In society today we sees people around the world celebrating days such as: world women’s day which is then shortly followed by a day to acknowledge women in their role as mothers. 

Whilst recognition for women is a good thing in itself, the fact that we need to have a day to mark the importance of women in society and to highlight their many struggles is a sad indictment of the world in which we live.

Women are the bedrock of society, they are daughters, sisters, mothers, and grandmothers. They are doctors and engineers, teachers and nurses, leaders, and pioneers in every field. To reduce this, by singling out just one day to acknowledge their contribution to society and all of the struggles they have faced and continue to face, quite often just for basic rights, is not Islam and not from Islam. Islam gave women these rights and the honour and status they deserve over fourteen centuries ago.

Sadly however, Islam is often attributed with being oppressive to women, with the hijab (Head cover) and niqab (face veil) the prime indicators for this incorrect label. Muslim women are seen as subordinate to Muslim men and thought to be subservient to the males in their families, be it their spouses, fathers, or brothers.

The truth couldn’t be far more removed from this. In fact, it is Islam above all other religions that gives women a high status and rights that other societies have only just acknowledged so many centuries later. This includes not only financial rights but the fundamental right of life, for the Prophet Muhammed peace be upon him was sent at a time when baby girls were being buried alive. Islam came to prevail over the barbaric practices and great injustices of the time. Islam is a religion of justice not of equality. Each and every person has a role to play, and each is entrusted with rights and responsibilities that they are answerable for to the highest authority, that of their Lord Allah Who will not let something even as small as the size of an atom be missed from their record of deeds

“So whoever does good equal to the weight of an atom (or a smallest ant) shall see it; And whoever, does evil equal to the weight of an atom or a smallest ant) shall see it.‘ (99.7-8)

There are so many great women in Islam, some of whom we will discuss in another article in shaa Allah (God Willing), they are revered for their intellect, their chastity and strength, They were honoured and respected and never belittled nor taken advantage of. Whether as mothers, daughters, or scholars, they were given rights, and declared sole owners of their own wealth, with rights of inheritance and maintenance, which so many are still battling for today. This was over fourteen centuries ago, and without a single protest movement or struggle.

This is one of the many reasons why so women are turning to Islam.

Every stage of a woman’s life is given its due importance and mentioned in the Quran and Sunnah, as an infant; when the mother of Maryam (Mary) realised she had given birth to a baby girl whom she put into the service of her Lord Allah. As daughters; the Prophet Peace be upon him, mentioned the importance of raising daughters or looking after one’s sisters and the reward for doing so by saying, Abu Sa’eed Al-Khudri narrated that; the Messenger of Allah said: “Whoever has three daughters, or three sisters, or two daughters, or two sisters and he keeps good company with them and fears Allah regarding them, then Paradise is for him. (Jami` at-Tirmidhi 1916)

As spouses, the Quran mentions that women should be treated well and the Prophet peace be upon him said;

“The best of you is the one who is best to his wife, and I am the best of you to my wives” (Sunan Ibn Majah 1977)


Then, as Mothers, we are reminded of the great debt we owe to the one who gave birth to us, whose rights over us are so much greater than that of our fathers. 

The Prophet Muhammed Peace be upon him was asked “Allah’s Messenger, who amongst the people is most deserving of my good treatment? He said: Your mother, again your mother, again your mother, then your father, then your nearest relatives according to the order (of nearness)” (Sahih Muslim 2548b)

Mothers are not just treated well on one day out of the year, they are honoured every day of the year and granted the status of being the key to paradise for their children.

Today’s blog is written by a very special friend of mine. She is a White British revert and has been a Muslim for over 14 years. Sarah inspires me in every single conversation I have with her. It is her sincerity for wanting to be better and her genuine gratitude for being a Muslim that I love. She is a quiet, reflective, inner peace and calm type, whilst I’m a reflect then talk and talk and get over-excited type!

