The First Time Back on The Road…

Two months to the day that habeebana Tehseen left this world, I got back on the road, and started travelling again. I am going on a short tour of Asia in regards to a number of the Mercy Mission projects I am currently involved with.


From the outset the trip is one that I was not looking forward to simply because of the travel. Leaving somewhere on Sunday afternoon and arriving on Tuesday morning, I am sure is a prospect many of us would find at best daunting. But nevertheless as I set off, and began the journey, I just reflected on the enormity of the privilege Allah Subhana had given me. Not only did I have the life to even make the trip, but also Allah subhana was putting to my service all the conveniences of modern travel, an A380, laptop for the journey, access to business lounges as I crossed the world, and not a single problem with where to pray (even though the time is very difficult to work out sometimes!). This reality has made the trip so much easier as I left my parents and wife and child in Amaanah.


Brothers and sisters, it is something that I recommend us all to do more, and that is truly reflect on the bounties of Allah. Sure, we are all human and have a moan about X and Y, but by Allah, we are some of the most privileged people walking the face of this planet. Those of us living in the West, find the world at our feet, and as such we must make better use of our time. As per the advice of our habib,


“Take advantage of five matters before five other matters: your youth, before you become old; and your health, before you fall sick; and your richness, before you become poor; and your free time before you become busy; and your life, before your death.” 


We must find the people of khair in our localities and cling to them to be of those that used their time well and can be raised in a most beautiful manner on the great day. Wherever you live you will find a people or person who can get you the shade of Allah, so seek them out, embrace them and go and win the pleasure of Allah, as per the hadith of Bukhari, ‘There are seven whom Allah ill shade in His Shade on the Day when there is no shade except His Shade: a just ruler; a youth who grew up in the worship of Allah, the Mighty and Majestic; a man whose heart is attached to the mosques; two men who love each other for Allah’s sake, meeting for that and parting upon that; a man who is called by a woman of beauty and position [for illegal intercourse], but be says: ‘I fear Allah’, a man who gives in charity and hides it, such that his left hand does not know what his right hand gives in charity; and a man who remembered Allah in private and so his eyes shed tears.’ 


This advice is primarily to myself, as I was moaning about the Australia trip only until I started it and realized what an ungrateful soul I was to moan. I wonder how much those that have returned to Allah would give to again travel in his path in Dunya?


Allah forgive me and give me strength.

With Hardship Comes Ease..

With Hardship Comes Ease…


This weekend was a bizarre one. A time of many lessons and too many ayaat of Allah being realized in front of my very eyes. My wife, may Allah have mercy on her, gave birth to our first child. And through the trauma that precedes the arrival of a new born, I was able to reflect on the blessings of Allah and the reality of so many of his verses as I witnessed the arrival of my daughter. Having been blessed with a docking station for my iPhone in the delivery room, and being able to play the Quran through the 11hour experience, moments of clarity came upon us as a mercy through the whole encounter.


For the purposes of this post, I just want to reflect on some of them:


Verily, in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest. (Qur’an, 13: 28)

As we witnesses the miracles of human birth, it was clearly a very difficult time. However, as the ayat of Allah played out in the room, there was a bizarre tranquility. As we listened to Mishary Al Afasy and Saad Al Ghamadi in the room, it allowed us to focus on the enormity of what was happening and the FACT that Mrs Kidwai was definitely able to successfully deliver our child.


Allah does not burden a soul beyond that it can bear… (Qur’an, 2:286)

Ultimately this was the biggest reminder and the guiding hand through the whole labour process. And every time there would be a sense of unbearable pain, this ayat came upon our lips, and a sense of calm returned. It was truly humbling for ourselves to be blessed with the desire and the tawfique to have these ayat in our mind and our ears, and inshAllah was a lesson for the non-Muslim nursing staff; may Allah guide them all.


We relate to you, [O Muhammad], the best of stories in what We have revealed to you of this Qur’an although you were, before it, among the unaware. (Qur’an, 12:3)

Truly the value of the Quran shines through its stories. I remember how much comfort we took from listening to the story of Maryam. You could escape the modern and excellent facilities that we were in to imagine our beloved Maryam (AS) situation when she was giving birth to Isa, Alayhisalam. As she sat with just the trunk of a tree, and we had the best of facilities, it was an awesome reminder of the blessings of Allah upon us.


Verily, with every hardship comes ease” (Qur’an, 94:6)

Finally, literally one month to the day, that my habeeb, Tehseen returned to Allah, my daughter came to this world to provide some distraction from the massive chasm in my life. wAllahi, it has been the most difficult time in my life, and the last few days with the coming of my daughter have proven a distraction I needed from the massive sorrow in my heart.


