“Only from the heart Can you touch the sky.” Jalal ad-Din Rumi
Let Us Fight Inequality To Create A Better Britain

Let Us Fight Inequality To Create A Better Britain

Social Mobility Commission’s (SMC) December 2016 report Ethnicity, Gender and Social Mobility highlighted the “broken promises for many groups” in recent Britain. Its key findings drew attention to four categories of people that were struggling for good jobs and better opportunities in life: White British vulnerability to school underperformance; Black...
How Serious Is The Segregation Of Britain’s Communities?

How Serious Is The Segregation Of Britain’s Communities?

A recent report co-authored by Professor Ted Cantle and Professor Eric Kaufmann contained dire warnings on Britain’s increasing ethnic segregation. The report found that white indigenous communities are moving out of Britain’s urban areas in large numbers and are being replaced by minority ethnic communities. The result is an increasing...
British Muslims recognised as the best charity givers – again

British Muslims recognised as the best charity givers – again

The UK’s Charity Commission (CC),  once criticised for its“disproportionate focus” on Muslim charities and feared by Islamic charities in the past, has praised Muslim charities in a blog by its outreach manager Nick Donaldson. According to Muslim Charities Forum, the blog says that “British Muslims gave approximately £100 million to...
Pure Intentions and Sheer Willpower Can Make Long-hour Fasting More Liberating

Pure Intentions and Sheer Willpower Can Make Long-hour Fasting More Liberating

From time immemorial, fasting has always been a pillar of religiosity and spirituality in major faith communities. To Muslims the month of Ramadan is pivotal for their spiritual uplifting, as it demands from them an individual consciousness, self-restraint, introspection and a spiritual renewal. Through fasting believers are expected to make...
Ramadan and Islam-inspired community activism

Ramadan and Islam-inspired community activism

The blessed month of Ramadan, aimed to build spirituality or God-consciousness amongst Muslims, is again with us. Behind the basic rituals of fasting from dawn till dusk lies the deeper spirit and teachings of endurance and giving. The agenda for this month is to ensure we spend time in lifting...
'Visit My Mosque' Can Play an Ingenious Role in Paving the Way for Muslim Civic Participation

‘Visit My Mosque’ Can Play an Ingenious Role in Paving the Way for Muslim Civic Participation

Visit My Mosque (VMM) day has generated some considerable interest in the mainstream media with regards to Muslims in the UK who are, by now, used to receiving negative press having done so over the past decade. At the same time that President Obama visited a mosque, sadly the first...
Knowledge of One Another, Not Ignorance, Is the Best Way to Heal Our Fractured World

Knowledge of One Another, Not Ignorance, Is the Best Way to Heal Our Fractured World

Religion in recent times is being seen as almost irrelevant in many European countries, but the religion of Islam has become a hot topic for various reasons. Religious literacy, particularly of Islam, even in our highly educated country is indeed poor. Lazy journalism, or in some cases cheap populism, may...
Safeguarding school children from extremism without ‘policing’ their free thought

Safeguarding school children from extremism without ‘policing’ their free thought

Post-7/7 Counter-terrorism measures, including the latest Counter-Terrorism and Security Act (CTSA) 2015, are perceived by many to be contributing to a social environment where Muslims are being treated as a ‘suspect community’. Many feel that this is adding to an increased hostility towards Muslims, creating a climate of fear and...
Be watchful of your child’s online activities

Be watchful of your child’s online activities

Many would argue that the children of this generation, particularly those in the developed world, are lucky; fortunate in the sense that they can benefit from a number of things that the generations of yesteryear simply did not have. From state-of-the-art educational facilities to sophisticated gadgets that could barely have...
Ramadan message of self-restraint and giving in our unequal world

Ramadan message of self-restraint and giving in our unequal world

Fasting in the lunar month of Ramadan is one of the five pillars of Islam and its main aim, according to the Qur’an (chapter 2, verse 183), is to create God-consciousness (taqwa in Arabic) among believers. Taqwa guides and propels a Muslim towards living a virtuous life and developing some...
UK needs more civic participation

UK needs more civic participation

Over the centuries Britain has embraced, and made itself the home of many races, cultures and religions. Every people have brought their distinct cultures to make it economically and culturally richer. Some communities arrived here with a lower level playing field compared to others and as such there were inevitable...
Safeguarding Our Children From Evil Is Our Collective Responsibility

Safeguarding Our Children From Evil Is Our Collective Responsibility

The shocking news of three mid-teen girls from east London missing on 17th February and boarding a Turkish Airline flight from Gatwick to Istanbul, most probably on their way to join ISIS in Syria, has decimated their parents and stunned local communities. Safeguarding and well-being of children is of highest...
Our children, our future

