This weekend I attended an ISB (Islamic Socieety of Britain) Young Muslims residential as a mentor, called Be The Change. It’s a weekend where 11-17 year old Muslim children come together to talk, discuss, explore ideas, and venture out of their comfort zones, helping them to ultimately be the change.
Although different from the nature of my other blog posts, this weekend is definitely something I want to write about and share with you. Not only did Be The Change inspire the Young Muslims, but it also inspired me as a mentor. The challenges allowed me to step outside my comfort zone only to expand it.
Having the children support each other and talk about issues they face in day to day life as young Muslims, is something we should all do as an Ummah. These children are an example of what our Ummah should be. They inspire each other, appreciate each other, learn from each other, and support each other. When one is cold, the other gives them their jacket. When one is eating they make an effort to share. When one is sad they all show their concern. When one is happy they all join in the laughter. When one is struggling, they all offer support and help.
Each individually talented and amazing in what they do, they inspire those around them without trying. This weekend was a reminder to myself that to change we must start from within. To ultimately be the change, we have to push our comfort zone, we have to support one another, we have to be considerate, we have to follow the Quran and Sunnah as the prophet (pbuh) practiced, we have to listen to each other and support each other, removing judgements.
We as a Ummah need to listen to what they have to say. Events like this residential give the young people space to discuss things they’re usually scared of discussing. It gives them space to explore and understand Islam as we know it. It gives them place and identity, and somewhere to build their confidence. A place where they can grow to be the change they can be.
I’ve attended YM residentials many times, but returning as a mentor this year was somewhat more inspiring and moving. Being a figure for those children to look up to and to ask help from is by far one of the best experiences I’ve had, which I insha’Allah plan to carry out for as long as I can. I’d like to thank Aunty Rabiha for giving me such an amazing opportunity, for helping me carry out my aspirations, and helping me build my confidence.
Verily! Allah will not change the condition of a people, unless there is a change of what is in themselves. (Ra’d verse 11)