These are just some reflections from an amazing weekend, and I pray Allah gives us all the Tawfique to come closer to his book. A final thought to leave you with, that as I walked away from the borth center, I had a massive urge to call my habib, even though he had left this world. And in the end after I wiped my tears, I decided to call his father instead, and share my news with him, and I did so remembering the words of Allah,“The Mu’minoon are but a single Brotherhood.” (The Holy Qur’an, 49:10)

GhafarAllahu Abu Ubaydah

So, its been a week or so, since I relaunched this blog, but have struggled to find the opportunity to write here again. Its been very difficult to say the least as had a monster week last week with AlKauthar duties, and then we had a massive course on the weekend. But there were many lessons from the weekend which forced me to make some time for this today.

Life is short guys and I know we have all come to feel that even more with the loss of our habib, Abu Ubaydah. Nevertheless, how we use it, is something that is more important than the time we get in the first place. Consider those that have a long and old age, but leave this world with very little. And then look at those who lead a very short life, but it is one that is full of benefit for the individual and the world around them.

On Saturday morning I arrived at 0700 at The Hilton in Bradford, and over the next 2 hours I saw three hundred people file into the main hall there in anticipation of the acclaimed, Prayer Makes Perfect course from AlKauthar. The course on the Fiq of Salah which was sold out, was full of lessons on life not only for the students who came to benefit from the knowledge but also for the organisers on the importance of having Himmah and confidence in Allah.

Approximately two years ago, a discussion had occurred on the need of launching AlKauthar in the city, and at the time Abu Ubaydah had been adamant, that we should launch in the city, and have tawaqul that if we seek to raise the name of Allah, he the Most Wise, would bless it and the city would become a leading city and hundreds of people would come at a time to learn the religion. At the time some of us, including me, had no doubt about that, but were unsure if Bradford had the correct demographic. Over the weekend we saw the true weight of having 100% tawaqul in Allah, as the city of Bradford finally reached the milestone it awaited; to be a sold out city, alhamdulillah. The city has steadily grown over the last couple of years and reached the milestone on the back of a team, who have only one purpose; to have the optimal number of people learning about the religion of Allah at their hands. Can there be anything more powerful in this world than an inspired believe? Surely not.

Brothers and sisters, life is short and as such its critical we live it in a way that pleases the creator and serves the needs of the creation. When one makes the pleasure of Allah ones purpose you find every challenge in life bows its head to you. Serving Allah without fear and complete confidence in him should be our modus operandi and once we make it that, we will find the world become an easier place to navigate. Consider the story of Imam Ahmad and Abul Haitham.

When Imam Ahmad was being led to the ruler’s court to be whipped over his firm position that the Quran was NOT created despite him being pressured to make the statement. Imam Ahmad began to entertain the thought, that maybe he should agree with them in public, even though he didn’t believe it in his heart? Ultimately one of the purposes’ of the shariah is to preserve life, so surely avoiding torture would be a valid excuse to make a false statement. He genuinely feared torture and as such began to seriously consider this.

As he walked, emerged a man, Abul Haitham, and he said, ya imam, if you look at the records, I am the most whipped person in the city. I have been beaten 18000 times, and that is because I am a thief. I follow shaytaan and fulfil my desires and am willing to face the whip for that pleasure. Now consider yourself, you serve Allah and you follow his messenger, you should not fear the whip as you are on something so much better. Stay firm and stay on the truth.

Imam Ahmad was humbled by this and from this stayed firm on his belief and the consequential punishments and as such made it his practise to make dua for this Abul Haitham and thus was known to often say, GhafarulAllahu Abul Haitham.

Brothers and sisters, keep your convictions and confidence in Allah and all will be good, and join me in making dua for our habeeb, GhafarAllahu Abu Ubaydah, who has taught us so many lessons in his living and dying.


“If a man loves his brother, he should tell him that he loves him.” [Abu Dawud]



Abu Hurayra reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Allah Almighty will say on the Day of Rising, ‘Where are those who loved one another for the sake of My majesty? Today, on the day when there is no shade but My shade, I will shade them.'” [Muslim]


This is an amazing hadith, and one that excites me every time I come across it. One of the main reasons why I take so much benefit from this hadith and really love it, is when you reflect on it you cannot help but reflect on the true greatness of Allah Subhana. It must make you ponder on just how amazing Allah is, and how truly he is the Most Merciful by the fact, Allah, the lord of the Worlds rewards you for simply taking one of the greatest pleasures of this world, and that is the love of one another!


