Gems & Stars in the UK: Sarah Joseph OBE

Sarah Joseph OBE


Sarah Joseph is Editor & CEO of emel media. Having grown up in one of the world’s top model agencies, Sarah converted to Islam at the age of 16. A powerful and popular public speaker, she has lectured on Islam globally for over 20 years. 

Sarah was awarded an OBE by the Queen in 2004 for her services to interfaith dialogue and the promotion of women’s rights. She is listed as one of the 500 most influential Muslims in the world by Georgetown University and the Royal Jordanian Strategic Studies Centre.

Her founding and editorship of emel in 2003 was a turning point in Muslim media. It created a paradigm shift in the way Muslims were portrayed and were marketed to.

Sarah’s Facebook page, which has a large global following, declares her passion “to get people to recognise their shared humanity, and our common responsibility to this Earth.” She manages this through her work with emel Media Group, but also through other avenues, including her regular ‘Pause for Thought’ on The Chris Evans Breakfast Show – Britain’s most popular radio show.

Sarah’s work in the Muslim community and with emel Media Group means she has a wealth of knowledge and expertise which she uses to great effect to advise on the needs of Muslims to government and corporate bodies, as well as public and private institutions. Through these endeavours Sarah has become a leading expert on the Muslim Lifestyle market.

A self-confessed perfectionist who absolutely loves her work, Sarah is the proud mother of three young children; she keeps chickens, and supports Tottenham Hotspur.


What my child is NOT missing out on by NOT being in School



Dear non-home schooling parents,

What my child is NOT missing out on by NOT being in School

Despite the evidence to suggest that later schooling is better for children than starting school early and the evidence to show that home educated children do better in their studies compared to their school attending counterparts, as a home schooling parent we still encounter the odd remark from fellow parents asking “is your child not missing out on [fill in your own blanks] by not going to school?”

To those non-home schooling parents: Thank you for taking an interest in my child’s education. Please find below a list of things that my child is not missing out on by not being in school.

  • My child is not missing out on the widespread bullying that is currently plaguing inner city schools, to the point that it is beginning to cost young people their lives.
  • My child is not missing out on the immense pressure placed on young children to learn complex spelling and arithmetic at such a young age, when they’re little brains are still developing.
  • My child is not missing out on the factory style teaching that is focused solely on test results and league tables that it takes away the human element of teaching good character, a moral outlook and the passing down of knowledge as opposed to just teaching information
  • My child is not subjected to the immense peer pressure in schools to look and dress a certain way, to take up smoking / drugs, to have the latest gadgets and games, and to be part of a clique or a gang, to name just a few.
  • My child is not missing out on the extraordinary amount of homework that young children are given even after having spent a full day of learning in school.
  • My child is not missing out on having to learn at a set pace set by the curriculum and the teachers. My child is able to learn and develop at their own pace, which is much better for their over all development.
  • My child is not missing out on socialisation. Socialisation happens everywhere, not just in schools.
  • My child is not missing out on not being able to see their Mum and Dad for long hours of the day, sometimes ranging from 8:30am – 6:30pm for households where both parents have full time jobs.
  • My child is not missing out on having to take holidays in peak holiday seasons when holiday prices are rocket high, only because their school will not allow them discretionary leave for family holidays during term time.
  • Most of important of all, my child is not missing out on being just that … a child. Children are meant to be children. These days children are not given the chance to be themselves. Let them be their own little person. Let them enjoy their childhood before they enter the high pressured environment of schools.

homeschooling-will-my-kids-miss-outThere are many good reasons why some parents choose not to send their children to school ranging from medical reasons to religious / cultural reasons. Please try to understand those reasons before you decide to judge us.

There are well over 36,000 children in the UK that are home educated and this number is steadily rising as people realise the benefits of home education verses conventional schooling.

Just as it is you prerogative to send your child to a mainstream school or a private school, it is our prerogative to home educate our child.

Wishing you all the best.

Yours Truly,


Umm and Abu Zaynah

Home Schooling Parents

Places to Visit in Makkah – Masjid Al Jinn

Masjid Al Jinn is the place about which the chapter of the Qur’an called Surah Al Jinn was revealed. This is also the place where the Jinn came in their large numbers to accept Islam at the hand of the Prophet (Peace and blessings be upon him).

Masjid Jinn

The story of what happened is related by the Companion, Abdullah ibn Mas’ud (May Allah be pleased with him) who said:

While in Makkah, the Prophet (Peace and blessings of Allah be on him) once said to the Sahabah (May Allah be pleased with them), ‘Whoever wishes to see what the Jinn are all about should come along’. Besides me, no-one else came. When we reached the place in the Ma’la district of Makkah the Prophet (Peace and blessings of Allah be on him) used his foot to draw a circle on the ground. He then instructed me to sit inside the circle. After proceeding a little further, the Prophet (Peace and blessings of Allah be on him) started reciting the Quran. It then happened that Jinn started to arrive in troops as they gathered there. So many came that I could not even see the Prophet (Peace and blessings of Allah be on him) nor hear him. The Prophet (Peace and blessings of Allah be on him) then continued talking with a group of them until Fajr.