Sarah has overcome many tests mashaAllah by keeping close to Allah swt, and to her husband. She is doing an incredible job of raising amazing children; so when you read this know that it comes from a place of wisdom.

As salaamu Alaikum…

Ramadaan for me I think has always been a little difficult. Since becoming a Muslim many years ago…that feeling of being incredibly hungry but wanting to feel a sense of peace and connection…and not always achieving it…not until my own children started to want to fast. 

The past few years have been incredible for me, watching my children have a desire to fast the month with us, watching them grow, taking them to taraweh was when I really felt Ramadaan. Not just physically, but spiritually and emotionally. 

Having little family traditions that will live within them forever, praying together, abstaining from food and water together, learning together, growing together was the real highlight for me. 

Last year my eldest daughter said to me that she had her best ever Ramadaan, she felt that she had attained a real connection with Allah and really benefited from her fasting and all of the ebadah that she had done – may Allah accept it from her and from all of us aameen. 

Of all the struggles that we go through as reverts these moments of connection with Allah and our children are the things that I’m eternally grateful for. 

May Allah allow us to reach Ramadaan and make it our best yet!!!



Once you experience that connection with Allah swt and that sweetness, you will find that He gives you so much strength in continuing through all of life’s struggles. Allah swt is surely the giver of ease, the most gentle, loving and most powerful. That sweet moment will keep you going just to taste that sweetness all over again. You will have the strength to get through everything because you know Allah swt is with you in every moment. Nothing else matters.

May Allah swt bless Sarah and all her family, Ameen.

Today I would like you to read a reflection written by brother Anish, 44, London.

What stood out to me in this blog is the determination, the step-by-step journey, the knowing attitude that ‘I am doing this for Allah swt and it is good for me’.

I took my shahada in the late summer of 2002, it was roughly 8-10 weeks before Ramadan. I was steadily learning about my new faith and I had kept it a secret from my family. Coming up to Ramadan, I had decided to disclose the secret to my parents, as I believed that the shayateen were locked up during this month, therefore it would soften the blow somehow. I decided to leave some Ramadan and other dawah material in my room, hoping my mother or my sister would see it, again, hoping it would not be a surprise when I tell them.

Building up to Ramadan I could sense the anxiety in my Muslim friends and not many of them were practising Muslims. Therefore, my initial anticipation of Ramadan was that it was going to be a ‘scary’ and arduous time.

As soon as maghrib of Ramadan set in, I felt instantly different. Fear turner into tranquillity and I was feeling suddenly connected to the masjid. I had probably visited the masjid on less than 5 occasions in the preceding 3 months. I remember praying esha and tarawih that night, then readying myself for the next morning.  My friend gave me a timetable to follow, alluding to the start times and finishing times is all I need to know.

I woke up early the next morning, forcing myself to eat my suhoor and pouring all the water down my throat. Then made my way to the masjid for fajr, I had planned to go to work straight after. No one warned me that liquids do not stay in that long and what goes in equally comes out. Nearly had an accident on the way to the masjid, just about made it in time.

The day was extremely difficult, I was constantly looking at the clock, waiting for 4.40pm. There was even a free lunch (feasts in those days) from the medical sales rep at work on that day. I was not that bothered about the lunch all I wanted was my bed. I have never tried harder to stay awake in my life. Looking back at it now, it was not even that long of a day. I still think to this day, this was my most difficult fast. Maghrib eventually came and I broke my fast, water and a cheese sandwich had never tasted so nice up to that point in my life. 

I felt like a sense of achievement finishing my first fast. The feeling did not last long when I looked at the time table and saw the other 29 days on the calendar. Boy, how was I going to go through this month? My emaan was still under development at that moment in time and the thing that kept me going was, If I missed a fast with no valid reason, then I would have to fast 60 days.  

The next day came along and I repeated the routine, crossed off another day on my calendar. Again momentarily feeling a sense of accomplishment till I saw the remaining days left on the calendar.

