Unbeknownst to most people, every Thursday evening in the Multi Faith Center here on campus, the Monash University Islamic Society has their weekly meetings. On one particularly rainy Thursday, I decided to join the meeting to see what the club is all about. I found myself sitting in a circle surrounded by some familiar but mostly unfamiliar faces. Regrettably I came in late, as I may have gotten the timings mixed up but thankfully I didn’t miss too much. Everyone seemed really nice and accommodating despite my late arrival.
Basically, in each weekly meeting there will be a halaqah i.e. the term usually used for gatherings pertaining to the study of religion. The halaqah for each week is centred on different themes or events. The week I joined the meeting, happened to coincide with Isra’ and Mikraj i.e. the prophet Muhammad’s ascension so that was the topic of discussion. The discussion started with a couple people giving an overview and explaining things about said topic. Everyone was listening intently along with munching on oreos and brownies that was so nicely provided.
“The objective of the society is to create a safe place for Muslims on campus & form strong bond between the Muslim community. I guess that’s the main goal of all the activities we are organizing this year” said Farhanah, the vice president of the society.
We were encouraged to ask questions, give opinions and bring up our experiences regarding the topic or just our lives in general. The overall atmosphere was very calm and relaxing. People shared their views were very open with experiences and less guarded which was really nice to see that the club managed to create this open and understanding environment for student to feel comfortable in. This was something that really stood out to me.
Overall, it was a pretty pleasant experience. In my opinion, what makes a club worth trying regardless of what type of club, is that even from going to one meeting you can feel that sense of community, comradery and support, and the Islamic Club does check all the boxes. So, if you feel like joining, I definitely recommend you checking out their Facebook page, you can be notified of all the info of the weekly topic of the halaqah and don’t be shy to message them for more info.
Article by Sharifah Azlinah