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Muslims are ecstatic when new individuals embrace the Islamic faith. However, once the initial buzz is out of the way there is little support for these new members of the Islamic family. Reverts often face problems at home being disowned by their families, losing their social network, finding it difficult to make sense of the diversity within the Muslim community and so on.
In order to help integrate reverts into the Muslim community and to help educate them about Islamic values Al Hikma embarked upon a ground breaking project of subsidising new Muslims to experience a journey of a lifetime by taking them on an “Umrah& Seerah Tour.”
The concept is to subside reverts who may lack the finances on a journey to the spiritual capitals of Islam (Makkah & Medinah) for roughly a period of ten days in the company of a scholar(s) and other Muslims. Not only does this give new Muslims a chance to perform umrah whilst visiting other Islamic sites but also allows them to build a bond with other Muslims and converts who are on the tour. The scholars provide continuous guidance throughout the journey teaching them about the key aspects of the biography of the beloved Prophet (saw) at the very sites it unfolded.
Other supporting mechanism that have been delivered are the “Converts Friends & Family Canal Boat Trip” which was a project to encourage those who are in contact with new Muslims but are not Muslims themselves help understand Islam and the changes people will go through when embracing Islam. Parent’s of New Muslims, employers, local police, politicians and other non Muslims where invited to come with new Muslims on a cannal boat ride around Birmingham. The trip was accompanied by three scholars (two who where converts themselves) to be given an introduction about Islam, dispel misconception and explain the reasons for certain changes in reverts lives such as hijab, salah and the like. It proved to be a successful project which created an informal chance for non Muslims to ask questions and get satisfactory answers to their concerns.
Universities are an amazing place to shape the minds of the future of this country. Al Hikma works very closely with a number of Islamic societies (ISOCs) especially those universities which have been neglected by larger organisations or do not have the finances to fund their activities.
Al Hikma’s support is mainly in the form of coordinating international and national speaker tours, structural support for the ISOC, provisions of khateeb’s for Jumma, assistance in delivering Islamic Awareness weeks, delivering interfaith programmes, dealing with university administration to secure better facilities for Muslims and so forth.
The Deaf community lies as a neglected part of our society with little to none provisions made for them to learn about Islam. Many Muslims whilst having the desire to learn their deen do not know the basics of their faith simply due to the inaccessibility of Islamic information via a suitable medium for them. A great deal of research and investigation has taken place by Al Hikma with regards to the deaf community. This has resulted in a wide spectrum of plans to help facilitate and integrate the deaf community.
Al Hikma uses British Sign Language (BSL) interpreters in their large conferences so that the deaf community can benefit from the speeches being made. In addition to this specific workshops tailor made to the deaf community at conferences and beyond are conducted to help the deaf community learn and interact with Islamic scholars. Awareness programmes of the plight of deaf community to Muslim leaders have been initiated. It is also aimed to deliver short courses for the deaf community, make provisions for the deaf community to enjoy Islamic experiences to place, such as Turkey and much more.
Convert Support & Integration Projects
Al Hikma delivers various programmes throughout the year targeted at non Muslims which include the following:
Interfaith Question Time Panels: Various representatives from different faiths (and non faiths) are set up on a Question Time styled Panel and given a set of topics to talk about. Panellists have to answer questions posed on the topic from the audience. Thus making people of faith more approachable to the general public. The Interfaith Question Time panels often take place in universities at which Muslim specialist on the topic being discussed are dispatched as panellists. Topics have included; ‘Does faith negatively impact the progression of women in society?’, ‘Freedom of speech?’, ‘Role of faith based schools’ and many more.
Interfaith Dialogues / Debates: Al Hikma has organised a number of dialogues and debates on key issues such as the ‘Existence of God’, ‘Who is Jesus?’, ‘Is Quran compatible with science?’and much more. Debates have taken place with leading specialist in the Muslim and Christian / Atheist communities with positive results for the Muslim community.
Discover Islam Dinners: Al Hikma organises free dinners for non Muslims to encourage them to attend and learn about Islam. This is presented with an Islamic speaker who is a specialist in the field of working with non Muslims.
Non-Muslims Outreach Projects
Al Hikma since its onset has been involved in delivering speaker tours with both national and international speakers. A few times a year Al Hikma will fly in Muslim speakers who are specialists in their field to deliver speeches at various locations through UK. These will encompass delivering speeches at universities, colleges, schools, community centres and mosques up and down the country. The benefit of this service is that it provides a coordinated tour of high profiled speakers who may not be accessible to such institutions (either due to associated costs or practicality of flying into the country just to deliver one programme).
The speaker tours that Al Hikma has conducted have also assisted in bringing some new names to the UK scene and establishing their demand in the hearts of Muslims around UK. This is a unique feature as it has allowed affective speakers / teachers to access the Muslim community in Britain that may have never been known by people.
Speaker Tours / Providing a platform For New Speakers