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Muslims & Friends of Other Faiths, We Need Some Words From You Please :)


On 6 September 2014, we’re having a one day event – Modern Society & The Tolerance of Muhammad. Peace Meal, a youth group that promotes the cultural, intellectual and spiritual understanding of Islam, is organizing it with partners. A diverse lineup made up of traditional scholars, performance artists, corporate figures and young activists will be discussing about the theme tolerance. More info on that here:



Podcast: Rhamis Kent on Permaculture, Work in the Muslim World & Investment Community

When he was in town, we organized an interview at BFM Radio. Rhamis was in Malaysia to teach a two week Permaculture Design Course, and prior engagements, including two talks with Peace Meal. Pomegranate Versus Heroin: Muslims Getting a Wholesome High on Nature and Ibn Khaldun’s Pleasures of Civilization.

Just like how when Islam came, it brought a whole new refreshing idea, narrative, philosophy (call it what you will for this context), permaculture is somewhat refreshing too. In this interview Rhamis addresses a few key issues with the way the world, and we, run things today.

rhamis bfm

The following an excerpt from the interview. Listen to the full interview on this podcast, by clicking here.

Being children of the industrial age, we are primarily seen as being consumers. And not producers. We don’t produce the things that we use. We don’t grow the food. We don’t make the housing. We buy the house that we live in from someone else, and the materials come from somewhere far away. The source of production is somewhere remote where we don’t see. We don’t really understand what goes into to providing those things and that has consequences. 

You’re describing capitalism..

No no.. Whether it’s a capitalist or a communist marxist model, it’s a bit of a red herring, because both are predicated on the same infrastructure to provide those goods. So it all relies on some sort of variant on the industrial vision, predicated on taking living things and turning it into dead things, and selling it to people. Whether or not it is the state or the private individual in the free market that are providing those goods. The logical conclusion to that system or way of thinking is, what happens when you’ve consumed everything?

Rhamis is a Permaculture consultant who travels all over the Middle East and North Africa advising governments and organizations on how they can engage in ecosystem restoration in order to increase biodiversity and sustain plant, animal, and human life. Click here for his article “Restoring the Amanah Through Earth Repair: Islam, Permaculture, and Ecosystem Restoration Work.” He is also part of the Zaytuna community since 1999, which later became Zaytuna College (USA) led by Shaykh Hamza Yusuf and other scholars.

Fund Raising Gift Pack – English Islamic Book Set


You can buy at Mukha Cafe, or scroll down to order online. Below is a little preview. Hopefully with this, we can rely less on donations. Looking forward to your support. 🙂

Book of Assistance, Imam Al-Haddad (1634-1720)

This book is highly recommended and covers the practical steps towards getting closer to Allah. The author did a great service to the Muslims by writing such a useful book, may Allah be pleased with him and his fathers and children. It covers the basic practices one must take on, by spiritual struggle, in a clear and concise manner, as was the style of Imam al-Haddad. The translation is eloquent and fairly accurate, giving a good feel for the Arabic original. It is an essential book for any English speaking Muslim. via Rusi, Amazon

Professor Syed Muhammad Naquib Al-Attas

A prominent contemporary Muslim thinker. He is one of the few contemporary scholars who is thoroughly rooted in the traditional Islamic sciences and who is equally competent in theology, philosophy, metaphysics, history, and literature. His thought is integrated, multifaceted and creative. Al-Attas’ philosophy and methodology of education have one goal: Islamization of the mind, body and soul and its effects on the personal and collective life on Muslims as well as others, including the spiritual and physical non-human environment. He is the author of twenty-seven authoritative works on various aspects of Islamic thought and civilization, particularly on Sufism, cosmology, metaphysics, philosophy and Malay language and literature.

Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad @ Professor TJ Winter

Britain’s most influential Muslim. The theologian is considered more significant within Islam than Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. It was the sight of peach juice dripping from the chin of a teenage French female nudist that led a Cambridgeshire public schoolboy to convert to Islam. The hitherto unnoticed Mr Winter, who has an office in Cambridge University’s Divinity Faculty, where he is the Shaykh Zayed Lecturer of Islamic Studies, has been listed ahead of the presidents of Iran and Egypt, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Hosni Mubarak of Egypt, and the chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organisation, Mahmoud Abbas. “Strange bedfellows,” he concedes. – adapted from The Independent

Habib Ali Al-Jifri

He took knowledge through the unbroken chains of transmission from the great scholars and savants of the Muslim Community and took licenses to teach and disseminate (Ijaza) from more than 300 masters in the different sciences and paths of spiritual education from different countries in the Muslim world. He is the Founder and General Director of the Tabah Foundation in the UAE, Member of the Board of Directors of Dar al-Mustafa for Islamic Studies in Tareem, and a lecturer therein. – source, Dar Al Faqih publishing.

