All praise is due to Allah. We praise Him, seek His aid, and ask His forgiveness. We also seek
refuge in Allah from the evil of our souls, and from our impious deeds. Indeed, whoever Allah
guides, none can misguide, and whoever He misguides, there is none that can guide him. We
bear witness and testify that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah, all glory be to
Him, and we bear witness and testify that Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him peace) is
His final Messenger, and His perfect worshipper.
Noor ul Islam Trust
713 High Road
London E10 5AB
Tel: 020 8558 0786 Fax: 020 8923 7860
About Us 7
Executive Summary 9
1. Reducing crime and anti-social behaviour 17
2. Mosques as centres of the community 23
3. Making education matter 29
4. Increasing financial responsibility 37
5. Strengthening the role of the family 43
Annex: Survey Results 51
Glossary of Terms 61
• Educational Classes for women. There
are different classes especially for
women ranging from Tafseer ul-Quran,
Quran reading and Alimah classes taking
Noor Ul Islam Trust place each week
• Tuition Service. Noor Ul Islam
The Noor Ul Islam Trust is a Registered Academy offers pupils with excellent
Charity based in London, UK and is run by tuition during the weekend
local Muslims. The Trust provides a whole • A range of sporting activities including
range of services to the community. Since its karate, boxing, football and swimming
opening in 1990, the Trust has provided the
local, national and international community Noor Ul Islam also supports the following
with welfare services. Originally the Trust activities run by a neighbouring group.
started as a place of worship which has
evolved into a community centre to meet • Weekday Madrassa Monday to Friday
the wider needs of local Muslims. • Saturday Madrassa
• Segregated swimming sessions for men
Approaching its 20th year, Noor Ul Islam and women
currently provides the following services
Noor Ul Islam sits on advisory bodies to
• Mosque (five daily prayers in help the local authority identify the needs of
congregation). the Muslims in the area. Working with other
• Jumu'ah at the Mosque and the organisations, Noor Ul Islam is trying to
Community Centres build a stronger Ummah.
• Two Hifz classes at the Mosque
• Arabic language classes for men and Noor Ul Islam Think Tank
women by qualified teachers
• Pre-school nursery running morning & The Think Tank was established by Noor Ul
afternoon sessions, five days a week Islam in May 2007 to develop proposals,
• Full time Islamic Primary School policies and projects aimed at enabling local
• Funeral Services Muslims to positively contribute to society.
• Circumcision Service at the Centre
• Lectures and seminars held on a regular The Think Tank works within the wider
basis community to ensure that our policies and
• Youth Club vision, which are guided by Islamic teaching,
• Zakaat collection and distribution reflect the diverse cultural mix in which we
• Advisory and information service
The Think Tank will ensure that all its runs a small business.
efforts are in line with its key values:
Faisal Raja is the Vice Chair of the
• Reaching out to build a community Waltham Forest Faith Communities Forum
based on tolerance, understanding and and also the secretary of the Waltham
responsibility Forest council of mosques. He is a
• Tackling social problems through open Chartered Accountant by profession and
debate and Islamic guidance has been involved in community work
including drugs awareness and charity
About the authors fundraising.
Yusuf Hansa is Chairman of the Noor Ul Aslam Hansa is the office manager of
Islam Think Tank in addition to being Noor Ul Islam Head Office. He has worked
Chairman of Noor Ul Islam Trust and the in education throughout his career and was
Chairman of the Waltham Forest Council of a primary school head teacher for seven
Mosques. He is a well known community years. He is now a governor at Noor Ul
leader who is active in promoting the Islam Primary School.
interests of Islam and Muslims within
Waltham Forest. Acknowledgment
Ahad Rawat has public sector experience in We would like to thank all those who
policy development, stakeholder assisted the preparation of this report and
management and customer service delivery. the survey. May Allah Most High reward
Ahad is also a trained personal development you greatly for your efforts.
coach who is an associate member of the
Association of Coaching.
Abdul Kareem is a Muslim revert. He is
Secretary of the Noor Ul Islam Think Tank
and has been involved in organising many
Muslim community activities within
Waltham Forest. He is an IT Consultant by
Salim Hansa is a Muslim scout leader and
Tesol teacher (Teachers of English to
Speakers of Other Languages). He is
Secretary of Noor Ul Islam Trust and also
should be placed on dealing with the culture
behind criminal behaviour from an early
Summary The accountability to Allah of individuals
for their actions is the greatest deterrent for
any practicing Muslim. The importance of
legal punishment, based on fair and
Only Allah Most High knows what the unbiased court proceedings, is also cited as
future holds in 2020. However, as with any another deterrent.
action within our sphere of influence we rely
Some of the suggested recommendation for
on Allah Most High and then perform the
the eventual reduction in criminal
Based on our research we aim to achieve
• Innovative and practical cultural (taqwa)
certain changes primarily within the Muslim
programmes established in mosques or
community that will help in protecting the
community centres. The primary aim is
Islamic identity and contribute to the well-
strengthening the Islamic personality
being of Waltham Forest and the wider
within the youth, and getting them to
become responsible individuals.
We envisage that by implementing these
recommendations Waltham Forest should, • Every mosque has a trained drugs
by 2020, be a community where young officer who can provide mentoring to
adults have a sense of civic and financial those involved in drugs and advice to
responsibility and where parents are parents.
confident in engaging with educators to
create a more tolerant and respectful • More youth clubs established in
generation. mosques. These should be managed by
well-respected young Muslim role
Reducing crime and anti-social models.
In recent years we have seen a surge in • Counselling programme for Muslim
crime and anti-social behaviour, prisoners both whilst in prison and
predominantly, although not exclusively, when they are released aimed at
linked to the youth. The report looks at the preventing their re-offending.
many measures introduced to tackle these
problems, with questionable results and
comes to the conclusion that emphasis
Mosques as centres of the Islam places great emphasis on the need to
community be educated and the responsibility is on the
individual to seek knowledge. The child,
Mosques should be the hub of the Muslim
through Islamic teaching, should recognise
Community. Although Mosques are used
their duty to acquire knowledge. Parents,
primarily for prayer other services needed by
with the assistance of the community, also
the community should also be made
have a great responsibility in providing
Islamic education for their child.
A series of measures are outlined to
improve the running and development of
Mosques including: • Establishment of a local Islamic
advisory group working for greater
• Mosque family counselling services
cooperation with local schools, LEA,
relating to teenage issues, debt issues,
SACRE, Governors and non-
drugs and bereavement.
• Development of welfare activities within
• “Every Child Matters” initiative to
include all agencies.
• Media representative for each Mosque.
• Local Authority to promote the
achievements of all pupils regardless of
• Greater participation in Youth
the school they attend (private or state).
Development schemes and the creation
of Youth groups for every mosque.
• Maintain and increase single sex schools
in Waltham Forest.
• A Think Tank group for every Mosque.
• Develop parenting coaching
Making Education Matter programmes.
The general lack of respect in society has • School Governor training within the
made the task for teachers more challenging Mosques.
with the result of more children
underachieving in school. Parental • Local Madrassa council set up to share
involvement in their children’s education resources and best practice.
falls short of what is required and greater
collaboration with educational bodies is • Muslim professionals to provide careers
advice to local community.
• Governor training for 16+ Muslim contribute any effort to the business.
pupils to encourage a return to their The body partner provides his/her
own school as a Governor after effort only but no capital. He is not
graduating. liable for the business debts.
Increasing financial responsibility • Courses on Financial Literacy and debt
awareness run by mosques and schools
The report looks at the global financial crisis
for the whole community.
and comes to the conclusion that the
general acceptance of capitalist ideals is
viewed as the main factor behind the Strengthening the role of the
current crisis. It highlights the family
responsibilities of Muslims in financial
The report looks at the importance of the
issues. The Islamic perspective is simply that
family and its declining role in society, due
all wealth belongs to Allah and we are
to growing individualism, and also takes an
simply in temporary possession of it and will
in-depth look at marriage, parenting, inter
be accountable for the way we use and share
generational communication, the elderly and
the role of the parents.
The following recommendations are put
Islam believes that the family is the key to
forward for greater financial responsibilities
building a strong community. It teaches
by individuals within the community:
respect in all circumstances and to deal
• Mosque becomes an advice centre to justly with one another. Great emphasis is
local major employers and job centres placed on children respecting their parents
on Islamic issues. and elders, which should be reciprocated.
Islam sees the role of the parents as being
• Use debit cards or pre-paid credit cards the caring educator and friend.
for transactions not interest bearing
The following recommendations are
suggested to strengthen the family:
• Promote the Al-Mudarabah business • Mosque family counselling services
model as a means to bring together relating to teenage issues, debt issues,
wealthy business investors with drugs and bereavement.
unemployed people. Al-Mudarabah is a
• Pre-marital training and marriage
business consisting of a capital partner
counselling service to be established by
and a body or effort partner. The capital
partner(s) provides the initial start up
money for the business and is liable for
all the business debts. He does not
• Mosques working in partnership with
Local Authorities to develop care
strategy programmes for the elderly.
• Encourage greater parental participation
• Provision of pre-natal training.
• Provision of post – natal support
• Development of parenting skill
described the stabbings as “shocking and
The London Mayor Boris Johnson said: “We
Thursday July 10th 2008 was one of the are in this together, and we all need to take
worst days of violence to hit North London responsibility.”
and Waltham Forest in recent times. Over a
24 hour period four people were stabbed to In response to these tragic killings and a
death, three of them less than 21 years of host of other problems facing the people of
age, and two of them Muslim. Waltham Forest, both Muslim and non-
Muslim, the Noor Ul Islam Think Tank
It all started at 4am when the body of 42 presents this 2020 vision document.
year old Genadijs Jaronis was found with
knife wounds behind a disused pub on Responsibility within the
Tottenham High Road. Community
Then at 2:30pm 18-year-old man Melvin Communities are made up of individuals
Bryan was stabbed in a confrontation at a with responsibilities to themselves, their
bedsit in Edmonton. families, and the people around them.
Three hours later, in Leyton, a 20-year-old From whichever background, religion, and
Muslim Adnan Patel died from a stab race one is from, the level of responsibility
wound to his chest after being chased down shown to the community determines how
by a gang. successfully the community functions.
