Winners of The Muslim News Awards for Excellence 2019

26th Apr 2019
Winners of The Muslim News Awards for Excellence 2019

(Photo: Twitter @SadiqKhan)

We are proud to announce the winners of The Muslim News Awards for Excellence 2019. To read the full shortlist please click here. To nominate individuals and organisations for the 2020 awards please click here.

Alhambra Award for Excellence in Arts
The prize is named after the exquisite collection of buildings in southern Spain whose beauty is unsurpassed even to this day. In recognition of the flowering of culture at that time, this award celebrates achievement in fine art, the performing arts or architecture.

Siddiqa Juma receives her award from Rt Hon Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London (Photo: Abdul Datoo/Muslim News)

WINNER: Tanzania born Siddiqa Juma is one of Britain’s foremost contemporary Islamic artists. Having commenced her career in graphic design, she wrote and published a globally
successful series of Islamic children books, having realised there was nothing on the market at the time that her own children could relate to. Later in 2017 — off the back of terrorist attacks in London — she was approached by global charity MasterPeace, to spearhead a mural in central London on the South Bank, close to the Tate Modern. Building upon the theme of an English meadow, Siddiqa and her team drew a large crowd over several days to contribute to the mural – a direct response to those seeking to build walls of division. The message of the mural was powerful and direct – the power of unity is and always will be far greater than those who seek to divide. She has won many awards. In 2017 Siddiqa was awarded Global Art Award for Diversity in the Best Painting category in Dubai and in 2018 won the Leonardo da Vinci Universal Artist Award in Florence. Her stunning artwork can be found at


Uthman Dan Fodio Award for Excellence in Community Development
Uthman Dan Fodio was the great African whose rule of Sokoto in modern-day Nigeria was marked by his desire to use his deep knowledge of Islam to affect profound social change in his community and his region. This award captures his spirit as a great social reformer and his desire to develop his society.

Ibrahim Adewusi (L) receives his award from Yasrab Shah, UK Director of Fundraising, Muslim Hands (Photo: Abdul Datoo/Muslim News)

WINNER: Nigeria born Ibrahim Adewusi is an accountant, lecturer, community leader and the current Project Coordinator for the rebuilding of Old Kent Road Mosque & Islamic Cultural Centre. He was a former general secretary and president of the Muslim Association of the UK. He also served as the first publicity secretary of the UK Nigerian Muslim organisation’s umbrella body, Council of Nigeria Muslim Organisations. In a professional capacity, Ibrahim is the chair and chief executive of Threadneedle Training and Management Consultancy. In 2015 the Mayor of Southwark awarded Ibrahim with a Civic Award Letter of Commendation in recognition of his contribution to the community. It stated that ‘Ibrahim Adewusi for many years has been a committee member, a project coordinator and a driving force of the Muslim Association of Nigeria based at Old Kent Road.’

Al Biruni Award for Excellence in Community Relations
Al Biruni was not only the foremost astronomer and philosopher of his time, but he also acted as a firm bridge for mutual understanding between cultures and faiths in India. This award is granted in memory of his steadfast exhortations to build better relations between Muslim and non-Muslim communities.

Fatima Khasimi receives her award from Mohamed Iqbal Asaria, Associate, Afkar Consulting Ltd (Photo: Abdul Datoo/Muslim News)

WINNER: Fatima Khasimi was awarded by the Mayor of London in 2017 for the Long Service to Volunteering, serving for unity and humanity over 30 years. In 2017, she also won the Sister of the Year Award from Waltham Forest Council of Mosque for her dedication and commitment for serving others. A role model for many, Fatima sits on many trusts and boards in London and is an inspiring mentor and coach. She is a volunteer chaplain at Barts Health NHS Trust and Haven House Hospice. Her colleagues attest to Fatima’s great passion to make a difference in building bridges, connecting faiths and people and bringing back hope and comforting the broken hearts through her pastoral, religious and spiritual care. She is also a governor for the North East London NHS Foundation Trust.


Annemarie Schimmel Award for Championing a Muslim Cause
This award characterises the spirit of the illustrious Harvard scholar whose forthright defence of Islam and Muslims defied the prevailing fashion to vilify the faith and the entire community. In keeping the torch of her courage alive, the winner of this award is a non-Muslim individual, initiative or organisation which has supported a Muslim cause.

