It all began in Al-Hidayah 2010 at Warwick University, when Nazia Barkat, attending for the first time, sat listening to Shaykh-ul-Islam Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri about a race that the Prophet (S.A.W.) had run with His wife, Hadrat Aisha (R.A.)
The respective hadith is, narrated by Aisha (R.A.), “While she was on a journey along with the Apostle of Allah (S.A.W.): I had a race with Him (The Prophet S.A.W.) and I outstripped Him on my feet. When I became fleshy, (again) I had a race with Him (The Prophet S.A.W.) and He outstripped me. He S.A.W. said: This is for that outstripping.” (Sunan Abu Dawood - Book 14, Number 2572)
Most people would, simply listen to the hadith, smile about and use it to debate about the rights of women in Islam and how Islam does not oppress women. Not Nazia. She doesn’t do things by halves. As an ardent gym goer, she decided to do some research and lo and behold came across the Runners’ World website. Keeping her own capabilities in sight, as a mother of three young children, the half marathon from Wolverhampton to Birmingham City Centre suited her best. She wanted to do something for MQI.
But rather than do the fun walk or run, maybe have a little courage to go for the 10km as the maximum limit, Nazia decided on the outset that she would run the half-marathon (which is just over 21 km/13 miles) to raise money for charity and therefore wanted to push the distance as much as she could. And that she did quite well too. She has managed to raise approximately £1600 that will go to the Minhaj Welfare Foundation (MWF) UK.
Did we mention that she doesn’t do things by halves? She also motivated a friend and her sister to come along with her and do the half-marathon and nearly everyone in her gym supported her in some form or another, from advice on what to eat, how to train and what to wear. Along with her family, especially her husband, who would occasionally run with her when she was training. When speaking to her about it, she would tell how many miles she had run in an hour, a number that was so ridiculously high that the human mental capacity could not fathom to even begin to remember it.
Unfortunately in the end, her running companions were unable to accompany her on her journey. However her brother, Muhammad Tahir, came in on the last minute and said he’d run with her on Saturday 2nd July 2011. And run he did, exceptionally well; beating Nazia by 7 minutes. Although the fastest time was 1hour 16 minutes on the day, Muhammad Tahir finished at 2 hours 12 minutes and Nazia at 2 hours 19 minutes-which isn’t all that bad considering it was both theirs first time. You may be anxious to know that the last person to finish did so in over 6 hours.
As everyone allowed Nazia and her brother to catch their breath and have water, the organiser came to Nazia and asked her how she had found the run and mentioned that he was intrigued because he hadn’t seen a person wearing a ‘habib’ (reference to the Hijab) enter these runs before. Looking at him with a smile on her face, Nazia said, “It is the Habib that made the day beautiful which made my run easy.”
Alhamdulilah, going to Al-Hidayah and being in the company of Huzoor Shaykh-ul-Islam helped Nazia to do something positive, and not simply in the capacity of running the half-marathon but all the other work she has involved herself in for the sake of Allah (S.W.T) and His Beloved Rasool (S.A.W.).
An example should be taken from Sister Nazia who not only motivated herself but the people around her as well to do something good in such a unique way.
Well done from all forums of MQI UK, especially the MYL-UK Sisters!