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"I wouldn't have shaved earlier if I knew I was going to feature.

On a more serious note, I feel a big aspect of faith is believing in something greater than yourself, and relinquishing the ego - it's a lifelong process."

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"In middle school I used to jokingly tell guys that if they touched me they'd get struck by lightning. It wasn't until I won every game of bulldog in PE did I realise that a couple of them actually believed me."

howi21

"ISoc has given me the opportunity to learn and better myself in so many ways and I feel so happy and blessed that Allah has given me the chance to meet and work alongside some of its great people.
The society has provided a way for me to escape the challenges of living away from my family and the feeling I get when doing something worthwhile to help my brothers and sisters provides me with a great sense of belonging and satisfaction.
In one of my favourite hadith the Prophet Muhammed (SAW) said, “The most beloved people to Allah are those who are most beneficial to the people. The most beloved deed to Allah is to make a Muslim happy, or to remove one of his troubles…” the simplicity behind these words is so profound. Through the inspiration I get from this hadith and the active role I play in this society, by being the Brothers' Events Officer, I hope and pray to Allah that I can bring about a better livelihood for all my brothers and sisters and try my hardest to fulfil their every waking need for advice, guidance and support.
Quite simply, I love you all for the sake of Allah"

howi18

"When my friend asked whether I wanted to help with an ISoc event at the start of the year, I thought I'd just be handing out leaflets. Instead, it was the start of getting more involved with the great stuff the Islamic Society does, and led me to helping out with my favourite event so far, Charity Week. The charity on both sides was amazing to see; the generosity of the people I shook my bucket at, and the time the other volunteers gave to help out. Weird as it sounds, I ended the week with a warm glow and although that's now passed, the memory of that time continues to inspire me to try to practice this important aspect of my faith - charity - more each day."

howi15

"How did you find the transition to university life?"

"In a word? Overwhelming. When I joined Warwick, I was blown away by the diversity of cultures at university in comparison to my life in Zimbabwe. It's extremely refreshing to be a part of such an open minded community, who I know will have a lasting impact on my future outlook. In Zimbabwe I was fortunate enough to have a doting mother who did almost everything for me; the sudden independence at uni was both liberating and terrifying. Alhamdulillah, the Islamic Society has been really important in this regard, providing the friendship, guidance and moral support that only a family can give. That's why I jokingly call the Warwick ISoc my 'home away from home'."

howi12

"One of my favourite verses is from Surah Al-Jumu’ah. In verse 9 it says “O you who have believed, when [the adhan] is called for the prayer on the day of Jumu'ah [Friday], then proceed to the remembrance of Allah and leave trade. That is better for you, if you only knew.”

Nowadays, people view success in different ways, especially as we have become so materialistic, and think that success is based on what you own. But it’s far simpler than that; remembrance of Allah is what will truly bring reward."

To me, this verse serves as a reminder, and it just highlights the priorities that we should have. If you remember Allah all the time, throughout your daily life, during your daily routine, then Inshallah, you will be one who is successful.

howi9

"When I joined Warwick, I was overwhelmed by the diversity in the Muslim population. People I met were from many different countries, ethnicities and cultures and sometimes had different aims, perspectives and mindsets. During my time at the university, especially during Ramadan, I quickly realised that diversity is such a wonderful thing. I’ve made many friends and learnt greatly from them. Unity is an essential prerequisite though. Stay together and we will flourish In Sha Allah. Choose to be scattered and divided and we will fail and fall.

Each of us at Warwick has a duty to maintain that unity and harmony.

Never underestimate what you can do as an individual for that purpose. Remain active, be broadminded and make a positive impact in the Muslim community. Most people spend only a few years here. There is no time for procrastination. Make the decision and start now. Now that I’ve graduated, I sometimes feel I could have contributed more at times.

