Operations Manager

Current Vacancies

Operations Manager

Click on the above link for a full job description.

How to apply?

Send your CV and Cover Letter to info@ramadantentproject.com

Please include the title of the role you are applying for in the subject heading of your email.

Location: London

Start date: ASAP

Deadline: 10th November 2019, 23:59PM

If you have any questions or queries, please do not hesitate to contact info@ramadantentproject.com

we're hiring 2019

About RTP

The Ramadan Tent Project (RTP) is a social enterprise dedicated to serving the youth and wider community through creating spaces of spirituality, dialogue, & empowerment. We empower individuals, facilitate dialogue, raise awareness on important social issues and work towards a more cohesive society.

Our flagship Open Iftar is the first global community-led public iftar campaign, inviting Muslims & people of all faiths, cultural backgrounds, ages, to explore the Islamic faith and share the Ramadan spirit through food, inspirational talks, and engaging discussion.

Since RTP’s inception and the launch of Open Iftar, over 70,000 people have been

Featured post

10 Tips for making the most of Dhul Hijjah blessed days

How can we, as Muslims not partaking of the Hajj itself, strive to make the best of these most blessed 10 days?

1. Fasting especially on the day of ‘Arafah

Abu Hafsah, may Allah be pleased with him, reported that the Prophet, Peace Be Upon him, said:

“Fasting on the Day of ‘Arafah absolves the sins for two years: the previous year and the coming year, and fasting on ‘Ashura, (the tenth day of Muharram) atones for the sins of previous years.”

Reported by all except Al-Bukhari and At-Tirmidhi

In another saying the Prophet’s wife Hafsah, may Allah be pleased with her, said:

“Four things the Messenger of Allah never neglected: Observing fast on the day of ‘Ashura, ‘Arafat, three days every month, and offering fajr sunnah prayers early in the morning.”

Muslim

2. Reflecting upon the Prophet Ibrahim legacy

A pillar: The Hajj (pilgrimage) and a celebration: (Eid el Adha) have been left the legacy by the prophet Ibrahim (Peace Be upen Him). Let’s take a moment to think about his strength of character and faith and how he challenged the status quo in his time when everyone was worshipping idols he objected to and he reaffirmed the Oneness of God (Tawheed).

3. Takbeer, Tahleel, Tahmeed, Tasbeeh

grayscale photography of woman kneeling on area rug
Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

The Prophet Muhammad ﷺ (Peace Be Upon Him) said:

“There are no days that are greater before Allah in which Good Deeds are more beloved to Him, than these ten days, so recite a great deal of tahleel, takbeer and tahmeed during them.”

Narrated by Ahmad, 7/224.  

Takbeer is to proclaim the greatness of Allah by saying Allahu Akbar (Allah is Great!)

Tahleel is to declare the oneness of Allah by saying La ilaaha il-lal-laah (There is none worthy of worship except Allah)

Tahmeed is to praise Allah by saying Alhamdulillah (All Praise belongs to Allah)

Tasbeeh is to glorify Allah by saying SubhanAllah (Glory be to Allah)

SubhanAllahi wa bi hamidihi

“Glory and praise is to Allah”

سُبْحَانَ اللهِ وَبِحَمْدِهِ

“Whoever recites this (SubhanAllahi wa bi hamidihi) one hundred times in the morning and in the evening will not be surpassed on the Day of Resurrection by anyone having done better than this except for someone who had recited it more. ”

Al-Bukhari 4/2071.

سبحان الله العظيم (Subhaan-Allahil-Azhim)

Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, “There are two statements that are light for the tongue to remember, heavy in the Scales and are dear to the Merciful: `Subhan-Allahi wa bihamdihi, Subhan-Allahil-Azhim [Glory be to Allah and His is the praise, (and) Allah, the Greatest is free from imperfection)’.”
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

4. Creating a meaningful connection with the Quran and being constant

quran
Photo by abdulmeilk majed on Pexels.com

Start slowly but surely reading your Quran; mediating and learning from it. Try to read every day whenever you can, only a few verses at the beginning and then more.

Start with one verse then five, then ten after that try to finish one page, then five pages etc..

The main thing is to take the opportunity during these 10 blessed days to build a solid relationship, a connection between you and the Quran. The real success is to make it a habit for the rest of the year!