For some reason, I thought it was the ‘fajar jammat’ time was the starting time, so I would eat and drink up to that point. I nearly did that for the whole month till I was corrected.

Then some days into the month, my parents confronted me, why was I waking up so early and where was I going so early in the morning. Eventually, I told them about my conversion and I still remember the look on their faces. I was expecting an angry, upsetting confrontation. But what I received in return was confusion and puzzled faces. Naively thinking, that was not too bad after all, felt enormous relief, Now I could tell the whole world, this does not have to be a secret anymore. The next few months and years were very different after the reality had kicked in.

Ploughing through the days, going to the masjid in the evening, it became an easier routine. I had managed to keep all the fasts which was a great relief and a sense of joy at the end of the month. Armed with this sense of achievement I believed I could accomplish anything. Soon I dropped my smoking habit where I failed numerous times before my first Ramadan.

I hope you enjoyed this read as much as I did. Having to plan how and when to tell your parents that you are a Muslim is daunting, if not stomach churningly terrifying. The learning of how to fast, figuring out timings of suhoor, the difficulty of working, clock watching, and yet, despite all of this, being overcome by such an overwhelming sense of achievement at the end of the day –  Subhanallah. Brother Anish has truly touched on so many realities. He has inspired me with his love and determination for the deen, his achievements and sheer willpower.

Please share your comments and make dua that Allah swt increases our brother in emaan, gives him good in this world and the next, Ameen.

Assalaam’alaykum, It has taken me some time to write this blog as I have been moving house. My head was overtaken by carpets, paint and walls being knocked out. Alhamdulillah, I’m in a new house just in time to begin Ramadhan.

I couldn’t write until I had my ‘moment’. My ‘moment’ is that time of pure sincerity and concentration, you know, the one moment where you can say without a doubt that you focused entirely on Allah swt. Ashamedly sometimes that moment lasts only 3 minutes but honestly, it is the best 3 minutes ever. It gives you a boost, a recharge and the will to continue! For me, it was in fajr salaah after Suhoor this morning.

I had this desperation in me, this plea with Allah swt: Ya Allah it is You I need and You I seek help from, please please Ya Allah guide me to the straight path, not the wrong one where I will cause You to be displeased with me, pleeeeease.

Often in life, I do not know if I am doing the right thing, making the right decisions. Often in life, at key times like Eid, Ramadhan and yes even the old celebratory days like my birthday, I find myself completely alone. I have learnt that in those times I have my strongest ‘moments’ and so I have learnt not to dwell in self-pity or cry (too much). Instead, I have come to understand this is part of a plan and is good for me.

Alhamdulillah, I can only say it is through my several 3-minute moments in life that I have found Allah swt to be my best friend. He is always there, and always comforts me. SubhaanAllah, I tell the truth when I say that sometimes after my moment a friend will call and invite me round, or knock on my door or sometimes it is just an immediate ease of the heart.

More recently I have learnt how to be grateful at times when I’m low, not only at easy blessed times; that was difficult! I have trained myself to temporarily but politely block out people or situations that will make me sad, and then focus on all the good around me. That might mean you speak less to people, why? Because sometimes when talking to others you will talk about your problems, reminding yourself with sadness constantly on your tongue and heart. Whereas taking some time out and making yourself busy can help with that gratitude mindset. Give yourself a ‘pick me up’, it is amazing! Recognise your own behaviour patterns and know when to go quiet for a little while in order to give yourself that positivity boost.

Saying all that, my friends are brilliant too. Alhamdulillah. I always say to reverts – find a pious circle of friends, not just one or two. I can’t rely on two friends, they will get burned out with the amount of love I seek off them. I have an entire family and extended family to replace! I am now blessed with an entire family and extended, made of pious friends. Alhamdulillah.

