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Photos: Living Islam Festival (camping) 2008

Dawud Wharnsby

Highlights from 2008's Living Islam Festival in Linconshire, UK. Above, Dawud Wharnsby and Idris Philips hold a creative workshop for children.

To book tickets for this year's festival and more details read our MUSLIMNESS Living Islam 2011 post.

There are numerous reasons why you should attend the Living Islam festival, one of which is because I will be there insha'Allah. And as I'm so cool, it'd be like, y'know, a criminal offense if you didn't come to say salamings* or owt at the least. For the past LI shows I've held a MUSLIMNESS stall, showcasing the crafts I used to sell from my textile and graphics designing business 'Spreading Light'. This year, I'm a participant in another colour. I shall be recruited as a Scouts leader in charge of protecting the little people, zippidee-doo-dah-hurray*.

Anywho, pitchers, pitchers. 'Ere y'arre. Translated: pictures, here you are.
*This is how I speed-talk. 

Red Devils, UK
Red Devils, UK. The Parachute Regiment Freefall Team ‘The Red Devils’ is the official parachute display team of the Parachute Regiment , ‘The PARAS’.  Fireworks, hot smoke, lots of running men. #Oh happy day...

Red Devils, UK
What they did was fly across in an aircraft, jump out creating crazy hand-to-hand displays in the skies and land like superheroes....
Red Devils, UK
The Parachute Parade hold an Islamic meeting. {www.isb.org.uk}

On-site wagon
Public transportation fundraises for charity. That was one gallopy horse. It smelled funny too.

Dawud Wharnsby
Dawud Wharnsby leads a personal talk titled "What is the meaning of life?" He reads one answer: 'Men and Jinn were created for no other purpose but to worship Allah' (Qur'an).

Lucy Bushill Matthews, South Africa
Lucy Bushill Matthews, South Africa. Wonderful woman, masha'Allah.
Lucy’s first book “Welcome to Islam, a convert’s tale” is a light-hearted and anecdotal look at the issues faced by an English Muslim when trying to integrate with the Muslim community and with everyone else. Having recently moved to South Africa, Lucy now works for Islamic Relief on skills development in poor communities, and on projects encouraging creative expression amongst the Muslim youth. Lucy's also a writer at {emel.com} magazine.

Signs. Susan, signing nasheed artist Talib's song 'Allahu', for the deaf Muslims. Subhan'Allah.

Jeff Mirza, UK
Jeff Mirza, UK. Asian Comedian. Funny with a cultural splosh. {www.jeffmirza.com}

Dawud Wharnsby
Dawud Wharnsby, Canada, currently residing in Pakistan, gave us a beautiful rendition of 'Rachel', about the woman who was killed for defending a Palestinian household. {www.rachelcorrie.org}

Full Moon
Qamar, Arabic for moon. I have an attachment to things in space. The planets, magnetic fields, stars and blackholes. It was a full moon that July of 2008. A sign of Allah surely.

Imam Ziaullah Khan, Canada
Imam Ziaullah Khan, Canada, gave a talk about community and moving forward. I wish I had a clever anecdote but I remembered little of the whole evening, *tipsy on Sprite*.

Dr. Zulfiqar Ali Shah, USA
Dr. Zulfiqar Ali Shah, USA, spoke about dealing with criticism.

On-site Pakistani bus
An on-site Pakistani bus. The little man is a relative of the Iqbal variety.

Archery. To'ally fun-fun-fun. Masha'Allah, the fellah in the green top nearly got centre mark - next time perhaps... I hit mostly into the air and other human beans.

Lunch time
Although that particular year it rained in summer, we all found the spirit to eat our meals as a unified group outside on the grass and in the food tents. Halal food, various caterers and recycling bins galore. Twas nice. Swonderful, smarvellous.

Dawud Wharnsby...
After br. Dawud's talk on the Meaning Of Life we all huddled to talk about conversions, people's interpretations of faith and what we all did outside of famousness. Of course, being the young'un I was back then I mostly gawped while Lucy (in white) hugged young sisters and mother-in-law (in shades, not mine, Lucy's - I think), gave great preppy advice to us all. "Be brave, live Islam, follow your principles". I want to clone br. Dawud's kindness as sunshine filled jars and hand them out to strangers. Good man, alhamdulillah.

Flying Kites for charity
Children had acres of space to fly kites, ride bikes, run and play cricket. So they did.

Bungee jumping for charity
Grown ups had their own thrills through this sponsored bungee jump. Women and men alike - mostly young adults (think of the insurance for the elderly) - leaped with faith from what appeared to be dental floss. Mental. The guy here is thinking, "oh em jee, why did I sign up for this? Ya Allah... La illaha ill'allah..." And then...
Bungee jumping for charity
Inflatable Foozeball
Hijabis on an inflatable foozeball. That's right, the females got their own play area. Bouncy castles, sumo wrestling, football, archery, and other stuff I forget. This was 3 yrs ago.

60ft Bouncy Slide
60 foot bouncy castle. You don't slide down this, you ROLL down it.
There I am, neat and shuffled with my jilbaab when all of a sudden a tidal wave of wind blasts me this way and that way and my clothing flashes body parts that nobody ought to see. I'd do it again in a heartbeat. Muahahaha.

Idris Philips, USA
Idris Philips, USA. Musical Muslim. Kind and quiet.

Batool Toma, UK
Batool Toma, UK, gave a brilliant introduction to the 'New Muslim' initiative.
A graduate of St. David’s University College, University of Wales, Batool is a Research and Education Officer at The Islamic Foundation, and Coordinator of the New Muslims Project. This pioneering project offers a variety of services related to the overall support, education, and continuing development of converts to Islam in the UK.

Dr Tariq Ramadan, Switzerland
Dr Tariq Ramadan, Switzerland. If you don't know who Ramadan is, you're missing out on social-political ideas. This Muslim intellectual gave a speech on the 'Power Within'.

Hamza Robertson, UK
Hamza Robertson, UK. Our 'homeboy', Robertson is the emo-country Muslim singer from Oldham. He's cute in the "he could pass for your younger brother" cute. Masha'Allah.

Big Top @ Lincolnshire Showground
Lastly, so you know where the action was - the Big Top at the Lincolnshire Showground. The whole area is vast which allows the thousands of attendees to disperse. A brother asked, "Why can't every day be like these? It's a Jannah on earth." And we all agreed.

Photos: www.zaufishan.co.uk © flickr

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