ISB Campus North
We had our latest Campus North meet up on Sunday 1st March! Tessnim’s mum, the lovely Auntie Noha, very generously allowed us to meet in her home and prepared a delicious meal for everyone. We started the night with Maghrib jamaat followed by brief introductions to welcome the new faces, and also a reminder about upcoming ISB events, including the Love Actually masterclass and the summer residential.
Aliya delivered a beautiful reminder on the importance of compassion, especially to oneself and treating yourself with the same kindness that you would a stranger. We were then given the task of brainstorming ideas as a group for an informational leaflet titled “15 things that Islam means to me”. We managed to come up with some insightful contributions, including social justice, community cohesion and human rights, especially women’s rights – values that differ vastly to the media’s portrayal of Islam.
In the next exercise, we split into groups to read and reflect on certain ayahs of the Qur’an and pick out commandments and discuss their meanings. We found that many commandments in the Qur’an go beyond surface level, and we shouldn’t just focus on things like beard length and whether there’s hair showing in your hijab. Instead, we need to think about morality and self-development and becoming a kinder person.
Finally, we had a talk from Uncle Reza on the meaning of righteousness and the importance of being true to Allah and having conviction in the Hereafter through actions as well as your beliefs. He also touched on the importance of familiarising yourself with the structure and meaning of words in the Qur’an and putting them into context to obtain a better understanding of the message. We ended the night catching up and enjoying delicious home-made food by Auntie Noha and look forward to our next meet up in Ramadan InshaAllah!
Another great meet-up on Saturday 1st February! We attended a talk by Ahtsham Ali discussing Islamic Perspectives on Homosexuality. Here's a review from one of the Campus attendees, Nihal:
An open ended discussion exploring the practice of homosexuality through the ages, the opinion of the Abrahamic religions and ultimately establishing the Islamic perspective on homosexuality and it’s place in Muslim society today.
Overall, the talk was a compassionate discussion and evidence based evaluation with authentic sources to establish the Islamic position on homosexuality. Which, unsurprisingly was complex.
What I found poignant, was the speaker’s efforts to dismantle homophobic misconceptions and persecutory ideas often perpetrated under the facade of Islamic ideals. This was done by assessing the evidence base, which was found to be lacking.
Rather, there was a deliberate emphasis on upholding other core principles of Islam, such as the inclusivity and compassion of our religion, as the speaker highlighted, Islam is not exclusively reserved for the sinless.
Ultimately, Allah tests whom He loves, to strive against a desire for His sake is to strive towards a greater reward.
The talk both enlightened and cleared many misconceptions regarding the Islamic perspective on homosexuality through a systemic, evidence based discussion whilst simultaneously striking compassion for a people struggling to align facets of their identity.