When one loves a person for the sake of Allah, they truly find themselves taking from the pleasures of this world. A true friend really has no price, as every single trial they make it easier and every happiness they make it happier. And therefore, when one has such a friend, its difficult to see why would Allah reward you for this, as the love that is at the heart of that relationship feels like a blessing enough. Nevertheless, truly Allah loves his slaves, and made Jannat for them to enjoy. We know there will come a time when we will face our reckoning, a time when our own parents will turn their backs on us and the sun will be so close it will be unimaginable, and yet amongst this hysteria we find there will be a people who will escape it, and who are these? Well amongst those are simply those that loved for the sake of Allah, subhan Al Malik.


Allah truly is Al Karim, the Most Generous.


As you know in recent days, I lost my habib, Tehseen, and I have been pondering on inshAllah, when we will be reunited, and I just ask Allah it is in Firdaus Al Aala, with the Prophet, Upon Whom Be Peace & Blessings and his as’haab. And only today, I had a call from an old friend about a dream he had last night, and it was amazing to hear and really made my day. He said he saw Tehseen and I at the Kaaba together and our Shaikh, Ibrahim Al Fouzan, Hafizullah Wa’ra, was also there.


It was amazing to hear this, as truly the three of us loved for the sake of Allah when we were together and I just ask Allah to unite us in such amazing circumstance as the brother dreamt.


I think the point of the post is brothers and sisters, never lose hope in the mercy of Allah, and truly love one another for his sake, your dunya and akhira will truly be the better for it. And if you do love someone for Allah’s sake, do yourself a favor and remind them of it…


Anas reported that a man was with the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, when a man passed by him and said, “O Messenger of Allah, I love this man.” The Prophet said to him, “Have you informed him?” He said, “No.” He said, “Inform him,” and he caught up with him and said, “I love you for the sake of Allah.” He said, “The One for whom you love me has made me love you.” [Abu Dawud]

One of Us Arrived At The End of The Road…


Salamalaykum Warahamatullahi Wabarakatahu

inshAllah you are all well.

I guess its weird writing here, as its literally been a few years since I was here. What brought me here? One word, Nostalgia. As you may have heard, this journey that I embarked upon in 2008 with my habib Tehseen Khan, has taken a major hit, it has lost my partner, my friend, my brother, and part of myself, it has lost Abu Ubaydah Tehseen Ali Khan. 

On Sunday 3rd February he returned to Allah after a long fight with Cancer, mashAllah he was patient through the whole battle with his tumour, until Allah finally took him back after expiating him for much time. 

I have spent the last week fighting back the tears and trying somehow to come to terms with losing what seems like to be own soul, and in that process someone sent me some of my own advice from several years ago from this very blog. This prompted me to come back here and to start writing again, and inshAllah share some of my thoughts and observations like I used to. I may have lost much of my inspiration and my co-writer, but inshAllah have a commitment to continue to call to good. I will inshAllah be joined now and again by a guest, a dear friend, and companion of Tehseen’s and mine over the last few years. Saj. Give him a warm welcome guys.


So here we are, its good to be back, and I leave you with some advice from my former co-writer, Tehseen Ali Khan Rahimullah Ta’la: 

What Is All The Fuss About? And What Can I Do???

There is a place which is a truly blessed place on this planet. It is:


  1. Home to The Second Masjid On Earth, Which was First Built By Adam, Rebuilt by Ibrahim With Is’haaq. Redeveloped By Da’ud, Completed By Sulayman, and after many years of being occupied by the enemies of Allah, it was retaken by Umar
  2. It is home to the place where the messenger of Allah tied the buraaq to as he went to meet his lord
  3. It is from where the Prophet went to the heavens to meet his lord.
  4. It is from here that Prophet Muhammad Lead All the Prophets in Prayer


And is this true nobility which forces me to speak about this place here today, as despite recent times bringing to Muslim lands, earthquakes, floods, the disaster in Ghazza is the hardest to bear, on that most blessed land. The monumental events which this Ummah is currently living through though, should serve as a reminder for us all, and that being to return back to Allah and his religion, and when we see the tragedy of Ghazza, this must seek to do one thing only, to inflame our determination and ambition. We Must Be Hopeful For What The Future Holds And What Will Emerge!


The great history of our Ummah is a testimony to this, as we find when we examine when the Muslims have had to struggle through difficult situations, through this they have reflected and rekindled a hunger for Islam.



