Swanmore College Visit

swanmore1Wessex Jamaat was delighted to host the GCSE Class at Swanmore College who visited al Mahdi Centre on 17th June, 2019.

As part of their R.E. learning the group had been studying Islamic beliefs and Islamic practices. The aim of the visit was to have discussions around these and the day to day life of a Muslim – not just what the textbook says! The themes for discussion included the study of relationships and families and religion and life (environmental issues, euthanasia, abortion, origins of the universe).

Herebelow is feedback received from the group.


Dear Sheikh Fazle Abbas,
Thank you so much for your warmth, friendless and hospitality for our second GCSE RS trip to the Al Mahdi Centre. This trip truly provides a great insight into the Islamic faith and is very beneficial for the students. The students have been able to explore a deeper understanding of the faith from a member of the community in which they share, and that really has helped them solidify their knowledge of the subject. They got to ask a variety of questions, some that have been prepared in advance, in order to see exactly what it is like to live as a Muslim in the UK. This has had a tremendous impact on their learning and progress, and we will hopefully see you again next year!

Again, many thanks

Ziggy Monaghan and Victoria Ruzewicz
(teachers at Swanmore College)


Dear Sheikh Fazle Abbas,
Thank you for the great experience at al mahdi centre. We as Year 10 students at Swanmore College thoroughly enjoyed your great personality and amazing experience with sharing your religion with us. Through the arrival of coming to the Mosque you greeted us well and made us all feel very welcome, and therefore helped us learn many things in such detail. helping toward our Year 11 GCSE in the Islam paper. We are very thankful for you explaining as much as you possibly could to help us. You seem to be a lovely character and we appreciate how honest you are about your own faith and explained everything very well. We also really enjoyed being able to go round your mosque and see all the features in the garden that you and your community have put together. The flowers and eco friendly garden was really beautiful and it was nice hearing that your neighbours had helped supply some flowers and plants.swanmore5 copy copy

Thank you for giving some personal experiences while you taught us about the Islamic Faith not only did you go above and beyond in explaining and developing our questions, you were able to take the words out our mouth and explaining everything to the point we had no questions for you.

I can speak for all my classmates and my teachers and say that we are very thankful and have learned so much that will stick with us for a lifetime. The experience you have given us is a once in a lifetime and one that will strongly help influence many of us.

Once again thank you very much.


Dear Sheikh Fazle Abbas,
Thank you for allowing us to visit the Al Mahdi Centre. I found the trip really educational and hearing about Islam from someone who is actually practising the faith helped me understand Islam more as I was introduced to direct views.

The in-depth explanations of different topics were insightful as usually I learn about different views and although there are explanations, they aren’t directly from a Muslim or particularly detailed. Knowing views from an actual Muslim has helped because it has shown me differing opinions such as on homosexuality that I hadn’t seen before or been introduced to in other resources.

Thank you,

Dear Sheikh Fazle Abbas
I appreciate you allowing us to visit your Mosque and ask questions. I think it was beneficial to learn about your religion and see your point of view on different aspects of your religion. You are clearly dedicated to your religion and I respect your dedication.

I liked to hear your views on political issues such as the view on terrorism and the general Islamaphobia of society. I think that a lot of people could benefit from hearing what you had to say on the subject.

I enjoyed seeing you recite the Quran, it was interesting hearing the way that you read it.

Thank you again for your time.
Jazmin Brady

Dear Sheikh Fazle Abbas
I would like to thank you for the amazing opportunity to visit the Al Mahdi Centre Mosque. I have learnt quite a lot from this trip. I liked learning about how you are very different from what you are portrayed in the media, as well as learning about how women are much more respected than men. I also liked that you are friends with other religions and that they helped you stand up to the people discriminating against you. I feel like this has benefitted my GCSE RE experience as it has helped me to see what an actual mosque
looked like inside and out. I would also like to thank you for answering my question which helped me in understanding the Quran rules. I think that your Mosque was very nice inside and I especially liked the calligraphy on the walls.


swanmore4Dear Sheikh Fazle Abbas
Thank you for teaching me more about your religion and letting us into your Mosque. It really helped me to understand more about the difficulties of being a Muslim. You answered the questions in detail, which helped me get a better understanding of your religion. I found it very interesting when you read the Quran and showed us the writings, it was very educational. I could tell you were very passionate about your religion and you were a very good teacher.

Dear Sheikh Fazle Abbas
Thank you for making us feel welcome and for sharing your knowledge with us in such detail and spending your free time to help us out with RE. I loved how beautiful the Mosque and the garden was and how much you take care of everything. You answered all of our questions and told us all the important things you have to do as a Muslim. Also you labeled all the actions for praying which was interesting and educational.

Thank you so much.
Emma Coulbert

Dear Sheikh Fazle Abbas,
Thank you for your time and having us at your Mosque. I learnt a lot more from your point of view as a muslim and it has helped me see the difference from your personal views and the islam views.

I really enjoyed learning about your mosque and the background behind it. It was really nice to see that you were so dedicated about your opinions which made me understand how proud you are to be a muslim.

It's really interesting to hear about all of the experiences. Hearing about your religion, faith, prayers, experiences, views has given a huge impact on learning more about your religion and how I can use what I have learned today to my learning.

It's been a pleasure to learn about your religion, thank you very much for your time.

Abbey Johnson Hall

Dear Sheikh Fazle Abbas,
I was one of the members of the Swanmore School that met you at your Mosque. We really appreciated the trip and I would like to thank you for allowing us to get a different perspective of the Muslim faith by getting the viewpoint of your faith from an imam.

Although the experience might have been more memorable if there were more activities, I found the information was presented in a very interesting way and hearing you read from the Quran was very educational. I had a lot of respect and understanding from you after learning how hard you found being a Muslim and your inner struggles you have to endure in everyday life. Even though I didn’t agree with some of your beliefs on the topic of relationships and families such as our beliefs on homosexuality and abortion I found knowing your viewpoints very interesting.

Thank you for allowing us to visit it was a very educational experience



Dear Sheikh Fazle Abbas
Thank you for inviting us to Al Mahdi Centre. I learned quite a lot during my visit, including Islamic views on divorce, remarriage, gender equality and abortion. Thanks to you, I now know that women don’t have to fast during their monthly period, and that Arabic text is read from right to left. I have also learned more about Ashura and Islamic opinions on blood-letting. I also enjoyed seeing a Mosque for the first time, and participating in the different positions for prayer.
I enjoy hearing about other people’s opinions, and I’m sure that the information you’ve provided me will aid me in my GCSEs.
Ellie Berkeley

Dear Sheikh Fazle Abbas,
Thank you very much for allowing us to visit the Al Mahdi Centre! I really enjoyed the visit, i learnt a lot and now I have a greater understanding of Islamic views. I was particularly fascinated by the Islamic rituals, Muslim representation and the difficulties in being a Muslim. Also, I found the building and tour very interesting and I am very impressed with the building and the efforts towards helping the environment. You were also very kind and respectable. I really enjoyed the trip!

Thank you for your hospitality and for welcoming us into the Mosque.
Yours sincerely,
Elliot Södergren

Sheikh Fazle Abbas Datoo
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Resident Alim
Wessex Shia Ithna Asheri Jamaat