Jolly good of you to join me ladies and gentlemen! Ready to explore,I dare say.WelI, I shan't keep you in suspense a second longer,so off we go!
~Today's stop: The United Kingdom ~
The United Kigdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is a country in Western Europe. Usually known simply as the United Kingdom, UK or, inaccurately, as Great Britain or Britain, the UK has four constituent parts: England,Northern Island,Scotland and Wales.It has a population of around 60,270,708 (July 2004 est.).
~ Islam in the British Isles ~
There are between 1.5 million to 2 million Muslims in Britain today, mainly in the large metropolitan conurbations of London, Birmingham, Manchester and Glasgow. The majority are British-born with family origins in Pakistan, India and Bangladesh. There are significant numbers of Cypriot, Turkish and Yemeni Muslims, together with more recently settled refugees from Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Bosnia, Somalia and Albania. There are also a growing number of Muslims of Afro-Caribbean and European origin.
The mercantile and commercial links between Britain and the Muslim world stretch back a very long time. The first records of Muslims from Britain commence in the Sixteenth Century. By the Nineteenth Century there were Muslim Seamen's settlements in most of the ports of England and Scotland. There was also a transitory Muslim student population from the Colonies. However a significant British Muslim presence is comparatively recent, with its roots in the immigration of Muslims particularly from the Indian sub-continent since the 1950s.
The first recorded Englishman to become a Muslim was John Nelson, who converted to Islam at some point in the 16th Century,while the first Masjid in Britain is recorded as having been at 2 Glyn Rhondda Street, Cardiff, in 1860.
~The interview and all that...~
Masha Allah,from the 2 million Muslims in the UK,two sisters have agreed to join us and give us a little run down of Islam in their parts of the UK.These are busy ladies people,so please don't forget to remember them in your duas Insha Allah.
A hearty 'As Salaamu Alaikum Warah Matullah' to sisters Maryam and Sajeda.This is what they had to say...
Hidaya: Where exactly do you reside in the UK?
Maryam: The one and only: Leicester (Alhamdulillah!)
Sajeda: London, UK
Hidaya: How long have you lived here?
Sisters: All our lives.
Hidaya: In a few words, describe the United Kingdom
Sisters: Hmm, what to say… You've probably heard all about the weather here and its unpredictability.Sometimes it's freezing and raining in summer! One day it'll be hot, the next it'll be a rainy windy day ,so making plans for going out to the park or something in advance is no use sometimes, 'cos u never know what the weather would be like. You just take each day as it comes.
Places like London can get really congested.Buses are sooo packed that people stand most of the time in them, and like people run after the buses and jump on when they're moving!! (in London) Well Lesta,it has a more of a community feel.There are a lot of Muslims here... a great number our Masajid (like literally every couple of streets away there's a Masjid or a madaris). Our Islamic schools are also on the increase, with complete segregation of girls and boys
Hidaya: If there is one thing that comes to my mind about UK,its the accent (lol) and the notion that all Brits are' prim and proper'. Whats your comment on that?
Sisters: Hey we're not all boring people with a fancy accent! But yes,people from outside of the UK are always commenting on our accent... they seem to love it for some odd reason!
Hidaya: What do like best about your country?
Sisters: The fact that we can live here in relative peace without fearing real danger in our lives on a day to day bases unlike elsewhere around the world.
Hidaya: Masha Allah,that wasn't what I had expected to hear,especially from what I hear in the media about Muslims in the UK.What's your take on the 'Islamaphobia' prevailing in the UK ?
Sisters: There has been a lot more understanding of Islam especially post sept 11, people are not as ignorant as before. At first there was a lot of hostility, and even though there are still negative vibes from some,most of the it has died down Alhamdulillah.
Hidaya: What don’t you like about your country?
Sisters: The weather at times! But seriously, as we’ve lived here all our lives we’re going to be biased in saying there’s not much that we hate about this place.
Having said that, sometimes the ignorance displayed by the non-Muslims regarding the Muslims can be too much to bear. At times it's so difficult to exercise patience and try not to give a biting comment back to those who take pleasure in subjecting us to verbal abuse. But apart from that it's all good, Alhamdulillah.
Hidaya: Is Islam strong in your country?
Sisters: It depends and varies in accordance to towns/cites, and it also depends how a person is brought up. One who has been brought up in a religious family might say that yes Islam is strong, whereas a person who hasn't had such a blessing would probably say otherwise. But overall we think that knowledge of Islam and Muslims is gaining stronger by the Grace of Allah.
Hidaya: Why would you say so?
