Society Spotlight: Islamic Society
JAGS is brimming with a diverse range of co-curricular groups and activities for our pupils to enjoy, many of which are created and led by the pupils involved. We wanted to celebrate these societies and clubs which so enrich the fabric of our school life.
This week, we have the Islamic Society (ISOC).
The group play an important role at JAGS and, in tandem with our Charity Club, recently organised a brilliant whole school assembly and fundraising event for the Southern Women’s Aid Network (SWAN)– a London-based charity which supports families across the capital and abroad. Food stalls ran by ISOC raised an incredible £480.16 in just one hour.
Earlier this year, ISOC also presented an important assembly regarding the treatment of Muslim women worldwide.
Below Inaya and Sophia from Year 12 explain more about ISOC and the important role it plays in our community:
- What inspired you to join ISOC?
Inaya: “As the founder and current leader of ISOC I decided to embark on this journey as I felt that when I was younger and now as well, it is nice to have a community which I can meet with regularly who I share my religion in common with. This allows me to express my religious side at school and practise with likeminded individuals.”
Sophia: “What inspired me to join ISOC was the opportunity to be a part of a group where I am free to talk about my religion and beliefs with other students who practise the same faith. It brings about a sense of community which makes the JAGS environment feel safe and familiar to me.”
- What do you enjoy about the role?
Inaya: “I enjoy interacting with both Muslims and non-Muslims across a multitude of year groups. This allows me to create deep, meaningful, and lasting bonds with members of both our religious community (the Ummah) and our school community.”
Sophia: “Being a part of ISOC has allowed me to meet new people from different cultures – sharing the same religion has brought us all together. I enjoy conversing with different years on the current affairs of our religion globally and the texts (Surahs) from the holy Qur’an.”
- What do you get up to week-to-week?
Inaya: “We meet every Friday during lunch, and this tends to be followed by a prayer together.
“We discuss a diverse range of topics, ranging from discussing religious texts, our goals and Islamic role models to general conversations around any topic and sharing advice.”
- Do you have any advice for pupils thinking of joining?
Inaya: “I would tell pupils that ISOC is open to anyone whatever their religious beliefs, identity, year etc. We aim to run a society which is inclusive and open to all. There is no commitment to the society so do not feel the obligation to come every week. We are excited to see those who want to learn more and hope to create a welcoming atmosphere for all.
“Ultimately, it is a dedicated time during the week to discuss topics important to members and reflect. What we discuss is typically influenced by the members and it is an informal discussion with a conversational tone.”
Sophia: “ISOC welcomes anyone who has the time and the open-mindedness to listen and learn about our religion regardless of their culture or religion. Everyone is welcome and we are always open to suggestions with what topics ISOC members would like to discuss and we strive to make sure everyone’s voice is heard.”
- What inspired your whole school assemblies?
Inaya: “This year we produced and presented an assembly around the topic of female role models within Islam and the treatment of Muslim women worldwide. This topic was chosen by members of ISOC and presented by them too.
“Our aim was to debunk many common myths and mistruths around these topics, we believe we were successful due to the feedback received from both students and teachers. We hope to continue presenting whole school assemblies throughout both this year and years to come as we believe it is the optimal way to convey important messages to the whole school community.”
- Any exciting plans for the future?
Inaya: “Following on from our successful charity event for SWAN (Southern Women’s Aid Network), which we hosted in collaboration with the Charity Club, we hope to make this an annual event which will continue with the next generation of ISOC members.
“In this event, the theme was ‘Islam Around the World’. We highlighted the diverse cultures represented within members of ISOC by selling food from these countries as well as henna and Arabic calligraphy. The event was a great success with member of our JAGS community flooding Holst Hall and getting involved with something that is both a core pillar within Islam (giving to charity) and an important aspect of JAGS. The feedback I received after hosting this event was phenomenal and I hope to continue this over the coming year.”
Sophia: “Since our recent charity event was so successful, I would like to host a charity event for Eid al-Adha. This will occur during school time, a few days before Eid where there will be lots of fun stalls with cultural cooking and games for all years to enjoy. The aim is to donate all the money collected from this event to the charity Islamic Relief so that less fortunate Muslims around the world will have enough money/ food to celebrate Eid themselves.”
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