The bloody events, tragic scenes; murder and destruction in such a barbaric manner from a people who do not have any feelings of humanity or mercy is a tragedy which makes one’s heart shiver and ones eyes flood with tears. Yet our brothers and even sisters, still challenge their occupiers with their rocks and stones, they meet the tanks with their sling shots, and they meet the weapons of the richest army on the planet, with their hands raised up to the king of the planet, the king of kings, Allah Subhana.


And therefore I ask you now, join them in that, and ask Allah to give them the strength they need to meet their enemy. This religion of ours is a practical one, and thus the biggest and best weapon you have is dua, so use it. As they use their weapons, you use yours & ask the Creator to have mercy on them.



In recent times we have heard some Muslims, make a strange call for peace talks even now. Despite our brothers and sisters standing firm with their leadership, we find people sat here from the luxuries of their housing, calling for the Palestinians to back down even from their efforts to protect their honour, in favour of peace talks. My dear brothers and sisters, what kind of peace can be expected from a people who keep no trusts or covenants?


Therefore if you are guilty of such thinking, think again. The Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam said, as narrated by Abu-Moosa, may Allaah be pleased with him: “The example of the unity of the Muslims is like the example of a single structure, its parts strengthening and supporting one another” (Bukhaari & Muslim). And therefore for you is to stand with them, united.

They, Al Yahood, Lanat Allah, Alay, have diversified their methods of committing crimes and massacres; and by doing so they are continuing their disgraceful history which is full of outrageous acts, betrayal, treachery, evil and lies. After all these are the people who kill their Prophets, so is it any surprise they have no value for Ahmed or Khowla, Muhammad or Khadija, or any single Phalesteeni?


They are committing massacres every day and they are deliberately seeking to humiliate the Muslims, and most of all, to destroy the will of the Muslim nation and its hunger to struggle on.


But this is far from the truth; the Palestinian Muslims have indeed set an excellent example and produced heroic personalities, they insist on struggling on and not surrendering – despite the massacres and the hundreds of martyrs that have emerged from these, regardless of the thousands of injured, the countless hostages and the complete siege which is currently surrounding all their cities and villages; despite all of this, the Phalesteenis will continue to insist that there will be no surrender, and this is truly something noble my dear brothers and sisters. These people of ours, may Allah preserve them, are truly ayaat from Allah Subhana, and their resistance a true evidence to the ayat of the Quran, when Allaah says;


أَنتُمْ أَشَدُّ رَهْبَةً فِي صُدُورِهِم مِّنَ اللَّهِ

that which translates as: “You [believers] are more fearful within their hearts than Allaah …” (Al-Hashr: 13).


And therefore we need to respect their position, honour their strength and learn the lessons of how to live upon the advice of ‘Umar, may Allaah be pleased with him, like they do, as he said: “Do not fall short in your ambitions, because I do not know anything that prevents people from achieving might and power more than not being ambitious.”


Therefore my dear brothers and sisters, I stand here, and say, that inshAllah this struggle will continue, and the battle between Truth and evil, will continue, and inshAllah, like in the past, something truly amazing will emerge from this.



The history of Islam is a testimony to the fact that during such difficult periods from this nation emerge great people. Anas bin Maalik, may Allaah be pleased with him, narrated that the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam said: “The example of my nation is like that of the rain, no one knows whether its beginning is better or its end.” (Ahmad, Tirmidhi & Ibn Hibbaan).



And this is because, as the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, said: “Allaah continues to bring from this nation devoted people whom He uses in His obedience.” (Ahmad, Ibn Maajah & Ibn Hibbaan).


These events are predestined and decreed upon our nation so that it may wake up, realise the message that it should be carrying, and unite it’s ranks all under one banner, the banner of laa ilaaha illallah Muhammadun rasoolullaah. It must do this with sincerity and commit to ensuring its sovereignty, and do so without depending on the enemies of Allaah for support. Allaah says;


يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِن تَنصُرُوا اللَّهَ يَنصُرْكُمْ وَيُثَبِّتْ أَقْدَامَكُمْ


 that which translates as, “O you who believe, if you support [the religion of] Allah, He will support you and plant firmly your feet.” (Muhammad: 7).


The wisdom of Allah is great, and as he is the Most Just, put your

faith in him, and only him, and prepare for the solution to come. We must be confident, and we must never be helpless. The Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam said: “Allaah narrowed the earth for me and gave me the ability to see the east and the west (i.e., of the globe). The dominion of my nation will reach all that which Allaah made me see.” (Muslim). 