Sisters: Islam is growing stronger with the increasing number of people coming in to the fold of Islam in the United Kingdom. A factor, which illustrates the strength of Islam in our country, is the number of people joining Islamic courses and going to lengths to increase their knowledge in the field of Islam.
Hidaya: Given the current political situation in the UK, how are the Muslims keeping their ground and fighting to practise their deen?
Sisters: The Muslims and the Western authority are always engaging in discussions to raise Islamic awareness and to bring about an understanding of the rulings of Islam.
Thus generally, Alhamdulillah, we can wear the Hijab, pray Salaah at the work place and generally adhere to the teachings of Islam without much trouble… and if we are restrained to practise our religion then we do put up a fight ,as is the case with sister Shabina who was initially not allowed to wear the jilbab in school. She took the school to court and won her case, Alhamdulillah, which paves the way for other sisters to practise Islam freely in future Insha Allah.
The Muslims here do appreciate the fact we can observe our religious beliefs and practices without much interference. We know and hear of cases elsewhere around the world where Muslims are unable to practise Islam fully in its entirety due to the Government Laws and so forth. So we are grateful and thankful to Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’aala that we do not face the same predicament as those unfortunate Muslims all over the world.
Hidaya: Is Dawah work active in the UK?
Sisters: Yes, we'd say it is. Our Masajid and Tablighi Jamaat over here are doing a brilliant job in trying to spread Islam and also bring back into the fold of Islam those who have strayed. They are active in helping the youth especially when it comes to observing Islam in Western Colleges/Universities. Youth conferences, segregated lectures for men and women, educational Islamic courses for young and old, all of this is actively on the increase, Alhamdulillah.
Hidaya: What is the condition of the Muslim Youth in the UK?
Sisters: Again,it varies from town to town and city to city. It appears that youth are diverting away from Islam and some are growing stronger where the Muslim communities are strongest. This however is not always the case, it could be the company you keep and other factors which influences the condition of the Muslim Youth, it is difficult to generalise on the whole.
Hidaya: Post September 11,do you find that the Muslim Youth in general are afraid of expressing their Islamic identity or has this strengthened their faith and encouraged them to critically view their position as Muslims in society?
Sisters: In regards to most of the youth we have communicated with we would say that majority are not afraid to express their Islamic Identity, it has rather strengthened the faith of many as they themselves have witnessed the numerous number of reversions that have taken place, this has left many Muslims in awe that so many people are now interested more than ever about Islam and their inquisitions about Islam has made the Muslim Youth reassess their ground as Muslims in society.
Hidaya: What is the general relationship between The Muslims and Non-Muslims of the UK? Is there an awareness of Islam among the Non-Muslims?
Sisters: The relationship is fairly good and well maintained in parts of UK. Many non-Muslims are now more aware of Islam due to the impacts of devastation that have taken part and are still taking part,influencing them to read literature on Islam to gain a better understanding of the religion. The non-Muslims also communicate with their fellow Muslim colleagues, friends, neighbours, Islamic education Centres through whom they enquire about their concerns they hold.
Hidaya: Do you think that many of the Muslims of the UK are well informed about the state of the Muslim Ummah around our troubled globe?
Sisters: There are sufficient sources through which Muslims of the UK are well aware of the state of the Muslim Ummah globally as it is emphasised in talks again and again in Masjids, Islamic Education Centres, Media, and Internet etc. All in all, Muslims of the UK are well informed, however again it depends, as concerned Muslims will try to keep track through all the sources available, some choose to be ignorant of the state of Muslims around the world.
Hidaya: Do you think that the UK Muslims are active enough in taking a stance against the injustices committed against our brothers and sisters?
Sisters: We believe that UK Muslims are as active as they can be in a sense but people are lost as to what they can do to help. We can give money to help the victims of war, but can we stop these atrocities from happening? Insha-Allah, our duas are with the Muslims all over the world in whatever situation they are in… May Allah ease their pain and give them relief from their suffering,and may He reward them abundantly. Ameen.
Hidaya: What do you think the Muslims of UK can change to contribute to a progressing Ummah?
Sisters: We need to break all barriers that stop Muslims from uniting. We need to put our differences aside for once and concentrate on our similarities. If we are united then,Insha-Allah, we will be able to defeat all those who are subjecting the Muslims to unthinkable pain and suffering all over the world. As the saying goes ‘United we stand; Divided we fall’. All Muslims should wake up now and stop fighting against each other, in order to strengthen the bond of Islam in the UK and Worldwide.
Hidaya: What do you think that you, as a Muslim citizen of the UK, can do to increase the awareness of Islam in your country?
Sisters: As individuals and Muslim Citizens of the UK, we can increase awareness of Islam in the town or city we reside in by possibly Insha Allah:
- Working with the Islamic Education Centre closest to our place of residence.
