Ismael Abdela

Ismael Abdela is an Anthropology graduate from the London School of Economics. He spent some years studying Islamic Sciences in Qaseem, Saudi Arabia. He is now a keen social entrepreneur. Ismael likes to write about spiritual reflections, social commentary and tafsīr. He is particularly interested in putting religion in conversation with the social sciences.
5 Articles

Rediscovering Beauty in Ramadan

12 Min Read

“Allāh is Beautiful and He loves beauty”

Finding our ‘tribe’ in a modern world

11 Min Read

Finding our tribe in a modern world: Questions on belonging Growing up in London, I felt fairly proud that I knew the neighbour to our right. To this day though, I don’t know the name of the Italian chap to the left, but at least we exchange friendly nods! Nothing ever happens in our area that needs a collective effort. Anything bad is taken care of by the police, or the fire department. Catastrophes, such as the recent failed coup in Turkey, Hurricane Katrina, or the Arab Spring, is when we see emboldened strangers band together independent of, or sometimes

#Mecca_Live: How Snapchat Rewrote Da’wah 101

13 Min Read

This year, I had the enviable fortune of being in Mecca on the 27th night of Ramaḍān. The atmosphere was electric and the recitation deeply moving. There is a secret heaven inside the heart of a believer, yet this must be the closest a believer will ever outwardly feel to heaven. I raise my gaze during a dedicated moment of tawāf and notice an assembly of excitable worshipers armed with iPhones. They were taking selfies from the rooftop. Snapchat was running a MeccaLive story. The global conversation that followed is the interest of this article. The architecture of worship in our

Relearning the Gift of Guidance

13 Min Read

In helping to found a charity startup, I found myself wrestling with new spiritual questions I was unprepared for. I was pulled to relearn the gift of ‘Islām’. The five of us launched our product with explosive success. It felt awesome at first, the crowds were cheering us on; we effortlessly surpassed all expectations. But then, very quickly, I felt empty. A very personal story was now being ‘commercially hijacked’ - I felt powerless to reclaim it. Refreshing the page and seeing an additional thousand pounds raised for orphans in Gaza was no longer fulfilling. It would only reinforce the

She found Islam at 81

18 Min Read She found Islam at 81 – Philomena I long cherish the day I met this woman as a redefining moment in my life. It was a cold morning in North London with nothing to look forward to besides the Friday sermon. It very quickly turned into a series of divinely orchestrated happenings that nobody could so perfectly organise besides the Lord of that day! Okay, slightly dramatic, but keep reading... The community is getting together to make this Eid special for her. Give towards it here Having only recently returned from abroad, I found myself in North London staying over at my Gran's