Our children, our future

In every culture and society, since the dawn of human life on earth, children are seen as the future. Parents, adults and the people around them are there to protect them, love them and prepare them for the future. As children are born with dependence and by nature they are...
10 Guidelines for Gender Relations in Islam

10 Guidelines for Gender Relations in Islam

The following article is written by Muslema Purmul and Maryam Amirebrahimi and can be found on Imam Suhaib Webb’s personal website: I was standing next to the grave, supplicating quietly to Allah for the man we just buried. He was a family relative, loved by many alhamdulilLah (praise be to God). As I stood there, a...
The Blight of Homelessness Must Be Addressed With a Dignified Approach

The Blight of Homelessness Must Be Addressed With a Dignified Approach

Since 2010 people in every continent have come to observe World Homeless Day on 10th October in various ways to “draw attention to homeless people’s needs locally and provide opportunities for the community to get involved in responding to homelessness.” The situation is getting worse year on year. Homelessness is...
Re-living the Abrahamic vision

Re-living the Abrahamic vision

A very warm Eid Mubarak to all.   Eid-ul-Adha (Festival or Feast of Sacrifice) is a commemoration of wilful surrender of Prophet Ibrahim and his son Ismail (upon them be peace) to God. Ibrahim’s readiness to sacrifice his young son Ismail and the latter’s willingness to give his own life...
Ramadan Spirit: The Best Way to Fortify Morality

Ramadan Spirit: The Best Way to Fortify Morality

Muslims around the world are coming towards the end of this year’s Ramadan. The decision by the UK’s Channel 4 to air the daily Muslim call to prayer raised eyebrows and created hot debates amongst viewers, however this has increased awareness of Muslims fasting up and down the country. Whether practicing or...
Ramadan should challenge perceptions about British Muslims

Ramadan should challenge perceptions about British Muslims

Tomorrow millions of Muslims around the world will go hungry. They will do so intentionally, with no sustenance from dawn till dusk for a full month. This is challenging, particularly for Muslims in the northern hemisphere, where the days will be long and dry. In Britain, fasting could be as...
We Need an Inclusive History Curriculum

We Need an Inclusive History Curriculum

On 7 February the Department for Education (DfE) launched a consultation on Reform of the National Curriculum in England. It ends today (16 April). The DfE has already published a draft curriculum specification for 12 school subjects. In History, the Islamic contribution to this country remains almost entirely absent. In...
Universities flourish with radical ideas, falter with bigotry

Universities flourish with radical ideas, falter with bigotry

Transcript: Keynote Speech by Dr Muhammad Abdul Bari Tuesday 12 March 2013 Organised by LSE Students Union on ‘Campus Extremism, Freedom and Security: Working top promote Cohesion in British Universities’ Chair, distinguished guests, colleagues, students:   It is my pleasure and privilege to be able to talk tonight about three...
Compromise Within the Family: An essential Ingredient of Parenting

Compromise Within the Family: An essential Ingredient of Parenting

Our children are our future, our hope. We all want them to be good human beings and better citizens. However, with changing nature of our society many of us are worried. Positive parenting is at the core of raising responsible children. Strong family, confident children Parenting starts in the family;...
Census 2011: Muslims Are Not to Be Feared

Census 2011: Muslims Are Not to Be Feared

The new Census figures from the Office for National Statistics for England and Wales reveal some startling, if perhaps unsurprising, changes over the last decade. For a start, we are mixing more, getting married less, religious affiliation is falling and the growth of immigration has altered the demographic makeup of...
Dignity of Death and Palliative Care

Dignity of Death and Palliative Care

Controversy has arisen around end-of-life care. In recent time questions were raised on the Liverpool Care Pathway (LCP) system, which is intended to ease the last hours of a dying patient. But critics are saying that LCP is a way of hastening patients’ deaths. Some in the media are now...
Landmark event hails new era of collaboration between faith leaders and hospices

Landmark event hails new era of collaboration between faith leaders and hospices

Leaders of hospices and Muslim communities came together for a landmark event last Saturday, 13 October 2012 to mark Hospice Care Week. Lord Howard of Lympne CH QC, Chairman of Help the Hospices, Dr Muhammad Abdul Bari MBE and Robin Knowles CBE QC,together with Help For Hospices, celebrated and raised...
Reviving the spirit of fasting & Ramadan

Reviving the spirit of fasting & Ramadan

Religion and religious practice is for a higher purpose; to lift the status of human beings. When it comes to Islam it is about the spirit and message of the oneness of God and the stewardship of human beings on earth. Islam is essentially about one’s wilful submission to God...
The Cry of Srebrenica: Is Europe listening?

The Cry of Srebrenica: Is Europe listening?

