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What is an Imam?



By: Leila Adam

Being left without an imam (religious leader) at your local mosque makes you realise things that never occurred to you before. Exposure to new and different styles of leadership helps you to learn what will be good for your community and what will cause them to suffer. It’s a strange experience if a city has never been without spiritual leadership in living memory.

In that situation, one can really take off long-worn blinkers and realise the possibilities and profound nature of an imam’s position in the community. An imam carries the community on his back. At the very least, he keeps them safe from wolves and packs of marauding dogs – the troublemakers who fill the void when leadership is absent.

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Profound words from Sister Asmaa Hussein whose husband was martyred in the Rabaa massacre

Blood and flowers near Rabaa Adawiya

By: Asmaa Hussein

“The eyes roll up at the moment of death, following the soul as it is emptied from the body. It is the moment we fear, that which we loathe, what we would give all our riches to avoid: death.

I remember seeing Amr like that after he was killed. I remember his body and face resting, motionless, the blood that had dried on his face and beard. It wasn’t really him anymore – just the shell that once held his soul. I remember those tears as I stood over him wondering what my life would be like after losing a love so great.
That moment of death. The one that makes our hearts recoil in fear, the one we see daily pictures of in Gaza, Syria and many other places – it came to them as a decree from their Lord. The pictures are gruesome, and the reality even more so. Devastated parents standing over their children’s bodies, women standing over the bodies of their beloved husbands…it is certainly one of the hardest things anyone will ever have to do in this life.

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