CHARITY IFTAR – Pakistan Flood Appeal – Book now!

Due to the unprecedented floods in Pakistan a Charity Iftar – sponsored by the Civil Service Islamic Society and Islamic Relief  will be raising funds for the victims of the Pakistan Floods. The evening next week will include a 3 course meal and Islamic Relief will be providing an insight into their work for the Pakistan Emergency Relief Appeal and will show you how the money you donate will be spent. The evening will also include iA a charity auction.

Date:                  Tuesday 31st August 2010

Location:           Lahore Kebab House, Streatham High Road, SW16 3QL

Time:                 6.30pm – 9.30pm

TICKETS are £16.00 (inc. donation of £6 to Islamic Relief)- to avoid disappointment all seats will need to be pre-booked and a table number will be assigned. If you would like to attend reserve your place now by emailing – please confirm the numbers of seats you require and provide a contact number.  Payment will be taken on the night – cash only – if you have any queries call 078579 20533. *Family and Friends welcome.

 If you attempted to reserve your seats yesterday and experienced problems – please re-send your email to pre-book as the IT issue has now been resolved.

Please note registration will take place from 6.15pm and the evening will commence promptly at 7pm.

 For those who cannot attend the event please visit our just giving link to donate to the Relief Appeal – please forward the link to family and friends. Islamic Relief is registered as one of the Disaster Emergency Committee charities.


The Civil Service Islamic Society (CSIS) would like to invite you to our annual Iftar event,  (you can read about last years here),  which is being held on Tuesday 8th September at Sahara restaurant, St John’s Wood High Street. The evening will consist of a welcome by Chair of the CSIS, Shaykh Mohammed Pandor, Maghrib prayers at Regent’s Park Mosque and delicious Lebanese food and of course the chance to meet the people who are the CSIS!

The event is open to all and you can get your tickets here – well sort of; having some problems with the link so you have to go the long way round and visit our sister site en route!

Packed full of information about what the CSIS has been up to, introductions to our latest members, book reviews, travelogues and a useful guide to the basics of Ramadhan – The Society should definitely be on your summer must read list.

Ramadhan is literally around the corner, we are already half way into Sha’abaan, and this is usually the time when many of us ditch the toothbrush and dig out the miswaak. But what do we really know about this? It’s benefits, the Prophet Muhammad’s (pbuh) practice in using it and what the World Health Organisation says of it? Well you can find out all the answers in this issue.

Civil Service Live was a huge success not least because our Chair was part of the winning team, Team Liverpool. Sir Gus O’Donnell, Head of the Home Civil Service  said the winners, and indeed all 16 competitors, made him feel proud to lead the civil service. And one of his fellow judges,  Sir Peter Gershon, said the best people in the private sector would struggle to emulate the performances of the respective teams.

The 3 day event was packed full of sessions covering topics ranging from innovation to sustainability to a detailed presentation from the Home Office about their Contest Strategy.  There was even a surprise visit by Prince Charles!

The Civil Service Challenge in association with Visa is the highlight of the main attractions at this year’s Civil Service Live. The Challenge aims to get some of the best and brightest civil servants  from across the country to take part in a team-based competition with the winner being announced in a live grand finale at CS Live.

CS Live is a 3 day event taking place at London Olympia in July and is free for all Civil Servants but is not exclusive to them; non Civil Servants are also welcome! With over 300 high profile speakers including Peter Jones from the BBC’s Dragon’s Den; a range of exhibitors from both public and private sector; and over 8000 visitors expected over the 3 days it promises to be bigger and better than last years.

We at the CSIS have a particular interest in CS Live as our Chair,  Mohammed Pandor, was recently chosen from over 150 applicants to take part in the CS Challenge. He and his team had 24 hours to complete the challenge. They all received the very briefest of  instructions  to meet in a hotel in Liverpool where they would learn more about the task.  None of the participants knew each other or anything about the nature of the challenge until it started (for those of you who watch The Apprentice, this will sound familiar!). Their challenge was to persuade as many local business and private sector workers as possible to attend a presentation on apprenticeships. You will be able to read about Brother Mohammed’s experience of the CS Challenge in the next edition of The Society.

