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Rising Above Social Issues in 2016

Scroll down for an interactive timeline of articles focusing on some of the important issues affecting society in 2016

The last year we witnessed major historical events both internationally and domestically. This past year at Islam21c we sought to bring information, guidance and solutions to our readership during these tumultuous times and helped address the social struggles we face as Muslims in the ‘modern day’.

Aiding our Ummah

Perhaps most impactful the world over in 2016 was the mass slaughter and suffering of the people of Syria and their subsequent fleeing from their war-torn land. The migration of Syrian refugees was discussed amongst all platforms and we saw it used as a political tool and a scaremongering tactic. As one of the most defining issues of this century we are not giving migration the importance that it deserves. Dr Uthman Khan discussed the Migration Myopia affecting us as a civilisation. He reminded us of the words of the Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam);

“You see the believers as regards their being merciful among themselves and showing love among themselves and being kind, resembling one body, so that, if any part of the body is not well then the whole body shares the sleeplessness (insomnia) and fever with it.”[1]

and highlighted the lack of European dignity and indeed decency in addressing this crisis. As such, he encouraged us not to be guilty of the same debasement. His words were reiterated by Amera Farooq who wrote a compelling piece on our responsibility towards refugees. Following a story on a Reverend opening her parish doors to refugees, we reflected on whether refugees are more welcome in churches than in our mosques.

In her article we are reminded of how the Anṣār welcomed the Muhājirūn with open arms and Allāh (subḥānahu wa taʿālā) praised their brotherly love in the Qur’ān:

“Allāh has forgiven the Prophet, the Muhājirīn and the Anṣār who followed him in the time of distress.’[2]

Protecting our Children

Our duty of aiding and protecting those in need was made ever more present in our eyes this year as we explored the vulnerabilities of children in our society. Dr Izzadeen Chowdhury illustrated the horrors of paedophilia writing,

Firmly the door shuts. Footsteps draw closer. Your body stiffens as fear overtakes you. Frozen, he grabs you. Sobbing silently, you pray for this to be the last time, knowing it probably will not.

Unspeakable. Tragic. Horrific. Adjectives often used in the press, yet all combined not enough to underline the utter loss of innocence suffered by victims of child rape.[3]

In his article, Paedophiles Beware of Inescapable Justice, he discusses the cases of Lord Greville Janner and the father of Poppi Worthington, reminding us of the guaranteed punishments of evil-doers in the Hereafter as described by the Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) and in the Qur’ān, and emphasising,

Muslims must never be fooled with the thought of someone getting away with an injustice, for that is all part of Allāh’s plan. To be caught, shamed and punished in this life is a far lighter retribution in comparison to meeting Allāh on the Day of Judgement with the burden of that sin still on one’s neck. Allāh’s justice will prevail over all evildoers, including Muslims who carry out any injustice.

Injustice, especially towards those who are vulnerable or under our protection, is abhorrent in Islām, and we have all heard the verse,

“Whoever kills a soul it is as if he had slain mankind entirely. And whoever saves one – it is as if he had saved mankind entirely.”[4]

And yet, there is much controversy and lack of knowledge when it comes to the lives of the most vulnerable of creation; our unborn children. Khadeejah Aabid Syed writes a comparative religion article discussing Abortion Through the Eyes of the Abrahamic Faiths. In it she delves into the nuance of the controversy and the approaches Judaism, Christianity and Islam take to the life of a child in the mother’s womb. Her insightful article outlined the care we must take in ensuring we commit no injustice and protect, as far as possible, the rights and lives of our children.

Dr Uthman Lateef later added to this discussion by exploring the vulnerability of our children throughout their lives. He highlighted the silent killer in our society; bullying, writing on how our children are being bullied to death.

His article gave practical tips to the victims of bullying, the bystanders who witness it and those parents who suspect it.

Individual struggles

We can be of no help to those around us if we cannot first help ourselves. This year at Islam21c we explored the struggles of the individual in society; the physical, psychological and social ills that plague us, and we gave advice, tips and motivation to overcome these to become the productive, proactive Muslims we should all strive to be.

Amera Farooq started off with encouraging us all to Get a Hold on Obesity, a problem that affects 61% of the British adult population. This was followed by Ismael Abdela’s article on the question of belonging and his exploration of how Modern Life is Destroying our sense of identity, community and spirituality. We learnt Five Rules for Beating Procrastination in Mohammed Ibrahim al-Shafi’i’s article in the hopes of achieving in our lives as Muslims, getting our priorities straight, hastening to success and overcoming our obstacles. Ahmad Chaker Jomaa further encouraged us to Rise Above Your Fear, reminding us that Islām is not for those who hide from responsibility.