So back to my suhoor, this is what it has looked like for the past 3 years: I have my tea and toast, large glass of warm water, I sit on the floor with my back against the radiator (which has been timed to come on 30mins before my alarm to get up) my feet are pressed against an American style fridge freezer (recently featured in a post by brother Saleem from GLM who helped the house move), the view to my left is the beautiful night sky, the moon, the view to my right is my front door – not much to say about that! The sound whilst prepping food is Qur’an and whilst sitting to eat it is a short video by Sh. Yasir Qadhi / Sh. Omar Sulayman / Sh. Ahsan Hanif – any of the short daily Ramadhan reminders. I am perfectly alone – just me and Allah swt. I love it. The stillness. I can concentrate, I can feel, really feel the atmosphere and the spiritual side. It is my favourite part of Ramadhan.

So, this Ramadhan if you are alone, if you are struggling to connect to Allah swt, if you are looking at others who have family, if you have a deep sadness – find your moment. Find your moment with Allah swt and make Him your best friend. Aim for gratitude. It is hard, I know. When you’re sad it doesn’t come easy, but try…just try, and keep training that mindset. Have an iftar with friends. The prophet (peace be upon him) advised us to surround ourselves with pious people for a reason. There is no room for shyness when you are trying to improve your deen and become a stronger person, so don’t be shy in needing others sometimes.

Life is a balance; at times you need to be alone to reflect upon Allah swt and at times you need to be with people to keep you smiling. Take this Ramadhan as your ‘moment’ with Allah swt – train yourself and set that goal. The outcome? You will learn to rely only on Him.

Allah swt says in the Qur’an: ‘Is Allah not sufficient for His servant?’ (39:36).

To conclude, I have asked others to share their Ramadhan reflections this year, so I will be posting them in due course (once I’ve unpacked some boxes, oh I forgot to mention my first suhoor in this house this year – alone obviously, surrounded by boxes, wiring, the fridge was not in a comfortable position and the radiator was covered in plaster dust – still amazing though alhamdulillah). Please look out for Ramadhan Reflections and share widely! Let’s spread our message.

Have a blessed Ramadhan.

In light of recent domestic abuse cases, in this week’s blog I want to share a diary entry I wrote last October. The name of the sister has been changed but the events are very true – toned down if anything.

It was 9:30 in the morning. Asiya and I bumped into one another in Morrison’s. A quick morning school run – shop, turned into a catch up over fish & chips and hot chocolate; not my breakfast of choice, but a craving Asiya had been having for weeks during lockdown.

After some pleasantries of conversation, Asiya started to delve into the pain that sat so openly on her sleeve. My throat was swelling and not allowing the food down. The food looked fresh and smelt good, yet my brain was sending signals of disgust, sadness and anger which was preventing me from raising a chip to my mouth.

Her face was bright, smooth and clean, yet her eyes tired, worn out and sad. An enigma? No. It was that all too familiar large smile accompanied by sad eyes. I always say, ‘the greater the smile, the greater the pain it hides.’

Asiya became a Muslim in her early 20s. After fleeing for her life from a violent, abusive husband (not Muslim), she took her three children to safety and began a new life as a Muslim. Disowned, ostracised, ridiculed and shunned by her family, she was left entirely on her own. She married soon after, believing a Muslim husband would provide her with all the Islamic responsibilities the Qur’an and sunnah teach. Yet what was to unfold was a secret first wife, anger issues, neglect, being used for intercourse and the list goes on.

“He [Muslim husband] ripped my niqab off in the street and threw a few punches. A couple of weeks later I knew my baby had gone. I could feel it. It had died inside me. I rang the midwife to tell her and they agreed to scan me. I didn’t tell him; there was just no point. Soon after, I was alone in hospital giving birth to my 6 month-old dead baby. My mother-in-law was sending me nasty messages even then.”