Let’s see how much Quran we can read or learn during these blessed days. The #10BestDays challenge starts now, bismillah!

5. Increasing the spiritual knowledge

by reading hadiths, biography (sirat) of the Prophet ﷺ.

6. Repenting to Allah

Read Astaghfirullah 100 times after waking up and 100 before going to bed.

7. Increasing the prayers

do extra voluntary prayers and tahajjud prayer during nights.

8. Improving your character/manners  (akhlaq)

Avoiding backbiting, slander, cursing and lying and be extra careful on the actions you do. On the Day of Resurrection (el Qiyamah) nothing will me more weightier on balance than good character/manners.

Visiting relatives and call them. Take a moment to visit the sicks. Repair broken relationship and forgive whoever hurt you. Go forward, don’t spend too much energy thinking about the wrong that people have caused us. Life is too short, this is a time for moving on and looking to the future.

9. Making lots of invocations

for yourself and as well for your friends, family and everyone to benefit indeed Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said:

“None of you will believe until you love for your brother what you love for yourself.”

Narrated by Bukhari & Muslim

Making invocations is important in your prayers (and everyday life). It reinforces the link between you and Allah. Among other things, it elevates your prayer to a higher degree and it helps to increase serenity.

‘And when My servants ask you, [O Muhammad], concerning Me—indeed I am near. I respond to the invocation of every supplicant when he calls upon Me…’ (Qur’an 2:186)

10. Charity

Being generous with the people that are in need and giving charity (Sadaqah). This is an excellent opportunity to support projects around you and earn so much reward!

 

Oh Allah! Grant us the quality of the people of Jannah!

Allahuma Ameen

Hawazine Haouat

#dhulhijjah #blessed10days #mercy #rewards

 

Featured post

7 tips for a healthy month of Ramadan

How quickly time flies – Ramadan is just around the corner! As we focus on bettering ourselves as Muslims and reflecting on our relationship with God, looking after our health during the month is also important. Let’s start with a few questions we may need to ask ourselves to work through what to focus on (no guilt-tripping intended!);

  • What are some habits that I want to change from last Ramadan?

  • How will I maintain a healthy diet week on week?

  • How will I maintain a balance between fasting, eating well AND a busy schedule?

  • What tools can help me achieve my goals during Ramadan?

  • There are many resources out there, which ones can help me?

 

1 – Starting with the right mindset

Fasting is a spiritual action, a bootcamp for the mind, body and soul to reach an improved if not transformed connection with Allah (swt).

‘O you who have believed, decreed upon you is fasting as it was decreed upon those before you that you may become righteous..’

Surah Al Baqarah (2:183)

Being mindful of the way we eat during the month and giving our body its right over us is a part of the process. We don’t need elaborate meals with several different kinds of main courses and then some! The aim is to be nourished, and maintain it through the month.

 

2 – Don’t miss suhoor!

round white ceramic bowl
Photo by Daria Shevtsova on Pexels.com

 

It can be tempting to skip the pre-dawn meal, however the Prophet said: “Take Suhoor, for in Suhoor there is blessing.” ( Sunan an-Nasa’i 2149). Having water and something to eat will help with energy levels throughout the day. Here are a few ideas for suhoor;

Dates and Milk. Dates are high in natural sugars and various vitamins and minerals, and it is sunnah!

Oat porridge with honey and dried fruit. Oats are rich in fibre including beta-glucan which slows digestion and increases satiety (feeling full).

Smoothie bowls. If you have a blitzer, try adding you a few pieces of fruit and lay the mixture in a bowl along with granola, honey and chai seeds. It is a quick way of adding different fruit to your diet for the day!

Poached eggs and wholemeal bread. Eggs (be sure to get the free-range, good quality kind) are rich in protein and vitamin A.

 

3 – Remember to hydrate yourself

person holding drinking glass
Photo by Lisa Fotios on Pexels.com

During suhoor (pre-dawn meal) and when breaking our fast, let’s remember to drink water! Not just tea, coffee and juices full of sugar (although these do count as some water intake) – but just good ol’ water! We should be drinking 2 litres per day, which works out as 6-8 cups. A good tip is having a jug or water bottle filled and in the fridge, ready for consumption at suhoor and Iftar.