It has become apparent in recent years that
At around 8.30pm, another 20-year-old a great proportion of the problems are due
Muslim Yusufu Miiro was found with stab to weakening community values. It is human
wounds to his head and chest in a street in nature that people will contribute to
Walthamstow, less than two miles away something in which there is a personal
from where Adnan Patel was killed. He died interest. It can appear that some individuals
an hour later. no longer value the importance of having a
community or are not aware of the role
The Metropolitan police commissioner at he/she is expected to play.
the time, Sir Ian Blair said the spate of
attacks illustrated “the need for everyone to pull Apparent to all is the degrading state of our
together to put an end to this unacceptable violence.” communities with continuing and increasing
violent crimes, anti-social behaviour,
The Prime Minister Gordon Brown disrespect and a very disjointed community.
It would appear that individualism has,
maybe unwittingly, been condoned due to Every person in society has responsibilities
the thirst for commercialisation, which has that must be fulfilled. First and foremost
had an ever increasing effect on our daily there is a responsibility to the Creator Allah
lives. The present financial crisis, if not Most High and then to the family,
totally, is certainly caused in part by the neighbours, community and wider Muslim
individualism embedded in our lives and the Ummah.
greed that stems from it.
The Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him
A responsible approach is needed by and give him peace) said: “Each of you is a
individuals, communities, local and central guardian and is responsible for those
government, to steer clear of the present whom he is in charge of. So the ruler is a
situation with long term measures to guardian and is responsible for his
improve the fabric of our community and subjects; a man is the guardian of his
restore higher moral ethics in the daily lives family and is responsible for those under
of individuals. his care; a woman is a guardian of her
Islam and Responsibility husband's home and is responsible for
those under her care; a servant is the
Responsibility underpins every action a guardian of his master's wealth and is
Muslim undertakes in his/her life. Muslims responsible for that which he is
believe that when people die and are raised entrusted with; and a man is the
up again on the Day of Judgement they will guardian of his father's wealth and is
be accountable for every good and bad responsible for what is under his care. So
action no matter how small. each one of you is a guardian and is
responsible for what he is entrusted
Allah Most High says:
ُ ﻓﻤَﻦ َﻳﻌﻤﻞ ﻣﹾﺜﻘﹶﺎﻝ ﺫﺭﺓ ﺧْﻴﺮًﺍ َﻳﺮ
ﹶ ْ َ ﹾ ِ ﹶ ﹶ ﱠ ٍ َ َﻩ Islam does not believe in individualism and
that society and communities are simply
ُ ﺍ َﻳﺮ ﻭﻣَﻦ َﻳﻌﻤﻞ ﻣﹾﺜﻘﹶﺎﻝ ﺫﺭﺓ ﺷ
َ ْ َ ﹾ ِ ﹶ ﹶ ﱠ ٍ َﺮ َﻩ composed of self-interested individuals.
Rather there must be values and a system to
“Whoever has done an atom’s-weight of bind members of the community together
good will see it, but whoever has done otherwise the entire community will
an atom’s-weight of evil will see that.” 1 degenerate into chaos.
This breads a mentality of self-accountability The Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him
and ensuring that responsibilities are and give him peace) said: “The example of
fulfilled to the best of the person’s ability. those who maintain Allah’s limits and
Narrated by Ibn Umar in hadith books Bukhari
Holy Qur’an. Chapter Al‐Zalzala, verses 7‐8 and Muslim
those who surpass them is like the good works, and should these be
example of those who share a boat. exhausted before his obligation is
Some would occupy its upper deck and discharged, then he shall be assigned
some its lower deck. The occupants of some of their sins, which will be heaped
the lower deck would have to go to the upon him. Then he shall be cast into
upper deck to have access to the water. Hell."' 2
If they said, why don’t we drill a hole in
It is also the responsibility for each
our part (to directly access the water)
individual to make others aware of the
and not cause any inconvenience to
meaning and understanding of Islam and
those above us. If those on the upper
the best way to achieve this is by being a
deck let them do what they wanted then
living example of Islam – an important
all the passengers would sink. However,
aspect the Muslim community needs to
if they prevented them from doing so
then all would be saved.” 1
Rebuilding a responsible community entails
It is not enough that a Muslim fulfils mosques, schools, families, individuals,
his/her responsibility to Allah alone, but institutions and organisations taking
when it comes to dealing with people they responsibility to act and behave in a positive
must conduct themselves in a responsible manner towards bettering community life.
Abu Hurayra said: ‘The Prophet
Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him
The primary aim of this document is to
peace) once said, "Do you know who is
initiate thinking among the Muslim
the bankrupt?" And we replied, "The
community and their institutions on how
bankrupt among us, O Messenger of
Muslims can contribute to bettering the
Allah, is he that has neither dirham nor
quality of life for the inhabitants of
dinar to his name, nor any property."
But he (Allah bless him and give him peace)
said, "The bankrupt of my ummah is he
We recognise that Muslims are fallible
that shall come forward on the Day of
human beings and from time to time may
Arising with the Prayer, the Fast and the
perform actions not in accordance with
Tithe, but having insulted his man, and
Islamic teachings. It’s for this very reason
abused that man, and having consumed
that we have undertaken this initiative in an
another's wealth, and shed another's
attempt to address the conduct of those
blood, and struck yet another. Each one
Muslims involved in drugs, crime and anti-
of these shall be given a portion of his
social behaviour which are contributing to
Narrated by Nu’man bin Basheer in hadith book
Bukhari Hadith book Sahih Muslim
the deterioration of the community.
We present a number of recommendations
that contribute towards our 2020 vision,
that we hope will be adopted. These
recommendations are the result of extensive
thinking on the major issues facing those
living within Waltham Forest. As part of
this study we undertook a survey of local
people, from different age groups and
comprising of both Muslims and non-
The outcome of the survey showed
concerns by all elements of the community
regarding the breakdown of the family,
crime and anti-social behaviour, and the
need to improve educational standards. For
Muslims, the negative perception of Islam
within the wider community was also a
This document is by no means exhaustive of
all the issues facing the community but we
hope it will provoke some thinking within
the Muslim community and for others to
build and improve upon the
Any good we have written is from Allah and
any mistakes are from ourselves.
1. Reducing crime and
ﹺﺑﺴﻢ ﺍﷲ ﺍﻟﺮﺣْﻤﻦ ﺍﻟﺮﺣِﻴﻢ
ْﹺ ِ ﱠ ﹺ ﱠ ﹺ
ﻳَﺎ ﹶﺃﱡﻳﻬَﺎ ﺍﻟﱠﺎ ُ ﺍﱠﺗ ﹸﻮﺍ ﺭﱠﺑﻜﻢ ﹺﺇ ﱠ ﺯﹾﻟﺰﹶﻟﺔ ﺍﻟ ﱠﺎﻋﺔ ﺷﻲﺀ ﻋﻈِﻴﻢ
ٌ َ ٌْ َ ِ َ ﻨ ﺱ ﻘ َ ﹸ ْ ﻥ َ َ ﹶ ﺴ
َﻳﻮﻡ ﺗَﺮَﻭْﻧَﻬَﺎ َﺗﺬﻫ ﹸ ﻛ ﱡ ﻣُﺮْﺿﻌﺔ ﻋَ ﱠﺎ ﹶﺃﺭﺿﻌﺖ ﻭَﺗﻀﻊُ ﻛ ﱡ ﺫﹶﺍﺕ ﺣﻤﻞ ﺣﻤﻠﻬَﺎ
ﹾ َﻞ ﹸﻞ ِ َ ٍ ﻤ ْ َ َ ْ َ َ ﹸﻞ ِ َ ْ ﹴ َ ْﹶ َْ
ﻭَﺗﺮَﻯ ﺍﻟﱠﺎﺱ ﺳﻜﹶﺎﺭَﻯ ﻭﻣَﺎ ُﻢ ﹺﺑ ُ ﹶﺎﺭَﻯ ﻭﹶﻟﻜﻦ ﻋﺬﹶﺍﺏ ﺍﻟﱠﻪ ﺷﺪِﻳﺪ
ٌ َ َِ ِ ﱠ َ َ ﻠ َ ﻫ ﺴﻜ ُ َ ﻨ َ
“O mankind! Fear your Lord and be dutiful to Him! Verily,
the earthquake of the Hour (of Judgement) is a terrible
thing. The Day you shall see it, every nursing mother will
forget her nursling, and every pregnant one will drop her
load, and you shall see mankind as in a drunken state, yet
they will not be drunken, but severe will be the Torment of
Holy Qur’an, 22:1-2
“They know there is such a thing as society. They to 6,855 a year. 3
want the society of respect. They want the society of
responsibility. They want the community where the Despite a decade-long government drive to
decent, law-abiding majority are in charge. Where cut youth offending an independent study
those who play by the rules do well, and those who by the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies
don't get punished.” Tony Blair, ex-British (CCJS) at King's College said this drive has
PM. 1 had “no measurable impact.” 4
Violent crime Crime affects everyone
Violent crime in London has reached Londoners want to feel safe and resolving
epidemic levels. Scores of teenagers over the the problem of crime and anti-social
past few years have been shot or stabbed behaviour is at the top of most ordinary
with many of these deaths linked to people’s agendas. Crime was a major
American-style gang violence. campaign issue in the 2008 London Mayoral
election and will feature high on the agenda
Alcohol fuelled yob culture has made many of the next general election.
city centres no-go areas for ordinary people
after dark, leading one prominent MP - The problem of crime and anti-social
Edward Leigh to describe yobs as behaving behaviour is not specific to one ethnic or
like “an occupying army loose in the streets.” 2 religious community. This is a problem that
affects all communities of all ethnicities and
According to figures published by the religious backgrounds whether Muslim or
Youth Justice Board in May 2008 violent non-Muslim. The perpetrators of crime are
crime by young people has risen by nearly also from all ethnicities and religious
40% in the past three years. The Board said backgrounds. Muslims in particular now
violence against the person by under-18s make up a significant proportion of the
increased by 39%, from just over 40,000 prison population in the UK.
offences in 2003-04 to more than 56,000 in
2006-07. Robberies committed by under-18s The Think Tank survey showed that ‘Lack
also saw a large rise - up by 45%, from 4,740 of mutual respect and tolerance’, ‘Drug
abuse and gang culture’ and ‘Violent Youth
Crime’ were the top three problems felt by
Tony Blair. 2004, Speech on the launch of the Guardian Newspaper, 16 May 2008, ‘40% rise in
five‐year strategy for crime. http://www.number‐ violent crime by under‐18s,’
Guardian Newspaper, 24 July 2007, ‘Yobs making ime.gender
town centres no‐go zones,’ BBC News Online, 21 May 2008, ‘Youth crime
http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2007/jul/24/ukcri drive has no impact,’
all those surveyed. See figure 1.