As Asiya continued to describe events to me, I tried to imagine her life: ‘”I was lying beaten on the kitchen floor unconscious. My 6-year-old daughter dialled 999, saving my lifemy family never asked about me…he never gives me my rights, his mum treats me like rubbish, in the bedroom all he wants …” I can’t bear the scene. I tightly close my eyes, take a deep breath, and open them. “I work five days a week to financially support my children, alone.”

In my mind I see my friend cooking for her eight children, I see her doing the school runs and I see her alone reflecting upon the absence of family. I recall her recent WhatsApp status yearning for her father. Her father. It touches a deep wound within me. I need to stop listening. I will cry. I will break down. I cut in abruptly,

How do you do it Asiya?” I asked with these words, but she understood my question actually was – “How do you not give up? How are you not drowning in stress and depression?” I think I was annoyed with her for allowing all this to happen. Frustrated.

I looked straight into her eyes, desperate for some hope, something that told me she was alright, something that told me I would be alright.

She looked straight back into my eyes, paused for what felt like forever, then said,

“Allah made us survivors Haniya. He made us survivors.”

I stared as her eyes suddenly beamed. From every angle light shone from her. Her smile was beautifully wide, her eyes beautifully beaming. In perfect harmony. I saw pride, she was proud to be Muslim. She didn’t have to say the words. I could see her justice and hope was with Allah. I could see it in her eyes and her smile.

Now I saw a woman who never let her deen down, who clung to Allah swt. I saw a strong Muslim woman.

“Allah made us survivors” I smiled. I ate some chips.

By no means do I endorse putting up with any form of domestic violence.

There is a narration that a group of women (some say up to 70) approached the Prophet peace be upon him, to complain about their husbands beating them. He immediately called an emergency meeting to address the issue. This shows the severity of such cases and the need for the community to act. We learn that it’s clearly permissible for women to discuss these problem and that violence should never be kept hidden. The Prophet (peace be upon him) respected women to a high degree. In fact, he was known for his excellent conduct with him family: “The best of you are the best to their families, and I am the best to my family.”

A man who abuses his wife is violating the teachings of the Qur’an and Sunnah. Our Prophet, according to his wife Aisha ra, did not strike a servant or a woman, and he never struck anything with his hand. (Muslim). He was a man of mercy, gentleness and compassion. He said, “How does any one of you beat his wife as he beats the stallion camel and then sleeps with her at night?” (Bukhari)

For the sisters who are suffering, know that Allah swt is watching over you. He swt is making note of every pain and ache you feel on your body, in your heart and your mind that never rests. Allah swt is Al Adl – the most Just. Every action will be accounted for and given its right in the hereafter.

We are all tested in this dunya, even once accepting Islam, Allah swt will continue to test us so we continually turn to Him. You may have sabr through this particular test and know what works best for you, or you may see that tests and sabr come in the form of standing up to oppression and removing yourself from it. Either way, I am certain Allah swt is the best Wali and the best guardian for you. He is your relief and the One who will open doors. I urge you to forever hold on to your salah and trust that Allah swt will grant your ease.

Asiya is an incredible woman. She has much happiness and much stress and understanding that this world is temporary, she marches on collecting good deeds along the way. She has very close friends that support her, children that protect her and her Lord that soothes her heart. I showed this piece to her and her words were “Can’t believe you thought my life worthy of this, may we be neighbours and sisters in Islam forever, Ameen.” – jazakillahukhayr my very desi friend, chai and samosa at yours soon!

May Allah swt grant you all gardens and palaces of eternal peace, Ameen.

Join Revert Reflections Blog this Ramadhan by writing a short piece about your Ramadhan.

Whether it was last year, your first ever Ramadhan or upcoming, share your thoughts and experience with the aim to inspire others.

Islamwise are collating your Reflections now, in hope to release them in Ramadhan.

You do not have to be a writer! You only need passion to help others.

  • Approx 300 words
  • Brothers and sisters welcome
  • Anonymity welcome

To share your reflection please email: haniya@greenlanemasjid.org or visit

If you or someone you know needs support, please do Contact Us.