 

4 – Meal planning

flat lay photography of variety of vegetables
Photo by Engin Akyurt on Pexels.com

This will look different for everyone – some of us are students or working full-time during Ramadan, others will be staying at home with child-care responsibilities. For all of us, spending an hour or so before each week of fasting can save a lot of time and help incorporate some healthier options.

When planning, the downloadable EatWell Guide gives a overview of what a nutritious daily diet should look like and in what portions. It may seem obvious but being super busy may mean we overlook some essentials!

Think about transforming the fridge so it serves better in Ramadan. Investing in containers to store pre-cooked meals and pre-made salads for a few days can help.  Think about organising it into suhoor options, soups, meals, and also fruit and veg. Don’t forget the fruit and veg!

Lastly when meal planning, let’s think about cutting down processed or genetically-modified food. Look for organic, locally produced options. If I had more time I would try and grow some herbs and veg on my own.

Did you know that about a third of all domestic waste is packaging? A shift towards buying food and drink in recyclable packaging, buying a few things in bulk and re-using carrier bags does make a difference. We are care-takers stewards of the earth, the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “The world is beautiful and verdant, and verily God, the exalted, has made you His stewards in it, and He sees how you acquit yourselves” (Saheeh Muslim). Being mindful of our consumption and how it impacts on our environment is definitely something to consider!

 

5 – A few things to incorporate this Ramadan

sliced tuna with green leaf vegetables
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Fish. Oily fish (salmon, herring, sardines) are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which contributes to improving heart health.

Soups. Soups and stews help replace the fluids lost during the day and can be packed with a lot of goodness if done well – vegetables, lentils, fresh herbs etc!

Brown rice. Brown rice contains more fibre, vitamins and minerals in comparison to white rice. More fibre keeps the body fully for longer. White rice is made up of only the almost nutritionally void part of the grain. However, white rice is almost a staple food for many and whilst it is more processed it might not need cutting out completely.

Nuts. High in protein, fibre and essential fats. Hazelnuts, almonds and chestnuts have low saturated fat content while cashews and Brazil nuts have a high saturated fat level.

 

6 – Avoid heavy meals

side view of a bottle with salt
Photo by Kaboompics .com on Pexels.com

Fried food. We’ve all had fried samosas or chicken during Ramadan, but the internet is filled with healthier versions of different food we know and love, let’s take the time to do some research for the benefit of our health. Try grilling or roasting everything you are used to frying or cut the foods that can only be fried down significantly.

Food high in saturated fat. Butter, ghee, pastries, cakes and biscuits all have a lot of saturated fat associated with ‘bad’ cholesterol which increases the risk of heart disease. Incorporate sparingly and think about swapping butter for reduced-fat spreads for example.

Salt. A high-salt diet is associated with a raised blood pressure which in turn impacts the risk of heart disease. Let’s cook with less salt, choose reduced-salt products and incorporate flavour alternatives such as garlic, herbs and fresh vegetables.

Sugar. A lot of traditional desserts are soaked in syrup (baklava, gulab jamun, kunafe..) and we eat them out of habit with tea and coffee which can also be sweetened. An occasional treat is lovely, but in small occasional portions!

 

7 – The rule of thirds

Miqdam bin Madikarib said: “I heard the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) say: ‘A human being fills no worse vessel than his stomach. It is sufficient for a human being to eat a few mouthfuls to keep his spine straight. But if he must (fill it), then one third of food, one third for drink and one third for air.’”

We are fortunate to be guaranteed food and fasting with our fridges and freezers filled, alhamdulilah. Ramadan can be a time where we buy so much food especially when hosting Iftars and family gatherings. Let’s try and be mindful of of waste. If a lot of food is left after Iftar, leftovers can make for great new meals with a little time and creativity!


 

Making small changes will go a long way and help contribute to our health over time. Ramadan is the perfect opportunity to reflect on what we are putting into our bodies. I hope these tips help, do remember to do some research and seek individual advice especially if you are pregnant or breast-feeding.

I wish you all a blessed and productive Ramadan 2019, in sha Allah!

 

 

 

Featured post

Hajj: The Greater Pilgrimage

What is ‘Hajj’?