Current solutions to crime • National DNA database
• Hand-held weapon scanners and knife-
The majority of the solutions brought detecting “arches” for police
forward to deal with crime and anti-social • Introduction of tazar guns
behaviour revolve around better policing
and better methods of detecting crimes. None of these measures have had a
These are meant to act as deterrents for significant impact on reducing crime. The
those thinking of committing an offence. increase in CCTV cameras for example has
Measures implemented in recent times by made no major difference to crime in the
both the government and London Mayor capital despite the huge investment in new
includes: cameras. Detective Chief Inspector Mick
Neville said a Metropolitan Police pilot
• 24 hour live CCTV cameras on London project found just three per cent of street
buses robberies in London were solved using
• Ban on alcohol on all London public CCTV images. In 2007 it emerged the
transport £200m spent on 10,000 crime-fighting
• More CCTV cameras in trouble hot- cameras in London had little effect on
spots reducing offending. 1
• Higher visibility policing in the form of
Daily Mail, 6 May 2008, 'Billions spent on CCTV
Police Community Support Officers have failed to cut crime and led to an 'utter fiasco',
(PCSO’s) and the establishment of Safer says Scotland Yard surveillance chief,'
Neighbourhood police teams in every 564240/Billions‐spent‐CCTV‐failed‐cut‐crime‐led‐
London ward utter‐fiasco‐says‐Scotland‐Yard‐surveillance‐
breakthrough in terms of freedom of expression, of
lifestyle, of the individual's right to live their own
Criminal Culture personal life in the way they choose… But with this
change in the 1960s came something else, not
The reason these attempts at crime necessarily because of it but alongside it. It was John
prevention have failed is because there is no Stuart Mill who articulated the modern concept that
emphasis placed on tackling the culture with freedom comes responsibility. But in the 1960's
behind criminal behaviour. revolution, that didn't always happen.”
Criminal gangs and drug dealers are all ‘Freedom with responsibility’ is a dying
“respected” on the streets by many youth. concept nowadays. Secularism has eroded
The music they listen to feed them a diet of religious morals of responsibility and as
get rich quick or die tryin’, named after rap such the growing trend is towards ‘freedom
artist 50cent’s bestselling album. The from responsibility’, where freedom is
popularity of websites such as YouTube mandatory and responsibility is at best
means anyone can now be famous. Anti- optional, and at worst totally ignored.
social behaviour is frequently filmed on
mobile phones and then uploaded to Drug and Alcohol Abuse
websites specifically setup for glorifying
bullying and violence. Computer games Closely linked with crime and the criminal
have a huge influence on the mentality of culture is drug and alcohol abuse. The
the youth. The latest games consoles and Home Office clearly states, that “the links
their high definition graphics are incredibly between drug use and crime are clearly
realistic and totally absorbing. Grand Theft established” 1 and “the links between alcohol and
Auto IV was the best selling game of 2008 violence are well established.” 2
and to win the game you need to progress
through the criminal underworld becoming The statistics speak for themselves in
a gangster and committing the worst crimes proving this link.
• Around three-quarters of crack and
This culture is breeding a mentality of heroin users claim they commit crime to
rampant individualism where an individual is feed their habit. 3
not accountable or responsible to anyone • In nearly half (45%) of all violent
Home Office, ‘Drug‐related crime,’
Tony Blair alluded to this at the launch of victims/reducing‐crime/drug‐related‐crime
his 5 year strategy on crime back in July Home Office, ‘Alcohol‐related crime,’
2004 when he said: “The 1960s saw a huge victims/reducing‐crime/alcohol‐related‐crime/
Home Office, ‘Drug‐related crime,’ Op. Cit
incidents, victims believed offenders to resort Islam believes in punishing those who
be under the influence of alcohol, this have disobeyed the law if found guilty in a
figure rose to 58% in cases of attacks by court of law. The Islamic punishments are
people they did not know out of scope in the UK since this is a non-
• 37% of domestic violence cases involve Islamic society. However addressing the
alcohol underlying concepts behind criminal
• In nearly a million violent attacks in behaviour is something Islam can make a
2007-08, the aggressors were believed to significant impact upon.
be drunk 1
Islam’s approach to changing a person’s
Islamic Approach behaviour was summed up by the mother of
the believers - Aisha, who was one of the
Islam believes in responsibility and Prophet Muhammad’s (Allah bless him and
accountability for ones actions and takes a give him peace) blessed wives.
two pronged approach to addressing
criminal behaviour. Aisha said: that if the first verses to be
revealed in the Qur’an were ‘Do not
Firstly, it creates a culture of God drink alcoholic drinks,’ people would
Consciousness (taqwa) and community have said, ‘We will never leave alcoholic
responsibility among the society. Even when drinks.’ And if the first verses to be
no police are watching them, Muslims revealed were, ‘Do not commit illegal
should still obey the law because they know sexual intercourse,’ ‘they would have
Allah is watching them and will account said, ‘We will never give up illegal sexual
them for all their actions no matter how intercourse.’” The first verses revealed in
small when they die. the Qur’an were from Al-Mufassal (last
section of the Qur’an) whose verses
Allah Most High says: contain detail descriptions of Paradise
and Hellfire. Once the people embraced
ﻭَﻧﺤ ُ ﹶﺃﻗﺮ ُ ﹺﺇﹶﻟْﻴﻪ ﻣﻦ ﺣْﺒﻞ ﺍﹾﻟﻮﺭﹺﻳﺪ
ِ َ َ ْﻦ ﹾ َﺏ ِ ِ ْ َ ﹺ Islam and their conviction in Paradise
and Hellfire was established then the
“And We are nearer to him than his verses regarding halal and haram were
jugular vein.” 2 revealed. 3
Secondly, Islam recognises human beings One of the objectives (maqasid) of the
are not angels and criminal behaviour in Islamic Shariah is the protection of the
society is inevitable to some degree. As a last mind. Islam has completely forbidden all
Home Office, ‘Alcohol‐related crime,’ Op. Cit Narrated by Yusuf bin Mahk in Hadith book
Holy Qur’an. Chapter Qaf, verse 16. Bukhari. Volume 6, Book 61, Number 515.
forms of intoxicants a fact that is well offences the youth mentors in the
known among Muslims and non-Muslims mosque can aid in rehabilitation efforts.
• More youth clubs established in
The Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him mosques. These should be managed by
and give him peace) said: “Every well-respected young Muslim role
intoxicant is khamr (wine) and every models.
intoxicant is forbidden.” 1
• More awareness programmes for
Recommendations parents so they can see the tell-tale signs
of drugs, gang membership and criminal
• Innovative and practical cultural (taqwa) behaviour.
programmes established in mosques or
community centres. The primary aim is • Establishment of a gang reconciliation
strengthening the Islamic character unit where truces and dialogue between
within the youth, and getting them to gangs can take place.
become responsible individuals.
• Counselling programme for Muslim
• Publicise stories of how Islam changes prisoners both whilst in prison and
the behaviour of individuals. Muslim ex- when they are released aimed at
criminals, gang members and drug preventing their reoffending.
dealers who changed their behaviour can
speak or write on their experiences.
These stories can be publicised at
various outlets: mosques, community
centres, Muslim media, youth clubs and
in the cultural programme above.
• Every mosque has a trained drugs
officer who can provide mentoring to
those involved in drugs and advice to
• Every mosque has a liaison with the
Police Safer Neighbourhoods team. For
those Muslims convicted of minor
Hadith book Sunan Abu Dawood Hadith 3672.
Narrated by Abdullah Ibn Abbas.
2. Mosques as centres of
ﻓِﻲ ُﺑُﻮﺕ ﹶﺃﺫﻥ ﺍﻟﻠﻪ ﺃﹶﻥ ُﺮﻓﻊ ﻭﻳُﺬﹾﻛﺮ ﻓِﻴﻬَﺎ ﺍﺳﻤﻪ ُﻳﺴﱢﺢ ﹶﻟ ُ ﻓِﻴﻬَﺎ ﺑﹺﺎﹾﻟﻐﺪ ﱢ
ُ ُﻭ ْ ُ ُ َﺒ ُ ﻪ َ ﻴ ٍ ِ ﹶ ﱠ ُ ﺗ ْﹶ َ َ ﹶ
“Shining out in houses of worship (mosques). Allah has
ordained that they be raised high and that His name be
remembered in them, with men in them celebrating His
glory morning and evening.”
Holy Qur’an, 24:36
Mosques are a vital and pivotal part of mosques in Egypt such as the Abou El
Muslim communities. There is no special Azayem mosque in Cairo. 2
design or structure for a Mosque as any
building used for the congregational prayers In Waltham Forest Noor Ul Islam Trust has
can be classified as a Mosque. established a pre-school, primary school,
youth club, funeral service, health advice
When the Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless surgery, men and women’s sporting
him and give him peace) migrated to Medina activities in addition to congregational
in 622CE, one of his first actions was to prayers and a madrassa.
build a Mosque there. This is now known as
the Prophet's Mosque or (Masjid-e-Nabawi). Mosques are therefore, not only for the
This Mosque became the centre of all purpose of prayer alone but also serve as the
Muslim activities. As an example, centre for all social, cultural and political
delegations from other states were received activities.
and accommodated in this Mosque such as
the group of Christians who came from Current Issues
Naijran. This Mosque also served as the
centre for education, learning, and training. With the exception of a few mosques,
unfortunately most mosques within the UK
Throughout Islamic history the mosque has and Waltham Forest do not fulfil this
played a central role in the implementation function within the community.
of Islam upon society. During the Ottoman
rule of Bosnia (15th – 19th century) they Here are currently some of the key issues
established many Kulliye 1 Mosques. This was with Mosques:
a group of social and municipal service
buildings that acted as a community centre Funding
as well as the focal point of Friday prayers.