Assalaam’alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatu.

This is my first blog post, so please let me introduce myself; I’m Haniya.

I have been Muslim for about 12 years alhamdulilah. I come from a Sikh background. Everyday reality – I am a mother, wife and friend. In my dreams – I am still a daughter, sister, niece, cousin and grandchild.

Alhamdulilah many reverts are strong in their faith. They have fixed their roots, found, and adapted to their new Muslim identity, formed families and may even have their own non-Muslim family supporting them. 

My blogs are for reverts who may be struggling. My aim, by seeking Allah’s (swt) help, is to help every revert reading this, to be strong in faith and character. Forgive me if I fall short!

Today is International Women’s Day. I thought of a million topics I could write about, Women in Islam, Women’s Rights in Islam, Role Models and many more. But I paused in my tracks and took a turn. How do I reach out to revert women all over the world, in a way that they won’t already know; by a scholar, have access to in a masjid or a YouTube talk? How do I reach into hearts to say, “You are amazing. Allah is enough for you.” [Hasbunallahu wa ni’mal wakeel…find the definition yourself and stick on the most busy place – fridge!]

Well, I concluded my first blog should rightly be about the heart of a woman… our lifeline.

For some reverts we lose our families, face rejection and loneliness in various forms. We may struggle in marriage and have no one to turn to. We might be single mums with a head that just won’t stop hurting and nights that lead too fast into another lonely day. We might yearn every day for our father, for our family and for one last party with our friends! Yes, it is true we yearn for a party! [Just don’t do it please, I will explain in another blog]

This can leave our hearts so fragile, so vulnerable and in honesty, like there is a gaping hole – an empty space where once lay so much love.

I ask you to trust me now. 

That heart had to break for light to shine through it. That light is your faith. Fill it with Allah (swt). If you don’t fill your heart with Allah, it will be filled with other wants, for example you will persistently seek other people’s love, validation and acceptance. Never finding it though, because humans are not perfect, one day someone will let you down and you will be in pieces again. Is this the ‘Independent Woman’ you dreamt to be?

Your true strength and independence is from the One who created you, the One who truly wants best for you, the One who will forgive you repeatedly (yes repeatedly), no matter how big your sin, who will love you unconditionally. Turn to Him. Trust me. 

There is no one who will ease that loss better than Allah. Know that it is also Allah that will send you the right people, to make you smile and enjoy life.

How? I hear you asking… “How do I get close to Allah?” “It won’t happen, I can’t do it”. 

Keep calm. Deep breath, it’s all good. It is a training process –

Firstly, that negativity, recognise that is the voice of Shaytaan, not you. Accept this exists. Seek refuge in Allah.

Secondly, positive affirmations “I believe in Allah and His prophets. I am a firm Muslim.”

Third, keep learning about Allah, who He is, His existence, His mercy, His names (a good place to start).

Fourth, Islam encourages your strength! Islam encourages you to be super woman! There’s a sister out there in her pyjamas crying on the floor because her life is rubbish right now, screaming, “I am not strong, I am useless, I am a rubbish Muslim!” – Oh, wait that was me a few years ago. My point being – it is just a phase, you will recover, life will get better. Trust me, I wear the t-shirt.

Fifth, visualise the woman you want to be, have a goal.

Let’s do this together. One step at a time. We can do this. Have more of the ‘Survivor’ attitude, well more than survive, love life for all its ups and downs. Be sure, that after hardship comes ease. With hardship comes ease, if you go into prostration to Allah, believe me one day you will cry for that sujood – “I miss those days I was so hurt yet so close to Allah.”

My great revert sisters, converts sisters or like I like to be known, ‘Muslim sister’, be hopeful, your heart will be so much more content with hope and it is from our faith to have great hope [Check out Surah Yusuf. Amazing lessons.] Do not allow anyone to diminish your hopes. You will get what you seek, so if that’s nothing or negativity then that is what you will get…the Law of Attraction I believe. Seek greatness. Seek Allah (swt). Seek a super strong you.

