Muslim Youth League Sisters in Bradford have hosted “Celebrating the Beloved (PBUH) 2015”, an annual event initially introduced by MYL-S in 2014 in order to commemorate the blessed birth of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon Him). The event took place at Carlisle Business Centre on Manningham Lane and started at 12pm and ended at 3pm.
Misbah Wahid, the local area executive for MYLUK – Sisters conducted the proceedings of the event and welcomed the participants to the event and introduced the theme of the event which was female empowerment.
Misbah explained the importance of regurgitating the esteemed position given to women in Islam and explained that as Islam has fallen under intense scrutiny over the passing years, cultures that have encouraged the full participation of women in society are being scrutinised and challenged as mutually incompatible to the practices of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon Him).
For this reason, in recent years there has been a great deal of discussion about the necessity of reclaiming women's participation in the public realm.
Soon after, various sisters were invited onto the stage who revived the atmosphere by reciting various naats in honour of the esteemed station of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon Him).
Maryam Khan was invited onto the stage to deliver a short speech on the legal, matrimonial, domestic and property rights of women in Islam. In her short yet powerful talk, Maryam explained that whilst the Western governments were debating whether women even had a soul, the Muslim world, under the governance of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon Him) revolutionised the rights of women and granted them the status to be recognised as a legal person.
The role of Muslim women at the time of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon Him) and Khulafa Rashideen and later times was unprecedented. Women were members of parliament, ambassadors, military officers, part of administrative structure of state of Madina. A female MP over-ruled Khailfa Umar bin Khattab, and women were Muhadithah, astronomers and poets. Sayyedah Sharifa Fatima was governer of Yemen , Sana'a and Najran. Also, Shifa Bint Abdullah Makhmumiyyah was a judge of accountability court.
Elucidating further, Maryam explained that the wives of the Prophet, known as the "mothers of the believers," who serve as role models for all those Muslim women who want to legitimise female activity in all ranges of society. The greatest example in this regard was the example of Sayyida Khadijah (RA). Muslims whether conservative or those more modern-minded tend to admire the example of Sayyida Khadijah as she represented the ideal Muslim woman.
Following on from Maryam Khan, further nasheeds and naats were recited in honour of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon Him) after which there was a break.
Refreshments were served throughout the break and participants were given the opportunity to view Shaykh-ul-Islam’s literature which was available to purchase, ranging from the Abstracts leaflets, Al Hidayah series DVDs, Minhaj-us-Sawi, the Glorious Quran to the most recent publications such as the Fatwa of Shaykh ul Islam in English and the new Mawlid book in English covering the permissibility of Mawlid as well as the Abstracts leaflets. An ongoing raffle also continued throughout the break for sisters to get in with a chance of winning a canvas and a literature set of Shaykh ul Islam Dr Muhammad Tahir ul Qadri.
Following on from the short break, Sister Mariya delivered a talk focusing on how Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon Him) honoured women in his life.
Mariya explained that we are living in a time where we are constantly lectured by philosophers, activists, religious figures and the media that women must have freedom equivalent to men. Roles in the workforce have changed, and it was definitely a great mark in history when some 70 years ago women gained the right to vote in the UK.
Mariya stated that whilst the champions of democracy cheered the success of equal rights for females, the resonation of their celebration was lost in the more powerful voice of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings be upon Him), who gave equal rights to women over 1400 years ago.
To a further extent, Mariya explained that the life of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings be upon Him) is riddled with examples of kindness towards women, both within his family, other believing women and even non-Muslim women.
Mariya gave an example of the elderly woman who the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings be upon Him) helped leave Makkah as she was afraid that a magician called “Muhammad” was ruining the youth with His poetry and eloquence. When she finally thanked the kind stranger and asked him for his name, He replied with Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon Him), and shaken with a realisation that the magician had transformed her with his mystical charm, she accepted Islam.
Mariya concluded her talk on the note that the perception that women in eastern societies are uncivilised and oppressed, is not due to the teachings of Islam but a result of a clash of cultures which have drifted from the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings be upon Him)’s teachings. In a patriarchal society, it is a patriarch who taught society the status of woman and elevated her.
After Mariya Qadri, various sisters continued to enliven the atmosphere with recital of naats. MYL UK – Sisters in Bradford also had the honour of hosting sister Iqra M Khan who was a special guest having travelled from Norway to join us on the day.
Misbah Wahid then introduced Samia Shaffiq, founder of the Crystal Reflections organisation, a not-for-profit training and development organisation, and a social enterprise catering for members of the society.
Samia discussed the issue of female empowerment through a sociological, psychological and an Islamic perspective referring to her experiences throughout her career as a life coach. Samia also gave practical tips on how to energise your life so we ensure we are pertaining a balance in worldly affairs whist simultaneously fulfilling the purpose Allah created us with as humans, but ultimately as mothers, daughters, wives and members of the society.
To conclude the event Misbah Wahid invited Rubina Raja, a member of Minhaj Women’s League onto the stage to say some concluding words and also perform a dua.
After the dua, the raffle prize was drawn as well as gifts presented to guests, this included sister Iqra M Khan, Samia Shaffiq as well as Rubina Raja. Food was served to all participants and everyone was given the opportunity to sign up to MYL-S and purchase the literature.
The event was indeed a great achievement for the entire team who had worked tirelessly to ensure it was the success it had been.
MYLUK- Sisters in Bradford would like to convey their deepest gratitude to the MQI Bradford authorities who supported MYL-S and facilitated the organising of this event.
Reported by: Misbah Wahid