serves 6 Ingredients 1 whole Halaal chicken (about 3 ½ pounds) Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste ½ cup extra virgin olive oil 3 ½ pounds onions, peeled and sliced thin ¼ cup sumac 4 sheets marquq bread or 2 large khubz ‘arabi (Arabic flatbread or pita bread), split open and separated Method 1. Cut the chicken into up into two breasts, two thighs, two legs, and two wings. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. 2. In a large pan heat ¼ cup of olive oil then lightly brown the chicken on all sides over a medium heat, this will take about 20 minutes. Remove and set aside. Add the remaining ¼ cup of olive oil to the pan and cook the onions until translucent, stirring occasionally, this will take about 30 minutes. Add the sumac to the onions and mix well while cooking for 2 minutes. 3. Preheat the oven to 177C. Cover a 9 x 12-inch baking dish with two overlapping halves of the Arabic bread or 2 sheets of marquq bread. Spoon half the onions over the 2 pieces of bread, then arrange the chicken on top. Cover the chicken with the remaining onions and the juices from the pan. Then cover with the two remaining half leaves of bread or sheets of marquq bread, tucking in the sides crusty side up and spray with water. 4. Bake until the chicken is very tender and almost falling off the bone, this should take around 1 ½ hours. If the top cover of bread begins to burn while in the oven, spray it with water again or cover with foil.
Ingredients 6 cups flour 2 eggs beaten with ½ cup of corn oil 2 bundles of leeks (medium sized) 1 teaspoon ground black pepper 1 ½ lbs Minced beef 3 eggs (beaten) 3 onions (finely chopped) Flour for rolling Salt to taste Oil for frying Method 1. Sift the flour and a little bit of salt into a bowl, and some water a little at a time while mixing the dough until it becomes soft but pliable. Divide the dough into ten pieces, and knead each piece well. Place on a tray sprinkled with a little water and let it rise for at least one hour. 2. Put the minced beef in a pan with the chopped onions, black pepper and salt and stir over a medium heat until cooked. Set aside to cool. 3. Chop the leeks and wash several times through a sieve; drain and put on kitchen towel paper until excess water is absorbed. Add to the minced beef. 4. Take a piece of dough and cover in flour, roll out, place over back of hands and stretch until dough becomes quite thin. Place dough on a worktop and trim any uneven edges. Brush two tablespoons of egg and oil mixture over dough surface. Fold the pastry to form a smaller square. 5.In a frying pan, over a medium heat, add one tablespoon of oil. Place pastry squares in pan and fry on both sides until golden brown. Repeat steps 4 and 5 using five pieces of the dough. 6.With the 6th piece of dough repeat step 4 but only to the folding stage. Place one of the fried pastry squares in the centre of the unfolded piece, cover generously with ground beef and three tablespoons of beaten egg. Fold into a square, using an oil and egg mixture between the layers. 7. Fry in 3 tablespoons of oil over medium heat until both sides are golden brown. Repeat steps 6 and 7 using the remaining four pieces of dough. Serve hot.