This is a blog, it is meant to be short, so I better stop typing.

Have a fantastic week, be strong. Smile lots.


As a new Muslim, Valentine’s day can be a bit of a challenging holiday to deal with. As February begins, we start to see our surrounding environments filled with giant teddy bears, heart shaped chocolates and red roses. Our online environments are also bursting with videos, gift ideas and discounts for Valentine’s day. All of this can be overwhelming to take in, and difficult to avoid.

Every new-Muslim reading this will have a different relationship status. Some may be single, some may still be in relationships that began before reverting, some may be engaged, and some may be married. No matter where you find yourself, the key thing to bear in mind is that you are making choices that will nurture your Iman and bring you closer to Allah (subhanahu wa-ta’ala). When holidays like this come round, it’s important that we stop a moment to reflect on what they truly symbolise and represent to us as Muslims.

‘So, who’s your Valentine?’

At school, work and on the TV, conversations bounce between light-hearted statements and flirtatious jokes about Valentine’s day. Growing up in this environment, we become immune to the varied themes of conversations and events that take place around us that are essentially of an un-Islamic nature. It’s just a joke though, it’s not really a big deal…right?

The history and commercialism surrounding Valentine’s day both promote ‘love’, which can stoke feelings of desire and lust in the unmarried, which can lead to immoral behaviour. In the Quran, Allah (subhanahu wa-ta’ala) says,

‘Say, “My Lord has only forbidden immoralities – what is apparent of them and what is concealed […]’ (7:33).

In Islam, all forms of immoral speech and actions are prohibited. Following this principle protects our morals, honour and chastity. To compromise this principle would be a dishonour and disservice only to ourselves.

More worryingly, the holiday has origins in the Roman festival of Lupercalia, held in mid-February. The festival, which celebrated the coming of spring, included fertility rites and pairing off women with men by lottery. At the end of the 5th century, Pope Gelasius I replaced Lupercalia with St. Valentine’s Day. Evidently, Valentine’s Day has very strong pagan origins and traditions.

As Muslims who have submitted to God (Allah), and guide our lives through the Quran and Sunnah (the way of the Prophet, peace be upon him), what does Islam say about this?

One relevant historic incident that helps to guide us in this regard is when the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) came to the city of Madinah. At the time they commemorated two festivals from their pagan traditions so the prophet (PBUH) enquired about these days. He (peace be upon him) then said:

“Allah has replaced them for you with something better than them. The day of al-Adha and the day of al-Fitr.”

This hadeeth explains to us that non-Islamic festivals have been replaced for Muslims by the two Eid celebrations (al-Adha and al-Fitr). The hadeeth also helps to clarify our stance towards all other commercial and religious festivities such as Christmas, Easter, Valentine’s day and Halloween etc.

Ultimately this holiday can result in harmful and forbidden (haram) things such as wasting time, singing, music, extravagance, unveiling and free-mixing. The lustful tone behind this holiday encourages immorality that cannot be excused by the simple claim that this is a form of entertainment or fun. The sincere Muslim will always seek to stay away from sin and the means that lead to it.

So even though at times it can become tempting to take part just for the fun of it, as Muslims we must remember to always protect ourselves. When our environments both inwardly and outwardly begin to feel pressured, we can turn to prayer, as Allah (subhanahu wa-ta’ala – glorified and exalted be He) says:

‘Recite, [O Muhammad], what has been revealed to you of the Book and establish prayer. Indeed, prayer prohibits immorality and wrongdoing, and the remembrance of Allah is greater. And Allah knows that which you do. (29:45)

Allah mentions in the Quran that He (swt) can forgive all things, but He will not forgive the act of shirk – associating partners with Allah. Shirk is the greatest and gravest of all sins because it negates Allah’s greatest right, which is to be singled out in worship. As Muslims this is the essence of our Iman. For this reason, ensuring that we stay away from practices of shirk is the difference between achieving paradise or hellfire.