“We pray to You, Almighty God, may grievance become hope, May revenge become justice May mothers’ tears become prayers That Srebrenica never happens again To no one and nowhere!”   Last Wednesday on the 11th of July, I was in Srebrenica for the very first time. The above is the...
Raising your child with discipline

Raising your child with discipline

A child is not an adult Children are not small adults. They are newcomers to the world; everything is a first to them. They view the world through fresh, new and curious eyes. They are inquisitive, playful, imaginative, impressionable, uncritical and driven by extrinsic motivations. Their life is about exploring...
Parenting: Addressing Adolescence

Parenting: Addressing Adolescence

In my book Addressing Adolescence: A Guide to Parenting in Islam, I explored a Muslim perspective of adolescence and its issues, as this is where my primary experiences come from. However, adolescence and its adventures and challenges are universal. I have come across children and parents from all faiths during my...
Parenting: Nurturing Creativity

Parenting: Nurturing Creativity

A newborn baby is a pearl, a treasure in a family and loved dearly; sought after by parents, especially mothers. This ‘love’ comes after pain, after a nine month long pregnancy which can only be experienced by women. That is why in all religious and cultural traditions the mothers’ position...
Parenting: Love and Care Are at the Heart

Parenting: Love and Care Are at the Heart

The birth of a child is a euphoric and – for most parents – an ecstatic moment. It is a high point, a fulfilment, in one’s life journey. A child is a fruit of love between two human beings. For people who have religious faith, such life starts from God’s...
Parenting: A Core Duty and Basic Right in a Family

Parenting: A Core Duty and Basic Right in a Family

A very learned and successful Asian father whom I know attended my recent book launch at the House of Lords on parenting. On his return I got an email that said: “The motto of a budding family should be parenting, parenting, parenting. It is true that many problems caused by...
House of Lords: Book Launch

House of Lords: Book Launch

A book by Dr. Muhammad Abdul Bari was launched at the House of Lords today. ‘A Guide to Parenting in Islam: Addressing Adolescence’ is the latest instalment by Dr. Abdul Bari, on a topic that is most pertinent to him as a community leader and activist. Th book launch was...
On being a guest of God

On being a guest of God

Ever since I came back from my obligatory Hajj in 1989 I had always dreamt to be the guest of God once again. The opportunity came this year, and I was ecstatic.  In the last two decades things definitely have changed. I was full of excitement and joy, as well...
Prophet Abraham* and lessons for us

Prophet Abraham* and lessons for us

Over four thousand years ago when humanity stooped to crude idolatry and moral degeneration became embedded with material progress there came a man of vision and towering personality who redirected mankind towards their role of vicegerency on earth. He was Prophet Abraham (Ibrahim in Arabic). His obedience to Allah through...
Friends and true friends

Friends and true friends

We are all born as individuals from a man and woman, a father and a mother: bare and dependent on adults for our survival. Our departure from the world is shrouded in uncertainty and when the time comes we leave this world alone and empty-handed. Our life is a mystery;...
Eid Message

Eid Message

Assalamualaikum and Eid Mubarak. We are delighted to join others in sending warm greetings of Eid Al-Fitr to all. This comes every year after a month-long fasting during the month of Ramadan which is for our spiritual renewal. It is in this month when Allah, out of His love for...
Family Should be at the Heart of our Social Reconstruction

Family Should be at the Heart of our Social Reconstruction

The shooting of 29-year-old Mark Duggan by armed police in north London on the evening of 4th August created a chain of riots, looting and mayhem in London and subsequently other cities. The first human casualties were three young Asian men of Muslim origin in Birmingham who were defending their...
Read!

Read!

‘Read’ – the road to success Among the signs of developed and successful societies are two practices that stand out prominently – their government’s higher investment in education and skills and the high level of reading habits from their citizens. These societies are dynamic and their people are disciplined. Even...
Ramadan and the Majestic Qur’an: Part 1

Ramadan and the Majestic Qur’an: Part 1

Fasting and the blessed month of Ramadan The month of blessings, forgiveness and salvation from Hell-fire, the month of Islam’s first victory over the pagan Arabs, and above all, the month of Al-Qur’an, has a distinctive significance for Muslims all over the world. Allah, in His infinite mercy upon the...
Ramadan and the Majestic Qur’an: Part 2

Ramadan and the Majestic Qur’an: Part 2

The Book that shaped the world! The month of Ramadan is the one in which the Qur’an was sent down as guidance for mankind, with clear signs containing guidance and criterion…. (Al-Qur’an 2:185). At a time when the world sank to its lowest and humanity deviated from its elevated position...
Love, Lust and Marital Fidelity

Love, Lust and Marital Fidelity

Infidelity in marriage is not new to human society. Although in God-conscious or more traditional societies it has remained rarer, none have been safe from this immorality. However, in recent decades the cases of marital infidelity has dramatically increased, especially in developed societies. This is due to a number of...
Our Mosques, Our Hope

Our Mosques, Our Hope

The key to the success of a Muslim community anywhere in the world is for its members to emulate the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him*) in both the individual and communal spheres of life. Mosques should be at the heart of community development and should provide the community with...