Therefore we know the victory is with Islam, not just in the Holy land, but across the face of the planet, and all what we see come to us, is to prepare us for the challenges that lay ahead. Taking this religion to every corner of the world is something that is not easy and requires sacrifice, and much has been made to get here, and much more is required until the last day.


And as I stand here before you, on the member of the Messenger of Allah, an ayat from the Quran rings in my head:


يُرِيدُونَ لِيُطْفِؤُوا نُورَ اللَّهِ بِأَفْوَاهِهِمْ وَاللَّهُ مُتِمُّ نُورِهِ وَلَوْ كَرِهَ الْكَافِرُونَ


“And they wish to put out the light of Allah, and Allah will never let this happen, despite the disbelievers hating it” (As Saff, 8).


Subhan Al Malik, isn’t that what we see. When we see the Masjid Al Aqsa, the first Qibla of Islam, blockaded, when we see the Masaajid of Ghazza blown up, when we see the Muslim, children, women and elderly murdered before our very eyes, do we not see an effort to extinguish the light of Ar Rahman? By Allah, we see it, and then doesn’t this ayat, just bring comfort to your heart, dear brothers and sisters know that Allah will never let them fulfil their plan, no matter how much they hate it.


Dear brothers and sisters this is why we must be an optimistic nation, because faith and pessimism cannot co-exist. As we know the victory is with Islam, and thus how can we be pessimistic? To give up hope, is to give up on the mercy of Allaah, and surely that is from disbelief, as Allaah says;


إِنَّهُ لاَ يَيْأَسُ مِن رَّوْحِ اللّهِ إِلاَّ الْقَوْمُ الْكَافِرُون


 that which translates as: “… Indeed, no one despairs of relief from Allaah except the disbelieving people.” (Yoosuf: 87).



The current hardship in Philasteen is not the first and nor will it be the last; our nation has been afflicted by many adversities, some far harsher than what we are seeing in Ghazza today, yet our nation never gave in and continued to struggle and fight until Allaah granted it victory.


Therefore we as people of this city must too play a part in this struggle and take practical measures to aid the Muslims, and thus I present to you the advice of our Shaikh Saleh Al Munajid, Hafiz Ullah:



1. You have to make du’aa’; Ask Allah, and Ask With Conviction; Badr.


2. Collect charity and send it through trustworthy channels.

3. Support the weak and oppressed in all ways, including the media and the internet.


4. Ask the scholars, daa’iyahs, khateebs and writers to explain the oppression that is happening and the negligence on the part of the ummah, and to mobilize the ummah to defend the holy places.


5. Doing as much damage as possible to the enemies who are in a state of war with us, through boycotting their products and supporting alternatives.



And finally, I say it is critical that all this is reinforced by a general hope in the Mercy and Wisdom of Allah. The Muslims can never become helpless, and learn from the resolve of the Palestinians themselves, and take the words of. Ismael Haniya, Hafiz Ullah, who said three days ago;


“Whatever the cost, the continuation of the Israelis massacre will neither break our will nor our aspirations for freedom”


We must remember that Allah is the All wise, and thus if we don’t understand the situation, we should simply quieten and seek to improve our understanding. A most practical way to do this is to explore the history of this religion. As If one studies the history of the Muslim Ummah, we find the Ummah emerges from these hardships and overcomes its pain, indeed this pain acts as an energizer for the struggle to continue until victory comes.



This nation has been through ups and downs; its men became weak and were succeeded by a new generation of men who went on to make history. If our nation, which Allaah has honoured over all others, is seemingly week today, then history testifies that through weakness and its purification, greatness emerges & this is a great indication for the present time in which we are living.

When In Doubt?

فَاسْأَلُواْ أَهْلَ الذِّكْرِ إِن كُنتُمْ لاَ تَعْلَمُون

“If you do not know this, ask the followers of earlier revelation” [21:07]

My brothers and Sisters, as I watch the affair of the Muslims in Philisteen unfold, I am speechless. For those that know me, they will know this is something that rarely happens.


With that in mind, I refer you to the words of our beloved our Shaikh, Ahmed ibn Ajmi.


If you know Arabic, take 10 minutes and watch this, if not. Ask Allah to have mercy on your brothers and sisters in Philisteen who are returning to Allah, testifying to Taweheed, at the hands of the decendents of pigs and monkeys. Your brothers and sisters are paying the same price of Tawheed as the Salaf, the only difference is, when they turn around to see who has their back, they see nothing but the pleasure lands of Ahlul Arab, and no men behind them.


I ask Allah to give you, me, and the Ummah of Muhammad the tawfique to rise to this occassion, by all means neccessary.