- Becoming involved in deeni projects that take place near home in order to spread the word of Islam.
- Joining the Islamic committee at our academic institution.
- Partaking in organising talks by Shuyukh to take place in schools and colleges.
- Talking to the non-Muslims in our workplace or Universities and teaching them about our peaceful religion.
Hidaya: Last but not least-there are many people from all over the globe who are reading this,Insha Allah,what would you like to say to them as fellow muslim sisters?
Sisters: Our simple advice is no matter what happens and whatever you are going through, always remember Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’aala is there for you. Just take a few minutes of your time to pray to Him, and ask from Him anything you want. Allah will never let you down… always have faith in your Creator. And be strong as Muslims, steadfast on deen and do not let the ways of the West and non-Muslims influence you. You are a Muslim and that is the greatest ni’mah you have been blessed with… you have Iman, be grateful to Allah and forever thankful to Him. Show your gratitude to Him by trying your utmost to follow Islam in its totality and Insha-Allah you will be successful in this world and the eternal life hereafter.
May Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’aala give all of us the Tawfeeq to accept Islam fully and may He, who is so Merciful, forgive us for all our sins. Ameen. ~
Jazakillahu Khairan to our interviewees,may Allah give them the best of both worlds and shower his blessings on the Muslims of the UK.Ameen.
I hope you learned as much as I did.Watch the comments space for more insight into this fascinating country,Insha Allah.Remember...One God,one Ummah,one H.
Bint Abdul Khaliq
Great piece mashaAllah. The following link is to an excellent resource on British Muslim Heritage with lots of poetry/articles by the indigenous accent-bearing iman-ified natives.
As Salaamu Alaikum
"the UK has four constituent parts: England,Northern Island,Scotland and Wales"
Please note-that should read Northern IRELAND..blame it on the jet lag!
~Touring the UK~
Map of UK:
Masjids in UK:(wicked!)
Oi! Wait up then!
and here's Ol Big Ben:
London Bridge is falling down!
The London tube:
Shabina Begum making headlines Masha Allah:
Pics of Scotland..this looks like something aout of the middle ages!(credits to Rob)
and it would be an insult to the Queen if I left this out:
Foreign Accent sydrome..I kid you not:
Islamic Dawah Academy-Lesta:
Hope you enjoyed the trip!
Was Salaamon April 13, 2005 2:46 AM
As Salaamu Alaikum
great link sis!
"with lots of poetry/articles by the indigenous accent-bearing iman-ified natives."
Ukhti, an excellent, informative and interesting report. JazakumAllah Khair!
I was slightly surprised to know
that Muslims are only 2 million out of a nation of 60 million or so. For some reason I thought they were more. Still its more than than what we have in US (% wise).
I know that the Muslims are well settled and also very much involved in the politics of the country but was curious to know if the Muslims have instituted establishment that will strategically help the muslim communities in future. For instance, if the muslims have pushed for Islamic banking, morever have they made "halal" products in the local groceries as synonymous to products bearing "kosher" labels?
Actually all of the suggestions made by the UK sisters, masha'Allah, are on individual level and they must continue within the community. I am hoping, however, that the muslim community leaders (whoever they are, be it tablighi jamaat or other wise) have strategic planning for the muslim community and Islaam in UK...Insha'Allah.
In the same manner, I believe the muslims in US have a golden opportunity in that we can start working with the current and subsequent adminstrations on the groundwork of defining a better and safer home for our future generations. I hope our muslims leaders in this couhtry are atleast thinking about it, Insha'Allah.
Once again, an excellent post, Masha'Allah!
As Salaamu Alaikum
Actually,what I came across in my research suggests that estimates of Muslim population in the US range from less than three million to nine million.That's quite a figure masha Allah.But I won't comment too much on that,insha Allah I hope to focus on that in more detail if I do get the chance.
"I know that the Muslims are well settled and also very much involved in the politics of the country but was curious to know if the Muslims have instituted establishment that will strategically help the muslim communities in future. For instance, if the muslims have pushed for Islamic banking, morever have they made "halal" products in the local groceries as synonymous to products bearing "kosher" labels?"
I think that they are quite well ahead Islamically. You mentioned Islamic finance,you can check out these two links I came across:
And on the Issue of Halal,this might be useful:
I cannot comment on the extent of their efforts in fortifying the future of Islam in the UK,but it certainly seems that they are making much effort for the Deen and Insha Allah they shall reap the fruits in the years to come.Ameen.
