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The Revival Guide to Ramadan 10 Secrets to a Happy Marriage Osama: Terrorist or freedom fighter? ALSO IN THIS ISSUE Exclusive Interview with Catherine Heseltine Man of All Times The Kings Speech ..and much more


The Revival

8 Reasons why Osama bin Laden was bad for the Ummah By Irfan Jalil 8 – Confirmed media stereotypes

As if Muslims with bushy beards weren’t having a bad time already, what with stereotypes of Muslims terrorists in Hollywood films and Western newspapers. Along comes the biggest terrorist attack in America and its Muslims who are responsible. Not only that, but a Muslim in a big beard and turban praised those who carried out 9/11 and labelled them as martyrs. This totally contradicts Quran and Sunnah and can lead to kufr. To make matters worse, every other word in his speeches was Allah, Quran or Jihad. Not only did Muslims become synonymous with terrorism but so did Islam.

7 – Usurped authority

He may have kept a beard and worn a turban but Osama bin Laden was no scholar. He was not a religious leader and had no formal religious qualifications. Bin Laden was a trained accountant. He had no qualifications that allowed him to give fatwa on Islamic issues. Despite the fact that he used Islamic rhetoric in his speeches, what he inspired people to do was un-Islamic. In this way bin Laden took legitimate authority away from genuine scholars.

6 – Convenient bogey man

Arab dictators are currently facing the biggest challenge to their rule. The reason they have managed to hold on for so long is that they have used the supposed threat of Islamic extremism to hold on to power. But as we have seen recently this threat was exaggerated. Some dictators haven’t

realized that the game is up. Gaddafi bleated on about how Al Qaeda was poisoning Libyans with drugs right up to the last minute.

5 – Divided Muslims

Muslims have long complained about how there is too much division in the Ummah. But bin Laden added to this division and made it violently real. Any Muslim who did not agree with bin Laden’s interpretation of Islam was considered to be a nonMuslim. In bin Laden’s world non-Muslims deserved death and so Sufi Muslims and Shia Muslims were the victims of al Qaeda attacks throughout the world – most notably in Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan.

4 – Created further gulf between Muslims and nonMuslims

Bin Laden had a core message for Muslims – that they should kill all Jews and Americans. How this was supposed to have solved any problems is anybody’s guess. All this did was to create further hostility and conflict between Muslims and the other religions we share this planet with.

3 – Rubbed salt into would of US intervention

The United States invaded Afghanistan and Iraq but al Qaeda and bin Laden took advantage of the situation and used both countries as venues for their battle against the US. Al Qaeda’s activities in both countries have made the US presence much more bloody and protracted.

2 – Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan

Bin Laden claimed to be defending Muslims against America, but he did not defend Muslims. In fact, most of Al Qaeda’s victims are other Muslims. In Afghanistan, Iraq, and now Pakistan Muslims are being killed by bin Laden-inspired suicide bombings. Al Qaeda killed 60 Muslims in the 9/11 attacks. Four Muslims were killed by the suicide bombers who attacked London on 7/7. But in Pakistan these statistics repeat themselves almost every week. Suicide bombings, almost unthinkable before al Qaeda showed up, have killed thousands of Pakistani civilians. America invaded Iraq but it was al Qaeda that carried out the suicide bombings and stoked a civil war between Sunnis and Shias. In Afghanistan, al Qaeda carried out so many suicide bombings that suicide bombing became a normalised tactic. This would have been unthinkable before bin Laden and al Qaeda showed up.

1 – Suicide bombing

Bin Laden’s biggest contribution to the Ummah has been the normalisation of suicide bombing as a weapon of war. Before 9/11 suicide attacks were rare and mostly restricted to Palestine and Israel. Today, it is common to have a suicide bombing in a Muslim country every other day. The vast majority of the victims of such attacks are Muslims and many attacks are carried out inside mosques whilst people are praying! That’s bin Laden’s legacy to the Ummah – Muslims using themselves to kill other Muslims.

The Revival


CATHERINE HESELTINE Catherine Heseltine is someone you would have seen on the mainstream media like BBC or Sky News representing Islam and the Muslims. Catherine is the CEO of Muslim Public Affairs Committee (MPAC) and she had a good old chat with The Revivals’ Iram Ramzan.

Despite standing on her feet for half a day, Catherine Heseltine’s mission in talking to every single Muslim about the importance of getting active in politics and media did not diminish. And nor did her trademark smile.

to tell the rest of the Muslims how we should practice our religion?” This led into a very important discussion about sectarianism, which is something that some Muslims believe is further dividing the ummah. What is the cause of this?

Catherine has had many projects to occupy her time with, recently having just finished the ‘Boycott Israeli Dates’ campaign during Ramadan. She is now running a ‘Stop Islamophobia’ campaign to focus on the lobbying for MPs to take the issue more seriously, and for the police forces to monitor Islamophobic hate crime. She certainly has a lot of work on her hands. While there are some Muslims out there who think it is ‘pointless’ to vote, believing it to be a ‘waste of time’ to become involved in politics in the ‘Islamophobic’ atmosphere, Catherine said that not voting leaves the platform free for the BNP. “No one was born hating Muslims,” she said. If anyone has any doubts, she said people should take the example of the pro-Israel lobby. “They don’t spend millions of pounds on political and media lobbying in support of Israel because it’s a waste of time. Politics is power. Muslims, when they get involved, CAN make a difference. At the last election, we mobilised Muslim voters to kick out three pro Israel anti Muslim MPS.” The MPS, she said, only won by a narrow majority, showing that every vote can count. “As a community we have not got involved intelligently and that is why we have been ignored.” Has MPAC been successful? “Absolutely!” she beamed. Despite raising awareness of the problems facing Muslims, she acknowledged that there is still work to be done.

With the English Defence League still demonstrating and an elderly Muslim man being killed outside his mosque in South London, she believes the situation is far from resolved. “So if we think that it’s only the Muslims in Palestine and Afghanistan who are going to suffer if we’re not active, no, it’s going to come to our own doorsteps. Now is the time to wake up.” This is why she believes the media is a great platform for voicing opinions. However, not all Muslims had such a positive view of the GPU event. Protestors outside, both men and women (on separate sides of the street of course) were holding placards condemning the event as ‘un-Islamic’. “I’d say they really need to get over themselves!” She said. “Nobody’s forcing them to come to the GPU. Seriously, do these people know better than the scholars who are here talking? Are they qualified

She put this mainly down to the mindset of the older generation who lived in colonial countries. There is not one ideology of Islam, she said, but many different interpretations; not all Muslims will agree with the fiqh of prayer, for example, but they will all agree that they should defend the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) when he is attacked. “If they [the protestors] put that amount of energy into defending Islam, we would be a lot better than this sectarian inciting amongst Muslims. “At the end of the day, the racist groups such as the EDL are not going to ask ‘are you Sufi or Brelewi, Salafi or Shi’a?’. They’re saying, ‘You’re Muslims-we hate you and you’re going to suffer violence and abuse because of that’.” She ended on the note of uniting under the banner of Islam, and as British citizens, they have a powerful voice- if they use it. Small actions, she believes, can make big changes. For example, she said complaining to the BBC when seeing ‘unfair coverage’, instead of shouting at the TV, is one way of doing something. “Never give up; never be defeated, because the meaning of sabar is patience and perseverance so that is our approach as Muslims, Insha’Allah.” To get more info on MPAC log on to www.mpacuk. org *Iram Ramzan spoke to Catherine Heseltine at the GPU 2010 event at the Excel Centre.