Allah huma Ar Hamhum

Ya Qudsi Tunadeena….

Allaah has referred to Palestine as ‘The Blessed Land’ in many verses of the Quran. The Prophet Ibraheem, peace be upon him, left Iraaq for this blessed land and it became his adopted home where he would eventually die, in the city of Al-Khaleel, or Hebron. Allaah says that which translates as “And we delivered him [Ibraheem] and Lot to the land which we had blessed for the worlds [i.e., peoples].” (Al Quran, 21:71).

And this is the reality of the Holy land, that it is truly a noble place, and a place that Allah, the lord of the worlds, has raised in greatness on the face of the earth. With this in mind it hurts so much more to see the events unfold in the Gaza strip, in the very heart of the blessed land, where the prophets all gathered once to pray, now we watch mankind slowly being systematically exterminated. Under the banner of a war on terror, the world watches, men, women and children being slaughtered like cattle. From the elderly to the infirm, no one is to be spared in an endeavour to ironically undermine, the only democratically elected government of the Middle East.


However, what do you do, as you see the sacrilege of the concept of humanity unfold before your very eyes? What do you do as you witness the massacre of the innocent? What do you do as you see the stone thrown by a school boy reciprocated by an Israeli missile?

First and foremost, put at the forefront of your mind the words of Allah:
“That Allah will reward the people of Truth for their Truth, and punish the Hypocrites if that be His Will, or turn to them in Mercy; for Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (Quran: 33/24)
Then do not procrastinate and be proactive and doing something that will benefit your brothers and sisters in the blessed land. As you feel this pain, do not let helplessness overcome you, ever, as Allah Azzawajal is the all wise, and his religion and those that submit to it will prevail. However, what do we do? Do we suffice with shedding a tear? Do we suffice with protesting to those who fear the boy with the stone, the girl with the schoolbook or the child in the womb of his mother?

Safwan ibn Salim related that the Prophet, Upon Whom Be Peace, said:

"Anyone who looks after & works for a widow & a poor person is like a warrior fighting for Allah’s cause, or like a person who fasts during the day & prays all night." (Bukhari)

How many more widows & orphans will there be made today???

While you sit waiting for their number to increase, take three key actions immediately, as this religion of yours, is a religion of action;

1. Ask Allah to have mercy on the Muslims of Palestine and bring to justice those who are committed to taking the lives of the innocent. He is the one to answer your call, he is the one who in whose hands are the heaven and the earth, and he is the one who is the All Just.

2. Ask Allah to forgive you for the sinns you have sent forth which contribute to the corruption on the Earth.

3. Dig deep, and raise as much money as you can to send to the people of Al Quds; who at one time were the centre point of raising the banner of Monotheism across the world and now sit alone awaiting to be killed, one, by one. Feel free to do this via IslamBradford, or our identified partners for the Palestine appeal:

The key thing is do something, and do not let a moment go without seizing the opportunity. And as you do this remember to be just in your view of the situation, and always seek goodness and justice, and keep the words of Allah close to your heart;

‘O you who believe! Stand out firmly for Allaah as just witnesses; and let not the enmity and hatred of others make you avoid justice. Be just: that is nearer to piety’ 

Al-Quran; 5:8


“Are those equal, those who know and those who do not know?” Quran 39:9

“I have been banging a drum for so long that there’s a correlation between illiteracy and going to prison. Between 50% and 75% of all prisoners can’t read. You are looking at a prison population that’s upwards of 75% illiterate or semi-literate.”

Minette Walters. The


Now this statement by the best selling author, Minette Walters, should come as no surprise, and is actually based on good evidence available at Her Majesty’s Prison Service website. It actually makes complete sense too. An individual is unable to read, ergo function in the modern capitalist system, and then turns to crime to circumnavigate life and actually survive.



Poor literacy is actually rampant in the UK. The BBC’s Becky Woosey, reported that, ‘There are currently 67 million adults living the UK, 8 million of which are considered to be functionally illiterate.  Figures for this year show that this part of the UK adult population are unable not just to read and write, but also have an inability to locate, evaluate, use, and communicate using a wide range of resources including text, visual, audio, and video sources.’ This should be alarming, as when you reconcile it with the figures of the offender population it seems clear that illiteracy is a problem for us all. Illiteracy is a social issue for both the illiterate and the literate as ultimately both share the burden of the unlettered mind.



The unlettered person exists in a desperate situation in the modern society and is exposed to being used and exploited by society’s most deviant miscreants. And therefore it comes as no surprise why God in his infinite wisdom, revealed the first word of his final testament, The Quran, to be ‘Read’.



