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My Story

As-salamu-alaikum, wa-rahma-tullahi-wa-barakahtuhu,For the next couple of minutes, you will hear my story,

It’s no Tarantino script and it’s not quite as gory,

In fact, you may find certain parts a little bit boring,

But God-willing, It will be ok and you won’t end up snoring.

Where to begin, where to start,

The name is Hamza, the Age 21, simple so far,

But there were times that were bleak, terrifying and dark,

Being a kid and being bullied definitely left a strong mark,

Later down the line, I went on to develop depression at college

Looking around, seeing no friends and definitely found no solace,

In fact, it coulda been the death of me,

But thankfully around about the age of 18,

I found my calling and fully embraced the deen,

Without it, I wouldn’t be stood here studying for a law degree,

I wouldn’t have the ability to breathe, talk or see

If it wasn’t for the mighty, the one, the supreme,

The One who watches my every move,

Pain, misery and sadness does he alone remove,

His mercy everlasting, with him you will never lose

Fast forward a few years, and here I stand in the university of Manchester,

You could say it’s like an underdog story, perhaps like Leicester,

But unlike ranieri, I intend on making it to the end of 2nd semester,

In terms of the future, the aim is to practice law, to help others,

That’s Fathers and Mothers, Sisters and Brothers,

Commercial isn’t for me, I have no desire to live that life,

Where is the time to settle down, find happiness and a loving wife?

When all my thoughts are obsessed about deals, where is the sanity of mind?

I don’t understand the obsession of chasing wealth,

When you end up making lots of money whilst losing yourself

True wealth is about being content,

Not about the shoes, whips or thousands you’ve spent,

It is the gratitude for being alive we should focus on instead,

Or even the necessities we take for granted, water and bread

Before I go, I wanted to share a profound verse that has got me through,

Now if it helped me then it can definitely help you

So, which of the favours of your Lord would you deny?

I will repeat that, so which of the favours of your Lord would you deny?

For those who may not know, that’s surah 55,

We have been blessed beyond measure, more than we realise

So this verse made me ponder on what is the goal in life?

In other words, what is the ultimate prize?

Is it Yeezys, an Audi or a house off the M5

Nah rather it is to make the most of my abilities before I die

God graced me with the ability to talk, argue and write

No so I could amass wealth, lie and ruin lives

And so which favours can I possibly deny?

We do not deserve a single thing, yet he constantly provides

Did you know that when you cry, your tears actually rehydrate your eyes,

So which of the favours of your Lord will YOU deny?

That’s enough of preaching, I’m no scholar and I’m certainly not perfect

I make mistakes hourly, I still need to repent and reflect,

So I’ll go back to my grind, try and get that 2:1

Be the first to get a degree, see my mum proud of her eldest son,

But I wanted to send a message to all of you who read this today,

You are special, you are talented, You have the potential to be great,

There are some in this world who want to build walls to separate,

Let me remind them and remind you, Love will always trump hate

On a more hopeful note, Enjoy your friends company and talk to each other honestly,

Hug your families, young and elderly,

Tell them you love them consistently and regularly

So to conclude, these aren’t just words on a page

They are thoughts and feelings stored in my brain,

A mixture of emotions, from ecstasy to pain,

Said aloud, not for fortune or fame,

With everything to lose and nothing to gain,

But to share a story that isn’t gory and maybe slightly boring

I want to say a big thanks to everyone here and to Isoc too,

I will end how I started, As-salamu-alaikum, wa-rahma-tullahi-wa-barakahtuhu

– Hamza Hasan 

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You are who you surround yourself with

They say if you want to know the character of a person, look at the people they surround themselves with.

If you were to pause for a moment and evaluate your friendships, would you say that the people you surround yourself with are indicative of your character or of who you want to be?

If you had asked me this at previous points throughout my life, I would have been hesitant and unsure in my answer. But ask me now, now that I’m surrounded by so many new people, and I’ll tell you that if I am anything at all like my friends then I will be so very happy.

Moving away from home gave me an opportunity to choose who I want in my life. It allowed me to look back and see how some seemingly perfect, high school friendships weren’t what I built them up to be, and that other friendships, despite suffering bumps and bruises that distance unavoidably brings, are worth fighting for.

Old friends consisted of those I’ve shared a history with. But high school memories and Facebook albums are not always enough. There is a beauty in having old friends, that I will not deny, but history alone is not enough to bring all friendships into the present.

Comparing it to the people around me now, the difference couldn’t be more contrasting. My friends make me a better person and I am so very grateful to have found them. We are all on a journey, continuously striving to become better people, constantly changing and learning. What better and easier way to do it than in the company of those with good character?

The prophet (SAW) said ‘the similitude of a good companion is like the owner of musk, if you don’t get anything, you will get the smell of it’.

The people you surround yourself with, you become. If you subject yourself to people who are negative, it will affect you regardless of your strength as an individual. You are not immune to a constant surrounding of negative energy or bad influence.

Your friends should bring out the best in you. Good friends, who prioritise their relationship with God, will help us on the spiritual path. People who hold the same values and beliefs that we do, make the best friends. They remind you to pray, they help you to increase in knowledge and when you face difficulties they support you and help you to have Sabr. Ultimately, they will remind us of Allah during these tests and help us to rely on Him. They will love and forgive you for the sake of Allah.

Here I have made true friends; friends that will trek around Northern Quarter with you in search of a changing room to pray, friends that send you beautiful Surahs to listen to when you’re sad, friends that keep fasts with you so you don’t have to make up for them alone.

It is so important to choose your company wisely. Be relentless with surrounding yourself with those who bring out the best in you. Your direction in life depends on it.

And while you’re at it, have the courage to be a good friend to those who choose you.

‘Close friends on that day will be enemies to each other except for the righteous.’ (43:67)

– Zahra Ali 

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The souls we don’t see


We only ever really see a small fraction of a person. Our perspective is incredibly limited.

We don’t have access to the hearts of those around us, nor do we hear their cries in the quietest portion of the night.

And often, when we make negative assumptions about others, it is a reflection of our own ill feelings and insecurities.

The person we look at with pity, the one whom we think does no good, the one we laugh at…

That person may have thousands of prayers called in their name as they sleep from those they have helped in secret.

Many beautiful souls live amongst us.
They are those who are so valuable in the sight of their Lord, yet their beauty is overlooked by the world.

If only we understood.

“O you who have believed, let not a people ridicule [another] people; perhaps they may be better than them.”

Quran – 49:11