The Revival

By Alveena Salim

Apparently, love may be blind but marriage is the real eye-opener. Are you considering getting married or are already married? Wanna know how to keep your other half sweet? Have you been married for many years and wanna know how to put the spark back into your relationship? Check out The Revival’s 10 things that you need to do in order to have a happy marriage. 1. Role Expectation Women, know your place! Only kidding. Truth is, you DO need to know what’s expected from you and vice versa. Even before you embark upon married life, both partners need to reach an agreement with regards to how the household responsibilities are divided and how they will behave towards each other. Traditionally, the male would have always taken on the majority of financial obligations, while the female would have been the homemaker. However, tradition has broken down significantly over the years. It is now not uncommon to find the financial and household responsibilities shared. Problems arise when people fail to reach an agreement regarding role expectation. If your husband wants his wife to be barefoot, pregnant and in the kitchen and she’s OK with that, then it’s all good. And if the wife expects to be financially looked after at all times and the husband doesn’t have a problem with that, then it will work very well. However, if there are any disagreements regarding role expectation – expect fireworks. 2. Look Good People nowadays are bombarded with images of attractive people. Guys and girls encounter good looking people on a daily basis – on the bus, at work, in the shopping centres, on the TV etc. The problem with way too many couples is that, after

marriage people stop making an effort. Why? Before marriage, many people dress to impress members of the opposite sex. After marriage, when it’s all Halal and there are no limitations placed on how you should look and dress for your partner –why stop? Many people after marriage only bother to dress up and look good when they’re going out – at home for their partners they look like slobs! Guys, look good for your wife. The modern man is well groomed and very stylish. Don’t use marriage as an excuse to gain weight and get lazy. Go to the Gym. Don’t over indulge in fast food. Wear smart clothes. And women – there’s so much you can do! Get pedicures, manicures, facials and your hair styled etc regularly. Wear nice clothes, lingerie, wear make up and always smell good. Guys are visual beings. Try to dress to impress your husband. Both partners should try to keep some mystery in their relationship. Don’t do things that you know would turn off your partner. Guys would you break wind in front of your wife when she was still your fiancée? I doubt it. Girls, would you have shaved/waxed your legs in front of your husband in the early days of marriage? I don’t think so. Keep some mystery in the relationship. 3. Communicate I can not stress this enough. Talk to one another. One of the beauties of marriage is that you have someone to share your thoughts and feelings

with. Don’t keep things bottled up. Guys, whatever is bothering you share it with your wife. Girls, if he’s done something, don’t give him the silent treatment. Tell him what he’s done. Good communication helps you to bond with each other; it resolves problems and helps to clear the air. You and your partner get to understand each other more, each time you communicate with each other. This goes a long way to prevent future problems since both your needs will be understood. It’s usually lack of communication that is sited as one of the key reasons behind separation of divorce. The Prophet often used to discuss issues with his wives. When He returned from the Cave Hira frightened and worried because of his encounter with Angel Gabriel. His first instinct was to confide in his beloved wife Hadrat Khadijah (ra) and share his experience with her. She consoled him and put his worries to rest. Many guys today, don’t value their partners advice or input and tend to keep their problems to themselves. There’s no benefit to this. A problem shared is a problem halved. 4. Be a team Share responsibility. You’re in this partnership together. What affects your partner also affects you as well. When you feel you partner is there for you, it can make a large difference with what you are dealing with. Some of the most difficult things that I have encountered in life have taken

The Revival place after marriage. Family illness, debt, financial difficulties, unemployment, numerous relocations, difficult living conditions and lack of stability in life, all happened after marriage. But because I had my husband supporting me at every instant, it wasn’t as difficult or stressful as it could have been. The Prophet discussed matters with his wives and considered them as friends. He certainly did not need their advice, since he was directed by revelation. However, he wanted to teach his nation. This was contrary to the conventions of the time. Couples who work together through the rough times end up closer as husband and wife in the end. Seek comfort in your partner during difficult times. It is said in the Holy Qur’an “It is He who created you from a single soul, And made its mate of like nature in order that you might find peace together....”(7:189) 5. Halal Dating Why should unmarried non Muslims have all the fun? Growing up, you can’t go to restaurants, visit the cinema or make out in your car with your partner. But when you’re married everything becomes Halal! Make an effort to get away from the draining, mundane chores of every day life and have fun together. Go to the Cinema. Go on a long drive together. Have a walk in the park. Eat in nice restaurants. Go away for the weekend. Just have fun together. The Prophet (pbuh) enjoyed the company of his wives. He used to laugh and have fun with them. One time, despite all the troubles that he was facing, he (pbuh) took his wife Aisha (ra) to the desert for a race and she won. Later, when she had gained some weight, he (pbuh) won the race and told her “this is for that time”. He (pbuh) once took his wives to watch some Abyssinians who were dancing. Just cos you’re married don’t stop having fun. 6. Deen One of the main benefits of marriage is that it protects you from many sins. It keeps you away from zina (fornication) and other immoralities. The Prophet said “When the servant marries, then he has completed half of the Deen. Then let him fear Allah with regard to the remaining half”. A successful marriage is based on reminding each other about their duties towards God. If you want your marriage to work: put God first. If you’re praying together regularly, reading Qur’an, attending lectures, reminding and encouraging each other about your duties towards God, then you’re more likely to have a successful marriage. This is because pleasing God will put blessings and success in your marriage. 7. Interference One complaint at a low time in your marriage will always be remembered by your friends or family forever. Even if you forget what the argument was about. Your family and friends will always see your partner in the same bad light in which you saw your spouse during your fight. And you will be reminded about your partner’s negative trait often. Ultimately, there should only be two people in your marriage. You and your partner. Some scholars even recommend that for the sake of a happy and stress fee marriage; couples are advised to buy their own home and not live with their in laws. However, this is not to suggest that you should not seek marriage advice or counselling from friends and family. But you should limit the amount of interference that takes place in your marriage from other people. If you want to keep your partner happy, don’t moan about him to your family – they may only wish you well but rifts are often caused because of way too much family interference. Your friends may not always have your best interests at heart when you complain about your partner to them. Way too many marriages break up these days because of interference from others. 8. Pick your battles. Learn to let things go. When you’re living with someone, its only inevitable that they will do something that makes you want to loose your rag. But does it really matter if your partner always leaves the top off the toothpaste, leaves their shoes lying around or doesn’t always call you when they’re at work? OK, so if it really bothers you that your partner doesn’t make an effort with your parents then bring it up. However, if you’re not too bothered by the fact that your partner wets the bathroom floor each time they have a bath. Let it go. Save your breath and energy for the issues that really matter to you. And when you’re arguing, never hit below the belt. Do not seek to humiliate or insult your partner. Words, once said, can never be taken back. The Prophet said “A believer must not hate his wife; if he dislikes one of her characteristics he will be pleased with another”. In other words, don’t focus on the negatives. Many people get bogged down with the few negative qualities that are found in their partner. We nit pick and blow small things out of proportion. Let it go. It’s not a big deal. Focus on the positive qualities

of your partner. Show your appreciation and give thanks often. 9. Treat them well. For some bizarre reason some people treat their friends, random strangers and even their pets better than they treat their partner. There are boundaries that exist between people at the workplace or with relatives that do not seem to exist in marriages. Remember how you used to treat your partner when you first got marriage to them? Did you answer back, get sarcy or insult them? I doubt it. The Prophet said ‘The most perfect Muslim in the matter of faith is one who has excellent behaviour; and the best among you are those who behave best towards their wives”. Buy gifts for each other often. Buying each other gifts, increases love for one another. Plus, if your partner is pleased with you; God is pleased with you. The Prophet was so concerned about the treatment of women, that even in his last sermon he reminded men to treat their wives with kindness. Similarly, women are expected to treat their husbands with the utmost respect and affection. 10. Sex. Now that I have your attention, it can not be denied that sex plays a very important role in marriage. One of the many purposes of marriage is to procreate. However, this should be done in consultation with you partner. Discuss the use of contraception. Talk about how many children you would like to have. Would you want them straight away or after a few years of marriage? Do not do things without your partners’ knowledge. The use of contraception is a choice that you both need to make together. Bear in mind though, making babies is not the only purpose of sex within a marriage. It is important to make an effort in your marriage and enjoy your partner and allow them to enjoy you. Women AND men should make themselves attractive and available to their partners. Withholding sex for no apparent reason is not allowed in Islam. It creates resentment and bitterness in a relationship. Plus, sex with your partner is a rewardable act! Sex within marriage is a Halal outlet for your desires, so if there’s anything that you are happy/unhappy with in your sex life then talk to your partner.

The Revival


By Saima Bora

get it cut every three to four weeks (without fail) so the split-ends were kept minimal. Of course, I was awed by the hair products when I went shopping too. In short, I loved everything about my hair. So there I was, standing with my super straight hair prepped with heat protection, smoothing serum and finished with a squirt of ‘Freshen and Shine’ spray - (to enhance the glossy look and minimise the frizz!) ready to join the masses of people, Muslims and non-Muslims unified by their disproval of the Iraq invasion. There was an awesome buzz of adrenaline in the atmosphere. A sort of contentment filled the air, hand in hand with a sense of purpose and love, yet for me, something was amiss.