Alhamdulillah we are blessed to have the Islamic Society to pull all our efforts together. I have only fond memories of my time in the society as an exec and as a member. I’ll definitely miss the weekly thought-provoking talks that we had. I’ll miss the social events that kept us bonded. I’ll miss the atmosphere during the Ramadan. Most importantly, I’ll miss the Prayer Hall. Memories are great to cherish. But equally as important is the assurance that you have effectively used your time and resources to serve the community."

howi6

"It's true, as a community we don't have a particularly good reputation. But with ISoc, they try to make a difference, and things like the 1000 Roses project go a long way in doing that. Just reaching out to people all over campus, sharing Islamic messages of unity and peace, stuff like that does help to change opinions. Like when people only hear about Muslims on the news in a negative sense, it's not really surprising if that's what they end up believing. But then you speak to people who have been given a rose or something, and it puts a smile on their face, passes on a positive message and helps to change perceptions. That's one of the things I love about our ISoc.

I think it's especially relevant nowadays, given our portrayal in the media. But there are things every so often that stand out though, that put forward a good image of Islam. Like even recently with Muhammad Ali passing away...there's no doubting his abilities inside the ring, but outside he was something special as well. A proud Muslim role model for people everywhere, someone who stood up for their beliefs. And that's what we need. People out there, showing what Islam is really about."

howi3

"It's okay to not be okay. It’s okay to not know what you want to do with your life right now, or even five years down the line. It’s okay to have stretchmarks and cellulite. Time is precious, do not spend it tearing yourself down when you’ve got so much to build. You matter and never let someone make you feel like you don’t. After all, God looked at the universe and thought it needed you."

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"Until my counselor brought it up, it never occurred to me that I had anxiety and depression as I had rationalized all the symptoms for years. Panic attacks? Nah, those were asthma attacks. Locking myself in my room for weeks? I’m just antisocial. That choking feeling and palpitations? Those stomach butterflies can move up to your chest and throat, right? When she did mention it, I felt so guilty, thinking that it’s because I'm not close enough to Allah. And for a while, I found it easier to live in denial. But this idea that the mentally ill are that way because they’re not close to God is so toxic and untrue. It’s a test just like any other difficulty in life and doesn’t make someone any “less of a Muslim”, whatever that may mean. This is something I’ve had to tell myself over and over again and am still learning. If anything, it’s an opportunity for me to get closer to Him. So to all my Muslim brothers and sisters out there who are experiencing mental illnesses or suspect that they may be: talk to someone. It’s nothing to be ashamed of. More people love you than you know. You can and will get better, Insha Allah. Just hold on a little longer for me, would you?"

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“I’m the co-project manager at ‘Phab’, where I volunteer each week during term-time; ‘Phab’ is a youth club for disabled and non-disabled adults which helps them to socialise and meet new friends. I found out about it in the first week of term one, at the Volunteering Fair, and it sounded like fun so I decided to give it a go. We do loads of different stuff…we’ve gone out for meals, done arts and crafts, quiz nights, move nights…stuff like that. I think it’s nice for them to be able to hang out with other people who are going through the same thing, but it’s rewarding for me at the same time, and I’ve actually made some really close friends through helping out.

I do think it’s important for Muslims to get out and do stuff like this. If we just spend all our time within our own community, how will people learn about all the positives of our religion? Getting out there into the wider community and interacting with others, helping all kinds of people, that’s what I enjoy about it!”

howi20

"I'd visited Warwick to attend some masterclasses before applying to the university, and straight away I loved everything about it! When the time for prayer came, I asked for directions to the prayer hall and was amazed by how spacious and tidy it was.The staff and students were more than kind, so I didn't hesitate to pick Warwick as my first choice university.

Arriving on campus six months later for my first day, everything seemed unfamiliar to me. That was until I entered the prayer hall, and first met the members from the Islamic Society. I loved the events they put on, especially some of the guest speakers; who would have thought that we'd be hearing from someone like Moazzam Begg, about his journey and everything he'd been through? If there was one thing that I learnt from him, it was that if you stick to your faith and beliefs, everything will work out in the end."

howi17

"Wherever I look I see so many reasons to be grateful, whether it’s the halal food I can find across campus, our amazing prayer hall (featured in our recent Mannequin challenge) or the jaw dropping Ramadan (literally) we have here at Warwick. However, we’re all aware that it isn’t the same for many Muslims, whether they’re struggling to openly practice their religion or to simply survive on a day-to-day basis. This just makes it all the more essential that we care for our fellow Brothers, Sisters and whoever needs our support.

