Introducing Al-Kitab Club

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu!

Manchester ISoc would like to present Al-Kitab Club.

We can often feel overwhelmed by all of the things we wish to read, learn and benefit from. We tell ourselves we don’t have the time, and we struggle with making the time, to read in our busy lives. We try to juggle our university work and assignments, with social commitments and extracurriculars, barely finding time for anything else. If only there were more than 24 hours in a day!

Finding effective motivation to encourage us to read more is tough, especially with all of the demands of our daily lives. Reading alongside Manchester ISoc with our monthly selections may be the solution to your problems.

What better motivation than reading alongside your peers and having the opportunity to review and discuss the book at the end of each month? Not to mention, the hard work of choosing what to read will be done for you – all you need to do is follow along.

We will be selecting a new book each month to read together, and at the end of the month we will be reviewing it online and holding a discussion in the comments. If you think you might be interested in joining, don’t hesitate! There is no better opportunity to motivate yourself to read more and increase in knowledge than this, trust me.

It only seems right that the first book we will be reading is a book about the most important person in every Muslim’s life: Muhammad, peace, and blessings be upon him. There are countless books about the Prophet (PBUH) by numerous writers, all detailing the life of this incredible man.

The book that seemed most highly regarded and well-reviewed was ‘Muhammad: His Life Based on the Earliest Sources’ by Martin Lings.

This book is an award-winning biography of Muhammad (PBUH), with incredible historical accuracy and fascinating detail, and is considered to be very accessible and readable by many.

So, what are you waiting for? Find this book in your nearest library or bookshop, start reading, and we’ll see you all in a month insha’Allah for the discussion! 

Happy reading!

Favourite Ayahs challenge by Manchester ISoc

The Qur’an. 6236 ayahs. Each one perfectly beautiful in its own way. Each one full of answers, lessons and guidance. We wanted to hear from our readers, so we asked you to share your favourite Ayahs with us.

Here’s what you had to say:

  1.    “For indeed, with hardship [will be] ease.” -Surah Ash-Sharh [94:6]

I feel like this ayah found me when I was in a really difficult place. And I just heard that one ayah and I felt like wow, whatever surah this is, I want to memorise it. So that I can recite it during prayers when I feel particularly down. So, I keep it close to my heart and only recite it when I feel like I truly need comforting.

 

  1.    “…the life of this world is nothing but a delusion” -Surah Al-Hadid [57:20]

For me this ayah really puts things into perspective and reminds me not to fall victim to the appeals of worldly things. It helps me remain grounded and remember my true purpose. It teaches me not to get attached to the temporary dunya, whether it be possessions or people, as heavy reliance on anything or anyone other than Allah will only lead to disappointment and heartbreak. Allah is sufficient for me.

 

3. “Blessed is He who placed in the skies great constellations” -Surah Al-Furqan [25:61]

I remember this verse got me through difficult times. I was mentally drowning, and spent 2 weeks in hospital, but throughout that time this verse never left my lips.

 

4. “And untie the knot from my tongue” -Surah Taha [20:27]

Musa (AS) asked Allah (SWT) this because he had difficulty in speech. This is one of my favourites because I have difficulty in speech, stuttering etc, so I find it encouraging that one of the prophets had something similar and made du’a for it, so I do the same.

I feel I can look at this ayah for hope.

Having difficulty in speech also becomes a kind of blessing for me because of this. I have yet another reminder of how dependent I am on Allah (SWT) and have more to ask of him in my du’as. And He likes it when we ask Him for things.

 

5.    ‘And when My servants ask you about Me, (tell them that) I am near. I answer the call of the caller when he calls on me. So let them answer Me, And have faith in me. That they may be rightly guided.’ Surah Al-Baqarah [2:186]

It gave me hope as I used to think that my prayers weren’t being answered and I always wondered why.

But every time I read this ayah I keep faith in Him as He knows best. It reminds me that He’s there and He answers.

 

6.    “Certainly, Allah loves those who put their trust in Him.” -Surah Ali ‘Imran [3:159]

It shows the magnitude of Allah (SWT)’s Mercy, who not only promises to ease our worries away with simple trust in Him, but also promises us His Love in return for that. A double beauty! How Merciful a Lord…

 

7.    “Allah does not burden a soul beyond that it can bear” -Surah Al-Baqarah [2:286]

This ayah gives you a sense of hope with whatever struggles you might be going through in life.