I think I’ve heard it all. People who think that it’s a must and that every female should adhere to it without fail (in a stiff upper lip sort of way). People who believe that it’s not about what we look on the outside as it is actually undeniably, the inside that counts (Hmm, perhaps). And others still – like me, I must admit, who took a while to articulate an opinion. A journey towards the Hijaab, here is my story. I was never given a Hijaab ‘talk’ where I was sat down and explained the reasons for it, I found out these on my own (aside from what I was taught in RE of course). It wasn’t forced upon me by my father or mother or anyone else, I chose to embrace it. There were a handful of females, some family and others friends that wore the Hijaab but more that didn’t. It was a step that had an unspoken ‘No turning back’ sign attached and it was most probably this reason that I didn’t wear the Hijaab at the ‘appointed time’. I officially put my Hijaab on 5 years ago when I was in Lower Sixth (that’s first year of college to some of you). I guess it was a decision that didn’t formulate overnight and was one that in hindsight I see as being unknowingly built when I chose to replace T-shirts with full sleeved tops for PE in year 9. That weekend, when I was struck by this life changing epiphany, it was the weekend of the Stop the War Coalition protest against the war in Iraq. My family and I headed to Central London to attend it (yes banners and all!). Amusingly, I remember that my shoulder length hair was freshly washed and straightened that morning. I definitely took pride in my hair. It’s a sort of beautiful, wonderfully wonderful chestnut brown that is naturally wavy (and it’s extremely easy to style – if I say so myself!). I honestly used to

It was then, that I realised that not one person there, apart from my family and friends of course, could identify me as a Muslim. My religious identity was unknown to the world and at that moment in time I actually felt that my presence within the Ummah was going by pretty much unseen. In all honesty, the time between then and when I got back home is a blur, however the intensity of that feeling made me realise that maybe, just maybe, it was time to welcome the Hijaab. It wasn’t that I delved into stacks of passages from the Qur’an or Hadith which told me of the outlines of modesty or how the Prophet’s wives dressed or the rewards of being modest in the hereafter; No, this all came later (much later actually). For me it began with the issue of identity and how I, as a person was perceived by others around me. I wanted to walk down the street knowing that people knew that I was a Muslim. Monday morning. Back to school. New day, new me (well sort of ). To be honest I didn’t think about what people at school were going to say, I don’t remember being worried about it, it felt right, as if something had clicked into place and that’s all that there was to it. I recall I simply took ages pinning my Hijaab into place (by which time I was late and stubbornly decided I was not going to school that day – yes I know, I know, it sounds ridiculous) So TAKE TWO. After that little glitch, the next day was technically my first day of wearing the Hijaab – 21st February 2006 (which I now have titled my ‘Hijaab-Birthday’). This time I made sure I wasn’t late (I woke up a lot earlier) and after registration (I’m not too sure how it was received in registration to be honest, so let’s skip that) I headed nervously to my first lesson of the day, ICT. At the end of the long corridor amongst a sea of other pupils, I saw a couple of my friends stood waiting for me outside the classroom. I walked up and placed myself beside them. After a few seconds, one looked past me, squinted into the distance and asked the other friend where I was. Of course I was standing right next to both my friends and for a split second exasperatedly wondered whether my Hijaab had become some sort of invisibility cloak (Harry Potter anyone?). It hadn’t, of course, so I got their attention by oh so sweetly, thumping them on their arm. Like these friends, my other friends were shocked that I had worn it, sure, but more pleased I found, which was

definitely encouraging (especially for someone like me, who feels like an L plated Muslim most of the time). The only downside I remember at the time was that it felt like outside school, everyone was staring at me with their beady eyes, watching me and judging me (I actually even felt out of place walking into Topshop a few times!) It was a weird awareness, as though I was given entry into ‘the circle of Hijaabis’ yet outcasted from where I had been all of these years. It took me a while actually to stop feeling like that, and realise that it was me who had constructed this perception in my mind. If only I could talk to my past self and tell me to ‘Get over myself!’ Everyone had their own concerns, what they thought of me wasn’t always important. What was important was to find ways to better myself as a person, inside and out, physically and spiritually. Honestly, honestly, honestly, you can have the best of both worlds (that sounds so much like a teenage pop song). The way I see it, a moderate balance between what you were and what you hope to become, is how you should live. For me, it doesn’t always matter that there are a group of ‘sisters’ (or brothers) looking down at you because you do something they disapprove of (yes it may be backed up by Hadith but if you want me to change, constructively help me, talk to me as a person – please don’t stick up your nose at me and judge me) or a group of people teasing you because you restrict yourself from doing things they find normal (if you’re not comfortable with it, then it’s not for you anyway). At the end of the day, when all’s said and done and all things are considered (heh), the Hijaab is a journey. You don’t have to be perfect as soon as you put it on, you can progress towards perfection in your own time, at your own pace. It’s the beginning of something wonderful, a reminder of who you are and what your end goal is. It’s a conversation, a silence filler, an icebreaker, an opportunity to meet new people, a Dawah spreader, a statement. You are a Muslim, and the Hijaab? Well, just think of it as

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FROMCRIME TOISLAM The Revival looks at one young mans journey from life on the street to life in prison and then discovering Islam again. Offence: In possession of drugs with the intent to supply Time Spent: 6 years. The point in my career which led me to engage in activities of crime was when my mother died. Being only 18 and very close to my mum, it was a huge shock when cancer had swept throughout her entire body and therefore, being unable to cope, I thought taking drugs and alcohol would temporarily ease the pain. However, the consumption of drugs and alcohol led me to take about £400 worth of drugs a week and thereafter, I gradually started to supply to others who also wanted it. Consuming alcohol caused me to lose myself totally. I was never in control of myself, and on occasions I was arrested for public order offences which resulted in lonely nights in jail. At first, taking drugs and alcohol allowed me to be out my senses, a get away from reality i.e. the death of my mother.

Gradually, because I was so addicted to it, I started to take drugs and alcohol because of the buzz it gave me. It allowed me to be in another world so to speak where I felt no one mattered except me, an excuse of causing nuisance to the public, indulging in criminal activity in order to seek attention. The consequences of taking drugs and being drunk was the following morning’s hangover where you feel like vomiting and have no energy to do day to day duties. When consuming drugs, because it shocks the internal organs i.e. sniffing cocaine which gives the buzz to the brain, it makes a person’s body weak hence not properly function. I lived like this continuously for about 1 year, before being caught with drugs which were valued a lot on the streets and had to serve my 6 year prison sentence.

I was very worried about life inside prison as being in the game of selling drugs; many people I knew had been sentenced already and feedback was that prisoners did not get treated well. All the people playing the “dirty drug game” outside of prison knew how life was for those inside prison. This put shivers into me as I was going to be spending 6 years inside a place which could either help me by making me realise my mistake, lead me to accept my wrong doings, serve my punishment and come out a better person or psychologically and mentally break me. At first, life inside prison was very difficult as the prisoners inside saw me as the “new boy”, and would provoke me and try intimidating me whenever they got the opportunity. I was in a sharing cell with another drug convict who I got along with. He informed me that so long as I

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minded my own business I would be fine. I took his advice, minded by own business and made good company with some other Muslim prisoners. We were allowed to pray Salaah which allowed me as well as other prisoners to ponder over our lives and listen to the bayaans given to us by Imams on Fridays.

the difference between right and wrong I was still vulnerable and temptations could have easily influenced me getting back into the dirty drug game. Therefore, as soon as I was out, I left the company of those who I used to hang around with before prison. I made friendship with those who frequently visited the Masjid but those who also