Hajj, known as the greater of the two forms of pilgrimage (see Umrah, the lesser pilgrimage), takes place in the last month of the Islamic lunar calendar – Dhu Al-Hijjah. Muslims are expected to make at least once during their lifetime, if indeed their means, circumstance permits them to do so. It is said to be the largest annual pilgrimage in the world, with 2.35 million pilgrims from across the world performing it last year alone.

Hajj is both a collective undertaking and a deeply personal experience. It involves a series of rituals around Mina, ArafatMuzdalifah over a period of 5 or 6 days.

The rituals have their origins in the time of the Prophet Ibrahim (Upon Him Be Peace). Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) led the Hajj himself in 632AD.

 

Entering the holy city of Makkah, the journey begins…

It begins with pilgrims arriving in the Masjid al-Haram in Makkah.

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At the centre of the Masjid Al-Haram in Makkah is the Kaaba, around which pilgrims perform Tawaf, circling the Kaaba seven times in anti-clock wise direction. During tawaf, pilgrims will recitate supplications, prayer and the Talbiyah. The purpose of Tawaf is to symbolically represent the idea that our life should revolve around thinking and remembering Allah Almighty.

Talbiyah

لَبَّيْكَ اللَّهُمَّ لَبَّيْكَ ، لَبَّيْكَ لَا شَرِيكَ لَكَ لَبَّيْكَ ، إِنَّ الْحَمْدَ والنِّعْمَةَ لَكَ وَالْمُلْكُ ، لَا شَرِيكَ لَكَ

لَبَّيْكَ إِلَهَ الْحَقِّ لَبَّيْكَ

“Labbayka Allaahumma labbayk, labbayka laa shareeka laka labbayk. Inna al-hamd wa’l-ni’mata laka wa’l-mulk, laa shareeka lak.

Here I am, O Allah, here I am. Here I am, You have no partner, here I am. Verily all praise and blessings are Yours, and all sovereignty, You have no partner”.
This is the Talbiyah recited by the pilgrim doing Hajj and ‘Umrah.

More on this: http://understandquran.com/six-parts-of-the-talbiyah-are-you-ready-to-taste-its-sweetness.html

The hills of Al-Safa & Al-Marwa, performing Sa’i

In Islamic tradition, Abraham (Ibrahim) was commanded by Allah to leave his wife Hagar (Hajar) and their infant son, Ishmael (Isma’il), alone in the desert between Safa and Marwa. When their provisions were exhausted, Hagar went in search of help or water. To make her search easier and faster, she went alone, leaving the infant on the ground. She first climbed the nearest hill, Safa, to look over the surrounding area. When she saw nothing, she then went to the other hill, Marwah, to look around. While Hagar was on either hillside, she was able to see Ishmael and know he was safe. However, when she was in the valley between the hills she was unable to see her son, and would thus run whilst in the valley and walk at a normal pace when on the hillsides. Hagar traveled back and forth between the hills seven times in the scorching heat before returning to her son. When she arrived, she found that a spring had broken forth from where the archangel Gabriel (Jibra’il) hit the ground with his wing as both sustenance and a reward for Hagar’s patience. This spring is now known as the Zamzam. (source)

And so, once their Tawaf is complete, pilgrims will walk between the hills of Safa and Marwa seven times to commemorate this advent.

Safa and Marwa are mentioned in the following Quranic verse:

“Behold! Safa and Marwa are among the Symbols of Allah. So if those who visit the House in the Season or at other times, should compass them round, it is no sin in them. And if any one obeyeth his own impulse to good,- be sure that Allah is He Who recogniseth and knoweth.”

— Surah 2, Al-BaqarahAyah 158[1]

8th of Dhul Hijjah – Hajj Begins

Once pilgrims have completed their premiere Tawaf and sa’i between Al-Safa and Al-Marwa, and as dawn breaks on the 8th of Dhul Hijja, they make their way to Mina, the ‘city of tents’, situated 7km east of the Masjid al-Haram in Makkah. It is here that pilgrims will undertake their daily prayers, remain immersed in worship.