That’s why I’m so proud of our achievement this year, when Warwick ISoc raised more than ever before during Charity Week. It’s awesome to see everyone so willing to give their time and effort for good causes, even if we do have lots of fun while doing it! For me, climbing Mount Snowdon for charity was an incredible, albeit painful, experience that I’m glad I was a part of, and I can’t wait to get more involved in even bigger charity events in the future!"

howi14

"What's the best piece of advice you would give to somone starting uni?"

"University is a place for self discovery. It is time of our life where we can learn a lot and it's OK to make mistakes. A lot of people are so caught up in preparing for the future that they fail to enjoy the present. So, take a good look around as there are many opportunities available. Try new things, learn different language, climb a mountain, do silly stuff and laugh a little harder!"

Enjoy the little things in life, for one day you will look back and realise that they were the big things" (Robert Brault)

howi11

"What is your favourite verse from the Qur'an?"

"I would say my favourite verse is "Verily in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest" (13:28)

When I remember Allah, whether that is through prayer, the Qur'an, or supplications, I know that I am building my relationship with He who is ultimately in control and who knows what is best; this certainly helps in bringing calmness, clarity and confidence to my heart.

I pray that Allah grants us all inner peace in this world and eternal bliss in the hereafter :)"

howi8

"A few years back, I went on a trip with a friend to Ireland. The West was just starting to seriously take notice of ISIS. Wearing our hijabs, my friend and I were aware that we were very much visible as Muslims and within that atmosphere in the West, of fear and hurt, we thought that people might look at us differently and perhaps also treat us differently.
One of the places we visited in Ireland was a small town called Lisdoonvarna, which at the time happened to be having its annual matchmaking festival. There were dances and merrymaking and my friend and I found ourselves at some sort of a community centre where a dance was taking place. Most of the dancers were seniors; many of them seemed to just saunter around the dancefloor with arms around each other and some danced quite well and beautifully. Some of the ladies smilingly encouraged us to have a go and after just watching for some time, my friend (very reluctantly) and I (very willingly) joined the dancefloor. We tried “saunter” like most of them but failed miserably as we couldn’t stop giggling. But many of the seniors there smiled and encouraged us even further. It felt like the room was rooting for us. And after we finally gave up, two gentlemen who could have been my grandfathers, even came up to me to ask me to dance with them. I had to politely decline.
We then left and walked outside and maybe in our excitement, we might have taken up too much space on the road. A car stopped next to us and the elderly driver started to roll down his window. “You people!” he started. Here it comes, I thought. I had been waiting for it ever since we arrived and this man was going to give it to us. But instead, he said, “We love you!” I was taken aback and my friend was genuinely moved and thanked him. I thanked him in my heart and said, “We love you too!”
We arrived in Ireland apprehensive about how people might treat us, but its people showed us nothing but kindness. They showed us how kind and warm people could be if they ignored their prejudices. My friend and I made a list of the interesting people we met in Ireland and I smile whenever I look over that list. The people in this story were listed as “Spa wells people” and “Pak cik in the car”."

howi5

"One thing I always try to seek in Allah’s guidance is its underlying wisdom. It is a realisation that can occur to you in so many different ways. Sometimes it could be while performing such an action and you instantaneously acknowledge the blessings of it. Other times it can be when you have found yourself astray, and in the pursuit of some temporary joy you are met with darkness. Thinking and almost figuring out on a personal level why a certain teaching is so, always feels like this great internal triumph in logic. Some things we cannot be so quick to figure out and with those we can only trust in Allah.

There is no-one/nothing else who would know or want what is truly best for you. If anyone is to know you and how to bring out your optimum, it is going to be your creator. My connection with Islam, for me, brings clarity and perspective to life. It is definitely one I find difficult to express, so I hope that one day it can all become clear enough so that I can.
That can only be done by turning my admiration in the beauty of the theory into practice."

