RAY Festival: Celebrating the Feminine Wisdom of our Sisters

In the Autumn of 2008, I heard the opening verses of the Quran known as the fatiha which literally means “the opening” being recited by a woman in a retreat setting, her voice angelic, her figure and appearance Marian. The beauty of her voice, her appearance and her embodiment of love, captured my heart in …

How can the British Army engage with UK Muslims?

Photo credit: Hifsa Haroon Iqbal This week, Akeela Ahmed, (Founder of SheSpeaksWeHear and chair of the UK government’s Anti-Muslim Hatred Working Group) arranged for a group of 20 Muslim women to visit Pirbright Army Training Centre. This incredible opportunity proved to be a real eye-opener in terms of forming a better understanding of the Armed …

1400 years on is Islam anti-Feminist?

Have you also had your muslim uncles and aunts ask you why you don’t wear a hijab ? Has it made you want to punch them ? Has it made you want to scream out loud and wish eternal sufferage on them ? Yeah, welcome to this post where we can collectively rage about this …

Veganuary: vegetarianism and Islam

There is almost always an ongoing debate as to which dietary choice reaps the most benefits. While vegans argue that their lifestyle is of value and is environment friendly, non-vegetarians strike back with the argument that it is severely lacking in a lot of nutrients. Islam, as we all know, isn’t merely a religion. It …

He said, she said: why are the Nouman Ali Khan allegations of impropriety, so difficult to believe?

“I will never engage in victim blaming.” My heart feels so heavy at the news of the Nouman Ali Khan scandal. It leaves me disappointed, angry, but not surprised or shocked. We live in a patriarchal world, and the status quo supports the oppression and misuse of women, so it comes as no surprise that …

General Election 2017 – To Vote or not To Vote – That is the Question!

I cannot remember a time when I wasn’t politically active. In my house, not voting was never an option. The one phrase guaranteed to infuriate my late father was “I can’t be bothered to vote”. My family came to the United Kingdom in 1965 and I cannot recall a local or general election taking place …

Wise Women in The 99 Names of God

I co-founded Chickpea Press, a multi-faith children’s publisher, after working in mainstream publishing for over a decade. One of our core aims is to cultivate an awareness of the equality of women and men in faith. After a lifetime of struggling to find a voice within a faith setting, thinking that my religion didn’t allow …

A tribute to my uncles who were gunned down in the Nazimabad attacks

You never think it’s going to happen to you… until it does. Just over a week ago, I was in a queue with my four-year-old son. We were waiting for a train ride around the park near my parents’ house, when I received a phone call from my mum. It was the phone call that nobody ever …

Religious Concepts Reexamined: Why Do We Continue Using Religious Teachings To Justify Domestic Violence?

In many communities, DV survivors are encouraged to participate in family mediation in the hope that the matter can be resolved. Whilst the Quran does provide a detailed process for mediation between family members in times of dispute, such a model is designed to serve those in non-abusive situations.

‘Su-Shi’ and interfaith dialogue with Anne Dijk and Arjen Buitelaar

Deviating slightly from our usual posts, we wanted to share with our readers an interview between Anne Dijk, a female Sunni scholar based in the Netherlands and Arjen Buitelaar, a male Shia scholar also from the Netherlands. They were interviewed by Arek Miernik who is from Poland, and the interview has been translated to English. You …

A Review of ‘The Diary of a Hounslow Girl’ by Ambreen Razia

This is a review of the ‘The Diary of a Hounslow Girl’ a play by Ambreen Razia, shown at the Ovalhouse on the 6th of May. Ambreen Razia had the audience spellbound by her electric performance. From start to finish I could not avert my eyes or raise my glass to take a sip of …

It’s Because You’re Ugly

Setting the scene. It’s breakfast. We all silently munch away. Silence is broken. “Did you know that another girl has taken her hijab off” The Females pipe up. Sighs Tuts “And from such a respectable family” More sighs More tuts I stuff another piece of toast in my mouth. Best keep quiet. The Misogynist of …

Female Muslim Reverts, Hope for A Minority in a Minority?

by Christal Williams @ChristalBlogs As a female revert to Islam, the first thing people always ask me is why? Why did I give up being able to wear my hair the way I used to? Why did I give up mini skirts and short sleeves? And the simple answer is, it didn’t make me happy. …

Ramadhan – “Why Aren’t You Fasting?”

by Maaiysa Valli @Maaiysa  Every year, Ramadhan comes. And every year, I struggle. Not with the fast – which this year is around 20+ hours long – but with NOT being able to fast. It’s a battle I quietly face every year. And here I’ll explain why. You may know that certain groups are exempt …