By Jonathan Dylan Bradley
IQRA, a magazine created by the Ryerson Muslim Students’ Association (RMSA), is a space for Muslim students at Ryerson to discuss their identity and the issues millennial Canadian-Muslims face.
Mehreen Arif, IQRA’s editor-in-chief and a third-year business management student, said the magazine will allow Muslim students at Ryerson to be heard. IQRA was launched online earlier this week.
IQRA is a Qur’anic word that means ‘to read.’ It was the first command given to Muhammad by Allah. According to Arif, IQRA began in early summer of 2017. The goal of the project was to create a platform to discuss and explore Islamic lifestyle.
“We’ve been in the works for this magazine for such a long time,” said Arif. “I know that the RMSA team from previous years wanted a platform for the Muslim community.”
“To be honest, seeing this magazine come together these past few months, bringing a team together, hiring, recruiting, and leading a team, it’s been a long time coming. Seeing it out there now for others to read really feels great,” Arif said.
IQRA’s cover, filled with deep purple and orange, reads “A Message to Be Heard.” Nabiha Syed, the magazine’s lead designer and a third-year graphic communications management student, worked with other designers to create it on InDesign.
“I feel great. This was the longest project I’ve worked on and the first magazine I’ve worked on,” said Syed. “It looks amazing for our first edition. I’m really happy.”
The magazine’s sections are based on common experiences of young Muslim-Canadians, such as what religion means to them, career support and fashion. It also includes a comic strip exploring conversion to Islam and an opinion feature.
Malek El-Kawas, the president of the RMSA and a fourth-year mechanical engineering student, said that a project like IQRA shows the potential a student group can have.
“I hope that people realize there is potential in students you may not think have potential. A lot of these people who wrote for this magazine are my friends, and I did not know specifically they could write these kinds of articles,” said El-Kawas. “I hope that people learn what they have to give has potential to people around them.”
IQRA is available for free online on the RMSA’s Facebook page.