“The world is full of evil” Islām tells us, “here is how you can change it.”[5]

Scroll down for an interactive timeline of articles focusing on some of the important issues affecting society in 2016

February 8, 2016

Paedophiles Beware of Inescapable Justice

Paedophiles Beware of Inescapable Justice Firmly the door shuts. Footsteps draw closer. Your body stiffens as fear overtakes you. Frozen, he grabs you. Sobbing silently, you pray for this to be the last time, knowing it probably will not. Unspeakable. Tragic. Horrific. Adjectives often used in the press, yet all…Read More

February 11, 2016

Sh Haitham in Defence of Sharia Councils

In the name of Allāh, all praise is for Allāh, and may His peace and blessings be upon His final Messenger Muhammad sallAllāhu ‘alayhi wasallam. Over the last century Muslims have become an indispensible part of the landscape of the United Kingdom. The successful integration of Muslims in the UK whilst…Read More

February 18, 2016

Protect yourself from mutilation after death

Know that the heart of the man who is engrossed in this world and is given over to its vanities and harbours love for its appetites must certainly be neglectful of the remembrance of death. Thus failing to recall it, when reminded of it he finds it odious and shies…Read More

March 2, 2016

Migration Myopia

For as long as people have resided on Earth, migration has been a major driver for historical change.[i] Migration towards the ‘developed’ world was a growing trend in the 20th century,[ii] and many receiving communities became increasingly alarmed. Then came the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Arab spring, all of which do…Read More

April 3, 2016

Abortion: Through the Eyes of the People of the Book

  “Whoever kills a soul it is as if he had slain mankind entirely. And whoever saves one – it is as if he had saved mankind entirely.“[1] All three Abrahamic faiths share the idea that life is sacred and that a person’s life should not be taken. However, the…Read More

May 8, 2016

Hillsborough – a story of carnage, cover ups and corruption

Few would have anticipated that a sunny Saturday afternoon in Sheffield in 1989 would have ended in English football’s greatest ever disaster. On the 15 April, thousands of Liverpool fans marched towards the Leppings Lane End of the Hillsborough stadium for the FA Cup semi-final against Nottingham Forest. Little did…Read More

May 19, 2016

Unisex Toilets in Schools – The New LGBT Battleground?

The humble toilet; a place of privacy, a place of personal grooming, and a place to relieve yourself. Well, not for many schools inspired by the LGBT movement. A number of schools that have undergone new build programmes or are planning to do so in the future are taking the…Read More

May 23, 2016

Getting a hold on obesity

ʿUmar b. Al-Khaṭṭāb (raḍiy Allāhu ʿanhu) once met a man with a protruding stomach. When he questioned about it he answered that it was a blessing from Allāh (subḥānahu wa taʿālā). ʿUmar (raḍiy Allāhu ʿanhu) corrected him by saying that it was, instead, a ‘punishment’ from Allāh (subḥānahu wa taʿālā).…Read More

August 10, 2016

Finding our ‘tribe’ in a modern world

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…Read More

September 6, 2016

Five Rules For Beating Procrastination

Procrastination is the result of a “domino effect”. Imagine you wish to build a house. However, you constantly wonder what colour curtains you’ll place over the windows. You start debating with yourself about every prospective problem and every prospective failure: “Will my spouse like my choice of curtains?”, for example.…Read More

September 7, 2016

Rise Above Your Fear

Hands up if you feel like the world is about to end at any minute. Worry not, you are probably not alone. The times we live in are chaotic and the world around us seems to get darker every day. Watching the news has become a surreal experience, as we…Read More

September 20, 2016

Are Refugees More Welcome in Churches than Mosques?

Refugees welcome here! The Guardian newspaper recently ran a story about the Reverend Sally Smith,[i] a vicar from Stoke-on-Trent, hailing her as a present-day Good Samaritan. The vicar is indeed worthy of such praise as she has wholeheartedly welcomed refugees into her parish and into the Christian community. She has…Read More

September 26, 2016

The Playboy Hijab

Playboy: /ˈplāˌboi/ noun noun: playboy; plural noun: playboys Support Islam21c in 1 min. Choose your donation:*SingleMonthly DonationA Single Donation*£30£50£100OtherOther amount* A Monthly Donation*£5£25£50OtherOther amount* Helps complete development and release our brand new website where all the above happensHelps run National Khutbah days with 100s of Imams reaching 100,000s on Jummah…Read More

October 4, 2016

Why I am against grammar schools

Meritocratic Society or Politics in Play? On the 12th of September 2016, PM Theresa May unveiled plans to lift the near 20-year ban introduced by Labour in 1998 against opening new grammar schools. Plans not initially present in the 2015 election manifesto, May’s idea has been met with considerable opposition…Read More

October 10, 2016

Our Children; Bullied to Death

It was in the winter of 1967 when a young, bespectacled boy named Steven Shepherd left his home and walked in heavy rain to strawberry fields in Newburgh, Lancashire. The fields were important to Steven. Some months prior, Steven had an unusual and momentary break from a sequence of abuse, physical…Read More



[1] Sahih al-Bukhari 6011, Chapter: Being merciful to the people and to the animals

[2] Al-Qur’ān, 9:117


[4] Al-Qur’ān, 5:32



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