Best Friends Forever

Jul 15

“And Pooh said to Piglet: ‘Life is so much friendlier with two.’ – courtesy of AA Milne. We all need friends. I have 520 of them. Many of them write prolifically to me in Bahasa Indonesian, a language of which I don’t speak a word.  Of course, these are ‘’Facebook’’ friends, a relatively new concept in friendship where we publicly accumulate quantities of...

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The time of our lives

Jul 15

In Alice in Wonderland, the White Rabbit memorably sings:  ‘’I’m late / I’m late / For a very important date. / No time to say “Hello, Goodbye”. / I’m late, I’m late, I’m late’’ In reality, there’s only one very important date, occurring at a time which we cannot choose. This is the time when Muslims believe all human beings...

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A Fiery Message

Jan 20

In just the first four months of 2011, Japan experienced an earthquake and tsunami; New Zealand suffered an earthquake, and China endured a devasting hailstorm. Flash floods swept through parts of Australia, mudslides wreaked devastation in Brazil, and tornadoes rampaged through Iowa in the US. But for many of us, these countries are far away – surely, nothing can...

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The material world

Oct 30

One of the enduring images of the UK’s recent riots must be the looters queuing to try on stolen trainers for the right size. The riots that were sparked off by a sense of injustice quickly spiralled into a frenzy of destruction and consumerism.  Shops that were targeted were those that sold those ‘must-have’ items – mobile phones, fashionable clothes, the...

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Charity begins at home

Aug 30

It is Ramadan again: the month to take our level of spirituality to a higher level; the month to make time for extra remembrance of God; the month to complete extra Quran reading; and – of course – the month to perform extra prayers alone and with others, at home or in the mosque. However intense private devotion is not the only way to increase our connection to...

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Mad about Madrasah

May 30

I have taught in madrasahs for 10 years. But for years I could not bring myself to call it a ‘madrasah’. For me – and for so much of wider British society – that word conjured up too many negative images. Images of children being taught about waging war against infidels. Images of rote chanting of the Qur’an combined with collective head-swaying of small...

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