Day of Arafat – 9th of Dhul Hijjah

Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) said:

“The Hajj is ‘Arafat, the Hajj is ‘Arafat, the Hajj is ‘Arafat” [Tirmidhi]

As dawn breaks on the 9th of Dhul Hijja, pilgrims make the 14.4 km journey from Mina to the plains of Arafat, Mount Arafat itself, or Jabal al-Rahmah (Arabic: جبل الرحمة; ‘Mount of Mercy’), also known as Mount Arafat, the scene of the Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH) final sermon. Pilgrims spend the day here in remembrance of their Lord, repenting for their sins and seeking His mercy. Many muslims around the globe, who are not performing Hajj, choose to fast on this day. The Day of Arafat is considered one of the most important days, not just of Hajj, but of the Islamic calendar.

Collect pebbles at Muzdalifah 

After sunset, the pilgrims will make their way to Muzdalifah – a 9 km trip – where they spend the night under the stars. Many will also begin collecting pebbles here for tomorrow’s rites at Jamarat, departing again just before sunrise.

Eid Al-Adha – 10th of Dhul Hijjah

This day starts by casting stones at Jamarat, three stone pillars which are pelted as a compulsory ritual of Hajj in emulation of the Prophet Ibrahim (upon him be peace). They represent the three locations where Ibrahim (upon him be peace) pelted the shaytan (Satan) with stones when he tried to dissuade him from sacrificing his son, Ismail (upon him be peace). The pillars are called ‘Jamarat-al-Ula’, ‘Jamarat-al-Wusta’ and ‘Jamarat-al-Aqaba’. Throwing stones in Jamarat reminds the pilgrims to be conscious of temptations and act against them, to counter our nafs, or lower self, and to remain steadfast in serving God.

Pilgrims must then slaughter a sheep, goat, cow or camel – or pay for it to be done in their names. Eid Al Adha symbolises the devotion to God and a commitment to help the poor and the needy. The symbolism is as well in the attitude — a willingness to make sacrifices in our lives in order to stay on the Str and please God.

After Eid, pilgrims will return to Makkah to perform the final circulation of the Kaaba, a ‘farewell’ tawaf.

 

Philosophy of Hajj

Hajj is more than a series of rites to be undertaken, Hajj is founded on the tenants of spirituality, unity, equality and simplicity. Pilgrims performing Hajj are known as the ‘guests of God’. It is, ultimately, a pilgrimage aiming to revitalise the pilgrim’s love for their Lord in their heart, seeking His mercy and forgiveness for all their transgressions.

Spirituality

Hajj is the last pillar of the Five Pillars of Islam. The five pillars being:

  • ShahadaFaith
  • SalatPrayer
  • ZakātCharity
  • SawmFasting
  • Hajjpilgrimage to Mecca

Many steps lead us to Hajj, bring us closer to Allah. These steps can be followed through the order of the pillars. After the shahada their is prayer, a concrete action that illustrate the love of the worshipper in his/her daily life; charity will improve and purify your soul, whilst fasting is the expression of your devotion, then comes pilgrimage where you worship in the symbolic abode of your Creator.

The Prophet (saw) says:

إِنمَا فُرِضَتِ الصّلاةُ وأُمِر بِالحَجِّ والطّوافِ وأُشْعِرتِ المَناسِكُ لإقَامَةِ ذِكْرِ اللهِ، فإِذا لم يكُنْ في قَلبِكَ لِلمذكُورِ الّذي هو المَقصُودُ والمُبتَغى عَظَمَةٌ ولا هَيبَةٌ فَما قيمَةُ ذِكْرِك؟

“The daily prayer, Hajj, circumambulation, and the other rites are aimed at remembering Allah. But when there is no remembrance of Him in your heart, what value will your oral remembrance have?” [Hadith Qudsi]

Unity

From all over the world, people converge unto the same place, at the same time of year in order to perform the same act of worship: Hajj. Hajj is a perfect illustration of the universality and beauty of Islam, the construct of ‘Umma’ is brought to life before one’s eyes. It’s a unique, very powerful and immersive experience, where you feel a strong connection with fellow Muslims through your supplications, prayer and the recitation of Talbiya (Labbayk Allah). This is the beauty of Hajj, to be  connected to God and connected to one another – one Ummah (community), one body, one faith, one heart.