Collecting on behalf of Acorns Children’s Hospice, Noel Cramer, Director of Supporter Engagement, Acorns Children’s Hospice receives the award from Sir Kenneth Olisa Esq OBE, The Lord-Lieutenant of Greater London, Lieutenancy Office (Photo: Abdul Datoo/Muslim News)

WINNER: Acorns Children’s Hospice makes every day count for the children and families of all cultures, faiths and beliefs that use their services. Over the last year, they have cared for over 870 children and more than 1,141 families at their three hospices in Birmingham, Walsall and Worcester and in their outreach support in families’ own homes. Since opening 30 years ago, 29% of the children in their care have been Muslim (39% of families using Acorns are from Black and Asian Minority ethnic backgrounds). For parents like Amjid and his wife, whose children, Subhan and Zara were both diagnosed with Joubert’s syndrome, a rare brain disorder, the support provided by Acorns has been a lifeline. Sadly, Subhan passed away in November 2016, aged just seven, and the couple knows that they face the loss of another child. Amjid says: “The pain is unbearable but with the support of our friends at Acorns we’ll deal with that day when it comes, I don’t know how we would cope if we didn’t have that.”


Imams Hasan and Husayn Children’s Award for Excellence
They had been conferred the honour of being ‘the leaders of the youth of paradise.’ In recognition, this award is granted for a child (5 to 15 years) who has demonstrated outstanding achievement. This award is named in honour of the beloved grandchildren of the Prophet Muhammad whose presence as children was often a source of solace for their doting grandfather.Jena Al-hashimi Grant receives her award from Chioma Onwualobi, Publisher, Glam Africa (Photo: Abdul Datoo/Muslim News)

WINNER: Jena Al-hashimi Grant is 14 years old and in training to be a British Olympian in taekwondo. She started training in martial arts in 2011 when she was 6 years old. She achieved a black belt in karate in 2013, a black belt in taekwondo in 2014 and an orange belt in Hapkido. She is now preparing for her second dan grading in taekwondo which she hopes to achieve this year. In 2016, she competed in 10 competitions and took away 13 medals. Of these, nine were gold medals. In 2017 Jena took part in the 2017 Ultimate Taekwondo Championships in Barnsley. She missed her target weight by 0.15kg and was put up to the -41kg category. She won the semi-final 30-12 and went on to bring home gold. Jena also recently returned from a championship in Lisbon, Portugal and achieved a 1st place in the under 14 female teams.


Alija Izetbegović Award for Good Citizenship
This award is named after the Bosnian leader who in the face of adversity, oppression and genocide, helped secure the right of Muslims to live in peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Those characteristics are sought in the winner of this award, who shows courage and determination in securing rights for British Muslims.

Aamer Anwar receives his award from Raza-Aly Hiridjee (L), Philanthropist, The Imaan Trust (Photo: Abdul Datoo/Muslim News)

WINNER: Aamer Anwar is a lawyer and human rights campaigner. In 1995 he made legal history in a successful civil action against the police for a racist attack on himself in 1991 whilst a student at Glasgow University, when he was told ‘this is what happens to black boys with big mouths’ as his teeth were smashed out. Since then, for over three decades, he has tirelessly advocated for civil liberties and defended the vulnerable. He demonstrates outstanding achievement and longstanding commitment to promoting understanding between different cultures and faiths, both through his legal work and as a political campaigner. Aamer had been involved in some of Scotland’s most high profile cases and been named lawyer of the year multiple times at law awards in Scotland. Among the cases he is best known for is that of murdered waiter Surjit Singh Chhokar which led two judicial inquiries, a change in the law and an unrelenting 17-year campaign.


Sankore University Award for Excellence in Education
Sankore University was a medieval African educational institution was a glittering citadel of scholarship, surpassing the reputation of similar institutions of that time. This award recognises excellence in education, as embodied in the values of this institution.