The winners will be announced at a grand finale on the last day of CS Live.

Those of you who are regular readers of the blog may have been wondering about the fate of our newsletter, The Society. Many months ago we announced its potential demise; you can read about that here. We are very pleased to tell you that we have a new editor in place and that the newsletter is once again our main communication tool.

Sister Nabeela Rasul recently joined the CSIS and has very enthusiastically taken on the role of Editor in Chief . The latest edition is now available and you can read it here.

For any budding writers out there who would like to get involved please email us at

As-salaamu’alaymukum Wa Rahamatullahi Wa Barakatuhu,

Insha’Allah this message reaches you in the best of Imaan and health. As you will be well aware the crisis in Gaza is deteriorating each day. The number of Palestinians killed is fast approaching a thousand with more than four thousand wounded. Witnessing these tragic events can make it difficult for us to see what actions we can take to help bring an end to the humanitarian crisis. However, we would like to list some suggestions we can all take part in to highlight the severity of the suffering taking place and the contributions we can make individually and collectively Insha’Allah.

Du’a (Prayer)

This is our most potent means to achieving an end to the suffering and indeed to any affair, as Allah has informed us:

“And your Lord has stated: Make du’a to Me, I will (of surety) respond to you” (Surah Al-Ghafir).

“And when My servants ask you concerning Me, then (answer them), I am indeed near to them. I respond to the supplications of the supplicant when he calls on Me!” (Surah Al-Baqarah).

Insha’Allah we pray Allah (SWT) grants Jannah to those that have been killed during the conflict and that He eases the affliction the Palestinians are under, “For truly with hardship comes ease; truly with hardship comes ease” (Surah Al-Inshirah).

Collective prayers, Qunoot-al-Naazilah are being held at East London Masjid everyday at Salat-ul-Fajr since the conflict began, we recommend that we all request our Masajid to do the same.

Charities collecting for this cause

There are many charities working tirelessly to help the victims of Gaza by providing medical supplies, food, water, clothing, fuel as well as psychological and social support for children. Below are some charities that are on the front line to delivering such services. The total number of Palestinian deaths since Israel began its war on December 27 has climbed to 905, about a quarter of them children. Almost 4,100 Palestinians have also been wounded since the beginning of the offensive.

According to reports from aid workers in Gaza 70 percent of people no longer have running water in their homes. This is as a result of electricity shortages and the damage caused to the water systems. There are also severe food shortages with people risking their lives to queue for up to ten hours on the streets for bread. As the fighting continues, a spokesman for the charity Save the Children has said it is impossible for aid workers to do their jobs in Gaza.The territory’s main hospital is close to collapse, according to two Norwegian doctors who have been working there during the conflict. They informed us patients at al-Shifa hospital were dying because of a lack of specialist doctors and basic medical equipment.

Hospitals are now entirely reliant on generators dependent on scarce fuel supplies, and with no fuel entering Gaza many life-saving machines are unable to run. Over half of Palestinians live in Poverty: 45.7% in the West Bank and 79.4% in Gaza . Please donate as much as you can for “…whoso saveth the life of one, it shall be as if he saved the life of all mankind” ( Surah Al-Ma’ida).

Gaza Appeal London 16.01.09

Leading organisations have combined to bring you this Friday, a charity dinner in support of the victims in Gaza , continuing our ethos of helping victims around the world – with past events in support of victims from natural disasters incl. Burma , China , Bangladesh and Pakistan.

Calling everyone to unite – 16.01.09 – 6.30PM – BUNDU KHAN RESTAURANT

Please book online and for more information, visit

Some recommended articles on the crisis in Gaza

Unfortunately much of the media coverage of the crisis in Gaza has not portrayed the truly horrific reality the citizens of Gaza face. The articles below provide a more balanced interpretation to the events taking place in Gaza .

