Council of Europe – Traineeship opportunity

The Council of Europe is an international organisation promoting co-operation between all countries of Europe in the areas of legal standards, human rights, democratic development, the rule of law and cultural co-operation. Twice per year young graduates are offered unpaid traineeships based in Strasbourg. Traineeships last from eight weeks to five months. The next official traineeship session begins in September.

This is a great opportunity to find out about the structures, the activities and the international co-operation procedures followed by the Council of Europe, including the implementation of the European Convention on Human Rights.

In order to be eligible for a traineeship:

· Have the nationality of one of the Council of Europe member states;

· Have a bachelor’s degree or equivalent (a diploma for the first cycle of higher education as defined in the Bologna Declaration).

· Have a desire to acquire practical experience and knowledge of the functioning and activities of the Council of Europe;

· Have a very good knowledge of one of the two Council of Europe official languages (English or French) together with good drafting ability. Good knowledge of the other official language is appreciated.

Application Deadline: 2 May 2014

For further details:http://www.coe.int/en/web/jobs/traineeships

Dr Abdus Salam

Speech by Umar Nasser

I have found that the more I look into him, the more impressed I am by him, and the deeper my appreciation is for God’s blessings upon him. He is one of the foremost personalities of the Jama’at and insha’Allah a forerunner of many Abdus Salams to come.

Let’s first paint Abdus Salam by the numbers. He was born in Jhang in 1926. While in Jhang college, at the age of 14 he passed his matriculation exam, achieving the highest marks ever recorded. The matric was a huge deal, and the results were eagerly awaited by the entire country. His success here gave a glimpse of his future fame, with his celebrity spreading all over the local town within minutes.

In 1948 he went from Government College, Lahore to Cambridge University on a scholarship. Another student from India had pulled out, and, at the last minute, Abdus Salam’s scholarship application was accepted. As an undergraduate, he got a double first­class honours in Mathematics and Physics, and received the Smiths Prize­ an exclusive Cambridge University prize for the best undergrad contribution to physics. Then, for his PhD thesis, he was given a year to solve a huge remaining problem in theoretical physics. He did it in six months, and eventually received another coveted prize for his work­ the Adams prize. Soon after, in 1951 he returned to Government College, Lahore, where he hoped to revitalise Pakistani science with his newfound knowledge. Sadly, the administration were not interested, leaving Salam with little support, and the job of coaching the football team. After the 1953 riots, Salam left with a heavy heart and came back to the UK to continue his work. In 1957 he came to Imperial College, and set up the Theoretical Physics group.

Salam’s work concerned the four fundamental forces of nature. These are four physical phenomema­ electromagnetism, weak forces, strong forces, and gravity­ which physicists
dream of unifying into one elegant solution with which we can more fully understand the universe around us. Salam’s most famous work is the electroweak theory, where he managed to
combine 2 of these forces, into 1, and it was for this reason that he was awarded the nobel prize in 1979. What most people don’t know is that in fact Abdus Salam deserved 2 Nobel prizes­ in 1956 he wrote a paper which he was discouraged to publish by a supervisor. It turned out his work was absolutely correct, and two american physicists got the nobel prize for it in 1958.

With a brief life outline in place, I want to focus on two aspects of Dr Salam’s life. The first is his unending passion for science. He once said of this:

“We are trying to discover what the Lord thought; of course we miserably fail most of the time, but sometimes there is great satisfaction in seeing a little bit of the truth.” For Salam, his work was deeply intertwined his spirituality, and he repeatedly exhorted Muslims to carry out work into science, saying that over 750 verses of the Holy Qur’an tell believers to study and ponder over nature. He was therefore, at a loss as to why the rest of the Muslim world was either apathetic or actively hostile against this scientific investigation. He then often quoted a verse of the Qur’an

saying that those who strive in the way of Allah, will be guided in his ways. His entire life of striving to understand God’s universe is a testimony to that.

