The first guy said, ‘Ntch, young people today, man. They’re off the rails.’ The second guy said, ‘Ntch, old people today, man. They’ve lost touch.’ And the Imam said, ‘Well, instead of complaining, why don’t we do something about it?’ Admittedly, the punch-line wasn’t funny, but what happened next was pretty cool.
The year was 2011. Imam Asim, his mates and a handful volunteers, decided to put on an event at Al-Medina Masjid, in East London. The aim was to bring young people to the mosque, and inspire them to be more active in their faith community. Unfortunately, most young people associate the mosque with severe old uncles, and Friday sermons in an alien language that puts everyone to sleep. The Imam and his mates knew they had their work cut out for them.
To everyone’s surprise, the first event was a big hit. Imam Asim’s talks were different. They were relevant, ‘on a level’ and suddenly in demand. The events became regular, and the turnout grew rapidly. By the following year they were drawing in audiences of up to 700 people per day