My day to day routine inside prison was no doubt very depressing and miserable. I was given 30 minutes in a day to come out of my cell and interact with other prisoners, and within them 30 minutes I was allowed to make one phone call to my family. The only other time I was allowed outside my cell was for lunch and dinner. Being stuck within them four walls can definitely make a prisoner lose his mind. I usually use to sleep during the day and prayed Quran as a sink was also within the cell I was in. On other occasions I tried keeping fit by exercising in my cell. With regards to prison officers, at first they treated me like dirt in order to see if I would retaliate so that it would give them a reason to bring a disorder case against me. I was informed by my cell mate to let them treat me the way they wanted and that sooner or later they would be fed up and not pay attention to me. The prison officers would purposely reduce my 30 minute call time to 15 minutes and on one occasion searched my cell to see if I was hiding anything which may have been bought by one of my family members on the family visit. After about six months, the officers felt their treatment towards me was not provoking anything and therefore all throughout my remaining time I was treated reasonably. I came out of prison and was enrolled for counselling for my behaviour, drugs and alcohol and had to also pay regular visits to the probation centre. This helped immensely as it gave me a sense of boost to change as a person with the help of society into a better person. I have now been clean for about 5 years with the grace of the Almighty. I have now started to set my priorities right putting religion before everything in this world. Looking back now, I wished I could’ve turned to the Almighty for help in dealing with my mother’s death rather than turning to drugs. When I came out of prison, although I realised

The act of prostrating to the Creator in the middle of the night rather then putting my body in pain and torture made me feel clean spiritually as well as physically. The Salah I perform now allows me to get the real feeling of peace and closeness to Allah (swt), whereas before it seemed Salaah was just like some sort of exercise with no devotion and concentration. The Deen helped me to come to terms with my mother’s death. At first when finding out about my mothers death, I was in shock and dismay like any other individual would be. However, the way I dealt with this shock I now realise was completely in the wrong manner. I feel only if I had the knowledge and understanding of Islam during the bereavement of my mother, I would no doubt have taken a different approach in dealing with her loss. After educating myself about Islam, I now know that if a person lives right, accept and carry out the commands of Allah (swt) then the life of the hereafter will be a garden of paradise. Islam has enabled me to accept that this life is temporary and importantly, Allah (swt) tests those who he loves. I believe that Allah (swt) forgives his slaves if they turn towards him, hence have faith in Allah to guide me on the right path. The beautiful deen has made me realise that my mother is in a better place, a place where we all will be in the future and so I’m now aiming to live a righteous peaceful life so that I can avoid the punishments of the grave and the hereafter.

knew how to enjoy life within the limits of Islam. The more time I spent inside the Masjid the more it enabled me to open up my mind making me realise that there was more to life than having money and having a reputation on the streets. Islam enabled me to concentrate on one goal and one goal only: that was to please the Creator rather than the people round me. Having this one goal to please Allah(swt) brought peace into my life because I knew I didn’t have to keep looking over my shoulder anymore. I wasn’t chasing after money or wasn’t worried about keeping my reputation up on the street.

My advice for the younger brothers and sisters is that there are many other better ways to enjoy this life. This life is a gift and should be enjoyed but in a manner which does not involve putting your body through so much pain and torture or poisoning yourself which can lead to very painful deaths. Portraying an image of a “gangster” or a “badman” will not get you anywhere; instead it will lead you into a dark hole where you think everyone is praising you and respecting you but rather, they are laughing at you and happy you are serving time. I regret what I did very much and I praise the Almighty for giving me the opportunity to change because many prisoners go straight back into dealing and going back into prison.

all time!

The Revival

Man Of

By Sajid Iqbal

There is no other man who has influenced life for all times. There is no other man who is a perfect role model for all humans for all times. There is no other man who has given rights to people of every society for all times.

So who is it then? Einstein, Darwin, Marx, Socrates, Newton, Plato, Freud… (who?). OK, is it Jesus, Moses, Napoleon, Julius Caesar, Gandhi, Buddha, Lenin, Mussolini, Stalin, Churchill, Martin Luther King, Shakespeare, Princess Diana or Abraham Lincoln? Or even (God forbid) Ali G, Tu Pac, Michael Jackson or David Beckam? There is ONLY one individual or personality that is worthy of being known as the man of all times and

that is no other than Muhammad, messenger of God . (Oh yeahhhh…I forgot about him…) ‘How’s that then?’…is probably what you’re thinking. ‘Naah! Its cos we’re Muslims innit…and we have to believe in the Prophet , so it’s obvious we think he’s the greatest person ever. Isn’t that a bit biased… if you know what I mean.’ If that’s what you’re thinking, I would say it’s a fair question but isn’t it sad that we don’t even know what our Prophet has done for us. If we did then you would definitely think that the Prophet is the greatest man of all times. Well you know what, if nothing else you’re definitely gonna find out what the Prophet has done for the whole mankind. OK, if you look at the great people throughout the history whether they are philosophers or intellectuals, scientists or inventors, politicians or revolutionary leaders, soldiers or military leaders, writers or entertainers, Prophets or religious personalities (I know it’s a long sentence, bear with me..) - none of them can be considered to be the ‘man of all times’ for one simple reason. They are all specialists in their own fields- and that is all. You what!!(I know..I’re thinking I don’t get it! Bear with me...).

You see, they cannot offer guidance and solutions for the everyday lives of people till the end of time. They cannot offer a perfect role model for each and every individual in society till the end of time. They cannot answer each and every question regarding life for every society till the end of time. They cannot give rights to each and every individual in society till the end of time. (I can hear you saying ‘Have you fallen in love with the words ‘end of time’ or what’?) There is no one individual whose life and personality can offer guidance and be a perfect role model in each and every field whether it be social, economic, religious, spiritual,

The Revival political, military, administrative, moral or cultural. THERE IS NO INDIVIDUAL EXCEPT ONE SPECIAL INDIVIDUAL WHO IS CALLED MUHAMMAD, MESSENGER OF GOD. Whether you are a politician, military leader, reformer, judge, legislator, philosopher, teacher, businessman, trader, manager, scientist, sportsman, worshipper, farmer, orator, father, brother, husband, friend, Muslim or non- Muslim - there is practical guidance and a perfect role model for you in the life of the Prophet Muhammad . That is why that even after 1400 years have passed by, mankind still has to follow and get guidance from the Holy Prophet Muhammad . The lifestyle (seerah) of the holy Prophet is all embracing, comprehensive, permanent, ever lasting and multi-dimensional. (..I think I’ve swallowed a thesaurus). The world is amazed and stunned that how can one personality guide everyone from an ordinary citizen to the head of the state. Let’s find out shall we: The Holy Prophet liberated the slaves and protected the weak, he gave equal rights to women and gave the world the concept of the equality of mankind. These were ground breaking and revolutionary laws, which shook the world 1400 years ago. his angels to that house and prays that peace be upon them. The angels then cover the new born girl under the shadow of their wings and caressing the head of the baby with their hands , saying that this is a weak person. Whoever will bear the responsibility of her cherishment will go on having the blessings of the Almighty as long as that person remains alive.’ (Tibrani)

The Prophet announced ‘Whosoever kills his slave, he shall be killed . Whosoever imprisons his slave a n d starves him, he shall be imprisoned and starved himself.’ (Tirmidhi) The Prophet said: ‘O people! If any of you possess food, which is more than you require, then he should return it to those who do not have enough for their basic needs. Each and everything given to you is from Allah and the basic necessity should be fulfilled in each and every society.’’(Bukhari) It is due to statements like these that led to slaves and the poor retaining their humanity and living a respectful life. RAISING THE STATUS OF WOMEN Before the Prophet women were mere properties of their husbands and had no basic rights. The Prophet gave them matrimonial (look it up in the dictionary... ) , domestic, social, economic, fiscal (don’t ask!) and political rights. The dignity and honour of women was granted. Now that’s what I call real girl power! Mother: The Prophet stated that paradise was under the feet of your mother.

Military The Prophet was undoubtedly the greatest military leader of all times. Within 10 years he conquered the whole of the Arab world (North Palestine, North Iraq) and established a stable government in a short period of time. The amazing fact was that in 10 years the Prophet fought in 88 wars and had only a few hundred casualties.