How Israel brought Gaza to the brink of humanitarian catastrophe by Avi Shlaim

Gaza under fire by John Pilger

Guardian coverage on Gaza

‘Soon we’ll have nowhere left to run. Nowhere in Gaza is safe’ by Fares Akram in Gaza City

Robert Fisk’s World: Wherever I go, I hear the same tired Middle East comparisons

Press TV are one of the few news corporations to have journalists in Gaza

Raising Awareness

There are a number of demonstrations and petitions we can take part in to raise awareness and demand for an immediate ceasefire. Following the UN resolution which calls for an immediate ceasefire we should all be writing to our MP’s and our Government to push this agenda forward. The links below provide a means to carrying this out, it’s very simple and very quick! There is also some information on the demonstrations taken place so far.

Trade Merchants selling goods for Palestinians

Donating money to charities is essential to tackling the humanitarian crisis, however the Palestinians especially the Gazan’s need a sustainable economy that can generate wealth and jobs. Please see the links below which provide a way to buy products that can help build a Palestinian economy.

Organise a fundraising dinner

Why not bring your community together to raise awareness over the plight of the Gazan’s and collect much needed donations towards the huge humanitarian effort towards alleviating the suffering of those who need your help!

1. Think of 3/4 friends who will help organise the dinner.

2. Contact a local restaurant or community hall which will seat 50 -100 people, aim high!. Ask to book the restaurant for an evening. Mention that the dinner is for charity and ask for a discounted rate per head. You can charge double the rate given for tickets to the dinner.

3. Islamic Relief will get a poster produced for you to promote your dinner.

4. Islamic Relief will print any tickets needed for the event.

5. Islamic Relief will attend the event with their fundraising team and a presentation video showing up-to-date footage of Gaza and how your donations will help.

6. Islamic Relief will include your event on their events group, all you and your friends  will have to do, is sell the tickets and get your community in (the most important part!) – they will also help you with this.

If you are genuinely interested, committed and self motivated; all the necessary ingredients, please contact:

– Don’t forget your name and CONTACT NUMBER!

For more information on  fundraising events in your area visit the Islamic Relief website


There are many personal benefits to fasting but why not increase this noble act and encourage others such as family, friends, and colleagues to do the same with the aim of collecting the money that would have been spent on food and donating it to a charity that is collecting for the humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

Muslims across the world celebrated the start of the new Islamic year, 1430AH at sunset on Sunday 28 December.

The calendar began in the first lunar year of the Prophet Muhammed’s (peace and blessings be upon him) emigration from Mecca to Medina – an event so significant that it marked the ‘beginning of time’ so to speak. It was a turning point in the history of Islam with many notable successes and developments including a transformation of society, beginning with the successful alliance between the emigrants of Mecca and the native population of Medina.

We hope that such momentous events occur in the life of the CSIS this year!

The CSIS management team would like to wish all our many brothers and sisters a joyous Eid day, (whichever day you celebrated).

Shaykh Haytham Tamim sharing reflections on Ramadan

Shaykh Haytham Tamim sharing reflections on Ramadan

We had a fantastically successful iftar event last night at Bundu Khan, in East London. In addition to nearly a hundred of our colleagues from across the Civil Service, we were joined by a number of distinguished guests including:

Sadiq Khan MP – Government Whip
Shaykh Haytham Tamim- Chairman and Founder of Utrujj Fondation
Peter Lewis – Chief Exec of the Crown Prosecution Service
Robert Devereux – Permanent Secretary of the Department for Transport
Ajmal Masroor – Imam and presenter for Islam Channel

Ajmal Masroor did a fantastically energetic job of presenting the event and announcing the guests. On top of all this we also managed to raise money for the charity Interpal that delivers humanitarian aid to the Palestinian people (we will report back later on the exact amount).

Our thanks to Sisters Salma Yousef and Shazia Siddiqui for organising the event and to all the many helpers for their sterling efforts on the night.

Look out for more exciting events to come.