“Love is a many splendored thing”

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Or so sings Frank Sinatra and many others. It is also the quote to start off the marvelous video made by Nanyang Technology University Muslim Society (NTUMS) for their magazine named “Eleven”.

In their visually pleasing trailer, a lady’s voice narrates a poetic soliloquy as she negotiates the circumstances she finds herself in, all surrounding the issue of Love. Although the video is a mere 3 minutes, the team behind the video and poem successfully incorporated issues about being “less strict” (MM Lee, 2011), the hijab, having love for Allah and dealing with peer pressure and the opposite sex.

Take a look at their trailer here:

IslamicEvents managed to catch up with Nur Ashikin Kamarudin, the Vice President (Outreach) of NTUMS and this was the conversation that ensued:

IslamicEvents: MasyaAllah the video looks really good! May I ask how long it took you guys to film & edit the whole thing?

Ashikin: Alhamdulillah, all praises to Him. We took about 3 days to film and edit the whole video. We try our best to meet up during breaks and after classes to get the filming done. Credits to our Marketing Manager for the great editing.

The video is also a part of our da’wah initiative, the reason why we released it on 13th Feb, a day before the universally known ‘Valentine’s Day’. Whenever someone hears the term ‘love’, their immediate thought is ‘romantic love’ since we are already socialized that way. This is something that we want to debunk. We want our readers to reflect if that is all there is to love? Through our teaser, where one is able to listen to a poem about love, we hope to encourage our viewers to rethink about the notion of ‘romantic love’ and and reflect about who deserved to be our one and true love – Our Creator.

IslamicEvents: How did the topic of Love come about? What inspired it?

Ashikin: Basically, I was looking for a topic that is able to get people interested to even want to pick up our ELEVEN magazine and be curious about its content. ELEVEN is a magazine by youths, for youths and we would like to outreach to as many people as possible. There might be people who are not ready to want to read a magazine that has an Islamic perspective in it. But there is still a need to attract them to Islam, since da’wah is obligatory upon all Muslims. One thing we have noted is that even da’wah requires a strategy. Shoving Islam to someone who is just starting to regain interest in our deen might not work. Thus, I thought a simple yet all encompassing topic like love is something that is palatable to all youths and thus would be a way to attract readers and bring them closer to our deen. Besides, what better way to call people to Islam, other then love? Read about love in our magazine, be inspired and manifest it in your actions. Show the beauty of Islam.

IslamicEvents: Who are the people behind Eleven? Who are the geniuses the world needs to know about?

Ashikin: If you are asking how the magazine first came about, it is actually the brain child of a group of youths to provide a magazine for youths. Prior to the initiative of the Eleven Magazine, Nanyang Technological University Muslim Society (NTUMS) has already been producing a fortnightly newsletter called An-Nabaa’ The Tidings. We have changed the name from An – Nabaa to ELEVEN 2 years ago to make it more palatable to our readers. Why ELEVEN? It basically comes from the summation of the 5 Pillars of Islam and 6 Pillars of Imaan.

For this publication, we have about 8 people in our current team, made up of the editorial team, marketing and designer team as well as our business manager.

IslamicEvents: What can we expect from the magazine?

Ashikin: Our vision this year is simple. We would like to publish a magazine that inspires, be a form of spiritual revivification as well as an easy read at the same time. There will be so many articles pertaining to love that one can look out for in our magazine. Love for our Creator, Love for Our prophet (pbuh), Love of dunya for akhirah, How do we maintain love for Islam.. and many more. If you would like to know more, be sure to grab a copy!
Our magazine will strive to show that Islam is not just a religion. With our 6 pillars of iman and 5 pillars of Islam in mind, we will strive to show that Islam is ad-deen, a way of life and that it is easy to practice our faith anyway and everywhere and eventually remind our readers to work towards achieving Ihsan in everything we do InsyaAllah. And definitely, we remind ourselves first before reminding another.

IslamicEvents: Will members of the public have access to the magazine? Any way they can grab a copy?

Ashikin: If you have any NTU/NIE friends, feel free to approach and ask them to help you grab a copy as we will be placing them in our musollah which will be made available to all NTU/NIE students. Alternatively, you can send us a message on our ‘I am Muslim in NTU’ facebook group to state your interest in getting a copy and we will liaise with you on how to pass you the copy. We are also currently in the process of making our magazine a ‘borrow-able’ item in the national libraries. InsyaAllah, if that gets through, one can just visit the library to read our ELEVEN magazine!

IslamicEvents: Finally, are you still looking for sponsors? Any specific items or will money just do? Haha.

Ashikin: Definitely! Would be good if we can get a sponsor for the printing of our magazine! Apart from that, any kinds of sponsorships, be it monetary or in kind (for our magazine launch) is very much appreciated. We are also offering advertising space in our magazine. So, anyone who is interested in incorporating product advertisements or brochures in our magazine, please do feel free to contact us at ntums.eleven@gmail.com.

 

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We wish for Eleven’s and NTUMS’ success and pray that their efforts will be rewarded by Allah Most High! As mentioned in the interview above, anyone interested in sponsoring the magazine, do contact them at ntums.eleven@gmail.com.

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