Building a Better Britain – Speech Transcript

First, I must thank the Centre for Faith in Society for inviting me to deliver this lecture. The work undertaken by your centre is extremely valuable. I commend your important, fact-based analysis of faith communities, the institutions they build, their national and international contribution and their interface with government, business, and the wider civic sphere. Never has there been a more urgent imperative to appreciate the role of faith in public policy and in the civic sphere, and never has there been a more poignant moment for faith communities to make a contribution guided by what they hold dear, and to reach out to people of all faiths and none. My brief today is to outline ways in which British Muslims, one of the largest and perhaps youngest faith communities in this country, can construct a better Britain. Despite the challenges that Muslims face, even though we are sadly cast...
Generation and Culture gap within Muslim Communities in Britain

Generation and Culture gap within Muslim Communities in Britain

The demographics of the Muslim community in Britain has significantly increased in the past decade – there are now 2.4m Muslims, with a high percentage being under 4 yrs old, according to ONS in 2008. A recent study by the Young Foundation (Valuing Family, Valuing Work: British Muslim Women and...
Latest entries
Engaging Mosques

Engaging Mosques

The ideas in this toolkit are designed explicitly to respond to the challenges young Muslims face. Their main attraction is the simplicity of putting many of them into action. They can be adapted and used in any mosque that wants to engage more young people and they have been designed by young people, for young...
Inside Madrassas

Inside Madrassas

This report presents research that has been undertaken by IPPR to generate a stronger evidence base on the operation and impact of madrassas in the UK. It identifies challenges that need to be addressed by policymakers, local communities and madrassas themselves. It also identifies ways in which madrassas can achieve their full potential as a...
‘Madrassas’ in the British media

‘Madrassas’ in the British media

  The debate around faith schools in the UK has always been polarised. While supporters of faith schools point to their strong academic results and their potential to promote diversity and tolerance, there remains considerable public and media suspicion about the social impacts that these schools may be having, with critics focusing on the ways...
‘Suspect Communities’?

‘Suspect Communities’?

    Counter-terrorism policy, the press, and the impact on Irish and Muslim communities in Britain. Report of a research project: A comparative study of the representations of ‘suspect’ communities in multi-ethnic Britain and of their impact on Muslim and Irish communities 1974-2007  
British Social Attitudes Towards Religion

British Social Attitudes Towards Religion

  How religious is the British public and how has this changed over time? Getting an accurate picture of the importance of religion in people’s lives matters; not least because it influences the role of religion in policy making and public life, and helps guide the allocation of funding and resources. Click here for a...
Universal Children's Day 2011

Universal Children’s Day 2011

“We were all children once. And we all share the desire for the well-being of our children, which has always been and will continue to be the most universally cherished aspiration of humankind.” Click here to visit the page for Universal Children’s Day.
Hajj: Malcolm X's Letter from Mecca

Hajj: Malcolm X’s Letter from Mecca

When he was in Makkah, on a pilgrimage, Al-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz wrote a letter to his loyal assistants in Harlem. This letter opened their minds to the beauty of mainstream Islam – a diverse and tolerant religion.
The Rights of Parents in Islam

The Rights of Parents in Islam

A Muslim parent should understand their rights and the ways in which they should deal with their children. A collated report can be found here.
Poor parenting increases likelihood of binge drinking at ages 16 and 34

Poor parenting increases likelihood of binge drinking at ages 16 and 34

A study of over 15,000 children by the think tank Demos shows parenting style is one of the most important and statistically reliable influences on whether a child will drink responsibly in adolescence and adulthood. Demos found that ‘tough love’ parenting, combining consistent warmth and discipline, was the most effective parenting style to prevent unhealthy...
Cycle of 'compulsive consumerism' leaves British family life in crisis according to a Unicef study

Cycle of ‘compulsive consumerism’ leaves British family life in crisis according to a Unicef study

The report by Unicef warns that materialism has come to dominate family life in Britain as parents “pointlessly” amass goods for their children to compensate for their long working hours. Unicef UK said the obsession was one of the underlying causes of the riots and widespread looting which gripped the UK last month, as teenagers...

Parenting and the riots – A ‘parentinguk’ perspective

This article (please click here to download) gives an insight as to where and how parenting fits in to the August 2011 riots. This article challenges us to focus on our society’s problems by: Encouraging a shift in social norms so that parenting is seen as a life skill that one can learn and improve Ensuring parenting...

The Good Childhood Inquiry

The Good Childhood Inquiry was commissioned by The Children’s Society and launched in September 2006 as the UK’s first independent national inquiry into childhood. Its aims were to renew society’s understanding of modern childhood and to inform, improve and inspire all our relationships with children. Evidence was contributed by over 30,000 people – including over...