EQUALITY OF MANKIND The Prophet(pbuh eliminated all wrong superiority’s: territorial, tribal, linguistic, racial etc. He declared: ‘No Arab is superior over a non-Arab. No non-Arab is superior over an Arab. No white is superior over black, no black is superior over white. All these superiority’s are man-made – the only superiority is that of piety, human conduct and moral behaviour.’ (Bukhari) These were revolutionary and historical statements, which gave rights to everyone in every society for all times. Moral and Human You see the Holy Prophet is a perfect role model for everyone, for every time. He wasn’t only the teacher, preacher and propagator of moral values but he practised them in his own life as well. He provided us with moral behaviour, human values and etiquette which are practised world-wide till this day. When you study his life you get practical guidance and an ideal role model on how to act as a husband, father, brother, neighbour, teacher, ruler, reformer, judge and as a human being. Anybody and everybody can get light from following the lifestyle of the holy Prophet Muhammad . Political

Daughter: Before the Prophet if a daughter was born the Arabs would bury their daughters alive. It was the Prophet who brought a stop to this criminal behaviour.

Before the Prophet was born, there was the divine right of rule, monarchies, empires and dictatorships. The Prophet for the first time in history gave the idea of public consultation. He stated: ‘There is no rule without public consultation and representation.’ (Ibn Majah) The concept of Khilafah was created. He stated: ‘no ruler can be obeyed if he commands falsehood’. (Ibn Majah)

He came and abolished the superiority of gender. He stated: ‘when a female child is born, Allah sends

The Prophet highlighted that the government is a public trust and that those people should

Wife: The Prophet stated: ‘The best among you is who is best for his wife, children and family, and I am best for my family.’

The Prophet was the first human in history to give universal suffrage (votes to every adult) and this was only introduced in Britain 1350 years later... He gave the first written constitution to mankind, consisting of 60 articles. He was the first person to establish a political state. He showed us how to establish an economic system, social system, moral system, commercial laws, civil laws, penal laws, executive laws, international laws all within the deen of Islam. He also gave us the laws of war, the rights of Muslim and non- Muslim minorities. Nothing in the world of laws or rights was left unturned or undefined by Prophet Muhammad.

The Prophet brought about a revolution in every walk of life which took mankind out of the darkness of ignorance and into the light of guidance- Islam. SOCIAL AND CULTURAL Liberation Of Slaves And Protection Of The Weak: The Prophet taught the lesson that to feed people who are hungry is an excellent and spiritual act. The Quran says ‘You can’t be pious until you spend for the poor.’

only control it who deserve it. In a nutshell the government consisted of chosen representatives of the people.

This is the historical achievement that historians cannot still understand today. It was due to the Prophet’s great statesmanship, political and military leadership, which in 10 years made Islam the superpower of the world. No military leader from Caesar to Hitler has ever achieved anything near to what the Prophet had achieved. Religious and Spiritual The Prophet gave mankind a complete way of life in the form of Islam. He did not give the world a religion but a deen- a complete way of life. If he had given just a religion then there would have been spiritual guidance from the religion of Islam and secular guidance from other sources. The Prophet managed to combine both secularism and politics in an all-embracing deen. He taught mankind the oneness of God, finality of prophethood and life after death. He presented to the people the Quran – the literal word of Godwhich was to guide mankind till the end of time. He gave to the world his sunnah – his practise – which was to illuminate each and every individual in the world till the end of time. No Prophet or religious figure has influenced the world in the way Prophet Muhammad has. I will finish by mentioning Michael J. Hart, a Christian who in his book The 100 lists the most influential people in history and it is no surprise, no.1 in the list was no other than our Great Prophet Muhammad . Check it out for yourself. Muhammad, messenger of God is the best of creation. A perfect and complete role model for everyone. The most influential person in the history of mankind. There’s not much you can add to that now can you? So, in a nutshell even after 1400 years have passed mankind still has to believe in, and follow, the Prophet because it is the only way we can solve the problems of every society for all times.

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Nutrition Advice for Fasting During ramadan By Lauren Evans*

Fasting during Ramadan is already a challenge within itself; however fasting during one of the warmest months of the year not only intensifies this challenge but also requires a true commitment that can only be marvelled. With an average of 14 hours fasting between Suhoor (Sunrise) and Iftar meals (Sunset), nutrition and hydration during meal time are both highly important. Metabolism Fasting affects your body in many ways. As your body undergoes quite a drastic change from receiving food and water on a regular basis to not receiving anything for an extended amount of time, it understandably causes a shock to the system. Your body becomes unsure whether food will be readily available and as a result of this, tries to reserve as much energy as possible by slowing down your metabolism. In this context, your metabolism is the speed at which your body converts food into energy. A slow metabolism means that the food is converted into energy much slower, which can result in weight gain particularly after Ramadan when normal eating habits are resumed. Therefore it is important that during Ramadan you undertake measures to keep your metabolism as normal as possible. One of the best ways to do this is with light exercise as this can speed up your metabolism, helping to counteract the effects that fasting has on slowing down your metabolism. Exercise should only be carried out after Iftar or before Suhoor and doesn’t need to be anything intense. The best form of exercise would be a 30 minute brisk walk in the morning or evening. Hydration Water is said to make up over two-thirds of the human body. It is essential for many bodily functions such as aiding digestion and the transition of waste, lubricating eyes and joints and maintaining healthy skin. Dehydration can cause tiredness, headaches, nausea and even affect your everyday decision making. If you are thirsty, this is a

sign you body is already dehydrated. As water is not permitted during fasting hours, it is vital that you fully hydrate outside of fasting hours. It is recommended, generally, that you consume at least 2 litres of water per day. However, due to the possibility of warm/hot weather throughout August, you should aim for 2.5-3 litres per day which is the equivalent of 5-6 small water bottles or 10-12 average (250 ml) glasses. For example, to consume 10 glasses of water you could have 1 glass when you wake up in the morning, 1 before you eat, 1 whilst you eat, 1 after you eat, 1 when opening fast at iftar, 1 before your main evening meal, 1 during your meal, 1 after your meal and 2 before you go to sleep. Although water is the best option to hydrate the body, it is fine to consume other liquids such as cordial, milk and fruit juice. Try to avoid fizzy drinks, tea and coffee as the caffeine acts as a diuretic. Meals It is important to remember that there is no need to over indulge or consume excess amounts of food at Iftar and Suhoor than you normally would. The reasons for this being, most people assume a more inactive lifestyle during Ramadan which means they will use less energy thus require less energy. The metabolism slows down so the rate at which the food is converted into energy is much slower and so the body’s demand for food/energy will also be reduced. Hence there is no need to make up for what was not consumed during the day. A balanced diet similar to that consumed before the commencement of Ramadan should be sufficient. It is expected that the longest fasting day (1st August) will be around 15 ½ hours and the shortest day (30th August) 13 ½ hours. With these long days it is recommended that complex carbohydrates are the primary

contributor at Suhoor. Complex carbohydrates are digested slowly and consistently throughout the day which means food last longer making you feel less hungry. These are found in pasta, spaghetti, brown rice, granary bread, potatoes, high fibre cereals, porridge oats, beans and lentils. At Iftar it may be more beneficial to consume simple carbohydrates to begin with, as these are digested faster in order to replenish blood sugar levels more quickly. These are basically foods that contain white flour or sugar such as white bread, honey and fruit. Make sure protein is consumed with both morning and evening meals and a variety of vegetables with the evening meal. For dessert, fresh fruit is the best option and as a starter, soup is a good choice. Summary tips • Aim to drink around 10 glasses of water each day • Include some light exercise in the morning or evening • Be conscious not to overeat during meal times • Make sure meals consist of complex carbohydrates (pasta, spaghetti, brown rice, granary bread, potatoes, high fibre cereals, porridge oats, beans, lentils.) • Try to consume wholegrain carbohydrates(brown pasta/rice/bread, muesli, oatmeal) where possible • Include protein in your meals such as eggs, fish, milk and white meat. • Try to avoid eating red meat more than twice a week. Although red meat is a good source of iron, it is also high in saturated fat • Include a variety of vegetables with your meals • Soup is a good starter and adds to your fluid intake • Avoid tea, coffee and fizzy drinks • Avoid fatty desserts, instead opt for fresh fruit and nuts • Avoid frying foods. Grilling or oven baking food is a much healthier method • If you are worried about not receiving enough vitamins and minerals during Ramadan, taking a multivitamin once a day with you meal can help to ensure you reach your recommended daily intake

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By Muhammad Salim Ghisa

washing the dead Q. What does Islam say about washing the body of the dead person?

3. Wash the deceased’s private parts with a piece of cloth wrapped round the bather’s hands. 4. Perform Wudhu on the deceased but no need to wash inside of nostrils and mouth. 5. Wash head hair.

