Departing community leader grateful for ‘love and support’

As I prepare to move to Norway for my next posting, I wanted to share some thoughts with the wonderful people of this community.

On social media, my bio reads “committed to spreading ‘love for all, hatred for none’.” This often prompts questions like “how can you love everyone?” or “do you love sinners too?”. My answer is always yes. Disagreement does not preclude love. Even when we disagree with someone’s actions, our love is expressed through compassion. This is why we say “love for all”. Compassion allows us to approach everyone with kindness and understanding. It doesn’t mean condoning harmful actions, but rather responding in a way that seeks to reform and uplift.

The Holy Quran states “the recompense of an injury is a penalty in proportion thereto; but whoso forgives and effects a reform thereby has his reward with Allah” (42:40). This verse highlights two important principles – forgiveness and the necessity of reform. Even when strictness is necessary, it should stem from love, not hate. These principles have guided my interactions, helping me deal with everyone with an open mind, love and compassion.

Reflecting on the words of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), who said “the leader of a nation is, in fact, its servant”, I contemplate my time here. Have I truly served my community in Keighley and Ilkley? Whilst I may not have a definitive answer, I am profoundly grateful for the love and support I have received. I have cherished my time here, serving both community members and others.