You may be thinking that it’s useless to try and emulate Abdus Salam, as he was evidently a genius. To this I’d say, that whilst each of us can only work within our capacities, we can emulate aspects of his personality to maximise our own potential. One quality that sticks out is his endless curiosity of the world around him. Even at a young age, he wouldn’t waste his time, but would spend it learning and reading. His family record that was incredibly well read in his youth, and even wrote an article on the poet Ghalib when he was in his teens. This was well before he knew he wanted to be a mathematician and teaches the youth an important lesson. That if you don’t know what you want do in life yet­ try different things! Read around, and you will find something you like. And when you find that thing­ stick with it, because we all know that it’s so much easier to do well in something that you enjoy.

Another thing to copy was his hard work. The sheer volume of work that he produced shows to what extent he dedicated himself to his craft. I once had the honour of interviewing Professor Tom Kibble, a colleague of his at Imperial College. He told me that his work ethic was exemplary, and that he even continued working in planes and airports. There’s actually a funny story of when once he was in a Dars in Fazl Mosque with Imam Rafiq sb. Imam Sb noticed that he would occasionally write things down during his darses on a notepad. He asked if he liked his darses

so much that he wanted to keep a record of them. To this Salam said apologetically that he has ideas about his work so quickly that if he doesn’t write them down he forgets them. Now whilst I’m not encouraging you to be doing homework during jummah or something, it at least shows how into his work Dr Salam was.

In his Nobel Prize speech he quoted Suratul Mulk which states:

“No incongruity can you see in the creation of the Gracious God. Then look again­ do you see any flaw? Aye look again and again, your sight will only return to you frustrated and fatigued.”

He added­ this in effect is, the faith of all physicists; the deeper we seek, the more is our wonder excited, the more is the dazzlement for our gaze. I am saying this, not only to remind those here tonight of this, but also for those in the Third World, who feel they have lost out in the pursuit of scientific knowledge, for lack of opportunity and resource.

This leads me onto the second aspect of Salam’s life that I want to touch upon­ his work to help the Third World. Salam worked tirelessly to try and revitalise the sciences in Pakistan, and around the third world. He set up the International Centre for Theoretical Physics in Italy, which sponsors over the best and brightest in developing countries to pursue higher education in the west. But more than that, he wanted these countries to champion their own education­ to develop their own resources so that they didn’t have to always rely on the charity of the developed world.

This passion seems to have come in part out of his own life. Professor Kibble gave me great insight into this when he said the following to me:

He went back to Pakistan for a while after he did his PhD and so on, and he really found it impossible to carry on with his research there, and he eventually came back to this country. And he very much felt that he wanted to help other people in a similar situation from having to make that… very difficult choice. And I think it has been quite successful in doing that actually.

Indeed he was successful. Within his own lifetime alone I think he sponsored around 500 phd students over from the developing to plug into the cutting edge of science. He also leaves behind not one but several institutions that serve the developing world. By way of example, he won 19 awards throughout his career, and he gave most of his award money to institutions in Pakistan­ the very country that had rejected him and consistently treated him so badly.

I mention this because we here in the west have the utter privilege of having western educational facilities easily available to us. We do not have to fight like Salam had to fight, and travel across continents to get to the world’s best universities. Instead, they are in our backyard. Therefore, it’s only right that we should not waste what we have been given through indifference or laziness. Salam, through prayers and hard work came from a small village in India to the Nobel Prize City Hall of Stockholm. Imagine what then we can do with prayers and hard work?

Our beloved Huzur has instructed us:

“Excel others in hard work. Excel other is education. That should be the hallmark of an Ahmadi. Allah told the Promised Messiah (as) that the people of your Jama’at will progress in knowledge. Therefore I advise the youth: Immerse yourself in studies to the exclusion of everything else. Advance so much in every field of education that your minimum target is a Nobel Prize.”