A. In the name of Allah the most beneficent and Merciful.

6. Clean teeth and ears etc with cotton buds gently.

There are some acts in Islam which are known as Fard e Kifaaya meaning it is a communal obligation. Therefore if no one from the Muslim community did this then all would be major sinners and if some did do this then all would be relieved of that duty. Washing, shrouding and praying (Janaza prayer) is a communal obligation for a deceased Muslim man or woman. It is obligatory upon Muslim men to wash the deceased Muslim man and it is obligatory upon Muslim women to wash a deceased Muslim woman. Islam recognises the sacredness of a Muslim’s body and therefore it must be treated with dignity and respect. The washing and shrouding is a tremendous virtuous and dignified task that all Muslims should strive for. When the deceased is a relative i.e. father, mother etc then they have a right to be washed by their own children. However, due to the lack of knowledge and ignorance it is left to others from the community to do. Whilst the bathing will be accepted it is morally wrong for a family member to be absent during these times. During the bathing process the body of the male and female must be covered so that their private part remain covered at all times by having a thick piece of cloth covering the navel to the knees for a man and from the chest to the knees for a woman. When these parts need washing the

7. Wash right side of body then left side of body. 8. Sit the body up gently and wash back. 9. Gently press the stomach and see if any body waste comes out. If this happens wash it away and wash the parts again but no need to perform Wudhu again. bather must ensure that he has his or her hands wrapped in cloth and they would lift the material up and without looking underneath this they would wash the private parts etc. If the bathing people saw something of the deceased that the deceased would have wanted to keep private such as a tattoo or mark etc then the bathing people must not tell others about it. If they see something which is praiseworthy such as ‘I saw light on the deceased’s face’ then they can tell others as this dignifies the deceased.

Simple steps to wash the body of the deceased: 1. Cover the body with a thick cloth from navel to the knees for men and below neck to the knees for women. 2. Tie a small strip of cloth to prevent the mouth from opening & put some cotton buds to block off the nostrils.

10. Generally wash any parts of the body that may be dry. 11. Gently dry the body by using dry cloths. Then cover the body with a dry cloth as above and then remove wet cloth from underneath. The body is now ready for shrouding. Nowadays we have all become commercialised and choose to pay funeral directors for this task rather than take on the responsibility ourselves. This is wrong and we all must ensure that there are good people from amongst every community young and old, male and female who are prepared to take on this pious task. Otherwise as a community we will all suffer as we will all have to go through that process one day. May Allah give us all the benefit from obtaining such knowledge. Of Course Allah knows best

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Can women work? Q. Some people say women are not allowed to work? Is that true? . In the name of Allah the Most Beneficent and Merciful. Allah has defined roles for men and women by looking at their strengths and weaknesses and assigning them with certain responsibilities. However, there is no where in the Shariah where there is a point blank refusal for women to work or for men not to do the household chores. Both these duties are permissible and sometimes recommended depending on each of the situations. However, with every aspect of Islam if the work is Haram, then to do that job is also Haram. For example, a man is not allowed to work in an alcohol factory or deal with interest or work in a casino etc as all these activities are not permissible. In the same way if a woman works in an environment where she would be going against her husbands wishes then this would not be permissible as this would create disunity and be the cause of a marriage to break up. In the same way if a woman works in an environment where she is unprotected or her dignity could be challenged or would have to intermix with men without other people being present then this could have an effect on her dignity; or she could be accused by some of being sinful and therefore exposure in such environments could be severely disliked or could even be Haram. At the same time we all know that our mother Khadijah was a business woman and the Prophet (pbuh) chose to marry her. But more importantly there are some roles (almost in every walk of life) where women should do these. The same people who point blank give fatwas for women not to work have problems when their own wives or daughters need to be examined by doctors and they would deprive their families of medical health because the doctor is a male. When women need legal advice because she is being abused by her partner etc then she should have a female Muslim lawyer she can go and see. When a woman needs a driving instructor then she should be able to feel comfortable by choosing a female driving instructor. Even when a woman needs financial assistance she should be able to see a social worker who is a Muslim woman. Therefore the same situation would apply to all aspects of day to day life: teachers, opticians, dentists, immigration control, Islamic scholars etc etc. In all the above situations if Muslim women were not allowed to work then how would these roles be filled? What is also important is that in any of the above roles a Muslim woman should not and cannot compromise her Islamic obligations and values. Such as Salaah, Hijab, dressing modestly etc. as to leave an obligation for something which is desirable is not permissible. Of course Allah knows best

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By Alveena Salim & Sajid Iqbal

You mean you can’t eat ANYTHING? Not even drink water? Isn’t that like bad for you?” Yep, when Muslims fast for the 30 days in the month of Ramadan from dawn till dusk they can’t eat or drink anything throughout Ramadan. Fasting is not bad for your health, even Celebs occasionally fast (they call it “detox”), abstaining from food and drink cleans out your insides, gives your digestive system a rest and causes harmful chemicals to be flushed out of your system.(1) abstains from his/her food and drink.’ (Bukhari). But isn’t that hard…? Fasting can be challenging to some people, particularly the smokers. However, the whole point of fasting is to discipline the body and the mind. Muslims use this month to give up their bad habits and start afresh, it’s easier to do so in the month of Ramadan as the devils are locked up and are not tempting us to commit sins. This is the month in which it’s easier to break bad habits. Muslims should lock off from their bad friends this month, if they listen to rude music, watch dodgy programmes on TV or can’t speak without swearing then they should try to give up their bad habits now. If they haven’t as of yet became regular with their prayers or don’t dress Islamically, Ramadan is the best time to implement these changes. But why would you do that to yourself? The main purpose of fasting is described in the Qur’an as “so that you may attain Taqwa.” Fasting is one way to achieve Taqwa which is the fear and consciousness of Allah (swt). 30 whole days?! You’d die! Ermm… No you wouldn’t. Muslims are required to fast from dawn to dusk. The fast begins just before dawn when Muslims eat a light meal (suhoor) and confirm their intention to fast for the day; the fast ends at sunset. It’s important for Muslims not to miss their Suhoor as this is a blessed meal. The Holy Prophet said “Eat Sehri as there are blessings in Sehri” (Bukhari). The importance of waking up for Sehri can not be emphasised enough, even if it’s just to drink a glass of milk. What else can’t you do in Ramadan? Sawm (fasting) literally means to “abstain”, Muslims

are required to abstain from all sins in the month of Ramadan which brings them away from Allah (swt). Fasting is not just giving up food and drink; it’s a LOT more than that. The entire body, including ones hands, ears, eyes, mouth etc. must fast. How can the whole body fast- what’s that all about? The eyes fast when they refrain from viewing rude, dirty scenes on TV or checking out the ‘birds’. Fasting of the mouth is refraining from swearing, arguing, lying, back biting, slandering and indulging in idle gossip. The ears fast when they do not listen to idle talk or rude music. The Holy Prophet said: ‘If a person does not avoid false talk and false conduct during fast, Allah does not care if he

Taqwa is a feeling that comes from within which helps Muslims to lead a life as morally conscious individuals; it stops them from committing sins and makes them think twice about their actions. Fasting is also a means of self-purification as it’s easier to give up bad habits in Ramadan than any other time in the year. The month of Ramadan is an opportunity to develop qualities of patience, self-control, and trust in Allah (swt); it awakens feelings of compassion for the poverty and sufferings endured by people all over the world and makes us appreciate what we do have.

The Revival month! Does EVERYONE have to fast? Fasting is obligatory for Muslims. However, the sick, elderly, young children, and menstruating women are exempt from fasting. Those who miss their fast due to illness must make them up after the month of Ramadan, if they are unable to do so they should feed 60 poor people. Those who miss their fasts deliberately are making a big mistake – The Prophet said “Whoever misses a single fast of Ramadan without any valid excuse or illness will never be able to make up for it even if he fasted for eternity.” (Tirmidhi). The fine for missing a deliberate fast is known as ‘fidya’. The payment of fidya was originally freeing a slave but now it’s a matter of feeding or paying for two meals for 60 poor people and if you work that out at Nando’s prices that’s … £2.50 x 2 = £5.00 x 60…..£300!!! So take your pick!

