The Revival has travelled across the UK to speak to young Muslims about the role of Islam in their everyday lives:
NB: Some personals details have been changed or ommitted to ensure anonymity
Name: Sara Age: 21 Location: Bolton
Islam is my passion. My life revolves around my Islamic commitments, even Uni and work is set around my Islamic timetable. On a weekly basis I attend/lead Islamic circles, manage Islamic websites, organise Islamic programmes and write Islamic articles.
My parents are not happy with the extent of my involvement in Islam (coz I'm never at home!), so its not unusual for me to attend Islamic programmes and tell my parents I'm in a lecture in Uni nor is it unusual for me to sneak out of the house and sit in a late night Zikr when dad is out of the country.
It is because of Islam that I've led a happy, successful, stress free life so far. It's given me extreme respect and love from most people. Islam is also the reason why I'm somewhat anti-marriage at the moment. This is coz I feel that marriage will be the end of most of the Islamic activities that I'm involved in and I don't feel ready to give all that up yet.
Name: Waqar Age: 22 Location: Birmingham
As a Muslim being brought up and living in Birmingham I felt that I was always a part of not only a British society but an Islamic one also. Where I could easily learn about my religion and at the same time be part of a multi-cultural and multi-faith community where there was a mutual understanding and respect for one another, and I strongly believed and till this day still do that this was Islam for me.
As well as attending a state school at a very young age I also attended a Muslim faith based school. Attending this school when I did, I believe for me was the best thing I did where I not only learnt my duties as a Muslim but also that what Islam had to offer was not only for Muslims but for the whole of mankind. I also learnt the true values of my faith which are that Islam is not only for the Muslim world, it is to be practised wherever we are. Islam for me is not a religion but a way of life.
I am grateful to Allah (SWT) that he gave me the best of way of life to follow and that I am amongst the best of nations. Islam welcomes us all no matter what our race, culture or creed and this is the beauty of Islam. Islam has taught me to respect the young and old, man and woman, parent and teacher, where we are all equals. For me the door of Islam is always open when all others are closed. This is Islam for me....!!
Name: Sophia Age: 22 Location: Bradford
I was born into a Muslim family and I'm proud to be a Muslim, but I gotta admit I'm very far from Islam. My boyfriend is my main distraction from Islam. I'm currently in a long term relationship and I'm hoping to marry him in the near future. Being with someone who understands me and makes me feel pretty makes me feel good.
I've been through bear crap in my life; my world was turned upside down when I was clocked by my parents in town with my ex boyfriend. I hurt my parents and went through hell when they stopped me from going to College and checked up on me 24/7. I realised that I needed to change my ways, so I prayed a lot during that time and asked Allah to get me through that stressful time and he did. My parents eventually forgave me and I realised that my boyfriend was not good for me.
I'm now stricter with my prayers and do try to attend talks sometimes, my only weakness is my boyfriend and I know that if I wasn't with him I'd cover my head too. I intend to become a better Muslim after I get married, so I hope that my boyfriend will encourage me to become a better Muslim.
Name: Dawud Age: 18 Location: Manchester
I wake up and I know I am alive coz of the kindness of Allah (swt). When I smile at someone, embrace them or if I am happy with them, I know it's because the kindness of Allah (swt) is showering upon me.
On a more specific level, maybe one of the bigger changes to my life since I became a Muslim is the struggle - Jihad. I try to purify my character, say kind words , wake up early for Fajr prayer and Sehri, to refrain from baseless thoughts, words and actions.
I aspire as much as possible to follow as best as possible the holy Prophet (pbuh)- the height of excellence and beloved of Allah. So as a Muslim, I try to be grateful and repentant to my Allah (swt). I try to serve my fellow man, be gracious to my family and friends, not to envy others but to empathise with the needy and help as best I can.
What role does Islam play in my life? Islam is a way of life, it's my way of life.
Name: Madheia Age: 19 Location: London
Islam is in my face 24/7. I am close to both my mum and my sister and they just happen to be on the holy moly flex. In their day to day life, they're both always running around, attending/giving lectures and I've got the choice to either go with them or stay home and clean up. I always end up on my jacks miserably cleaning up.
Mum teaches kids every day after school.. And I gotta attend mosque down the road at the same time, I try to bunk mosque by hiding upstairs whilst mums teaching downstairs and when her class finishes, I come downstairs pretending I've been in Mosque the whole time, but sometimes mums too clever for me and comes upstairs to check on me and when she finds me cowering under the bed, she goes psycho on me.
I wear a scarf out of my own choice.. cos deep down inside I should. During high school I used to wear it on and off but when I started sixth form I decided to keep it on at all times.. at times I really wanna take it off, I want my hair to look sleek and straightened just like most girls but my scarf makes it look flat and manky.
Its hard sometimes as I don't wanna be wearing a scarf with tight jeans and short tops but at the same time I don't wanna wear a jilbaab or the traditional shalwar kameez.. so I just spend my monthly pocket money buying the latest high street fashions and trying to make them decent by wearing long tops…
In the future I wish to become practising from my heart.
Name: Sulman Age: 18 Location: Cardiff
I come from a very religious family. Mum's lectures are about one thing and one thing only-Islam. Mum does everything she can to get me on this flex too. She's always enrolling me into Islamic classes that I always bunk, she even promises to give me £10 if I read all my namaaz for a whole week and grow a beard (which I've done a few times only cos I needed the money).
Mum is always yelling at me to “turn that shaytaan (rude music) off”. And we often argue when she hides my MP3 player and refuses to tell me where it is.
My mates and cousin got me into weed. I aint addicted to that crap but I roll up when I'm with them cos they'd think I was gay if I refused.
I'm better than most guys, I read my jummah regularly, I fast in Ramadan, I don't mess about with girls, I don't touch alcohol. I'm just interested in making money and not ending up banged up in jail with no future like most of the scum's in my area.
Name: Humaira Age: 21 Location: Glasgow
We know that Islam is referred to as Deen - a complete way of life, and not just a religion. So to me, Islam ain't just about praying, fasting and so on…its also about our moral conduct, the education we seek, our worldly actions etc. Islam plays a huge part in my life or so I like to think it does. Two years ago I had no direction, I didn't know where I was heading but this changed when I was in presence of a well renowned eminent scholar.
Basically he made me aware that this life is for only a short time, and we shouldn't run around to please the world … rather we should please Allah (swt) so we can benefit in this life and the hereafter. I think about this a lot, and it makes me realise a lot what is important to me and what isn't.
I attend study circles every week where I learn about the life of the Holy Prophet and the contemporary issues facing the Ummah of today. I also enjoy taking part in organising different Islamic events. Being Part of an organisation gives me aims and objectives it also makes me aware of Allah (swt).
Like I said, Islam is a complete way of life so at the moment I am at university where I'm studying. I also spend time with family, go out with friends, and to me Islam means fulfilling your rights but also enjoying your life in a manner that is acceptable in Islam. Islam doesn't limit us in anyway but its the lack of knowledge we have which limits our understanding about Islam.