howi2

"When I started university, I planned to just complete my degree and leave. But once I was exposed to the Islamic Society, I knew I had to be a part of it. Subhan'Allah, the sense of brotherhood here is second-to-none. Just the relaxed ambience of the prayer hall makes you feel better after all the stress from assignments start to build up. Having access to a whole range of islamic texts is just amazing, there's soo much knowledge available to everyone. From the Islamic knowledge I've acquired to the times I've just chilled with the brothers, the ISoc has definitely been one of the pinnacles of my uni life. Once I became an exec and had the opportunity to give back to the society what it gave to me, the feeling that I was not alone and the society would always be there for support, I knew I was in the right place. This whole experience for me not only allowed me to meet loads of great people, but it has allowed me to develop myself both spiritually and mentally. I want everyone to keep developing themselves to be a better person, you might not see any instant changes but as long as you never stop focusing on improving yourself, you will thrive In Sha Allah. Remember that there is always more to learn and we should never stop acquiring knowledge. May Allah (SWT) give us the tawfeeq to act upon what has been said and give us the ability to succeed in the dunya and akhirah.

Ameen."

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"There's something so undeniably profound in the way that life works. I don't think a lot of us truly comprehend the fact that everything happens for a reason. It's certainly a difficult concept to wrap your head around, but it's impossible not to marvel at the situations, the battles, and the difficulties we overcome and use as an opportunity for self-development. It is this truth, the truth that everything happening in my life is happening for a reason, that keeps me going in the brightest and darkest of times. God has put us exactly where he wants us to be at this very moment, and nothing in the heavens or the earth can ever change His plan for us. Why worry, then, if we are exactly where we're supposed to be? Each moment of difficulty and hardship is placed to test your strength, to test your patience, and to ultimately nourish you into more than you ever thought you could be. Live life taking those chances, taking that first step into the world of the unknown to help you become the best version of yourself yet, and to spread messages of positivity and goodness in times of hardship. Whether your university career has been the best years of your life or the worst, never let a moment pass where you're not grateful for the opportunity to actually receive further education, as so many would sacrifice everything they have to be where you are today. I pray we all develop the loving characteristics of our religion and live in peace, knowing we are exactly where God has placed us, and that His plan is better than any other."

howi19

"My favourite ISoc moment was when Fatima and I took an hour longer than everyone else to come down Mount Snowdon to find three coaches of very annoyed people waiting for us...

On a serious note, ISoc has played a very big part of my year so far. Initially I volunteered to help out during Freshers Week just to lend a helping hand, but it actually ended up being beneficial for me. My favourite event so far has been the sumo wrestling in Charity Week because I really enjoyed watching everyone bond over their friends being knocked out! There's a real sense of community around campus and in the prayer hall that I didn't always feel last year and it's lovely. There's always something going on, and everyone who has helped in any way, shape or form should feel very proud of the community they're shaping. It really has created a home away from home for many people, including myself!

I didn't want to be cheesy but what is ISoc without cheesy one liners 😊"

howi16

“I have never been this far away from home, and my parents were concerned about how I would survive at university. I can still remember the day when my parents dropped me off (a tiring 4-hour car journey) and said their goodbyes. I could see the tears flowing from my mother’s eyes and my father trying not to show his emotions. That day, it was definitely difficult for me to hold back my tears. I think my parents’ biggest concern was that I would lose my Islamic values and be diverted to the wrong path. My mother’s second concern was that how would a girl who hardly cooks at home cook at university? She thought the only thing that I would be able to cook would be an omelette, and to an extent, that was true. However, Alhamdulillah, I have learned to cook so many different types of dishes and even a few curries! Well, with my mother’s help in explaining what spices to use of course. They’re definitely not good as her curries, but I can assure you, that my dishes taste good and I will not poison you with my food! Although, I no longer feel homesick, I still miss my parents and you truly realise their significance when you are away from them.

In the future, I hope to follow my passion and work in the education sector. Growing up, I have struggled in the education system, and because of this, I have always been concerned about educational inequality. I hope to work in the Civil Service, under the Department for Education in policy and research so I can have input on the ways laws are implemented. I also believe that as a Muslim, one should not just strive for worldly success, but we should also use our skills in a way to benefit our Akhirah. For this reason, I would like to help those living in poverty around the world and help to provide these individuals with a route to education. I feel like helping with Charity Week with the Islamic Society has encouraged me to continue charity work.