[Tafseer ibn Kathir]

Adapted from the ‘Young Explorers’ Adventures in Makkah’

Stockists of Young Explorers’ Adventures in Makkah

Assalamu Alaykum,

We are pleased to announce that the list of people stocking our book ‘The Young Explorers’ Adventures in Makkah’ is gradually growing Alhamdu Lillah. You can currently order our books from the suppliers below.

Amazon UK


Daybreak Press USA


Readit Canada

Islamopedia UK

If you are a bookshop interested in stocking our book, please contact us via

Was Salam

Abu Zaynah



Thousands of Muslim pilgrims stone the walls, in a ritual called “Jamarat,” symbolising stoning the devil, in Mina near the Saudi holy city of Mecca, 20 December 2007. Around two and half million Muslim Hajji pilgrims in Mina during their annual pilgrimage western Saudi Arabia started pelting all three walls representing Satan in another high point, which in past years had fatal results. AFP PHOTO/ROSLAN RAHMAN

It was here in Mina that Prophet Ibrahim (Peace be upon him) brought his son Isma’il (peace be upon him) to be sacrificed following the dream that he had seen.

It was also here that Shaytan (Satan) tried to tempt him away from his determination to sacrifice his son so he pelted Shaytan with pebbles at three different locations. These locations are marked by the 3 large pillars known as the Jamarat. Pilgrims, to this day, stone the pillars in recognition of the act of Ibrahim (Peace be upon him).

The three Jamarat pillars, are known in turn as: Jamarat al Ula, Jamarat Al Wusta, and Jamarat al Aqaba.

The pillars are a symbol of what happened during the time of Ibrahim (Peace be upon him). Sometimes some of the pilgrims get a little over excited and start throwing rocks, shoes, sandals, umbrellas, sticks and all sorts at the pillars thinking that they are hitting Shaytan. We must never do that because that could cause harm and injury to the other pilgrims and that is not within the spirit of the Hajj.

Source:Edited from the Young Explorers’ Adventures in Makkah



Ayeina’s #Alhamdulillah For Series Gratitude Journal

Ayeina’s #Alhamdulillah For Series Gratitude Journal

(Recall the time) when your Lord declared, “If you express gratitude, I shall certainly give you more, and if you are ungrateful, then My punishment is severe.” – [Qur’an 14:7]

Many months ago as I was searching through Instagram for artists to collaborate with me on my book the Young Explorers’ Adventures in Makkah, I came across the @Ayeina_Official Instagram page. The illustrations that they did captured my imagination but what impressed me even more were the captions that went with it, so much so that I asked them to do some illustrations for my book to which they kindly agreed.

I loved the way that they turned every day things that we take for granted and converted them into an #Alhamdulilahforseries teaching us to be grateful for each and every blessing that we have, big or small.

As the caption suggestions continued to pour in, so did the number of illustrations and before you knew it there were almost 100 illustrations and captions to enjoy, each with their own unique artwork to go with it. Some of my favourite captions include

‘Alhamdu Lillah for Fatherhood’

‘Alhamdu Lillah for Chai or Biskut’Alhamdu Lillah

‘Alhamdu Lillah for Halal Meat Anywhere Anytime’

‘Alhamdu Lillah for Mosque at a Walking Distance’

I am pleased to know that Ayeina are currently working on releasing the #Alhamdulilahforseries as a book / journal and look forward to its formal release.

Ayeina Cover

As part of the release Ayeina will be holding a contest with prizes from collaborators from all around the world. I am pleased to announce that Islamopedia are one of the collaborators and we shall be offering a copy of our forthcoming title the Young Explorers’ Adventures in Makkah, which features artwork from Ayeina, as a prize to the lucky winners of this competition.

Please visit Ayeina’s website and social media sites to keep up to date with their posts and entry details for the competition.

Intagram: @Ayeina_Official

I hope that you will enjoy the #Alhamdulilahforseries as much as I have.

Young Explorers’ Adventures in Makkah Update

Assalamu ‘Alaykum,

We are pleased to announce that Shaykh Ahmed Saad Al-Azhari has kindly provded the forward to the book. We are grateful to the Shaykh for his contribution. In it he writes:

‘This book is a brick in the wall of resisting this cunning project of commercialisation of Makkah as it highlights the historically and spiritually significant places that deserve the visit of our people, young and old; rather than malls and shopping centres.’

For more information on the Shaykh’s activities, please visit his website

Also look out for the pre-order of the Young Explorers’ Adventures in Makkah coming soon on the Kindle Store. Watch this space!!!

‎25 Ways to Enter Jannah (Paradise)

‎25 Ways to Enter Jannah (Paradise)

“We all want to enter Jannah but are we sincerely striving for it? There are multiple ways to attain the pleasure of Allah SWT and enter His Jannah. Allah SWT has made it easy for us to enter His Jannah but some of us forget this due to an ‘attachment’ to this temporary worldly life!

Following are some hadiths which will show us 25 ways or good deeds to enter the Jannah. Remember, these are not the ‘only’ 25 ways and there should be ‘sincerity’ and ‘consistency’ in these acts to get Jannat-ul-Firdause InshaAllah :)

Read more at:

‎25 Ways to Enter Jannah (Paradise)

We at the Wednesday Circle have been discussing the 25 Ways to Jannah based on the article above.

We hope that you enjoy the video that we’ve made on the same topic, especially the bloopers at the end🙂

Was Salam

Abu Zaynah

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