EP 19: Islamic Societies & The Student Life Balance (feat. Zara Mohammed, Sajjad Khan & Naairah Aftab)
Student Islamic societies / associations, for many Muslims, are the backbone of their University experience. During the life-changing journey through higher education, we undergo an experience of learning, self-discovery and spiritual development, and being involved in an Islamic society (ISOC) can provide a fantastic opportunity to dramatically enhance these experiences.
From annual charity events to weekly spiritual circles, social gatherings, Islamic lectures, campus-wide campaigns and much more, there’s no doubt that the ISOC experience creates life-long friendships, builds tremendous skills and an array of fond memories.
The excitement and sense of belonging that comes with participation in an ISOC can also, however, lead to one losing the ability to balance between their studies and extra-curricular duties. Quite often this can cause undue stress, a lack of prioritisation, the neglect of family and friends, and an internal battle between maintaining a social identity, being involved in Da’wah work, and actually succeeding at University.
How do we make the most of the ISOC experience whilst ensuring that we maintaining a healthy student-life balance, grow and self-develop as Muslims, and ultimately succeed as University students?
In this episode, we’re joined by Zara Mohammed, Sajjad Khan, Naairah Aftab and podcast host Usman Majid – a panel with a plethora of ISOC experience – who discuss this in depth and provide advice to the Muslim students across the globe.
What you’ll learn in this episode:
- Personal journeys to practising Islam – a story from each guest
- The benefits and importance of joining an Islamic society
- The ISOC experience and how it shapes us
- The most common reasons why students fail to maintain a healthy student-life balance
- Personal experiences on the above from each guest
- The importance of understanding our priorities as Muslim students (and what they are)
- Understanding the bigger picture and being real with your expectations
- Practical tips and advice on how to keep a firm hold of both your studies and Da’wah work
Links and resources:
This episode was based on the blog: Studying & Spirituality – Finding the Right Balance
Today’s Ayah of the Day is Surah Al-Maa’idah, Verse 35.
Organisations / Societies Mentioned in the Show:
Today’s episode features:
Zara is a graduate with a LLM in Human Rights Law. She has served on the executive team of the Federation of Student Islamic Societies (FOSIS) for three years and was elected the first female President or the term 2016-17.
Zara has contributed to a number of public consultations including Muslim women and employment, islamophobia, and has spoken at a number of events across the UK and Ireland.
Sajjad Khan is a Civil Engineering masters student at the University of Strathclyde, and is an active member of the community. He’s been part of many organisations, such as FOSIS, and was previously the UK manager of Discover Islam and is now the Founder & CEO of the newly formed Explore Conference UK. He has also delivered many talks at Universities across the UK, including a Ted Talk about his experience in Africa .
Naairah is a Chemistry graduate from the University of Glasgow and is working towards a career in academia. Her research focuses on sustainable energy technologies. Naairah is currently serving as the FOSIS Scotland Chair, and she has previously played an active role in university-based initiatives, ranging from ISoc projects to STEM outreach. Alongside her degree, she has furthered her Islamic studies via the iSyllabus courses. Naairah is passionate about educating and empowering the youth, and she hopes to continue promoting this in all her endeavours.
Usman graduated with a degree in Marketing, and spent much of his time at University involving himself in various Da’wah, media & tech initiatives.
His passion for using creative media to provide practical solutions for Muslims led him to launching the Deenspiration blog & podcast show, on which he invites special guests from around the world to share their gems of wisdom.
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Are you a student currently involved with and ISOC / MSA? What have been your experiences, and what advice can you share with others? Scroll down and leave a comment.
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