The founder would establish a public The majority of mosques are only financed
kitchen (Imaret), to feed the needy or the through the contributions of their
traveller, a college (medresa), a hospital congregations. They do not have the
(darusifa), a public fountain (cesma), a guest resources to provide valuable services to the
house for travellers (musafirhana or konak- community other than using the mosque as
han) and a tomb (turbe). a place of worship. With the adequate
More recently there have been examples of
Dr. Jamal Madi Abut Azayem, 'Role of The
drug rehabilitation clinics attached to Mosque in Confronting The Epidemic of Substance
Kulliye is an Ottomanized Arabic word that sych/role_of_mosque_in_confronting_substance_
means comprehensive, complete, or all‐inclusive. abuse.htm
funding and expertise this can be resolved. Nationalism
Limited facilities for youth Mosques tend to be divided on nationalistic
grounds e.g. a Pakistani or Bengali mosque.
There are very limited activities for youth in Other nationalities can feel excluded when
most mosques. This is a missed opportunity attending mosques dominated by one
as many young people frequent the mosques section of the community
on Fridays and during Ramadan.
Engagement with youth should be a priority. Alienation
Limited access for women Mosques can be perceived by non-Muslims
as isolated and distant. Mosques need to
The mother is the centre of the household engage more with the communities in which
and instrumental in bringing up the children they reside.
and imparting key values and morals to
them. Mosques can play a key role in Lack of social activities
supporting this. Unfortunately many
mosques only have limited facilities for Some Mosques are only used as places of
women. prayer when there is scope for them to be
used for a wider range of activities.
Lack of management and administrative
skills within mosque committees can lead to Throughout this document there have been
inefficiencies in the way mosques are run. numerous recommendations aimed at the
There is a view that some mosques are not mosques. The diagrams 1 below summarises
managed as professional institutions with a the different elements that a modern day
lack of accountability to members of the mosque should focus upon.
Non-English speaking imams
Some imams cannot relate to their
congregations due to language barriers and a
lack of awareness of the key issues affecting
their local community.
• The welfare activities within the mosque
should help to make the mosque more
of a focal point in the community. The
mosque can provide a safe and
trustworthy environment to provide
support for people’s day to day
• The mosque should have an office
which acts as a central point for
organising the affairs of the mosque.
The mosque should encourage a strong
base of volunteers and hence should
look to develop a database containing
details of these volunteers especially
those with specific skills. This will assist
the mosque when a particular need is
• Education is a key element of everyday
activities within mosque such as Friday
Khutbah, study circles, Qur’an classes,
and information for new Muslims to
ease their transition into the religion.
• Academic education should also be
promoted and facilitated within the
mosque. An Islamic reference library
should be established as a resource for
negative portrayal of Islam and Muslims
4) Media by mainstream media was
overwhelmingly seen as the major
• The Think Tank survey found that the problem by Muslims. See figure 2.
• Each mosque should have a designated
media representative who is responsible • The mosque should also be active online
for maintaining links with the local and have a regularly updated website. A
media and other key organisations. wider media team should be established
which promotes the true message of
• Mosques should employ a fundraising
manager who will look at tax efficient
donations and regular donations.
• The manager would seek additional
funding to finance services offered by
6) Political Awareness 7) Youth
Politics in Islam means looking after the Youth participation is essential in ensuring a
affairs of people. The Mosque should play a vibrant future for the mosque and should
key role in creating a forum for people to help to eliminate some of the
discuss current local, national and intergenerational barriers. Young Muslims
international issues. This allows them to need to be encouraged to be active within
express their viewpoints and to explore the mosque and should have representation
solutions. on the committees. Activities such as youth
clubs, Islamic education and regular sports
Islam places great emphasis on unity and sessions should be organised.
refers to the Muslim Ummah as one body.
8) Think Tank
The Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him
and give him peace) said: "You see the A think tank is vital for developing a
believers as regards their being merciful strategic direction and to ensure that the
among themselves and showing love mosque continues to address the changing
among themselves and being kind, environment in which it resides. The think
resembling one body, so that, if any part tank should be aware of the key issues that
of the body is not well then the whole are on the horizon and develop innovative
body shares the sleeplessness policies that can help solve the problems
(insomnia) and fever with it." 1 that are faced by the people. It should also
help to develop progressive thinking within
Therefore the international element should the community and serve as an ideas forum
not be ignored as most Muslims have links for the mosque.
to different parts of the world and are likely
to be affected by problems that are
occurring overseas. Natural disasters such as
the earthquake in Kashmir and the
occupation of Iraq, Afghanistan and
Palestine are examples that demonstrate
Hadith book Bukhari
3. Making education
ﺍﻗﺮﹾﺃ ﺑﹺﺎﺳﻢ ﺭﱢﺑﻚ ﺍﱠﻟﺬِﻱ ﺧﻠﻖ
َ َﹶ َ َ ﹾَ ْ ﹺ
ﺧﻠﻖ ﺍﹾﻟﺈﹺﻧﺴَﺎﻥ ﻣﻦ ﻋﻠﻖ
ﹶ ِ ْ َﹶ ﹴ َ َﹶ
ُ ﺍﻗﺮﹾﺃ ﻭﺭﱡﺑﻚ ﺍﹾﻟﺄﻛﺮ
ﹾ َ َ َ َ ﹶ ﹾ َﻡ
ﺍﱠﻟﺬِﻱ ﻋﱠﻢ ﺑﹺﺎﹾﻟﻘﻠﻢ
َﻠ َ ﹶﹶ ﹺ
ﻋﱠﻢ ﺍﹾﻟﺈﹺﻧﺴَﺎﻥ ﻣَﺎ ﹶﻟﻢ َﻳﻌﻠﻢ
ْ ﹶ ْ ْﹶ َ َﻠ
“Read! In the name of your Lord who created: He created
man from a clinging form. Read! Your Lord is the Most
Bountiful One who taught by [means of] the pen, who
taught man what he did not know.”
Holy Qur’an, 96:1-5
“It takes an entire village to raise a child”
African proverb. Teachers now face low morale due to
difficult pupils and a lack of respect. Parents
Islam attaches great importance to too are concerned with the diminishing
knowledge and education. The Holy Qur'an moral fibre in the community. Agencies
repeatedly asks human beings to observe the need to work together to develop strategies
physical creation around them. and share good practice in order that a
concerted effort is made to improve respect
ﹺﺇ ﱠ ﻓِﻲ ﺧﻠﻖ ﺍﻟﺴﻤَﺎﻭَﺍﺕ ﻭَﺍﻷﺭﺽ
ِ َْ ﹺ ﻥ َﹾ ﹺ ﱠ and responsibility in Waltham Forest.
ﻭَﺍﺧِﺘﻼﻑ ﺍﻟﱠﻴْﻞ ﻭَﺍﻟﱠﻨﻬَﺎﺭ ﻵﻳَﺎﺕ
ٍ ﹺ ْ ﹶ ِ ﻠ ﹺ The Think Tank’s research shows that gang
activity, bullying and availability of drugs are
ﹺ ﻟﺄ concerns that residents have. These can
occur in school leaving parents with great
worry over their child’s safety. See figure 3.
“There truly are signs in the creation of
the heavens and earth, and in the
alternation of night and day, for those
with understanding.” 1
This instils in people the desire to learn
about the universe they live in and the
natural sciences. The first word revealed to
Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him and
give him peace) in the Qur’an was 'Iqra!'
(Read). Learning is thus the starting point of
every successful human activity.
A growing and more diverse population
needs to work together and provide a first
class education system for all those living in
With many Muslims living in Waltham
Forest their needs are of great importance to
schools and the Local Education Authority
Holy Qur’an. Chapter Al‐Imran, verse 190
Building the personality The vast majority of pupils in Waltham
Forest attend mainstream (state) schools.
Islam defines Education as more than The local authority shoulders a great deal of
academic studies and qualifications. Early responsibility when it comes to educating
experiences will influence a person for the our younger generation. With a lack of
rest of their life. Therefore it is of educational choice the local authority may
paramount importance that Muslims in be seen as a monopoly. However parents
Waltham Forest promote well-being, respect are now demanding greater choice in their
and responsibility to all, including children. children’s education.
Demand for places at Independent Independent schools may increase in
Islamic Schools numbers to satisfy demand. It is therefore
important that the local authority starts to
The two Independent Islamic schools in work with independent schools to ensure
Waltham Forest are growing in popularity. similar strategies are promoted through the
The Noor Ul Islam Primary School which borough by all educational providers.
has a capacity of 160 pupils, currently has
over 300 pupils on its waiting list. With a growing Muslim population in the
borough and more families wishing for their
Despite the Government initiative of ‘Every children to be educated in a school with an
Child Matters’ the LEA has not been able to Islamic Ethos, the likelihood of more
effectively work with local Islamic Schools Islamic schools opening in the area is high.
due to them being seen as independent The local authority needs to work together
entities. with Islamic schools, recognising not only
the financial benefits to the LEA but also
that the wishes of many residents is met by pupils perform better when studying in a
these schools. single-sex school only adds to the desire for
pupils to be taught this way.
Support for Home Education
Recent research by Durham University on
Some parents within the borough prefer to GCSE performance at independent schools
teach their children at home or in small states: “Almost without exception, when ability
groups. This may be for a number of variation is taken into account...the average
reasons but the lack of single-sex schools is performance of pupils of both genders in single-sex
one major factor. The local authority needs schools is better than the average performance of their
to recognise this possible trend and agree to counterparts in mixed schools by a significant
provide a support network to assist these margin.” 1
Madrassas are after school classes where
The LEA must seek the views of the some Muslim pupils from around five years
community, including Muslims when old typically spend two hours each weekday
formulating education strategies. There is a evening learning about Islam. The syllabi
fear that there will be no single sex state and quality of teaching in the madrassas vary
schools left in Waltham Forest, a prospect although recently many improvements have
that worries many in the borough both taken place.
