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Freshers 2017-08-17T11:21:09+00:00

Fresher’s Guide 2017

Welcome to Cambridge!

We hope you have a fantastic time iA. On this page you'll find our Fresher's Guide 2017 which should have a lot of helpful information to help you settle in nicely and make the best of this wonderful time of year. As always, if you do have any questions, or need anything at all, please don't hesitate to contact us and we'll do our best to help!

A Message from the President

Salam, congratulations and welcome to Cambidge! No doubt you’re feeling excited and apprehensive at exactly what to expect – and this is a message to let you know that we’re always here should you need a hand! The friendships you forge here will push you through your degree and will last you well into your life.

The Islamic Society is basically just a very diverse community of very chilled out, very nice people on campus who hang out together, have occasional events and help each other out. Whether it’s halal food advice, work support, accommodation requests or anything else, we do our best to make sure we can help. During Freshers’ Week we hold a number of events so we can meet you so please keep your eyes peeled!

In general moving out to university can be a daunting and challenging experience but we’re here as a support network. Come the end of Michaelmas you’ll be a little disappointed to have to go home!

What does ISoc actually do?

Our ISoc is one of the largest and most diverse societies at Cambridge. We have a growing membership of over 500! In order to cater for all our students, we aim to organise a host of different activities, services and events to engage and bring together the Muslim community in Cambridge. In short, there’s very little that the ISoc doesn’t do!

We organise study sessions, workshops and talks by renowned scholars, guided tours, sports nights, film nights, Fosis events in collaboration, charity work, dawah, interfaith events, Quran and Dhikr circles, a whole range of entertainment, and a lot more. What’s more, we hope to continuously improve on what we already offer as it’s through this constant development that we are able to enjoy the dynamic society we have today. So if you have any ideas, if we’ve left anything out, feel free to start something up!

Studies

Studying at Cambridge is intimidating, demanding, intense, but is more often than not very interesting and maybe also fun! At first, the learning process and exams will seem daunting, but as with all aspects of life here, the ISoc does their best to help! We have several subject reps whose role is to offer you academic support all year round. They are here to answer any questions you may have, and lend a helping hand where possible. These are older students, who are in the best position to offer advice because they went through the very things you currently are! For some subjects, we also organise informal study sessions and supervisions.

Spirituality

Quran Al-Fatihah

As well as being given an amazing opportunity to enhance our academic knowledge, and to gain other worthwhile skills like debating, writing and time-management, we also have a wonderful opportunity to embark on a parallel path of spiritual learning, to benefit us in this world and the hereafter, Insha’Allah.

To help in this important aspect of life, ISoc runs weekly study circles with short talks given by more knowledgeable ISoc members and students from the Cambridge Muslim College, followed by Q&A sessions. Circles from the previous year have included: tafsir of important surahs from the Quran, and topics covering pressing issues related to students and student life.

Brothers and sisters also have their own discussion circles on Sundays. This gives members a real opportunity to put forward their views and questions, and also lead discussions on issues they feel passionate about. General talks are organised throughout the year and open for all including members of the public. In the past, a whole variety of intriguing and relevant topics have been covered, including ‘Islam and the question of race’, ‘organ donation… an Islamic perspective’ and ‘where is the love?’ a lively and informative lecture based on male and female interaction in Islam. What’s more, the prestige of Cambridge University often draws in highly reputable speakers to deliver these talks. Here at ISoc, we aim to continuously develop and improve what we offer our members. Last year, we were lucky to see the addition of regular Arabic and tajweed classes, and hopefully these will continue and remain open to all.

Refresh your hearts; for when the heart is coerced it becomes blind.

– Prophet Muhammed (PBUH), narrated by Ibn Ma’sud

The social scene within iSoc

Despite the Cambridge stereotype, university isn’t just about work and no play. We all need to chill and take it easy every now and then. To help you do just that, iSoc organises plenty of events throughout the year full of appropriate fun!

Iftars are organised during Ramadan and we organise dinners to celebrate Eid together. But social events don’t just stop at special occasions. iSoc offers weekly activities, including brothers’ football and sisters’ self-defence and desserts. Last year, sisters were fortunate to be able to attend a weekend long camping trip to Snowdonia in Wales, alongside Imperial College ISoc. Movie nights, theme parks, ice skating and plays at the ADC theatre have all been on the cards too, and we’re hoping to extend this list!

We also hold an annual Garden Party to celebrate the end of exams, and so we have a chance to all come together and relax! Traditionally, we have a barbeque, so there’s plenty of yummy food! Last year, we also had an ice cream van providing free unlimited ice cream. There are usually some fun and games, including inflatables – either a bouncy castle or sumo wrestling suits! Also, ISoc Garden Parties are famous for their annual, and successful, dessert-making competition!

fiqh

Diversity

In keeping with the mentioned Quranic injunction, the Islamic Society of Cambridge caters to Muslims from different schools of thought and various backgrounds. The Diversity Committee specifically organises events in line with Shi’a practice for those who follow Ja’afari fiqh. Some of the events we organise include:

  • Weekly prayer meetings on Thursday evenings and recite Surah Ya-Seen and Dua-Kumail
  • Meetings in keeping with the various important dates of the Islamic calendar
  • Majalis during the first ten days of Muharram, if this falls during term time
  • Events are also organised outside term time especially because graduate students often have to stay in Cambridge during the holidays.

Members and non-members of ISOC are welcome to our events. If you would like more information about such activities, please e-mail Hadi (mhm32@cam.ac.uk)