‘Young and Muslim’- AMSA x ChitChatChai at Kings College London

On 9th March 2022, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Students Association (AMSA) hosted an event in collaboration with Chit Chat Chai at King’s College London. The attendees included current students, ex-students and panel members from the National Amoor-e-Tuluba and Tarbiyyat departments. The students were also fortunate to host Murabbi Shahzad Ahmad Sb, who related his experiences at a secular university following his Jamia degree. The main purpose of the event was to allow Ahmadi students to share the challenges that they face at university, and for the panel to guide them according to the teachings of Islam and offer advice based on their unique experiences. The discussion was held with a view to encourage students to open up and tackle difficult topics. The event started with Maghrib and Isha prayers, and concluded with pizza, snacks, and socialising.

One panel member related a memorable incident. A fellow student who was the head of the non-Ahmadiyya Islamic society was particularly unfriendly and distant due to him being an Ahmadi. Ultimately, they were paired up for a project. The non-Ahmadi student initially did not even say “Assalam-o-Alaikum” to the Ahmadi student, but as time passed they started talking to each other and learning about each other’s religious beliefs. The non-Ahmadi student clearly saw the qualities of a good Muslim in the Ahmadi student which eventually changed his perception about Ahmadis. They became good friends after that which seemed impossible before they teamed up for the project. This demonstrates that being of a good character is more than enough to change someone’s perception of you and this is what an Ahmadi student should strive for.

The experiences shared by both the students and panel members varied as some students faced discrimination at university whilst others did not. The discussion concluded with the idea that Khuddam should act responsibly as they are the ambassadors of the Jammat, acting in a way that shows people the true character of a Muslim. They should always be respectful to everyone regardless of their race, gender, or religion, and their studies should be their top priority. It was important to stress that Ahmadi students should also be prepared to be challenged on their views in a place as free-thinking as university, and use this as an opportunity to develop their Islamic knowledge and righteousness. Students were also encouraged to fully immerse themselves in university life within appropriate Islamic boundaries, and to look beyond their courses towards personal connections and experiences that will hold for years to come.

A special shout-out to the MKA Tarbiyyat department for co-hosting and leading an inspiring discussion. ChitChaiChai should be posting some highlights in the near future.

Following a difficult pandemic, AMSA UK is now regularly organising events across the country. The next will be Go-Karting on the 22nd March at Gravity Wandsworth, starting at 7pm. All students are invited to join. If you want to get in contact with AMSA UK or want to attend the Go Karting event, please contact [email protected] or [email protected].