Simplicity & Equality

Wearing simple clothes is essential, the Hajj is performed in a state of Ihram. In addition to the simplicity of the attire that must be worn, is the simplicity and piety of the manner in which a pilgrim must behave; stripped of worldly possession, and immersed in worship, the pilgrim exists in a supreme state of simplicity – even the accommodation is reflective of this, Mina is a temporary camp, for example.

Prophet Muhammad PBUH, said:

“Be in this world as though you were a stranger or a wayfarer.” [Bukhari]

Be it under the tents in Mina, or as pilgrims congregate on the plains of Arafat, during Hajj, every pilgrim worships as an equal to their brother or sister, equal in the eyes of their Creator – your worldly station matters not.

For those preforming Hajj, may it be accepted by Him, and for those who have not been blessed with the opportunity as of yet, may He call you to Him in due course, give you the opportunity to perform this beautiful pilgrimage, inshAllah! On this day, the 8th of Dhul Hijja, may all our duas be accepted, our sins forgiven – may we all be in receipt of His mercy inshAllah!

– Hawazine HAOUAT –

Some useful resources:

  1. https://yaqeeninstitute.org/en/ibrahim-hindy/living-abrahams-legacy-relevance-of-rites-and-rituals-in-the-modern-age/

 

 

 

Featured post

We’re hiring!

Hiring, Marketing-02

Current Vacancies

Marketing and Creative Manager

Click on the above link for a full job description.

How to apply?

Send your CV and Cover Letter, alongside any links to content you’ve created/your creative portfolio, to info@ramadantentproject.com

Please include the title of the role you are applying for in the subject heading of your email.

Location: London

Start date: ASAP

Deadline: 18th October 2019, 23:59PM

If you have any questions or queries, please do not hesitate to contact info@ramadantentproject.com

About RTP

The Ramadan Tent Project (RTP) is a social enterprise dedicated to serving the youth and wider community through creating spaces of spirituality, dialogue, & empowerment. We empower individuals, facilitate dialogue, raise awareness on important social issues and work towards a more cohesive society.

Our flagship Open Iftar is the first global community-led public iftar campaign, inviting Muslims & people of all faiths, cultural backgrounds, ages, to explore the Islamic faith and share the Ramadan spirit through food, inspirational talks, and engaging discussion.

Since RTP’s inception and the launch of Open Iftar, over 70,000 people have been hosted in 10 cities across 4 continents. As seen on BBC, ITV News, Channel 4, TimeOut Magazine, CNN International, The Guardian, BuzzFeed News, The New York Times, LBC Radio, Evening Standard, Metro, Reuters, Newsweek & many more.

Join the journey!

 

 

The Finding of One’s Peace: A Necessary Precursor to Self-Reflection

The nights have drawn in and a biting chill now pervades; the end of the year is upon us, and although time will, of course, carry forth seamlessly into what signifies the beginning of a new year, the now is oft a time of reflection. Whether impacted by trial and tribulation, or blessed with triumph, over the course of this year, life has been lived, and we have been moulded indelibly by our experiences. How exactly have I been changed and to what extent? What have I achieved? Am I broken or made, working on my healing, and if in deed it is the former, how should I now chart the course of repairing myself? So on and so forth. The questions you ask of yourself, and the relative scrutiny one can pile upon oneself when in a state of reflection can be unrelenting; we tend to be far more unforgiving of ourselves than when being of counsel to those we care about, holding ourselves to impossibly high standards. How then, do we go about utilising self-reflection constructively so as to recalibrate our course and find the resolve to pursue said course?

For me, this process begins with the finding of one’s peace. In the oft all-consuming routine preoccupations of life, moments of genuine peace can be relatively few in number. The re-imagining of such a moment in time within the recent past, in which a visceral and pervasive comfort was experienced, can readily lend itself to the clearing of mind and focusing of one’s energies thereafter. My peace is currently found through the revisiting of memory pertaining to an umrah I was fortunate enough to perform this past month. 