"In the same manner, I believe the muslims in US have a golden opportunity in that we can start working with the current and subsequent adminstrations on the groundwork of defining a better and safer home for our future generations. I hope our muslims leaders in this couhtry are atleast thinking about it, Insha'Allah."
That would go for all the Islamic leaders around the Ummah as well.Insha Allah that would be a reality without us having to compromise our Deen.Ameen
Was Salaamon April 13, 2005 11:52 AM
As Salaamu Alaikum
sorry bro,if you were working percentage wise they would be quite close.UK working with a population of 60 million while USA working with something close to 296 million.
Was Salaamon April 13, 2005 12:02 PM
For once someone (on this website) has answers to all of my annoying queries.
Ukhti, are you an actual reporter in real life??? Seems like you managed to dig out the specific information I was inquiring in your report. You even rectified my perception of muslim population in UK vs USA. Thanks a bunch!
Ma'Assalamaon April 14, 2005 1:17 AM
I was born in London and frequent Birmingham and Leicester often.....I love the muslim community in the U.K. i just wished the fantastic CHEAP halal food stores would rub off and become common in new jersey as it is back in england
by the way, as a side note, the pakistani's in England are the second largest consumer and seller of marijuana in England......on April 14, 2005 2:15 AM
Hey Irfan, do you think the Pakistanis restaurant make up for their cheap rates by adding Marijuana in their meal, as this will keep the people coming back again & again and will make up for the price difference!
Well atleast this is probably for sure,if England insha'Allah becomes a Muslim state, the official Fiqhi Madhab of the state will be Hanafi-Madhab because of the Pakistanis!
And the price hike in NJ (restaurants) is because of the darn tolls on the highways, if you ask me.
Assalamu Alaikum Warahmatullah,
Masha-Allah, sis Bint Abdul Khaliq, you know your stuff about the UK!
With regards to 'halal' products in the stores here (in the UK), yes that is rife. But I would prefer getting my food from a Muslim store which sports the halal label as opposed to a non-Muslim shop which sells products labelled 'halal'... it's better to be safe than sorry!
Also, check out the Halal Monitoring Committee website, it's hype! Masha-Allah.
Wassalam.on April 14, 2005 1:29 PM
I have a request for an inquiry.
Some 8 years ago I was invited by a Turkish family to this Restuarant in NY, (either in Queens or in Brooklyn...not sure) and it was called Biatul-Kabab or House of Kebab...It had, if I can still recall, the best taste and choices of cooked meat that I have seen/eaten in North America.
Does anyone of you nice folks know about this joint? I would like to visit that place again if it is still operational, Insha'Allah!
Thanking in advance.
Why is the Middle East apparently lagging behind in the processes of global integration and democratization? Has globalization actually retarded the processes of transition? Can you identify elements of civil society and democracy that do exist?
THE THING IS I HAVE A PAPER DUE THIS THURSDAY ON THESE TOPICS AND I WANT TO SHOW THAT PRACTICING ISLAMIC FUNDAMENTALISM DOESNT STOP PROGRESS. SO PLEASE EVERYONE TRY TO ANSWER THESE QUESTIONS BY PROVIDING EVIDENCE FROM THE CURRENT WORLD SITUATIONon April 17, 2005 9:25 PM
"THE THING IS I HAVE A PAPER DUE THIS THURSDAY ON THESE TOPICS"
First of all, what level of work and response is required? Are you a freshman or a senior, or Graduate student?
on April 18, 2005 7:34 PM
My name is Nasreddine,I am Algerian,I live in the UK. briefly,i've recently met a french girl who is from buddhism religion, throughout our discution,i've tried to convince her about Islam. I found her very carefull as she wanted me to explain more about islam and to show her the wrong about buddhism and as my knowledge about her religion is limited I am not in the position of explainning everything. In these context I am seeking your help which is providing me with some books or magazines,videos, cassettes etc.. in the french language in order to convert her into islam. please don't make any delay to answer my request. if you have any documents related to that would you please send them to : 40A, City Road Sheffield S2 5HL. wellahou la youdi3ou ajra al mouhssinine.
As Salaamu Alaikum
Brother I applaud your noble intentions,but plz bear in mind that you are dealing with a female,and shaitaan is ever on the prowl to cause fitnah.It would be preferable for you to refer her to a knowledgeble Muslim female who could explain to her or take her queries to a scholar insha Allah.
Also guidance lies in Allah's hands.There is no compulsion in religion and therefore after delivering the truth,if the sister is genuinely interested,she will take the steps to find out more about Islam Insha Allah.
Unfortunately,I do not have any material in french.However,I can refer you to the fllg link from Harun Yahya's website:
Hope that helps insha Allah.
on May 2, 2005 10:49 AM