Heartiest congratulations to all those who have entered the Love for the Beloved Poetry Competition. I am extremely honoured to have been a part of it! This is undoubtedly a very proud moment for you and your family, and I share in your delight. Community development is a matter close to my heart, therefore it is with great pride that I witnessed your achievements.

There has been much talk in the book industry recently on the dearth of writers from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic backgrounds. However, I am confident that there will be no need for such discussions in the near future when you all excel in literary talent and your great works are published.
As Rumi said:

"Everyone has been made for some particular work and the desire for that work has been put in every heart."

It seems writing is in your hearts; I wish you every success with it.

− Zanib Mian

In the first few lines of Qur'an revealed to the Blessed Messenger of Allah, Almighty Allah set out the fundamental need and duty of human beings to recite and to use the pen, as acts of worship integral to Islam. Through reciting we declare our devotion to Allah and acknowledge His truths, to ourselves and to the World. Through the pen we acquire knowledge and learn, either by reading, or by writing. Through reading, thinking and writing, one develops one's thoughts and advances knowledge by contributing original ideas building on the writing and thoughts of others.

The aim of this competition was to ignite a spark of love in the hearts of our young ones, a spark of recognition, to encourage a burning flame of desire to learn about and emulate the final and beloved Messenger of Allah, Muhammad, salAllahu alayhi wa sallam. Through reading, thinking and writing about him, we all hoped that our young ones would fall in love with him, as we have, parents, teachers and Muslims from all walks of life. We hope that by doing so, they too will taste the sweetness of faith that we taste and yearn to be like him and walk in his footsteps, as the billions of Muslims that precede us have done for the past 14 centuries and continue to do today all around the world.

We hope that they will marvel over the mercy of Muhammad, SalAllahu 'alayhi wa sallam, be amazed at his patience, be awe struck by his wisdom and be inspired by his conduct and life. We hope that they are struck by his magnanimity in conquering Makkah, that they are moved by his forgiveness in At-Ta'if, that they are astounded by his resilience on the Hijarah, enthralled by His night journey and captivated by his incredible demeanour, integrity and personal example.

It was therefore an incredible honour to be asked to judge entries to this competition. To be one of the first to read and savour the fruits of this labour. And what an incredible pleasure it was to see the entries and know that so many had dived into the task with gusto and how so many had dived into their hearts to express their emotions eloquently through the pen of their deeply felt love for Almighty Allah's beloved! I hope and pray that this book will ignite the passion of all in whose hands it passes (or screens it graces) to get to know this man, Muhammad, salAllahu 'alayhi wa sallam. For if you do, I am sure that with the Mercy of Allah, you will fall in love with him too.

− Someera Butt

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