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A Masterclass Review

San Morely

On Saturday the 19th of November I had the joy of attending the ISB campus masterclass at Al Mahdi Institute. The topic was Being British Muslims: Looking to the Future, a topic which I’m sure is pertinent to many of us today, learning to tackle our identities as Brits while staying true to ourselves and our Iman. Those who attended were able to explore this topic through 3 different workshops, as well as a number of thought-provoking Q&As, delicious food and some hilarious Icebreakers.

The British Muslim Scene: Where Do We Find Ourselves? Identity, Statistics and Challenges by Dilwar Hussain was our 1st workshop of the day and while quite cerebral, I found that it gave a sense of hope for the future and helped put things into perspective. It highlighted that while many of us, Alhamdulillah, are so fortunate, there is still much disparity amongst our Muslim sisters and brothers struggling across the UK. We should always do our best to be aware and thankful for what we have.

Our second workshop; Being British Muslims: The Theological Narrative of Belonging and Caring was given by Dr Rizwan Syed, which allowed the group to discuss our personal thoughts and feelings on various topics. For me it was fascinating to learn the different perspectives, especially to reevaluate what we view as ‘Islamic’ when talking about different countries in comparison to the UK.
Although all of our workshops were brilliant, my personal favourite was the last one; Muslims and Civil Society: Building a Better Future Together by Sarah Joseph. This talk was incredibly thoughtprovoking. It reminded all of us that no matter how we are struggling with our identity and sense of belonging all of us belong with Allah Subhana’Watala! Despite how hard it is to find our purpose and place in this world, all we can do is try our hardest, “do good works”, go forward with the best of intentions and in that way, we can all achieve greatness. This was a perfect way to end an incredible day and I know many of us got very emotional as the topic was delivered in a truly heartfelt manner. It was beautiful to see the amount of support and empathy in the room. True evidence that when we trust in each other and our faith, we are all stronger. In summary this was a truly wonderful day, I would like to thank the speakers and everyone who organised this event in coming together to make this possible, I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.
I think my biggest takeaways from the day were that Islam is not just for the Muslims but for everyone and we can all
 achieve brilliance if we let our light shine and go forward with the right intentions, oh and that not everyone can draw!