The first word of the Quran is ‘Iqra’, in English, Read or Recite, and this is something which really is of much significance. Why is it that God chose the first word of his final revelation to be that of Read? The apparent reasoning for this is the importance of the intellect, and the need to preserve it.



The intellect is something which must be honoured and society must provide the fertile ground for it to flourish as innovation is dependent on it. When one strolls through the corridors of history it is apparent the golden age of any people is, when they excel in education and the emancipated mind is the mind of the time. It comes as no surprise that when you explore the ancient Greek civilisation you find great minds like Socrates and Plato, when you revel in the progression of the Islamic empire you are forced but to contemplate the impact of Al Jazari’s Castle Water Clock or Serafeddin Sabuncuoglu Atlas to Paediatric Surgery, this is simply the testimony of history. Hence Okinitsu says, When You Learn You Earn!



Therefore it is essential that society pays attention to education and moreover encourages progressive thought. The Quran actually goes to the extent of making this an obligation upon both individuals and society, by calling for mankind to excel in contemplation and reflection and actually achieving understanding. Hence we find God Commands his Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) to pray for this;


“And say: ‘My Lord! Increase me in knowledge”

The Quran, Chapter 20, Verse, 114



Therefore the acquisition of knowledge is something truly important for both the individual and the society in which he seeks to operate. On an individual knowledge and education represent the keys to freedom, and on a social level they represent the keys to discovery and development.



Now this begs the question with both the spiritual and material cases being so strong, why is there so much illiteracy? Fine, we can understand that when the BBC report that there are nearly 1billion people on the planet who are functionally illiterate, much of these will be so due to no access to education and resource issues, but why here? Why here in one of the richest countries in the world? Why is it in Bradford there are still adults who are unable to read and those who are able to, from the adult population, there are some with a reading age of nine years old?



Not being a sociologist, it’s hard to provide the definitive answer. However being someone with an interest in religion it seems apparent that with the breakdown of religious observance, and consequently the reading of the manual to life that divine scripture represents, many people in society find no hunger to learn through their formative years. They find satisfaction in many a distraction until its too late and they have slipped through the system, henceforth it is not until they are entertained by the Learning and Skills Council at Her Majesty’s Pleasure they actually find a need to learn.


You, Him, Her and I all need to give knowledge a chance. We need to see why it is that God has placed so much an emphasis on the acquisition of knowledge. The Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) illustrate God’s love for knowledge, with his statement; “Whoever follows a path in the pursuit of knowledge, Allaah will make a path to Paradise easy for him.” This was a point that was clearly taken on board by early Muslims, as we see the Golden Age of Islam followed the revelation of the Quran, and we find a demise in the Islamic civilisation correlated with the decline of literacy in the Islamic world.



Knowledge = Emancipation of the soul and the purse, and therefore its something we should all seek to develop in. Many a people reading this will not go past reading such a magazine or the menu most likely sat on the table next to where this was picked up, and if your from those, here’s a tip, Read a Good Book! And once you have done that read another, listen to a lecture, and last of all just have a good think, and soon enough you will find the whole world around you just changed. Ibn Al Qayim Al Jawziya, a Muslim Theologian Who died in 1350 shared some advice on the seeking of knowledge which makes the whole journey easier, so if your just about to start walking the road of enlightenment using the knowledge flyover, consider his etiquettes of learning, it just may hold you in good stead;



Firstly: Ask questions in a good manner.

Secondly: Remain quiet and listen attentively.

Thirdly: Understand well.

Fourthly: Memorise

Fifthly: Teach

Sixthly: and it is its fruit: Act upon the knowledge



If we all did this, maybe just maybe, we could all help one another and improve access to education for all, and make sense of why it is God says in the Quran;


“And cooperate in righteousness and piety”

 The Quran, Chapter 5, Verse 2

Everybody Needs Good Neighbours….

“Anybody who believes in God and the Last Day should not harm his neighbour, and anybody who believes in God and the Last Day should entertain his guest generously and anybody who believes in God and the Last Day should talk what is good or keep quiet.”  The Prophet Muhammad, (Peace Be Upon Him) As Collected By Bukhari   

A 16 year old boy has admitted kicking a woman to death in a Lancashire park. Sophie Lancaster, 20, and boyfriend Robert Maltby, 21, were in Stubby Lee Park in Bacup, when they were attacked on 11 August 2007.Miss Lancaster died two weeks after the incident. She was in a coma after suffering head injuries and never regained consciousness. Mr Maltby, an art student, also fell into a coma, but recovered and has since left hospital.