It may be that many of us have of course not had the opportunities to ever really fulfill this. If this is the case, then perhaps we can pray that it is our next generation who can fulfill this, and we can work hard in our careers to give them the best opportunities available. I say this based on what Salam once said. He was asked once in an interview, what was running through his mind when his name was called out for in the Nobel Prize Hall. He answered:

There were two things on my mind. How Allah had bestowed His benevolences on me; who is a resident of a small unknown town, and this special favour of God. The main thought occupying my mind was one of thankfulness. I wished my parents were with me; their teeth were worn
out praying for me. I wished they were with me.

May we see many more Abdus Salams in our Jama’at, and contribute to their journeys in whatever way we can, insha’Allah.

UPDATE: God and Science / friends or foes – University of Birmingham

UPDATE

A slight change, our YouTube live stream isn’t working

New link  for live broadcast

https://plus.google.com/events/c8o40ph1o3mc59qrnrl121tplvs

Join here

Is there a contradiction between science and religion? Is belief in God irrational in the light of our scientific age? If there is found to be a conflict between religion and rationality, one of the two must be deeply flawed.

It is often claimed that in the light of the considerable technological and scientific advancements of the modern age, rationality in itself is sufficient to totally guide man in all aspects of life, and sincere belief in God has become not only unnecessary, but also illogical due to the apparent discrepancies between the worlds of valid scientific study and the acceptance of faith.

Are God and science, therefore, friends or foes?

Speaker: Maulana Jahangeer Khan, Scholar of Comparative Religion

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Programme:

18.00 – 18.15- Registration + Refreshments
18.15 – 18.45 – Talk by Maulana Jahangeer Khan
18.45 – 20.00 – Q&A session / Informal discussion

God and Science Poster-upload

ANNOUNCEMENT FOR ADMISSION TO JAMIA AHMADIYYA UK

Jamia Ahmadiyya UK will be holding entry test and interview on 21st and 22nd July 2014 for this year’s intake of students.

The following conditions apply:

Qualifications:

Minimum qualifications for the candidates are six GCSE, three A-Level or equivalent with C grades or 60% marks.

Age on Entry:

Maximum age of 17 years for students with GCSE or 19 years with A-Levels or equivalent qualifications.

Medical Report:

The applicants MUST submit a detailed medical report from the GP with whom they have been registered.

Written Test and Interview:

The applicants will take a written test and will appear before a Selection Board for interview. Only those who pass the written test will be invited for interview.

The written test and interview will be based on the recitation of the Holy Quran, the Waqfe Nau Syllabus, and proficiency in reading, writing and spoken English and Urdu languages. However, candidates will be judged for their inclination towards learning and reading the translation of the Holy Quran and the books of the Promised Messiah (‘alayhi al-salam).

Procedure:

Application will ONLY be accepted on the prescribed Admission Form available from the Jamia UK office. It must be accompanied by the following documents:

  • Application must be endorsed by the National Ameer.
  • A detailed medical report from the GP.
  • Photocopies of the GCSE or A-Level results. If the results are awaited, the candidate must include a letter from his school/sixth Form tutor about his projected grades.
  • Copy of applicant’s passport.
  • 2 passport size photographs.
  • The spellings of the name must be the same as in the passport. Any change must be accompanied by the certification for
    that change.

LAST DATE:

The application for the 2014 entry MUST arrive by 30th June 2014. Applications received after that will not be considered.

Applications should be addressed to:

THE PRINCIPAL
Jamia Ahmadiyya UK
Branksome Place
Hindhead Road
Haslemere
GU27 3PN


For any further help or clarification, please contact below:
Tel: +44(0)1428647170 or +44(0)1428647173 | Fax: +44(0)1428647188
Jamia is open from Monday to Saturday from 8 am to 2 pm.
Visitors are welcome ONLY by prior appointments.

Oxford University trip for GCSE and A-level students – Don’t miss out!