But HOW exactly does Fasting help Muslims to achieve Taqwa? When we refuse tasty halal food and drink from dawn to dusk for the sake of Allah (swt) it becomes so much easier to avoid doing those things that are forbidden for us. Think about it, it’s SO easy to sneak in a fag or a packet of crisps when we know that no one is looking. However, because we KNOW that God is watching us, we don’t do that. Lack of Taqwa is the main reason why Muslims sin, so fasting helps Muslims to increase their fear and consciousness of Allah (swt). How come you can’t do that all year round? Ramadan is a holy month. It is the month in which Satan and his cronies are said to be locked away in Hell to prevent them from inciting the believers to commits sin. Also, there is more reward in doing good deeds in Ramadan than all year round. The reward for fasting in the month of Ramadan is unlimited! What’s more, the month of Ramadan is the month of Mercy and Forgiveness. Muslim’s sins are more likely to be forgiven and prayers are more likely to be accepted in the month of Ramadan. So if you have a dodgy shameful past and want to erase history and start again with a clean slate and if you want Allah to forgive all your sins and make it easy for you to live your life as a good Muslim- now is the time to beg for Allah’s forgiveness! The Prophet said “Every night Allah descends to the lowest heaven, when only one third of the night remains. He says “Is there any servant of mine who invokes me for anything so that I may answer his request? Is there anyone who begs Me for pardon and forgiveness, so that I may to forgive him?” (Bukhari and Muslim) This is the month in which many people decide to take that plunge and change their life around. So take advantage of every special moment, especially the blessed night called Laila tul Qadr which falls in the last 10 days of Ramadan which is considered better then a thousand months- ask for whatever you want! What else must you do in Ramadan? The Holy Qur’an was revealed in the month of

Ramadan, this is why Muslims should attach themselves to the Qur’an this month. The likes of Imam Abu Hanifa, Imam Malik and Imam Shafi would stop teaching Islamic jurisprudence and Hadith during the month of Ramadan and would devote themselves exclusively to the Qur’an. Muslims should try to read as much as they can EVERY day in Ramadan.

So, what do you have to eat when you open your fast? Anything you want. There is no restriction on what is eaten by Muslims provided it is halal. They can eat whatever they want, be it chicken or chips, chicken tikka, chappati or your favourite pizza. Muslims are recommended to break their fast with dates, milk, water, honey, olives and figs. However, it is important not to stuff yourself silly as this defeats the whole point of fasting.

Also, Muslims should try to read the Tarawih prayer every night in their local Mosque. The Holy Prophet said: “Whosoever stands for prayer during the nights of Ramadan will have his/her prior sins forgiven.” (Al Bukhari).

What’s Eid? Eid is the festival following Ramadan. Eid literally means ‘returning at regular intervals’, as it gives a repeated opportunity for renewal, to forgive enemies and put right quarrels.

My Muslim mate dumps his gal in Ramadan and acts as if he don’t know her, does he have to do that? Out of respect for Ramadan many Muslims, give up their bad habits and do good deeds, which they normally wouldn’t do all year round. This is because it is easier for them to give up their bad habit and also because they wish to derive the most out of Ramadan. Perhaps now though your mate should try and maintain his “goodness” after Ramadan now that he’s proven he can do it for one

A final word... Is it gonna be another Ramadan where you starve yourself but don’t improve as a Muslim? Or this time are you gonna improve yourself and change for good? It’s your decision. Notes: 1. See The Health Benefits of Fasting byWill Carrol and The Benefits of Fasting By Alan Goldhamer, D.C. On The Revival Website

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revivalfeast White Chocolate and Berry Pavlova

The crisp meringue has a soft chewy interior and is topped with white chocolate, whipped cream and luscious selection of berries. Will go down a treat after a long hard fast. Prep time: 25 min Cook time: 6 hrs, to 8 hours, leaving the meringue in the oven overnight Serves: 8 Ingredients For the meringue: 6 egg whites 200 g caster sugar 1 tsp corn flour For the filling: 600 ml double cream 100 g white chocolate 125 g raspberries 50 g strawberries 50 g redcurrants 50 g mixed summer berries 25 g blueberries Method 1. Preheat the oven to 170C/gas 3. 2. Line a large baking tray with non-stick baking paper.

By Saadia Iqbal

3. Whisk the egg whites with an electric whisk on high speed and add the sugar. 4. Reduce the speed and add the corn flour. Return to high speed and whisk until the mixture is stiff. 5. Spread with a spatula or pipe onto the lined baking tray or and place in the oven. Turn off the oven and leave for 6-8 hours or overnight to dry out. 6. Whisk the cream until softly peaking. 7. Melt the white chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering (not boiling) water. 8. Place the meringue carefully on a serving plate. Spread the white chocolate over the base of the meringue and top with cream. Arrange the fruit on top and decorate with mint sprigs.

Green Banana Curry Yes, you heard it right… a BANANA Curry Why not try a recipe of savoury bananas in a spiced coconut sauce for your Iftari? Prep time: 10 min Cook time: 30 min Serves: 4 Ingredients • 5 green (under ripe) bananas • 2-3 tbsp vegetable oil • 1 onion, finely sliced • 1 tbsp curry paste • 400 ml coconut milk • 3 tbsp chopped coriander

Method 1. Slice the bananas into slices 2.5cm thick. 2. Heat the oil in a deep frying pan and fry the banana slices in batches, until lightly browned on each side. Drain on kitchen paper. 3. Add the onion to the pan and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until soft. 4. Return the banana slices to the pan and stir in the curry paste. Pour over half the coconut milk and stir well. Cook for 10 minutes on a low heat. Season. 5. Pour in the remaining coconut milk and simmer until the mixture thickens and the bananas break down a little. Garnish with coriander and serve with rice.

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THEKING’S SPEECH... If you stammer or stutter then only YOU know what life is like and what struggles and challenges you have to face. The Revival has spoken to a couple of people who stammer and talk about what life is like. Jamal Ali, 35, Birmingham:

Here are my words of wisdom for everyone as I am an expert on stammering. Basically stammerers are a section of society that are totally abandoned and left to suffer without any support and help. What they do not need are useless speech therapists who only serve the purpose of cementing the idea into the stammerers head that they have a problem. Stammering is not a physical problem but a psychological one. The lower the self esteem of the stammerer the worst the stammer will be and the higher confidence and self esteem is, the less the intensity of the stammer. So the last thing stammerers need is the whole family sitting around them and publicly humiliating them by saying ‘oh he can’t talk’. Every time they are introduced the first thing that comes out is that ‘he has a stammer’. The main problem for stammerers is to get employment as obviously it helps if you can say your name at the interview. Job centres offer no help whatsoever to stammerers. Stammerers are not disabled but are able to do all jobs, the only hitch they have is with interviews. Children develop a stammer if they are shouted at or beaten by parents or mosque teachers. The best way to help a child who starts stammering is to do nothing. Ignore it and it will go away. Give them breathing lessons then they will realise that they have a problem and then whenever they speak they will know they will stammer. Speech therapy may help some adults cope better but it can’t get rid of stammering. No matter how well a stammerer is educated or talented, because they cannot talk they are practically useless and cannot even get jobs that illegal immigrants do not even do. I am a graduate and also have a master’s degree... I have been working in a factory for the last three years packing boxes. Thank you world!

words but this does not help.

Rayhaan Khan, 24, Manchester:

Since childhood I’ve had trouble getting my words out. At worst I stuttered on every other word. It would sometimes take me up to 30 seconds to get a word out. I would gasp for breath as I spoke. I would squint my eyes. I would shake my head and squeeze my hands together. With all of this going on, it would take me a whole minute to put a few words together. Over the years my stammering has defined my personality and my lack of aspirations. I responded to my stammering by withdrawing from the world. I would avoid conversations, social situations and particularly the telephone. I limited my vocabulary to ‘yes’, ‘no’ and the occasional ‘OK’. All of this prevented me from developing meaningful relationships with members of my family, my friends, my colleagues and acquaintances. Until about five years ago, I didn’t know what it was like to say what you want to say. I’ve been in a lot of therapy and I’ve done a lot of research into stammering. Over the last few years this has helped me to gain some control over my speech. I still stutter and always will. But, I’ve realised that everyone struggles through life everyone has a cross to bear. My speech is what I struggle against. I know that the worst thing I can do is to let it hold me back from achieving and being successful. Stammering is a genetic disorder. It’s something I was born with and it’s something that will stay with me for the rest of my life. My struggle with speech has dominated my life up to now, but I’ve decided that it will no longer be the only thing that defines me.