Finally, I would like to say that Alhamdulillah, I love it at Warwick! Coming from a town where there aren’t many different Muslim communities and where it’s not always easy to practise your faith, I have met so many amazing practising brothers and sisters from different backgrounds. Now, whenever I call my parents, I call Warwick University my home!”

howi13

"What's been your favourite ISoc event so far?"

"The spoken word and poetry event was probably my best experience of Fresher's week. I wasn't expecting to like it, but ended up loving the work from all three artists!

Each one had their own view on how they perceive the Deen, but at the end they all shared the same love for the Almighty"

howi10

"Now I started thinking more about who I want to become in this life and what I want to take with me into the Next life. One of my favourite quotes is this, by Ralph Waldo Emerson: "The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be". It really reminds me once again that I can become whoever I want to be and that I can make all of my dreams come true. There are no limits for anyone to do anything they want. You just have to believe in yourself and fight for your dreams. Fight your fears and laziness and become the best version of yourself."

howi7

"Last year I had my first student job as a fundraiser for Amnesty International. During the first few days I was very stressed and decided to learn my speech by heart. One day, I came a across a women and her daughter and started telling her about Amnesty International's program in Syria. Unlike everyone I had met, she was unresponsive. She did not say a word. Because I felt uncomfortable and unsure whether she understood me or not, I asked her where she was from. The told me she lived in France, in my hometown, Lille, but had just arrived from Aleppo, Syria. At that moment she took my hand and bursted into tears as she told me her story. She came alone to Europe with her daughter while her family had stayed in Aleppo. She wanted to know where I was from. I am from the Comoros Islands. Surprisingly, she had seen a documentary about my beautiful motherland and told me her dream was to visit it. After the tears and the stories from Syria, we discussed about simple everyday things, like two strangers would. She left and I went on with day, but still, up to this day and forever, she has left a profound mark on my heart. Prior to meeting her, the horrors of Syria remained for me nothing but news reports, numbers and pictures on the Internet, but my encounter with her changed my perspective for ever. I could now feel the fear, pain and struggle of these people even though I will never understand how it feels to live in a war-torn country and leave everything behind, even your own family, in hopes of living in a safe land without fearing bombs and explosions."

howi4

"One day I want to buy a house.
Not some over the top luxurious apartment complex In Dubai.
What I would like is a very small bungalow in Muqdisho near the cost.
I would paint the exterior with pastel green and the interior with amber.
I want the backyard to a be garden were I grow papaya, kiwi, mango, and bananas.
I want a hen house for three chickens.
I want to live near a zoo which only houses giraffes.
I want a small basement filled with books written by great African writers.
I want the walls to be engraved with Somali poetry.
I want a roof made out of glass so at night I can stare at the stars from my bed.
I want to live with my mom because she is the coolest person I know.
I want to go fishing every Friday and have BBQ with all the neighbors.
I want the front of the house to be a soup kitchen where people can enjoy my mom's cooking.
I want the veterans who lived during Italien colony to teach me Italian.
I want a cheese stall in Bakaaro ( a famous Somali market) and sell Brie, Cashel Blue, and Brillat-Savarin (because it's the best business idea ever).

A small pastel green bungalow with my three chickens and cheese stall business would make me happy, and happiness, surrounded by people and things I love, is what I would like to achieve in life."

howi1

"If you ask me about the highlight of my first year as a student here at Warwick, without a doubt I'll tell you it is ISoc. Being the only revert in my family and coming from a quite hostile environment, ISoc gave me the community I never had but longed for and dream of for many years. In a way, ISoc liberated me and allowed my to practice my religion without hiding or having to fear anyone. ISoc is like my little bubble of joy, the place where I can truly be happy and feel at home (and no, I'm not exaggerating to make ISoc look great 😉). The spirituality series we had during the year, as well as the constant access we have to the prayer hall, and, most importantly the strong bonds we make with the members are all part of the countless blessing ISoc has to offer us, alongside with some delicious food, obviously. I recently became an exec, and, not gonna lie, ISoc pretty much took over my life. The exec team is so passionate about what they are doing and we're all trying to bring out the best in us for you. Alhamdullilah ISoc gave me strength and provided me with knowledge to make beneficial changes in my life. Just like me, I want everyone to feel warmly welcomed, to be fulfilled and get closer to Allah (SWT) through this society."