 

8.    “So be patient with a beautiful patience,” – Surat Al-Ma`arij [70:5]

I really like this ayah but I can’t find a beautiful way of wording why I love it so much.

 

9.    “So which of the favours of your Lord would you deny?” -Surah Ar-Rahman [55:13]

I love listening to the recitation of Surah ar Rahman. It calms me, allows me to reflect on the abundant blessings I have in life, as well as leaving me in awe at the might of God. This above ayah is my favourite, and is repeated throughout the Surah, constantly reminding us of the favours we have been blessed with. This ayah does not only put life in to perspective for those who are living in hardship, who may feel low, to see the beauty in the little things, but those of us who have so much but forget the one behind our provision.

Its relevance hit me even more whilst visiting Syrian and Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon this week. Even though the refugees living in these camps are suffering, they are extremely grateful, still thank God for each and every little thing they have been blessed with, making abundant dua for those of us helping to relieve their hardship. The contrast in our lives and situations are so great, yet the people we met were just like us – shared the same smiles, laughter, hope, hospitality, sadness, and shed the same tears – something that will forever ground me, just like this ayah.

 

  1.  “And [there are] others who have acknowledged their sins. They had mixed a righteous deed with another that was bad. Perhaps Allah will turn to them in forgiveness. Indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.” – Surah At-Tawbah [9:102]

The two previous ayahs talk about the sahabah and those who follow them in good deeds, and also about the munafiqun (hypocrites). And Allah talks about how he will reward each group justly (i.e. reward one greatly and punish the others).

This ayah tells us that there is a third group, those who do both good and bad deeds, and acknowledge their sins, and it tells us that “perhaps” Allah will forgive them.

When the exegetes interpreted the Qur’an, they said that whenever Allah says “perhaps” it means he definitely will do it. So this third group is guaranteed Allah’s forgiveness, and which one of us isn’t from this third group?

Some scholars consider this to be the most hopeful ayah in the Qur’an.

 

  1.  “And the dawn, as it breathes away the darkness.” -Surah At-Takwir [81:18]

We’re so caught up in our lives that we forget, sometimes, that Allah is out there. We forget and don’t realise it’s so easy to remember him.

All you have to do is look. Look at the magnificent trees swaying in the breeze. Hear the birds calling. See the bustle of life around you as everyone goes about their daily life.

And see the sky, above us all, not a single one of us able to conquer it. The great seventh heaven in all its vast glory – the tiny pinpricks of glowing stars, the multitude of cloud shapes, and the perpetual cycle of night into day, day into night.

We weren’t able to witness a lot of ayahs in the Qur’an – so make the most of the ones that we can see. Having faith is about believing in the unseen, but having a physical reminder every now and then is always helpful.

Take a breather and look up.

Find yourself caught in the magnificence of Allah’s creation, and reflect upon the creator himself. Make the use of these winter months – we have a great opportunity to be able to witness, in real time, the dawn as its breath steals the darkness away.

 

Leave your favourite Ayah in the comments below!

We’re back!

 

Assalamualaikum!

It’s fair to say that some long overdue blog posts are in order!

After dusting off the cobwebs and eagerly scribbling away at the drawing board, we have come up with a jam packed schedule for you this semester! From interviews and polls to reminders and moving stories, you can expect nothing but exciting reads to brighten up your week!

And just to get back into the swing of things, here’s a brilliant reminder that was submitted which is the perfect read for the start of this new semester!

Starting a new semester is a chance to turn over a new leaf.
It’s a chance to show that you are learning from your mistakes, a chance to build on current abilities and to continue improving.
And a chance to think positively about your goal.
A light of hope is opened up.
Allah (swt) always gives us chances. Each chance is a blessing.
In fact, every day is another chance to keep improving and proving to Allah (swt) how grateful we are for yet another chance, another day, another semester.

So let’s use the past as a lesson and the future as an opportunity and continue striving through life’s journey with the thought in mind that every breath we take is a gift and a reason to keep striving in the way of Allah (swt).

As university students who are still young and active, we have a responsibility as prescribed by the Prophet (pbuh) who said:

“Take benefit of five before five:
your youth before your old age,
your health before your sickness,
your wealth before your poverty,
your free-time before your preoccupation,
and your life before your death.” (Hakim).