Muslim and non-Muslim.
Further co-operation and training between
Islam provides great emphasis on these organisations will help improve the
segregation of the genders and this also state of supplementary education provided.
applies to studying. This is in no way ‘sexist’
or because women are deemed inferior to Responsibility of parents
men as some commentators try to suggest.
Rather Islam believes that it is the creator of Parents now cite lack of time to either be
both men and women – Allah Most High involved with their child’s education or
who decides which is the best way for them actively help their child’s school. This has
to live together that creates harmony in
John Charnley, 'THE GCSE PERFORMANCE OF
INDEPENDENT SCHOOL PUPILS: GENDER AND
SCHOOLTYPE DIFFERENCES,' Curriculum,
Muslims therefore request that their Evaluation and Management (CEM) Centre at
children are taught in a suitable Durham University, p. 12
environment. Recent research that shows CSE%20performance%20of%20independent%20sc
had an effect on parenting skills as work Islamic Approach
patterns and more single parent families
have resulted in less quality time between Islam makes self-improvement of the
parent and child. individual and the betterment of society a
religious duty. This has inspired individuals
The responsibility of raising a child and in a multitude of ways, above all in the
giving him/her a good education lies with search for knowledge. Throughout the
the parents and the community at large, Muslim World, the search for knowledge
including schools. This shared responsibility and science was undertaken in an effort to
requires joint effort by all parties and improve society as a form of worship. The
common strategies. A single message must development of medicine, the construction
be presented by all stakeholders. Currently and provision of hospitals, the building of
there are mixed messages being absorbed by hundreds of libraries and schools, the
children. Work must be undertaken to planting of beautiful gardens and green
ensure all parents present the same positive parks, and so much else, made the Muslim
message to children. World an oasis of light in a dark
surrounding. Islam’s stress on excellence
Lifelong learning and its search for perfection was crucial to
the progress of its civilisation.
It is recognised that Muslims must get
involved, support and promote lifelong This explains the advanced levels of
learning. This involvement must extend to knowledge that the Muslims reached in
existing and new areas of education. astronomy, surgery, ophthalmology, and
map making. It explains why the Muslims
Apart from the traditional curriculum for developed the empirical method,
education, there are wider possibilities for mathematics and physics and extremely
building a sense of respect from within and accurate instruments. This is also why
in partnership with the school system. Muslim gardens, libraries and hospitals were
run to standards unequalled today in most
Local institutions, including mosques, must of the Muslim world. And this is why the
promote good quality learning to all its Muslims wrote scientific and scholarly
stakeholders. Staff, imams and worshippers works of the greatest detail, precision and
must be encouraged to undertake formal excellence. 1
and informal studies regardless of age.
Those who have not had access to the In addition, all the books of hadith have a
internet and the latest technology should be chapter on knowledge (ilm). In Sahih
encouraged to complete relevant studies.
Muslim Heritage, Topics Section,
Bukhari, one of the most famous
collections, there is a chapter entitled, “The
ﻳَﺎ ﹶﺃﱡﻳﻬَﺎ ﺍﱠﻟﺬِﻳﻦ ﺁﻣُﻮﺍ ﹸﻮﺍ ﺃﹶﻧ ﹸﺴ ﹸﻢ
ْ َ َﻨ ﻗ ﻔ َﻜ
virtue of one who acquires ilm (learning) and
imparts it to others.” In the hadith, the scholar
ُ ﻭﹶﺃﻫﻠِﻴﻜﻢ ﻧَﺎﺭًﺍ ﻭﹸﻮ ُﻫَﺎ ﺍﻟﱠﺎ
َﻗ ﺩ ﻨ ﺱ َْ ْ ﹸ
is accorded great respect due to the benefit
the ummah derives from such intellects.
"O you who believe! Save yourselves and
The Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him your families from a Fire whose fuel is
and give him peace) said: “He is not from men and stones!" 2
my Ummah who does not acknowledge
the honour due to our elders, who shows Parents must realise that what they teach
no mercy to our younger ones and nor their children is not in isolation to what is
recognises the right of our scholars.” 1 being taught at school. Parental involvement
in the school not only allows parents to be
Student responsibility well informed with what is happening but
also provides the school with a much
Islam teaches individuals to be accountable needed contribution.
for their actions from an early age. Training
students to manage their time, studies, Muslim parents must be taught the
finances and social lives will encourage a importance of all concerned for their
more responsible approach to life. This will participation in school life. Parents can play
result in borough-wide benefits as young an essential role within a school’s PTA or
people understand the importance of self- even Board of Governors. It is believed that
management. a campaign to get parents involved in school
life is needed, especially for ethnic
Parental Responsibility communities where traditionally they have
shied away from this.
The Qur’an warns people to protect their
families from the hellfire. This warning Collective Responsibility
demonstrates that individuals must take
responsibility for the actions of their Some youngsters in the area have learnt that
families. there is more to life than materialism. Whilst
this goes against the grain, many people,
especially Muslims are being taught more
about spirituality and about collective
Narrated by 'Ubaadah b. as‐Saamit in hadith
books Ahmad and Tabaraani Holy Qur'an. Chapter Tahreem, verse 6
Muslims, as parents and teachers, have been • Local Authority to promote the
at the forefront of teaching children as well achievements of all pupils regardless of
as adults, which has showed their the school they attend (private or state).
willingness to take responsibility in local
matters. The notion of collective • Maintain and increase single sex schools
responsibility is greatly emphasized in Islam in Waltham Forest.
and none more important than instructing
one another on being accountable for all our • Develop parenting coaching
actions to Allah Most High. By doing so, we programmes.
feel an environment of respect will
prevail. • School Governor training within the
Recommendations • Local Madrassa council set up to share
resources and best practice.
• Establishment of a Local Islamic
Advisory group working for greater • Muslim professionals to provide careers
cooperation with local schools, LEA, advice to local community.
SACRE, Governors and non-
Governors. • Governor training for 16+ Muslim
pupils to encourage a return to their
• “Every Child Matters” initiative to own school as a Governor after
include all agencies. graduating.
4. Increasing financial
ﻭَﺍْﺑَﺘﻎ ﻓِﻴﻤَﺎ ﺁﺗَﺎﻙ ﺍﻟﻠﻪ ﺍﻟ ﱠﺍﺭ ﺍﻟﹾﺂﺧﺮﺓ ﻭَﻟﹶﺎ ﺗَﻨﺲ َﻧﺼِﻴَﺒﻚ ﻣﻦ ﺍﻟ ﱡﻧْﻴَﺎ ﻭﹶﺃﺣْﺴِﻦ ﻛﹶﻤَﺎ
َ َ َِ ﺪ َ َ ﱠُ ﺪ َ ِ َﹶ ﹺ
ﹶﺃﺣﺴﻦ ﺍﻟﻠﻪ ﹺﺇﹶﻟْﻴﻚ ﻭَﻟﹶﺎ َﺗْﺒﻎ ﺍﹾﻟﻔﺴَﺎﺩ ﻓِﻲ ﺍﹾﻟﺄﺭﺽ ﹺﺇ ﱠ ﺍﻟﱠﻪ ﻟﹶﺎ ُﻳﺤ ﱡ ﺍﹾﻟﻤﻔﺴﺪِﻳﻦ
َ ِ ﹶ ْ ﹺ ﻥ ﻠ َ ِﺐ ُ ﹾ َ ﹺ ﹶ َ ُْ َ َ ﱠ
“Seek the life to come by means of what Allah has granted
you, but do not neglect your rightful share in this world.
Do good to others as Allah has done good to you. Do not
seek to spread corruption in the land, for Allah does not
love those who do this.”
Holy Qur’an, 28:77
The Global Financial Crisis towards wealth and the concept of success.
“In the abstract it is absurd and monstrous for Capitalist view of wealth
society to pay the commercial banking system interest
for multiplying severalfold the quantity of the Capitalism is an economic system in which
medium of exchange when a) a public agency could wealth, and the means of producing wealth,
do it all at negligible cost, b) there is no sense in are privately owned and controlled as
having it done at all, since the effect is merely to raise opposed to state ownership and control as
the price level, and c) important evils result, notably found in Communism. Classical economists
the frightful instability of the whole economic such as Adam Smith who laid the
system.” 1 foundations for today’s economic systems
Frank Knight, Economist at the University believed in what is known as the “invisible
of Chicago, 1927 hand”. This is a metaphor to describe the
self-regulating nature of the market, where
The current financial crisis is essentially a the pursuit of individual self-interest also
banking crisis that began in August 2007 produces a collective good for society.
and which came to a head in September
2008 with the entire banking system on the In his book ‘The Wealth of Nations’ Smith
brink of collapse. Hundreds of billions of provides an example that illustrates this
pounds were pumped into the economy to principle:
prop up the financial system. With this
unprecedented market intervention, “It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the
nationalisation of banks, and interest rates at brewer or the baker, that we expect our dinner, but
near zero, people are beginning to question from their regard to their own self interest. We
the capitalist free market model. address ourselves, not to their humanity but to their
self-love, and never talk to them of our own
Understandably, people are looking to necessities but of their advantages.”
blame someone for the current financial
mess. The finger has pointed at the “greedy This ‘self-interest’ is exactly what the banks
bankers”, incompetent financial regulators were following when they gave sub-prime
and governments who allowed the situation mortgages to some of the poorest people in
to spiral out of control. However, if we look society who they knew could never pay
beyond the individuals and institutions we these loans back. When they defaulted on
find some very basic human concepts at the the loans the banks would simply repossess
root of the problem. These are the views the houses and make back their money since
house prices were rising like never before.
1 This ‘self-interest’ gave no consideration to
Tarek El Diwany, “The Problem with Interest,” Ta
Ha Publishers, First Edition, p. 55 the poor families who would end up losing
their home and on the street. ownership to Himself, by saying: ‘the
property of Allah’ (Maalillah).
