On Saturday 31st October, Muslim Youth League Sisters (MYLUK-S) London held a peace seminar at Redbridge Central Library, named ‘“Jihadi Bride” – to be, or not to be?’
The event commenced with the host, Sister Bismah Ali, welcoming all participants and introducing the purpose of the gathering, which was to clear any misconceptions around the concept of ‘jihad’ and to shed light upon the true teachings of peace as taught by the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) using the literature provided by Shaykh-ul-Islam Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri. This was followed by a beautiful recitation of the Holy Quran by Hafiza Khadija Hussain and a few verses of Qaseeda Burda by Sister Rabiah Iqbal.
Zahra Hussain, vice-president of MYLUK-S took the stage to deliver an interactive and engaging presentation on the meaning of Islam, in which the true definitions of Jihad and Islam were given, supported by various hadith and Quranic references. There were also multiple references to literature penned by Shaykh-ul-Islam Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri, such as ‘The Supreme Jihad’ and the ‘Fatwa on Terrorism and Suicide Bombings.’ The fundamental message of the presentation was that Islam is about peace and safety for all of humanity, contradicting the popular misconception that the very small minority propel nowadays.
The interactive session during the presentation included the audience being asked to write their definition of the word ‘Jihad’ onto a post-it note. The responses included some conflicting ideas, with many negative as well as positive interpretations of the word. These misconceptions were soon clarified as the presentation progressed. The various types of Jihad were mentioned and explained, after which the participants had a much greater understanding of what it actually means and how it is in fact something we all do in our daily lives in one form or another. There was also mention of how certain extreme groups use this word to promote violence and terrorism and take the verses of the Qur’an out of context to try to justify their actions.
The audience were then shown some example scenarios of Jihad and were asked to categorise them into the different types of Jihad that they had just learnt. This activity was a fun way for everyone to consolidate their knowledge. A short, informative clip by Shaykh-ul-Islam was then shown to summarise the content of the presentation.
The presentation concluded with an open discussion, where both the participants and organisers shared their opinions on the causes of radicalisation, particularly in the younger generation. Here, a valuable insight was gained into the possible solutions of radicalisation.
Towards the end, MYLUK-S London congratulated and presented some gifts to Sister Poala Ran, who had recently reverted to Islam. This was a very touching and heart-warming experience for all participants of the event. Gifts were also presented to Ulrike Gerstenberg, a local self-defence teacher, who said “I really appreciate being part of this event. This is such an important topic and you are doing a wonderful job in the prevention of extremism and terrorism.”
Sister Memoona Fatima, Media Secretary of MYLUK-S London, spoke briefly regarding the contents of the book ‘The Supreme Jihad’ by Shaykh-ul-Islam and introduced everyone to a variety of books and DVDs displayed at the stall. There were various types of delicious homemade cakes available throughout the event, which were kindly baked by Sister Anisah Azam.
To conclude, Sister Khadija thanked all the attendees as well as Sister Zahra Hussain for delivering such informative presentations and Sister Nur Adeela, area executive of MYLUK-S London, for organising the event with her team.
The event was a massive success as it achieved its objectives of educating the participants on the misconceptions surrounding the word “Jihad”. It also tackled current issues such as radicalisation and terrorism. It was extremely encouraging to see such a large number of young women participate in such important work carried out by MYLUK-S. The entire event was conducted in a very friendly and welcoming environment, and everyone went away with a better understanding of Jihad and the true message of Islam. We hope that our work continues to light the path and clarify the true message of Islam as per the work of Shaykh-ul-Islam Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri.
Reported by Aysha Hussain
Edited by Misbah Wahid