In conversation with a person who stammers -Be patient. Most people who stammer strongly prefer to speak for themselves. You may be tempted to finish a person’s sentences or ‘fill in’

-Remember that it is OK to stammer. Don’t give advice such as: ‘slow down’, ‘take a breath’, or ‘relax’. Maintain natural eye contact, listen, and wait patiently until the person has finished speaking. -Be a good listener. Let the speaker know, by what you say and do, that you are listening. Try to actively convey a relaxed and accepting attitude as any obvious discomfort that you show will only increase the discomfort of the person who stammers. Focus on what the person is saying, not how they are saying it. -Remember that stammering varies. People who stammer can have most difficulty when starting to speak and less difficulty once underway. Don’t be surprised if a person stammers more in some situations than others. The telephone, speaking in front of a queue or in earshot of others can cause increased difficulties. -Remember that stammering is not caused by nervousness. While a speaker may appear nervous, keep in mind that the nervousness is a result of embarrassment about their stammering rather than a cause of it. -If you are not sure how to respond, ask the speaker - but always do this sensitively and in a way that leaves the speaker in control. This might involve asking an open question such as, “Is there anything I can do to make this easier for you?” Or, if someone is stammering severely, closed questions such as “Would you prefer to go somewhere quieter?” or “Would you prefer to write this down?” Please note that the tone of these questions is very important. Bear in mind, too, that some speakers may be uncomfortable talking about their speech, but many would welcome your respectful interest. -In conclusion... Try to empower the person by offering a choice rather than imposing your solution. Always err on the side of being patient and giving the person the opportunity to speak for his/herself. Source: html

The Revival

VOICE OF THE MUSLIM YOUTH: OSAMA BIN LADINTERRORIST OR FREEDOM FIGHTER? Love him or loath him but everyone seems to have an opinion on Osama Bin Ladin since his death. Was he a freedom fighter or just a terrorist? Did he stand up for the Muslims or was he an enemy of the Muslims? Check out some of the opinions from Muslims across the globe on The Revival Forums: MAKEME_RAW_18: It is rather suspicious but I’m not sure what it takes to be a martyr in Islam. Is it causing the deaths of thousands of innocent civilians and making life EVEN harder for Muslims just trying to live in the Western world? BANJO: Bin Laden was a coward who hid in a fortress and then hid behind a woman when the inevitable came knocking at his door. He sat back with his minions and ordered people to be killed or to die for his cause, but never strapped a bomb to himself, as it is unlikely he believed the nonsense he was saying. The man was a complete failure at what he set out to do, except of course kill thousands of innocent people (Muslims too). Here is where I will state, Bin Laden got off lightly with his death. Shame he was not dragged in front of a court in the US and sent to perish in a super max prison awaiting his end of days! MALIK: It depends who you ask. If you ask most Salafis, then Bin Laden was a hero. They like his sort. If you ask Americans, then he was a terrorist. I believe the Wahhabi guy was a terrorist. MUSLIMEEN: Yes I say it again, FREEDOM FIGHTER!! Do you have to buy all the crap the western media feeds just cos they say so?? Any proof of him killing 1000’s of innocent civilians?? Beside what the Americans say!! If you wage Jihad then you are damaging the image of Islam, how?? You obviously have not read about the offensive Jihad of Muslims in the golden era. The conquest of Syria, Spain and many other places, yes we have waged offensive Jihad and not just defensive ones. The difference was there were not many civilian casualties due to the dynamics of warfare back then. In today’s times it is a different ball game, though I still don’t condone civilian casualties. Perhaps you also object to the coming of Imaam Mahdi and the offensive Jihad he will fight against the Jews?? So he was hiding in Pakistan like a girl hey? Very brave is the American president watching from millions of miles as they killed an unarmed man, well at least that’s what they say. Very brave indeed are your British and American soldiers bombing innocent civilians from 40 thousand feet, brave are the Israeli soldiers fighting stone throwing kids with armoured tanks. He at least had the balls to stand up to American oppression and oppose the 2 super powers of our

time, the Russian and the Americans. Do you have the same?? YOU: People who support him easily fall into a trap of supporting events which they then condemn when someone points out they were bad. An example would be people who would support him for masterminding 9/11, but as soon as it is pointed out that 9/11 was a heinous crime, the same people would then blame it on the CIA or other organisation. “Four Lions” covers this hypocrisy perfectly. HAJJAR: I don’t believe very much of what the western media tells us, so im’ not gonna jump on the bandwagon and say he was a Kaffir Allah knows best. As for hiding in a mansion that’s pretty laughable. It’s very unlikely he was living in that so called mansion for very long. If he had stayed put for long he would have been caught sooner. Im sure he was on the move, but he stayed a little too long in this house and was caught out. As for fighting, there is evidence he did fight, it’s only in his latter years he slowed down because of health problems, kidneys I think. This idea that he was hiding in a mansion, even using his wife as a shield against the Americans firing was perpetuated by the Americans for their ideological war. They want the world to perceive him as a weak coward, who only speaks eloquently and with fire, but doesn’t do much himself. The truth was it was not a mansion, it had several floors of which he had two, presumably coz he had two wives with him. The other floor was used by another family. Also papers later revealed the deal about his wife being a shield was all a damn lie, so why did they say it in the first place so mugs like us would believe them, and unfortunately a lot of sheep have eaten that patch of grass and it’s gone down nicely. Do you really think a man who has evaded the Americans for such a long time was living in mansion all these years? The guys comes from a very affluent background, if he had love of this world as is being claimed he wouldn’t have given that up to live as a wanted man in Pakistan/ Afghanistan. Question: Osama bin laden praised 9/11 but he’s not the only Muslim who has praised it. H never said he did it did he. Fact is they don’t seem to know who did it. I don’t believe Muslims had any part in it. One mans freedom fighter is another mans terrorist. The likes of Blair, Cameron, Bush and Obama will never be considered as freedom fighters to me, they just appear as their ancestors’ colonisers, and dictators under the guise of democracy, forcing their way of life on countries

that don’t want it. Helping those countries where they can gain benefit in the form of oil usually, and refusing to help countries even though there is ample bloodshed coz they have nothing to gain i.e. Mugabe? GHOST: Im with you on this one, I never killed any Yankees, but I get damn happy when they are hit by a cyclone, hurricane or a couple of airplanes. The war needs to be taken into their own back yard. That is when their eyes will open and force their administration to change their foreign policy and stop killing civilians abroad and shedding their blood like its water. The people who shed blood the world over are there because THEY elected them. YANKEES GO HOME! THEREVIVAL ED: I can’t for the life of me understand why any educated Muslim will have any support or sympathy for Osama. For a guy who openly praises the mass killing of 9/11 of innocent men, women and children and says the killers are ‘martyrs’ who will go to Jannah- it can only mean he is evil, totally lacks any understanding of Islam, is a crackpot or is simply a wannabe-terrorist. The Quran states to kill one human being is to kill the whole of mankind; there’s many ahadith on how precious the blood of humans is, how mistreating a cat a lady was sent to hell, how the Prophet (pbuh) mentioned the best Muslim is from ones hand and tongue one is safe, the biggest sin in sight of Allah (swt) after shirk is murder etc. Let’s be clear: 1. to say it’s ok to kill innocent people/civilians and is not Haram then that is refuting the Quran / Sunnah and leads on to Kufr. 2. To carry out these acts but accept its wrong/ Haram is major sin but not Kufr. Now Osama fits in the first category as he promotes/blesses and celebrates the killings of 9/11. So my humble view is that he is misguided, enemy of Islam and Muslims, totally corrupted in his understanding of Islam and has nothing to do with us. Now that apparently he has died we should make dua for him and leave it to Allah. What U.S. does, foreign policy, Obama, bush etc no matter how wrong they are nothing can justify promoting and praising mass killing of innocents like 9/11 and other events. So to the Osama sympathisers- forget the media and the west...look at Islamic teachings and it is crystal clear what Osama stood for and supported was totally against Islam. His causes may be genuine but his application was wrong.

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