Although sub-prime mortgages triggered the
current crisis the same ‘self-interest’ can be This concept that wealth is given to people
applied across many financial activities such by their Creator has a profound effect on an
as derivatives, securitisation, short-selling individual’s economic activity. Instead of
and market speculation. simply pursuing self-interest, they will realise
that this wealth is a trust and cannot be
Islamic view of wealth misused. People will believe in responsibility
and ultimately accountability to the one who
There is a common saying that money is the assigned them this wealth in the first place,
root of all evil. Many people believe that the Creator Allah Most High.
being wealthy is incompatible with being
religious. This is based mainly on the The Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him
discussion above concerning the concept of and give him peace) said: “The feet of a
‘self-interest’ towards generating wealth. servant will not move on the Day of
Islam however does not hold this view that Judgment until he has been questioned
money and wealth are inherently ‘evil’. about four things: his life - how he spent
it, his knowledge - how he acted upon it,
Islam believes that all wealth belongs to his wealth - where he earned it and how
Allah Most High since He Most High is the he spent it, and his body - how he used
Owner of all the Dominion (Malik al-Mulk). it.” 2
The Holy Qur’an states clearly that wealth Islam is not against people becoming rich or
and property (Maal) belongs to Allah Most businesses making profits as long as the
High and that He Most High is the one who economic transactions that generated this
gives wealth to people. wealth conform to the Islamic shariah. This
is summarised in the following verse of the
ﻭَﺁُﻮ ُﻢ ﱢﻦ ﱠﺎﻝ ﺍﻟﱠﻪ ﺍﱠﻟﺬِﻱ ﺁﺗَﺎﻛﻢ
ْﹸ ِﺗ ﻫ ﻣ ﻣ ﹺ ﻠ Holy Qur’an.
“And give them from the property of
Allah (Maalillah), which He gave to
ﻭﹶﺃﺣﻞﱠ ﺍﻟﹼﻪ ﺍﹾﻟَﺒْﻴﻊ ﻭﺣﺮﻡ ﺍﻟ ﱢﺑَﺎ
َ َ ﻠُ َ َ َ ﱠَ ﺮ
you.” 1 “Allah has permitted trade (al-bai’) and
forbidden usury (riba).” 3
When Allah Most High addresses the issue
of the origin of property, He attributes its
Hadith book Tirmidhi, Kitab sifat al Qiyamah wal
Holy Qur’an. Chapter An‐Noor, verse 33
Holy Qur’an. Chapter Al‐Baqara, verse 275
From this verse and its practical ordinary people look up to and try to
implementation by the Prophet Muhammad emulate their success.
(Allah bless him and give him peace) and his
companions the scholars of Islam derived a It’s this view of success which caused the
detailed understanding of halal and haram housing bubble and drove the record levels
financial transactions. The early Muslims of debt and the ‘buy now pay later’ culture.
implemented these rules in the lands they
ruled over and in their international trade From the poor sub-prime mortgage buyer
with other nations. In fact the first contact who was sold the dream of home ownership
with Islam by many non-Muslims was to the CEO’s of the banks that gambled
through Muslim traders such as in South people’s money on risky financial dealings,
East Asia. all share the same concept of what it means
to be successful and ultimately happy.
A businessman and trader who abides by
the Islamic Shariah in his financial dealings Islamic view of success
was praised by the Prophet Muhammad
(Allah bless him and give him peace) when Despite western societies having a high
he said: “The truthful and trustworthy standard of living and being the most
merchant will be in the company of the materially advanced in the world, the rates
Prophets, the upright and the martyrs.” 1 of depression and suicides are much higher
than some of the poorest countries on earth.
Capitalist view of success If success is truly material then this
shouldn’t be the case. Moreover the
The concept of success and happiness is celebrities who have reached this pinnacle of
fundamental to every human beings life. It material success are actually the ones who
gives a sense of purpose and a goal to strive suffer the most from drug abuse, alcoholism
for. What it means to be successful may vary and depression. This proves that there is
among people but the general view in more to happiness than simply materialistic
western societies is that success is measured pleasures.
by the amount of wealth and sensual
pleasure a person attains. Those celebrities Islam defines the purpose in life for every
who are deemed to be successful are the human being as worshipping Allah Most
wealthy politicians, pop stars and billionaire High.
businessman with their private jets, luxury
mansions and fleets of sports cars. These
people become the role models from which
Hadith book Tirmidhi
ﻭﻣَﺎ ﺧﻠﻘ ُ ﺍﹾﻟﺠﻦ ﻭَﺍﻟﹾﺈﹺﻧﺲَ ﺇﹺﱠﺎ
ﻟ َ َ ﹶ ﹾﺖ ﹺ ﱠ any hardship or experience any
ِ ْﺪ As mentioned previously. Although success
“And I have not created jinn and men in Islam is not materialistic this does not in
except that they should worship Me.” 1 any way mean that Islam is against the
pursuit of wealth and owning property.
Success (falah) in Islam is achieving the What Islam opposes is making the objective
pleasure of Allah Most High and being in life the pursuit of the material world
admitted into everlasting bliss in Paradise (dunya) at the expense of the hereafter
(jannah), even if that person lived the most (akhira). In fact Islam obliges people to
materially deprived and painful life. work to earn their provision (rizk) and not
simply sit and live off others.
Anas b. Malik reported that Allah's
Messenger (Allah bless him and give The Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him
him peace) said that one amongst the and give him peace) said, "The upper hand
denizens of Hell who had led a life of is better than the lower hand (i.e. he who
ease and plenty amongst the people of gives in charity is better than him who
the world would be made to dip in Fire takes it). One should start giving first to
only once on the Day of Resurrection his dependents. And the best object of
and then it would be said to him: "Oh, charity is that which is given by a
son of Adam, did you find any comfort, wealthy person (from the money which
did you happen to get any material is left after his expenses). And whoever
blessing?" He would say: "By Allah, no, abstains from asking others for some
my Lord." financial help, Allah will give him and
save him from asking others, Allah will
And then that person from amongst the make him self-sufficient." 3
persons of the world be brought who
had led the most miserable life (in the Islam believes in financial responsibility
world) from amongst the inmates of firstly to Allah Most High through abiding
Paradise, and he would be made to dip by the halal economic transactions. Then
once in Paradise and it would be said to secondly, through responsibility to oneself
him. "Oh, son of Adam, did you face, and family by providing a sufficient standard
any hardship? Or had any distress fallen of living without asking from others. And
to your lot?" And he would say: "By finally to the wider society through giving
Allah, no, Oh my Lord, never did I face
Hadith book Sahih Muslim, Book 039, Number
Hadith book Bukhari, Narrated by Hakim bin
Holy Qur’an. Chapter Adh‐dhaariyat, verse 56 Hizam
the obligatory charity (zakat) each year and give him peace) told him: ‘Do not love the
additional charity (sadaqa) as much as one world, and Allah will love you; and do
can afford. It’s this responsibility historically not have a longing for that which people
that led to the eradication of poverty in the have, and they will love you.’ 2
lands ruled over by the Islamic State in the
time of Caliph Umar bin Abdul-Azeez. Recommendations
Many times in the Holy Qur’an Allah Most • Mosque becomes advice centre to local
High directs human beings to the blessings major employers and job centres on
He has granted them. One of these blessing Islamic issues.
is the wealth which He Most High has given
to some more than others. A simple method • Use debit cards or pre-paid credit cards
that both Muslims and non-Muslims can use for transactions not interest bearing
to appreciate their current standard of living credit cards.
and not fall prey to depression simply
because they fail to become millionaires is to • Promote the Al-Mudarabah business
follow the advice of the Prophet model as a means to bring together
Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him wealthy business investors with
peace). unemployed people. Al-Mudarabah is a
business consisting of a capital partner
The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and a body or effort partner. The capital
and give him peace) said: “Look at the partner(s) provides the initial start up
person who is inferior to you, and do not money for the business and is liable for
look at one who is superior to you. all the business debts. He does not
Thereby you would be able to appreciate contribute any effort to the business.
better the benevolences of Allah The body partner provides his/her
bestowed upon you.” 1 effort only but no capital. He is not
liable for the business debts.
Abdul-Abbas Sahl bin Sa’ad Al-Sa’idi said
that a man came to the Messenger of Allah
• Courses on Financial Literacy and debt
(Allah bless him and give him peace) and
awareness run by mosques and schools
requested him: ‘Messenger of Allah (Allah
for the whole community.
bless him and give him peace), tell me
something by doing which, I should win
the love of Allah and the people.’ The
Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and
Narrated by Abu Hurairah in the hadith books
Bukhari and Muslim Hadith book Ibn Majah
5. Strengthening the role
of the family
ﻭﻣﻦ ﺁﻳَﺎِﺗﻪ ﹶﺃﻥ ﺧﻠﻖ ﻟﹶ ﹸﻢ ﻣﻦ ﺃﹶﻧ ﹸﺴ ﹸﻢ ﹶﺃﺯﻭَﺍﺟًﺎ ﱢَﺘﺴﻜُﻮﺍ ﹺﺇﹶﻟْﻴﻬَﺎ ﻭﺟﻌﻞ ﺑَﻴْﻨَ ﹸﻢ
َ ََ ﹶ ﻜ َ ِ ْ ِ ﹾ َﹶ َ ﻜ ﱢ ْ ﻔ ِﻜ ْ ْ ﻟ ْ ﹸﻨ
ﻣﻮﺩﺓ ﻭﺭﺣﻤﺔ ﹺﺇ ﱠ ﻓِﻲ ﺫِﻟﻚ ﻟﹶﺂﻳَﺎﺕ ﱢﻟﻘﻮﻡ َﻳَﺘﻔﻜ ُﻭﻥ
ٍ ﹶ ْ ﹴ ﹶ ﱠﺮ ﹶ َ ﱠ َ ﱠﹰ َ َ ْ َ ﹰ ﻥ ﹶ
“Another of His signs is that He created spouses from
among yourselves for you to live with in tranquillity: He
ordained love and kindness between you.”
Holy Qur’an, 30:21
The family is at the heart of an individual’s and grandchildren.
sense of self; it provides a set of values that
often, but not always underpin decisions In order to achieve a more responsible and
and choices throughout life. The makeup of progressive community the issues relating to
a family has changed dramatically over the families can be divided into six key areas.
last 50 years and as a result there is a lot of These are explained along with the Islamic
attention given to the impact of this on approach to each of the areas.
