Islam vs Culture

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A Talk Show – Islam vs Culture

The prefects came around on the 23rd of November instructing us all to head to the multipurpose hall and we all just blindly followed their instructions not knowing what is waiting for us. We thought it would be just another boring assembly but we were all taken by surprise when we entered the hall. The chairs were arranged in a very peculiar manner. They were arranged in such a way that each circle of chairs was surrounded by another bigger circle of chairs. Some of our seniors were sitting in the middle of the circle. We were all still clueless about what was going on until Shazia started talking.

“Islam vs Culture” she started off. “Wow! This is going to be interesting.” I thought to myself.

“Islam is made by the Creator and culture is something that His creations created, which one would you follow?” she asked to the crowd sitting around. It was obviously a rhetorical question but some people couldn’t control the excitement so they actually put their hands up to answer. That’s how involved we all were!

The first topic we talked about was ‘superstitions’. Almost everyone had something to say and I was honestly taken back by the amount of people who wanted to answer. We heard common superstitions in which people from different cultures believe in and also some that were very new to us too. As the crowd was a very multi-cultural one we all had our say in it. There were a few giggles here and there from amongst the younger girls when hearing some very silly superstitions but we had very mature opinions from amongst the same younger crowd as well.

We then moved on to death. This topic definitely did bring us all to the edge of our seats. Heated arguments initiated when the question “Whether people in the graves can hear us or not?” had risen. According to me they can’t hear us once they’ve been buried, as their souls leave the face of the Earth and go to the ‘Barzakh’ and most of my fellow listeners agreed too but some did refute this point. Oh how I wish we actually concluded whether this was true or not.

The next topic was weddings. People were very enthusiastic while sharing their experiences and thoughts about this as weddings was something we were all able to relate to immediately. We were clearly explained about the simplicity of weddings back in the days of Prophet Muhammad and how it has completely changed now. We were also taught about ‘mehr’ and how it is supposed to be done.

We eventually started talking about Mahrams and Non-Mahrams and the rulings and differences between them. We all had countless questions on this subject and in the end the audience themselves cleared doubts of each other using the little knowledge we have of it.

On the whole, we had a very satisfying yet a very interesting and educating session that gave us an opportunity to display the knowledge we already had on these topics and correct the misconceptions and doubts our fellow Oxfordians came up with.

Aminath Ifasa  [10G]

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