This story was reported by the BBC on the 10th March. It is a story which sends a shiver down ones spine and represents an act of terror which is on the rise. Community based violence and crime is rising rapidly across the UK and West Yorkshire is no different, and they represent a senseless violence which is destroying neighbourhoods.

The Home Office recently reported, that 29% of young people said they had committed at least one act of antisocial behaviour in the previous year, and thus Young Offender Intuitions occupancy figures come as no surprise, with well over 10 000 people being in such rectification facilities, with the irony being the re-offending rate from these very institutions is running at 84%. 

Now if one is to analyse this situation, many causes could be identified, including low educational attainment, poor socio-economic conditions, gang culture etc. All of which are essentially complex factors requiring considerable resources to challenge. However, could there be a more micro-solution that could influence change from the very grass roots? Could there be a solution which empowered communities and generated the conditions needed for such behaviour to be negligible? Could there be something that every single individual could do which would enable a degree of utopian harmony to grace the streets of the most notorious of neighbourhoods?   

Now before you think this train of thought is actually a product of a brain injury itself, think for a moment, about the neighbourhood in which you live. And ask your self this? Do you know your neighbour or even the person living three doors away? Unfortunately the Urban life that many of us lead today means that we don’t. 

We live in warehouse apartments on Oak Lane, Bradford, and have never spoken to the person sharing the wall with us living next door, we are living in suburban Bingley with an awe inspiring 100ft turn lawn and have no idea who lives at the picked fence at the end of it. Welcome to the 21st Century as this is how most of us live. And the concern of me, myself and I, means episode’s such as the aforementioned story, horrific as they are, spend not more than a moment in our consciousness, that is until we are the victims. 

The implications of this are, we have no knowledge of whom we live with, have no concern for their concerns and have no involvement in their happiness and woes, consequently if they are afflicted by an social evil, we simply continue to ‘mind our own business’. And this attitude is what breeds distance between people, and eventually a lack of regard for them, their feelings and their lives generally. 

Now without becoming all sociological, how about if we took some good old friendly advice and began to honour the rights of our neighbours?  

The Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) Said, ‘when you prepare the broth, add water to that and give that (as a present) to your neighbour’. As Recorded In Sahih Muslim. 

Now maybe you don’t do broth, but the principle I am sure is one you can appreciate. How about if we all just took five minutes from our time and visited our neighbour with a nice freshly basked Madeia cake, or in Bradford, maybe a nice example of the, Dish of the Nation, Chicken Tikka Masala? 

Now this is not intended to be a Dr Martin Luther King; ‘I have a dream’ moment, but just a practical thought on improving relations in communities, with a view to breeding an awareness of one another, which God Willing, has an impact on the hearts and minds of people. As ultimately we are all neighbours to someone. 

As you maybe able to ascertain by the opening quote of the Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him), honouring Neighbours is deemed as an important element in social relations and development. The Neighbour in Islam is someone that is deserving of your honour and respect as goodness breeds goodness, and therefore harmony in the home breeds harmony in the brain, and ultimately breeds harmony in life itself.  

The point is, maybe we all just need to take a step back, and remember like we have neighbours, we are actually neighbours to other people. And if we actually treated our neighbours like we expect to be treated ourselves we maybe able to instigate a change which ripples from our next door neighbour, to our street, to our neighbourhood, to our community, to our city, to our nation. 

This is ever more likely to happen if we take an Islamic perspective to the neighbour, as in Islam, we recognise the neighbour to be as far as forty homes each way. Now clearly this type of definition would make the grand vision shared here easier, however even if you work with the more Eurocentric position, of just John next door, we can still make some headway.  

Rome wasn’t built in a day, but there was still a vision for Rome. Rome had principles and they were honoured, Socrates was willing to die for them, all that is being suggested here is, our neighbourhoods have some rights for peace, security and harmony, and maybe they could be honoured without the loss of life, but simply with a nice big cake with a cherry on top! 

This is no Jerry McGuire Memo after a bad slice of Pizza, just a few thoughts on moving toward safer neighbourhoods, based on inspiration from reading the words of the Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him). And contrary to popular opinion in the current times of his disposition, it seems befitting to finish with some of his own words, which not only reflect why it is God said in the Quran, that he was ‘Mercy To The Worlds’ (Quran Chapter 21, Verse 107), but represent some useful advice to all of us “Whoever believes in God and the Last Day should not hurt (trouble) his neighbour. (Collected in Bukhari)