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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 info@civilserviceislamicsociety.org – 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 http://www.justgiving.com/csisiftar 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 info@CivilServiceIslamicSociety.org.

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.

It was with great pleasure I attended the special Iftar that the Civil Service Islamic Society and Crown Prosecution Service Staff Network organised in the Holy month of Ramadhan.

I have got to know about the high esteem with which the CSIS and CPS Staff Network are held, not just since my promotion to a Minister in the Prime Minister’s first reshuffle in June 2007, but also in my role as MP for Tooting since 2005. Recognition of the reputation you have is illustrated by the fact that Richard Devereux, Permanent Secretary for the Department of Transport and Peter Lewis, Chief Executive of the CPS, both joined us to open our fast. It was also good to see non-Muslims from the CPS fasting for the day to show empathy, solidarity and friendship with their Muslim colleagues. I can’t think of a better example of integration in action!

I have a huge soft spot for the CPS; not just because in my previous life I was a lawyer but also because the CPS sponsored last year’s Muslim News Award for Excellence – where I was honoured with an award!

Civil Servants play a really important role in our society. Whether it be working in job centres, acting for the CPS or saying “Yes” to Ministers(!) you have a crucial role in ensuring our society is working. A healthy country needs to have a good and efficient Civil Service and that includes having one that truly reflects the society they wish to serve.

The organisation of Muslims within the Civil Service and CPS, the mentoring and support you provide each other as well as the leadership and friendship role you perform are a credit to the Civil Service, the CPS, our communities and yourself.

I am really proud, as a Muslim and a Minister that our Civil Service has such role models within the organisation who are encouraged to flourish.

I look forward to continuing the various projects I am involved in with the CSIS and to working with the CSIS patron, Sir Gus, to continue to make year on year progress.

Best wishes and good luck for the future

Sadiq Khan MP