Dear Students

Assalamu ‘Alaikum

The Ahmadiyya Muslim Research Association (AMRA) invites you to a tour of Oxford University on Tuesday the 18th of February (during school half-term). This trip will be officially hosted by the University at St. Hilda’s College, Oxford (pictured above).

The plan for the day includes:

  • Talk by the University about life at Oxford and how to gain admission
  • Discussion and Q&A with University staff and current Oxford students
  • Lunch in college hall hosted by the University
  • Punting (traditional boating on the river)

It goes without saying that this is a fantastic opportunity for our students to visit one of the top universities in the world and learn about the application process.

Places are limited to 15 and the cost of the trip (including transport and boating) will be £12 for under 16’s and £17 for over 16 students (excluding Oyster Card Travel within London).

Priority will be given to A-level and GCSE students.

To apply

Please apply as soon as possible, as places are expected to go quickly. Email (research@khuddam.org.uk) or call/text (0788-642-5859) stating your:

  • Name
  • Year at school/college
  • Name of school/college
  • AIMS ID
  • Qiadat

Please also note that AMRA will provide bursaries for students who have difficulty in covering the cost of the trip (please state “applying for bursary”) in your email.

Transport arrangements

We will be leaving from Fazl mosque on early Tuesday morning and using the Oxford Tube for our journey. Further details will be provided to the applicants closer to the time.

Wassalamu ‘Alaikum,

Ghalib Khan | Outreach officer
Ahmadiyya Muslim Research Association (AMRA)
www.muslimresearchers.org

Revelation and Rationality- in the words of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as)

Image

Courtesy of www.revivalofislam.org

“It is true that God has endowed man with the faculty of reason, which, like a lamp, shows him the right path and dispels his doubts and misconceptions. It is an extremely useful and essential faculty and a great blessing. Nonetheless, it has one major flaw: it cannot, on its own, take us to the level of absolute certainty with respect to the true nature of things, for absolute certainty consists in knowing things as they actually are. The best that reason can do is to postulate the need for something to exist, but it cannot go further and confirm that it does indeed exist. Perfect certainty, whereby we rise from the level of ‘should be’ to that of ‘is’ is only achieved when reason finds an ally that is capable of confirming its speculative reasoning and bringing it into the realm of perceptible facts; and where reason says, ‘it should be,’ this ally is able to confirm, ‘it is.’ Continue reading

Eternity and God

infinitiuniverse

Allah – The Ever Living – Part of our New Existence of God Series

Article by Umar Nasser

“The God of Islam is the same God Who is visible in the mirror of the law of nature and is discernible in the book of nature. Islam has not presented a new God but has presented the same God Who is presented by the light of man’s heart, by the conscience of man, and by heaven and earth.” 1Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (pbuh)

“Are you in doubt concerning Allah, the Originator of the Heavens and the Earth?” (Holy Qur’an; 14:11)

‘God.’

No other word has quite as much power, majesty, fear, love, hope or controversy attached to it. The question of His existence needs little introduction- it is a question that is asked by the heart and mind of every human being, from whichever walk of life they may hail. It’s importance is paramount, since the existence of a Creator, if decided upon, throws one’s mind into a storm of further questions- what was the purpose of God creating us?; how did He create us?; should I care if He is there?; what happens if I don’t?, and so forth. It is a question that every responsible individual must deliberate upon, for the consequences of God’s existence are too immense to ignore out of apathy. Deciding that God exists on a purely rational basis is the first step for many in the journey towards God. As will be explored at the end of this piece, it is certainly not sufficient for true belief in God- however for many of this age the mind must be satisfied before the heart will even incline towards anything less cerebral and more spiritual- and it is that first step which this short piece seeks to help bridge. The aim therefore will be to explain why God must exist, with reference to Islamic sources, whilst also addressing common objections such as the multiverse theory, and the question of what came before God. Following this we will present some extracts on the spiritual search for God. May Allah guide us in our task. Ameen. Continue reading