لَبَّيْكَ اللَّهُمَّ لَبَّيْكَ، لَبَّيْكَ لاَ شَرِيْكَ لَكَ لَبَّيْكَ، إِنَّ الْحَمْدَ وَالنِّعْمَةَ لَكَ وَالْمُلْكَ لاَشَرِيْكَ لَكَ

It has rained heavily on a few occasions since my arrival; an unrelenting rain, more akin to the monsoon rains that sweep across northern Pakistan, for example. The sky remains overcast, an amalgam of greys and blues, heavy with a pleasantly warm moisture and the smell of formerly parched earth; an almost melancholy sky, but somehow beautiful still? I walk onto the white marble floors that surround the Masjid-al-Haram, it’s only just past 8am, and although umrah season is in full swing, there are relatively few in number present – mildly reassuring as I’ve a slight apprehension pertaining to navigating my way through large crowds of people, having to do so can leave me a little anxious. Prior experience, however, has taught me how to channel my energies so as to immerse myself fully in the worship itself. Save a general idea as to where my family may be at any given time, my mind tends only to be home to the echo of the recitations one undertakes whilst performing tawaf and sa’i. 

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I can feel my mood shift with every step taken towards Malik Abdul Aziz Gate, a stillness begins to make its way into my consciousness. It feels as though the adding of milk in the strongest of brewed teas looks; a milky cloud forming instantly, mushrooming until every last drop of tea is overcome, it’s composition changed irrevocably. I remove my slippers outside Malik Abdul-Aziz Gate, the white marble floors so very cool under my feet, and as I set foot into the Haram, a gust of equally cool wind blows inward, as though ushering me into its bounds. 

How many times have I repeated the words of Tawheed thus far? 

Labbayka Allahumma labbayk, labbayka laa shareeka laka labbayk. Inna al-hamd wa’l-ni’mata laka wa’l-mulk, laa shareeka lak | Here I am, O Allah, here I am. Here I am, You have no partner, here I am. Verily all praise and blessings are Yours, and all sovereignty, You have no partner.

It is in this moment that I arrive. It is in this moment that these words have borne the sweetest of fruit; O Allah, here I am, here I finally stand, drawn close to You. It is in this moment that I am overcome, my disposition changed in its entirety, the strongest of brewed tea finally changed wholly in its composition; nothing save the anticipation of that first sight of the ka’bah, and the dua I would like to make, occupies my mind. I am calm.

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I can hear my mother’s voice talking to the little girl she once carried into the haram in her arms, explaining how upon setting eyes on the ka’bah for the first time, I should make dua for all and sundry, for mercy, guidance, patience and more. And just like that the ka’bah comes into view; my eyes widen at the sight of worshippers moving in rhythmic unison around it and the echo of their recitation rising upwards towards the heavens, the brilliant white of many thousand ihrams a stark contrast to the magnificent black of the kiswah. My hands rise instinctively and I begin to make dua. It is in this moment that aforementioned calm has permeated every fibre of my being and I have found my peace. I am at peace.

So, where were we? 

How exactly have I been changed and to what extent? What have I achieved? Am I broken or made, working on my healing, and if in deed it is the former, how should I now chart the course of repairing myself? Find your peace; re-live your moment, then ease into asking yourself whatever you may please. You may find that with said peace, a clarity of thought, an altered perspective, pervades. You may find that the answers to questions you ask of yourself are somehow measured; you are kinder to you, and you may well find yourself in command of the resolve required to walk your path hereafter, inshAllah.   

RTP CEO Appointed Fellow of RSA

We are very pleased to announce that RTP Founder & CEO, Omar Salha has been appointed as a fellow of the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce – commonly known as the Royal Society of the Arts or RSA. 

The RSA is an organisation which seeks to find practical solutions to some of the world’s most challenging social problems.

The Fellowship is a global network of 29,000 people who support the RSA’s mission to enrich society through ideas and action which is a great opportunity for RTP to continue our work with the access to a powerful network and build upon our successes!

Reacting to the news, Omar said : “I am extremely honoured to be appointed a Fellow of the RSA. It is a privilege to be a member of such a respected society, whose commitment to finding practical solutions for contemporary social issues is one I share and strive towards”.

Salha Portrait

Omar is a PhD Nouhoudh Scholar at SOAS University of London with his research focusing on the Integration of Muslims in British Society. Additionally, he has worked for a number of community projects – most recently being one of the first respondents to the tragic Grenfell Tower Fire and played a role in the Grenfell Muslim Response Unit.

 

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