Last Wednesday, members of Newcastle Univeristy Islamic Society ran an event in collaboration with One Ummah, a non-profitable organisation.
Speakers on the evening were Mohamed Hoblos, Imam Wajid Malik and Muslim Belal, all of whom have toured the UK with the State of the Ummah tour.
Ummah is an Arabic world meaning ‘one community’ and refers to the Islamic world as it was in the Qur’an and as it is now, in present day.
Zak Mahmud, a volunteer from One Ummah helped to welcome guests and provide further information about Islam in general.
He said: “Our intentions are three-fold. Firstly, we wanted people to know the fantastic work the charity were doing.
“Secondly, the Muslims are our target audience and we want to give them a reminder of why we need to be people of self-improvement.
“Everything we do in work, education or religion, we always need to be looking to improve ourselves.
“Finally, we want to raise funds for people who are in need around the world.
It’s important that rather than the media representing Islam in a negative light, Muslims are out there helping the community, both globally and locally.”
Imam Wajid Malik, opened the evening by discussing the history of the ummah and the problems faced by Muslims since the beginning of time.
He quoted the Qur’an, addressing the audience and linking the historical events in the holy book to the modern day.
Muslim Belal, closed the evening with a piece of spoken word performance poetry that tracked through his life, from his impoverished upbringing in Gipsy Hill, London to his decision to convert to Islam.
His poetry explored his early life which included criminal activity, that ended when he took his Shahada an Islamic creed taken by Muslims to declare their belief and acceptance of Muhammad.
Mohammed Hoblos, a preacher who had travelled from Australia to take part in the tour, offered a sermon that emphasised the importance of the individual in the ummah, recalling a quote from the Qur’an: ‘”This ummah of yours is a single ummah”’ (Sûrah al-Anbiyâ’: 92).
He addressed the audience by repeatedly linking sin to the wider Muslim community, stating that if one person sins, it is like the whole world has sinned.
It was in this context that the One Ummah volunteers provided a presentation about their work in Syria.
The charity has worked in other areas of the Middle East, and even in Greece with refugees, however the current focus is Syria for their winter appeal.
Some of their most successful work in Syria has come from work with widows and orphans in by setting up a camp with over 80 huts.