Islamic Stories

"The Messenger of God, peace and blessings be upon him, said: “A servant [of God] will not attain true faith until he loves goodness for people as he loves it for himself”.

-Hadith. Source: Sahih Ibn Hibban 238, Grade: Sahih

Painting by Mohamed Elsayed

Prof. Mohamad Abdalla:

“Hadith is the second most important source of Islam after the Holy Qur’an. Hadith are a collection of authentic narrations about Prophet Muhammad’s statements, actions and tacit approvals. Given that true faith is the ultimate goal of every believer, the hadith stresses that this is not attainable without loving good for others as one loves it for himself. This principal reinforces Islam’s stance that without fulfilling the rights of people (and other creatures such as animals) faith is deficient. In fact, while few teachings of Islam relate to the rights of God, the bulk relate to the rights of His creation.”

Did you know ?

Contrary to misundestandings, the Islamic faith protects womens rights. Women had the right to vote over 1400 years ago, the right to own property, the right to run a business, a right to their own income.

Muslim women even keep their name and are not “given away” at marriage.

Artist Statement - Mohamed Elsayed

I was fond of Islamic art, especially calligraphy, since a young age, and I studied at Arabic Calligraphy Schools as a child. To me Calligraphy was a way to express my feelings, thoughts and emotions. It was like the air I breathe. I now teach calligraphy at ICOSA and I love it.

This work frames one of the beautiful sayings of Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, as well as being part of a great project which describes the fascinating multicultural society of Australia. The green background was chosen to inspire harmony in others, to bring a feeling of tranquillity and it is a symbolic of faithfulness and unity and hope. It represents dependability and tactfulness and that’s exactly what the calligraphy of the Prophet Muhammad’s saying is all about. Whilst the text is in blue as a colour for peace and tranquillity, the leaves in the background shows how different yet similar we are.

This exhibition bring us together, we have all come together to focus on how we are similar and accept our differences because we all are different but we share the same home. As educators we bring this back to our families, communities, schools, students and spread the word to a wider audiences who maybe one day share the same experiences.

I hope this project keeps Australia strong.

Afghan Cameleers: their relationship with Indigenous Australians

As Muslim cameleers travelled through the inland they encountered a diversity of Aboriginal groups. An exchange of skills, knowledge and goods soon developed.

Some cameleers assisted Aboriginal people by carrying traditional exchange goods, including red ochre or the narcotic plant pituri, along ancient routes such as the Birdsville Track. The cameleers also brought such tea, tobacco, clothing and metal tools to remote Aboriginal groups.

Exchanges occurred at every level. Aboriginal people incorporated camel hair into their traditional string artefacts, and provided information on desert waters and plant resources. Some cameleers employed Aboriginal men and women to assist them on their long desert treks. This resulted in some enduring partnerships, and several marriages.

By the 1930s, as the cameleers became displaced by motor transport, an opportunity arose for Aboriginal people. They learnt camel-handling skills and acquired their own animals, extending their mobility and independence in a rapidly changing frontier society.

Feeding the Homeless

The Muslim youth of Adelaide have a history of actively participating in community activities, not just with in the Muslim community but the general Australian community. Being charitable and feeding those who are hungry is an important part of Muslim life. A key lesson we learn from fasting the month of Ramadan is experiencing what it feels like to do without, which instills empathy for those in need.

A recent project by the Muslim youth of Adelaide was to join the Collective of St Mary Magdalene Drop-in Centre, in Moore St, in the city, to feed the homeless. They participated in the food preparation and serving the poor.

A passionate bunch of Anglican youths created the drop-in centre in 1989, and Anglican parishes continue to provide many of the volunteers (St Mary Magdalene’s Parish also provides its Misson Hall for a token rent).

Zahra Fathi, who immigrated to Australia with her family when she was a toddler, found it to be a very special experience.

“I’m very strong in my faith – I wear the hijab. I love Adelaide. It was good to give something back and help others who are less fortunate and marginalised,” she said.

Another group of Muslim men and their children spent their Saturday night on the streets in Adelaide distributing home cooked meals and drinks for the homeless, inspired by the “White Coats” in Sydney, a group of Muslims who share the Muslim’s love of food with homeless people.

Sharing Friendship and Understanding

Over the last 15 years Muslims have been publicised in a very negative light. Atrocities across the globe are being attributed to Islam building a perception in many Australians who have never met a Muslim that Muslims are to be feared.

To counter this perception the Islamic Society of South Australia initiated 2 projects, Mosque Open Days and the Salam (Peace) Festival. Both of these initiatives offer an opportunity for anyone to come and meet and talk to the Muslim community in Adelaide.

Mosque Open Days demystify what happens inside a mosque when the general public are invited to witness themselves the Muslim Prayer. Members of the Muslim community from diverse cultural backgrounds welcome any questions, answering them openly, eager to dispel so many of the myths that exist about Islam and Muslims. Questions like “Do you wear Hijab in bed” to tough questions on current affairs are met with smiles and understanding.

The Salam Festival is an annual family event in the park which opens up an opportunity for Muslim and non Muslim families to come together for a day of fun rides and multicultural food.

Detailed displays representing all aspects of the Muslim way of life and Islam offer another opportunity for the general public to learn the truth about Islam and the Muslims.