With Christmas upon us, it’s important that we remind ourselves of the spiritual risks associated with partaking in the season’s festivities. Besides the theological disparities, the celebratory aspects alone pose a number of difficulties for practising Muslims. Keeping away from office parties where there will be alcohol, and avoiding seasonal greetings can be hard. It can be an awkward time for Muslims who try their best to find a balance between being polite to their colleagues and neighbours, while also protecting their faith. 

Equally, it can be challenging to sit down with little children who just want to write to Santa, or have a few sparkly things in their home, to explain why we can’t take part in these celebrations.

Christmas not only commemorates the birth of Isa (as) but for Christians, the birth of Isa (as), Christ, as God himself. This is of course antithetical to our principle belief of God as One who begets not, nor is begotten.

“And they say, ‘The Most Merciful has taken (for Himself) a son.’ You have done an atrocious thing. The heavens almost rupture therefrom and the earth splits open and the mountains collapse in devastation – that they attribute to the Most Merciful a son.” 

Many of us know this, and will therefore acknowledge that we must stay away from celebrating Christmas. It may come as a surprise however that the aspects of Christmas which seem most fun and harmless, the aspects that often skip our attention, are exactly where sinister elements of Shirk are imbedded.

As we walk past some of the ‘Santa’s Grottos’ in shopping centres, it can feel quite saddening to see many Muslims integrating into the practice of having their kids sit on Santa’s knees and tell him what they’d like for Christmas. The parents take pictures as they watch, and the children look giddy with excitement as they climb onto his lap. But what’s wrong with that? Isn’t it just a bit of fun for the kids during the holidays?

Well, admittedly, the persona of father Christmas is now more of a commercial figure than anything else. If we dig deeper into his character however, we find that our concerns lie in the ‘powers’ that Santa supposedly has. In popular Christmas carols, children unknowingly repeat verses in which they affirm that Santa is essentially all-knowing, omnipresent and aware of who has been ‘good’ or ‘bad.’  In Islam, such attributes are unique to God alone. Attributing the powers of God to anyone else is to make that person a God, and to make a partner with God, which is what we call Shirk.

You see, Islam is very clear about God, and who God is. This is what differentiates Islam from other faiths. The concept of God, His Names and Attributes, His Abilities, His Role as The Creator are all well defined and unchangeable. These are qualities which are unique to Him, and belong to Him alone. Our concept of God has not changed over time. Our core beliefs are based on how God in described by Himself in the Qur’an, and in the teachings of the prophet Muhammad (pbuh). So while it may be easier to just give in to our children’s wants, we must make sure that they too know with certainty who God is, and isn’t. We must empower them with the confidence, knowledge and character to respectfully adhere to their beliefs, and also abstain from those things which will potentially harm their faith. With an increased awareness of God’s names and attributes, we can all better appreciate who He is, and why He alone is deserving of such qualities.

He is Allah, other than whom there is no deity, Knower of the unseen and the witnessed. He is the Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful. He is Allah, other than whom there is no deity, the Sovereign, the Pure, the Perfection, the Bestower of Faith, the Overseer, the Exalted in Might, the Compeller, the Superior. Exalted is Allah above whatever they associate with Him. He is Allah, the Creator, the Inventor, the Fashioner; to Him belong the best names. Whatever is in the heavens and earth is exalting Him. And He is the Exalted in Might, the Wise.
(59: 22-24).

We are excited to tell you about a new initiative that we are launching.

Our New Muslim Mentoring groups. These groups will aim to provide support, knowledge and advice to our new Muslim brothers and sisters.

We will be initially launching one group for brothers and two for sisters, with the purpose of helping them on their journey.

If you have recently taken your shahadah, or are a revert who wants to go over the basics again please get in touch by contacting info@islamwise.org.

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