Becoming Muslim by Shaykh Nuh Ha Mim Keller

Few things have moved so many, for so long, and so powerfully, as the need for God. This is the story of a young American Catholic university student who became a Muslim interpreter in the Middle East. A spiritual odyssey of philosophical readings, working at sea, and traveling abroad, it is above all an encounter with people, from weathered fishermen, to worldly professors, to veiled women in Egypt. In a world in which men are deemed bound by their earliest enculturation, it tells the unforgettable tale of a one man’s farewell to Christianity, passage through atheism, and finding of the Divine Reality in an Arabic revelation sent down in Mecca fourteen centuries ago. – via Good Reads

On Education with Buddhists – 3 November

Recently we were invited to join the International Buddhist-Muslim Forum on Peace & Sustainability, specifically to be part of the session entitled, It’s a Child’s World. Keep It! (Discourse on Children to Higher Education). Thanks Vienna Looi for roping us in.

The general drive of the discussion was on alternative education as most participants, largely from ASEAN countries felt that what was made available to them either was not effective enough or not suiting the needs of their community.

It was interesting to have Chong Wai Leng from Malaysia’s Learning Beyond Schooling , a strong advocate in home-schooling, and a monk in the room who was doing his PhD on alternative schooling.

The latter commended the Muslims for teaching the religion on a day to day basis and suggested that those present in the room, teaching Buddhism to their community on weekends and school holidays, should allow the kids to relax during that time of the year because, “they are kids man. Let them play!

Towards Self Sustainability: Learning Audio Video

Recently we begin purchasing our own equipment. From a proper recording sound system, a HD video camera and a laptop powerful enough to manage video editing.

For quite sometime we had friends, volunteers and freelancers working with us in this area. The likes of Hann Ng, Fei Xiang, Sabrina Kamaruddin and Adrien Yew. You see them often in the pics we upload.

Now that we have our own stuff, we can stop renting the equipment. Next is to equip ourselves with the skills to handle this expensive gear. So we got Fei to teach Izuan BinYahya, Mohamad Azmir and Zain HD.


Another regular also joined in, Ferdinand Pereira, as well as Fei’s intern Nur Athirah, who is leading Peace Meal’s next series of events on permaculture, environment and Islam – documentary screenings and discussions.

Thanks Fei and also Wago for their support. And others too who have helped us get this far in building up Peace Meal.

Introducing Carpool to a Majlis Ta’lim


Not sure if we were the first to introduce this, but it sure feels good to see it happen. Besides organizing our own projects, we sometimes play supplementary roles, continuously or ad hoc, to other programmes in and around KL. One in particular was having traffic issues. Here’s the background..

Majlis Ta’lim Darul Murtadza, is a weekly Friday night gathering of knowledge (Majlis Ta’lim) led by a scholar of admirable manners (adab) – a reflection of his knowledge, Habib Ali Al-Hamid. It was a few years ago in his flat in KL, that was less than 900 square feet in size with a handful of attendees. Sometimes only one person turned up.

Then it grew beyond the flat size, and moved to a nearby surau until it reached almost 1,000 attendees on average. Partly due to the traffic congestion and parking issues the attendees were responsible for, they then moved to a mosque on Jalan Jelatek, Muaz bin Jabal Mosque, next to Setiawangsa LRT.


The class kept growing and again parking spaces was a brewing issue. As we were already attendees of this class, we spoke to them in April 2012 on improving a few areas including parking. And that was to introduce a practical carpooling week-on-week system.

It started with both a prototype on GoogleDocs format and iFrame in Facebook. Discussions about security as well as SSL coding issues came about. Finally after a hiatus due to other commitments, slight redesigning work were made on G Docs and handover was done. From there, we were glad to see their team take it away to develop and test Khidmatus Sayyara (BETA), before launching it in November 2012.

In essence, the idea was not just to solve traffic and parking issues. It was also to officially introduce this concept to the active Muslim community and have them self-organize with us only facilitating. What we hope to see happen is to build relationships amongst the students of this open class, to enable more people to be part of it conveniently, and of course to do what little we can in managing the environment.

Something About Peace Meal

Little did we know that from starting Peace Meal, we were developing something else. It started with an opportunity and now becoming a practice.

Around KL, weekly, there are multiple gatherings of knowledge (Majlis Ta’lim), discussing the works of various scholars within the Islamic tradition and history, in addition to the Mawluds/Maulids.

Sometimes due to the structure of the mosque, the women’s section is secluded or in another part of the building, thus leaving them a little disconnected, visually, physically and sometimes spiritually with what’s going on in the men’s section.

So what we did was volunteer our equipment and labour to these Majlis’s, by connecting our projector in the women’s section, to our makeshift camera (the iPad!), to provide visual for them. And as we had a second projector, that one was used for the men’s section.

To step up, since we had a visual platform, we flashed out slides of qasidas (hymns/poems) that were recited at these Majlis’s. A few of our volunteers helped developed these slides showing the qasidas in original Arabic and its English/Malay translation.

So far, we’ve done Maulud Akbar at Albukhary Mosque in Jalan Hang Tuah, Maulud Akbar Darul Murtadza in Setiawangsa KL and Maulud at Mutiara Damansara. Lately more and more Majlis are requesting for this kind of support to their existing regular khidmat (volunteer committee) team.

Hopefully this effort and others will bring more benefit to it and others. God willing. InsyaAllah.