1. Counselling and support
The foundation for functional family life
and ultimately responsible living is effective Noor Ul Islam research revealed that issues
communication and understanding. This is such as rising divorce rates and teenage
true of the relationship between husband pregnancies were major concerns. See figure
and wife, parents and children, grandparents 4.
Evidence demonstrates that social problems This is not just a problem for the Muslim
are more prevalent among those who have community but for wider society in general
had personal experience of family and with divorce statistics on the rise there
breakdown. These include: is a strong risk that the knock on effects will
become more acute over the next
• Educational problems generation.
• Drug and alcohol problems
Islam places great emphasis on helping to couple want to put things right, Allah
alleviate the difficulties of others especially will bring about a reconciliation between
those going through difficulties related to them: He is all knowing, all aware.” 2
2. Family Communication
The Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him
and give him peace) said: “Whosoever Day to day communication within the
relieves from a believer some grief family remains as important today as it did
pertaining to this world, Allah will when extended families were the norm two
relieve from him some grief pertaining generations ago. Factors such as longer
to the Hereafter.” 1 commutes into work, the growth and
affordability of entertainment media and
If disputes and conflict arise between the longer working hours have contributed
spouses then an arbitrator is appointed from towards the deterioration of ‘family time’.
the wife's family and an arbitrator from the
family of the husband. This family assembly Communication within the family is
will listen to the complaints of both parties extremely important because it enables
and do its outmost to bring about members to express their needs, wants, and
reconciliation. If reconciliation between concerns to each other. Open and honest
them was not possible, then the assembly communication creates an atmosphere that
would separate them from each other in the allows family members to express their
manner that it sees fit, according to the differences as well as love and admiration
findings of its investigation. This is in for one another. It is through
accordance with the verse of Qur’an: communication that family members are
able to resolve the unavoidable problems
ﻭﹺﺇﻥ ﺧﻔُﺘﻢ ﺷﻘﹶﺎﻕ َﺑْﻴﹺﻨﻬﻤَﺎ ﻓﹶﺎْﺑﻌﹸﻮﹾﺍ
َﺜ َ ﹾ ِﹾ ْ ِ َ ﹺ that arise in all families.
ﺣَﻜﹶﻤًﺎ ﻣﻦ ﹶﺃﻫﻠﻪ ﻭﺣﻜﻤًﺎ ﻣﻦ ﹶﺃﻫﻠﻬَﺎ
ِْ ْ ﱢ ْ ِْ ِ َ َ ﹶ ﱢ Effective communication is generally found
in strong families, whereas poor
ﺇﹺﻥ ُﺮﹺﻳﺪَﺍ ﹺﺇﺻﻼﺣًﺎ ُﻮﻓﻖ ﺍﻟﹼﻪ َﺑْﻴَﻨﻬﻤَﺎ
ُ ُ ْ ﹶ ﻳ َﱢ ﹺ ﻠ ﻳ communication is usually found in weaker
family relationships. Marriage and family
ﹺﺇ ﱠ ﺍﻟﻠﻪ ﻛﹶﺎﻥ ﻋﻠِﻴﻤًﺎ ﺧﹺﺒﲑًﺍ
َ َ ﻥ ﹼَ ﹶ therapists often report that poor
communication is a common complaint of
“If you [believers] fear that a couple may families who are having problems such as
break up, appoint one arbiter from his excessive family conflict, ineffective
family and one from hers. Then, if the problem solving, lack of intimacy, and weak
Narrated by Abu Hurairah in hadith book Sahih
Muslim Holy Qur’an. Chapter An‐Nisa, verse 35
Islam obliged keeping good relations seated.” 2
between the family members even if those
relatives had severed relations with him/her. 3. Inter-generational issues
The Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him Our survey revealed concerns around inter-
and give him peace) said: “The Al-wasil generational communication issues. The
(the one who keeps good ties with kith challenge for families is to balance the
and kin) is not the one who values and beliefs of migrant
recompenses the good done to him by parents/grandparents with those of their
his relatives, but Al-Wasil is the one who children against the backdrop of 21st century
keeps good relations with those relatives Britain.
who had severed the bond of kinship
with him.” 1 The desire to engage in wider society with
diverse cultures and faiths can bring
Communication between parents and tensions in a household built on traditional
children is always a difficult area especially Islamic values. This can lead to
between father and daughter. However, the disagreements on dress, socialising, work,
relationship between the Prophet travel and relationships. The resulting
Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him tension can contribute to stress, anxiety and
peace) and his daughter Fatimah shows us ultimately communication breakdown where
an excellent example to follow. the family fragment and separate.
Ayesha, wife of the Prophet Muhammad Overcoming inter-generational issues
(Allah bless him and give him peace) said: requires both the children and their parents
“Never have I seen anyone more like the to act according to Islam. The parents have
Messenger of Allah in his solemn way a responsibility to keep their children on the
(of standing and sitting) than Fatima.” straight path and to give guidance to them
She added, “When she (Fatima) came in in the best manner.
the room to see him, he (The Holy
Prophet) would rise to his feet, take her The Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him
hand, kiss her and seat her where he was and give him peace) said: “Right guidance,
seated. And when he came to see her, graceful manners, deliberation and
she would stand up, take his hand, kiss moderation, are one part of twenty-five
him and seat him where she was parts of Prophethood.” 3
Azieza Hamid, ‘Fatimah Daughter of
Muhammed,’ Muslim Education & Literary
Narrated by Abdullah bin Amr in hadith book Narrated by Ibn ‘Abbas in the hadith books
Bukhari Ahmad and Abu Dawud.
relationships emanate such as motherhood,
The children also have a responsibility to fatherhood, brotherhood and sisterhood. It
communicate with their parents in the best is an institution that requires commitment,
manner. sacrifice and patience (sabr) to survive.
ﻭﻗﻀَﻰ ﺭﱡﺑﻚ ﹶﺃ ﱠ َﺗﻌُﺒ ُﻭﹾﺍ ﹺﺇ ﱠ ﹺﺇﱠﺎﻩ
ُ َﹶ َ َ ﻻ ْ ﺪ ﻻ ﻳ Unfortunately with the increasing
individualism found in society marriages are
ﻭﺑﹺﺎﹾﻟﻮَﺍِﻟﺪْﻳﻦ ﺇﹺﺣْﺴَﺎﻧًﺎ ﹺﺇ ﱠﺎ َﻳْﺒﹸﻐﻦ
ﻣ ﻠَ ﱠ َ َ ﹺ collapsing with many couples unwilling to
compromise and work to keep their
ﻋِﻨﺪﻙ ﺍﹾﻟﻜَﺒﺮ ﹶﺃﺣﺪﻫﻤَﺎ ﹶﺃﻭ ﻛِﻼﹶ ُﻤَﺎ
َ َ ِ َ َُُ ْ ﻫ marriages together. This is especially true for
the Muslim community with divorce rates
ﻓﻼ َﺗ ﹸﻞ ﱠﻟﻬﻤَﺎ ﹸﺃ ﱟ ﻭﻻ ﺗَﻨْﻬَﺮْ ُﻤَﺎ
ﹶﹶ ﻘ ُ ﻑ َﹶ ﻫ on the rise.
ﻭﹸﻞ ﱠﻟﻬﻤَﺎ ﻗﻮﻻ ﻛﺮﳝًﺎ
َﻗ ُ ﹶ ْ ﹰ ﹶ ﹺ Marriage in Islam is highly recommended
and a moral safeguard as well as a social
ﻭَﺍﺧﻔﺾ ﹶﻟﻬﻤَﺎ ﺟﻨَﺎﺡ ﺍﻟ ﱡﻝ ﻣﻦ
َ ِ ِْ ْ ُ َ َ ﺬ ﱢ necessity. Furthermore, marriage is the only
legitimate or halal way to indulge in intimacy
ﺍﻟﺮﺣﻤﺔ ﻭﹸﻞ ﺭﺏ ﺍﺭﺣﻤﻬﻤَﺎ ﻛﹶﻤَﺎ
ُ ْ َ ْ ﱠ ْ َ ِ َﻗ ﱠ ﱢ between a man and a woman, since there is
no concept of pre-marital relations in Islam.
َ The Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him
“Your Lord has commanded that you and give him peace) said: “O you
should worship none but Him, and that youngsters. Whoever amongst you who
you be kind to your parents. If either or can afford to marry should marry,
both of them reach old age with you, say because it will help him more to lower
no word that shows impatience with his gaze, and guard his modesty (i.e.
them, and do not be harsh with them, private parts from unlawful sex). And
but speak to them respectfully and lower whoever is not able to marry he should
your wing in humility towards them in fast, because it will be protection for
kindness and say, ‘Lord, have mercy on him.” 2
them, just as they cared for me when I
was little.’” 1 Islam ordered the husband to treat his wife
well and not to oppress her.
Marriage is the foundation of family life
from which the entire range of family
Holy Qur'an. Chapter Al‐Israa', verses 23‐24 Narrated by Ibn Masud in hadith book Bukhari.
The Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him Islamic reasons or because the proposer
and give him peace) said: “The best of you does not live up to their high expectations in
is he who is best to his wife.” 1 terms of career, wealth or family status.
Islam also completely forbids forced The Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him
marriage where parents force their son or and give him peace) said: “When someone
daughter into a marriage without their whose character and morals are
consent. agreeable to you approaches you for
marriage give your daughter to him in
A young girl came to the Messenger of marriage. If you do not then there will be
Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) tribulation and immense corruption in
and said: “My father married me off to his the earth.” They said: “O Messenger of
nephew in order to raise his lowly Allah, even if he has some deficiency?”
status.” So the Prophet (Allah bless him He said: “When someone comes whose
and give him peace) gave her the right to character and morals are agreeable to
repudiate the marriage. She responded: “I you and approaches you for marriage,
accept what my father has done, but I give your daughter to him in marriage.”
wanted to inform the (other) women that He said this three times. 3
fathers do not have any authority to give
their daughters in marriage against their 5. Elderly
Due to growing individualism and a
The meaning of her statement: “in order to weakening of the traditional family structure
raise his lowly status” is that her father there is a greater risk of the elderly
wanted to raise his nephew's social standing becoming isolated or excluded from society.
by marrying her to him. This means that the This can lead to a significant impact in
father gave her in marriage against her wish terms of cost to the community and a
because she did not consider him suitable potential deterioration in community
for her, not because she thought he was not cohesion.
a match for her, indeed he was her cousin,
but because she did not agree to the Islam ordered the respect of the elderly.
The Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him
The parents should not prevent their and give him peace) said: “He is not from
children from getting married due to un- my Ummah who does not acknowledge
the honour due to our elders, who shows
Narrated by Aisha in hadith book Tirmidhi.
Abdullah b. Burayda narrates on the authority of Narrated by Abu Hatim al‐Muzani in the hadith
his father in hadith book Ahmed. book Al‐Baihaqi
no mercy to our younger ones and nor they had finished, he realised the Wudhu
recognises the right of our scholar.” 1 done by the boys was methodical and
correct. It was his own Wudhu which was
The etiquette when dealing with the elderly incorrect.
is summed up in the story of the grandsons
of the Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him Turning to Imam Hasan and Imam Hussain,
and give him peace) when they advised the he gently said: "The wudhu done by you
old man of his mistake in making wudhu is absolutely correct. I am grateful that
(ablution). you chose to guide me in such a
An old man sat to do his wudhu. But his
wudhu was not correct. Imam Hasan and 6. Parenting
Imam Hussain the grandsons of the Prophet
Mohammad (Allah bless him and give him Functional families are better able to meet
peace), then two young boys, watched him. the needs of children and transfer the
They immediately realised that the old man psychological and behavioural benefits to
was not doing his wudhu correctly, but the next generation – key benefits include:
hesitated to tell him directly. Perhaps the old
man would feel humiliated by two young 1. Secure attachments
boys, or he might even lose interest in the 2. Autonomy, confidence and a sense of
act of worship. Sitting next to him, they identity
started to do the wudhu and during the 3. Freedom to express valid needs and
wudhu, Imam Hasan said: "Oh Hussain emotions
my wudhu is correct and more perfect 4. Spontaneity and play
than yours." 5. Realistic limits and self control
In reply, Imam Hussain insisted that his Parents and their behaviour have the biggest
own wudhu was better than Imam Hasan’s. influence on the children. Responsible
parenting is therefore essential in developing
Finally they said: "Let us refer to this the next generation and preventing many of
gentleman. He is older than us and the social ills that arise from poor parenting.
should be able to decide."
Parenting is a great responsibility and the
The old man was listening patiently. The parents will be questioned on the Day of
boys performed their wudhu under his Judgement about how they fulfilled this
supervision, one after the other. And when action.
Narrated by 'Ubaadah b. as‐Saamit in hadith
books Ahmad and Tabaraani
The Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him Recommendations
and give him peace) said: “Each of you is a
guardian and is responsible for those • Mosque family counselling services
whom he is in charge of...A man is the relating to teenage issues, debt issues,
guardian of his family and is responsible drugs and bereavement.
for those under his care; a woman is a
guardian of her husband's home and is • Pre-marital training and marriage
responsible for those under her care.” 1 counselling service to be established by
There is a great reward for bringing up
children especially daughters. • Mosques in partnership with Local
Authorities to develop care strategy
The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him programmes for the elderly
peace) said: “Whoever had three
daughters and showed patience in their • Encourage greater parental participation
keeping, their pleasure and displeasure, in schools
Allah admits him to Paradise for his
mercy over them.” A man asked, “And • Provision of pre-natal training
what about two daughters, O Messenger
of Allah?” He said, “And two daughters • Provision of post – natal support groups
as well.” Another asked, “O Messenger of
Allah, what about one daughter?” He • Development of parenting skill
said, “And one daughter as well.” 2 workshops
Narrated by Ibn Umar in hadith books Bukhari
Narrated by Abu Huraira in the hadith book Al‐
Annex: Survey Results
The Noor Ul Islam Think Tank conducted a research survey exploring the main issues affecting
the residents of the London Borough of Waltham Forest. This research was used as source
material for some of the chapters and their recommendations in this document. 1
The survey contained questions related to six key problem areas and took into account the views
of both Muslims and non-Muslims.
6. Social & Economic
The results from each survey section are outlined below. Each section contains three separate
results – Muslims, Non-Muslims and a combined overall result.
The survey, comprising all elements of the community, highlighted the under achievements of children
from minority groups as the top category with 25% of the overall response. Lack of availability of faith
The full survey results and methodology is available from Noor Ul Islam on request.
schools within the educational system was considered as the second most important issue by the
majority of those surveyed with 20%.
16% felt high university tuition fees was problematic for the community followed closely by
Bullying at school, which 15% of those questioned felt was an issue.
32% of the Muslims surveyed considered Under achievement of children from minority communities was
the biggest issue facing the community in Waltham Forest, followed by Lack of availability of faith
schools which resulted in 30% of those surveyed.
The survey also found High university tuition fees as an area they felt was a cause for concern with
13%. Bullying at school was also viewed as a problem with 8% of those surveyed.
26% of the non-Muslims surveyed felt bullying at school was by far the most relevant issue facing
the education system followed by 21% who felt High university tuition fees and Language problems
were issues which needed attention within the Education sector.
This category also felt Under achievement of children from minority communities was an area of concern –
15% of those surveyed were of this opinion and 8% of the survey group considered Racial
discrimination to be a problem within education in Waltham Forest.
The ‘Unhygienic environment in hospitals’ had the highest percentage with 28%. The ‘Lack of resources
in hospitals’ (19%) and taking ‘too long to get a GP appointment’ (16%) also polled favourably.
Both Muslims and non-Muslims regarded the ‘Unhygienic environment in hospitals’ and the ‘Lack of
resources in hospitals’ as their major problems. However, a key difference amongst Muslim
interviewees was a higher percentage (17%) that rated the ‘Lack of availability of female doctors for
female patients’ as a key problem.
The results for non-Muslim interviewees again were dominated by the ‘Unhygienic environment in
hospitals’ and the ‘Lack of resources in hospitals’ which was similar to the survey results of Muslim
‘Deterioration of family values’ had the highest percentage with 27% whilst ‘Lack of communication and
understanding between early and later generations (23%) and ‘High Divorce rate’ (21%) also polled
A key difference amongst Muslim interviewees was a higher percentage (21%) that rated ‘Forced
Marriages’ as their most important problem. Interestingly there was also a higher percentage for
the ‘High divorce rate’ (24%) category.
The results for the Non-Muslim interviewees were dominated by two categories which was a
contrast from the survey results of Muslim interviewees. ‘Deterioration of family values’ (33%) was
seen as the most important problem along with the ‘Lack of communication and understanding between
early and later generations’ (26%).
‘Unaffordable housing’ had the highest percentage with 56% whilst ‘Lack of availability of
accommodation’ (19%) and ‘Overcrowding’ (16%) also polled favourably.
A key difference amongst Muslim interviewees was a higher percentage (63%) that rated
‘Unaffordable Housing’ as their most important problem. Consequently ‘Lack of availability of
accommodation’ (16%) and ‘Overcrowding’ (13%) had lower a percentage of responses that rated them
as their most important problem from the total population.
The results for the Non-Muslim interviewees also rated ‘Unaffordable Housing’ (44%) as their most
important problem although at a lower percentage than the Muslim Interviewees. Interestingly
‘Lack of availability of accommodation’ (26%) and ‘Overcrowding’ (21%) had a higher percentage of
responses than those within the Muslim interviewees.
The ‘Negative picture of Islam/Muslims portrayed by mainstream media’ was overwhelmingly seen as the
major problem by Muslims with a response of 57%. ‘Anti-terror legislations and their affects on Muslim
communities’ (13%) and ‘British Foreign policy and its impact on Muslims in Britain’ (8%) were also key
concerns for those surveyed.
The ‘Lack of responsiveness/awareness on the part of Imams with regard to problems faced’ (6%) and
‘Islamophobia’ (5%) also polled favourably.
6. SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC
In the total sample within this category, Lack of mutual respect and tolerance polled the strongest with
24% and Drug abuse and gang culture closely behind with 23%. Racism in the community and institutions
and violent youth crimes polled equally with 16% each.
The data reveals a stark contrast in the lack of recreational facilities between Muslims and non
Muslims and may indicate the differences in cultural attitudes towards recreation and activities
such as sport and fitness which would impact on health and obesity issues and youth and gang
culture. Lack of mutual respect and tolerance was the strongest concern throughout the category and
points towards issues in anti social behaviour and prejudice.
Within the Muslim sub category presented equal responses at 21% for Racism in the community and
institutions, Lack of mutual respect and tolerance, Drug abuse and gang culture and Violent youth crimes while
lack of recreational facilities polled lowest at 1%
Non- Muslims considered Lack of mutual respect and tolerance to be the biggest problem at 31%
closely followed by concerns about Drug abuse and gang culture at 26%. Lack of recreational facilities
was presented as the third highest problem within this sub group at 20%.
Glossary of terms
Alimah Female scholar
Al-Mudarabah Al-Mudarabah is a business consisting of a capital partner
and a body or effort partner. The capital partner(s)
provides the initial start up money for the business and is
liable for all the business debts. He does not contribute any
effort to the business. The body partner provides his/her
effort only but no capital. He is not liable for the business
Al- Mufassal Last section of the Qur’an whose verses contain detailed
descriptions of Paradise and Hellfire.
Hifz Memorisation of Qur’an
Imam Leader of the congregational prayer
Khamr Literally wine but refers to all intoxicants
Kulliye Kulliye is an Ottomanized Arabic word that means
comprehensive, complete, or all-inclusive.
Maalillah Property of Allah
Madrassa Islamic school
Riba Usury or interest
Sabr Patience or perseverance
Shariah Islamic law
Tafseer Explanation of the Qur’an
Taqwa God Consciousness
Wudhu Ablution. Ritual washing Muslims undertake before
performing their prayer.
Zakat Obligatory charity paid once per year on those who reach a
minimum level of wealth (nisab).