'Cheer people up and do not drive them away'

Bibi Khan, president of London Islamic Cultural Society and Mosque

Bibi Khan, president of London Islamic Cultural Society and Mosque - Credit: Bibi Khan

Happy holiday to readers of the Ham&High.

This time of year brings with it sentimental thoughts and emotions as we are reminded of family, friends and many important things in life.

Whether we celebrate Christmas or not it’s a time when we all spend dedicated, valuable time with our families sharing special food, playing games, praying, or just lazing around because it’s a holiday.

These last two years have been trying, difficult for some devastating. Loved ones were lost, our community struggled to cope with something we have never seen or experienced in our lifetime – the Covid-19 pandemic. Life changed significantly as we tried to adapt in our jobs, schools, places of worship, and even venturing out from our homes became a daunting experience.

Many suffered with mental ill health, domestic violence, and family or educational issues.

We had to learn and learn fast. We adapted to changes, gained IT skills, and learned to communicate using social media. The words “you are on mute” became the most used during meetings on Zoom or Teams. Our whole lives changed.

LICS supported the NHS, vaccine centres, schools, the police, and those providing critical services to our community at such trying times.

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Our thanks and appreciation to our wonderful public servants whose work and commitment should be commended. I extend my thanks to LICS helpers who dedicated their time, efforts, and energy to help everyone whether it was to ensure guidelines were followed to delivery of food items, groceries, prescriptions and assisting at the vaccine outreach session.

As a community we have learned to be considerate of one another, showed compassion and united in our efforts to reach out, we are one community. Our faith groups played their role in targeting and supporting each other’s community. Neither of us know what is ahead but I believe that if we stay connected, believing in each other that we will triumph over adversity or trials.

Our best wishes to all for a happy holiday season. Reach out to others, sharing, and giving are some of the most precious acts one can do. A smile touches hearts in a way no one can imagine.

“Make things easy for people and do not make them difficult, and cheer people up and do not drive them away.” Prophet Muhammad (OWBP)

Bibi Rabbiyah Khan is president London Islamic Cultural Society (Wightman Road Mosque).