Esmail Suleman Patel (L) receives his award from Imam Qasim Rashid Ahmad, Executive Chair, Al-Khair Foundation (Photo: Abdul Datoo/Muslim News)

WINNER: Esmail Suleman Patel is profoundly deaf and uses British Sign Languages. He is one of the founders and CEO of Deaf Education Advocacy Fellowship (DEAF). He is very passionate, an excellent deaf role model and a valuable contributor to the deaf Muslim community in the country. Esmail has been recognised and honoured for his brilliant work by the public and private sectors, health and police service and educational establishment. He is believed to be the UK’s first deaf entrepreneur, and he’s also been working in partnership with over 10,000 organisations to make a difference in peoples’ lives.


Fazlur Rahman Khan Award for Excellence in Engineering, Science or Technology
Fazlur Rahman Khan embodies this award for being one of the most revered structural engineers of the twentieth century. He is a role model for many Muslims and is a testament to the modern Muslim contribution to the progress of science.

Professor Shafi Ahmed receives his award from Baroness Shami Chakrabarti CBE, Shadow Attorney General, House of Lords (Photo: Abdul Datoo/Muslim News)

WINNER: Professor Shafi Ahmed is a surgeon, teacher, futurist, innovator, entrepreneur and a specialist in augmented and virtual reality. He is a laparoscopic colorectal cancer surgeon at The Royal London and St Bartholomew’s Hospitals and has been awarded the accolade of the most watched surgeon in human history. In May 2014, using Google Glass, he performed and streamed a live interactive operation to 14,000 students and trainees across 132 countries and 1,100 cities. Two years later on April 14, 2016, in collaboration with Barts Health, Medical Realities and Mativision, he performed the world’s first virtual reality operation recorded and streamed live in 360 degrees. This was viewed by 55,000 people in 140 countries and 4,000 cities and reached 4.6 million people on Twitter. There were over 200,000 downloads on Youtube. On December 9, 2016, he performed the world’s first live operation using Snapchat Spectacles where he trained 200 medical students and surgical trainees, which has been viewed over 2 million times.


Ummul Mu’minin Khadijah Award for Excellence in Enterprise
The beloved first wife of the Prophet was unique in many ways, including in her position as one of the early business icons of the Muslim world. A role model to all people, this award recognises achievement in business and commerce.

Collecting on behalf of Adeem Younis (inset) Arberor Hadri and Wasim Khalfey, Designers receive the award from Tariq Usmani, CEO, Henley Homes PLC (Photo: Abdul Datoo/Muslim News)

WINNER: Adeem Younis is the founder of the digital matrimony platform, His accomplishments were recently shortlisted for a prestigious Amazon Web Service Award for Digital Business of the Year. Through, 100,000 Muslims have found their life partners. Adeem takes his earliest inspiration from his mother who provided for her family after his father passed away when he was 8 years old. She opened a stall at the local market, teaching Adeem and his siblings how entrepreneurship and ingenuity was a gateway for a transformation. Filled with a deep sense of responsibility, Adeem funded his studies by founding his first business, GoWebPrint, above the pizza shop where he worked part-time. At the heart of his leadership, today is a drive to provide solutions to problems through utilising the potential of the digital space. Adeem has proved that anyone can lead that change – even if all you have is a storeroom above a pizza shop in a tiny Yorkshire town.


Ibn Sina Award for Excellence in Health
Amongst the many accolades attributed to him, this polymath is also regarded as the father of modern-day medicine. As a result, this award is named after the great physician who made enormous contributions to medical inquiry. This award recognises those who promote excellence in health issues.

Dr Faheem Ahmed receives his award from Mukhtar Amirali Karim (L), Consultant Solicitor, Carter Lemon Camerons LLP (Photo: Abdul Datoo/Muslim News)

WINNER: Dr Faheem Ahmed is a medical doctor and NHS Clinical Entrepreneur Fellow advising on health innovation policy. He is Guy’s, King’s and St Thomas’ Hospitals’ youngest appointed lecturer where he also qualified from as Student-President and Associate of King’s College. He has over 50 lead-author high impact research publications and presentations, as well as fellowships from Oxford, Stanford and Harvard. Faheem completed his Masters in Public Health from LSHTM specialising in health services management and has consulted on projects for the IHI, WHO and WEF. He has co-founded venture-backed healthtech startups and director of diaspora-led NGO, ‘Selfless’, focused on addressing health inequalities in Bangladesh.

Faezeh Hashemi Award for Excellence in Sport
Faezeh Hashemi has been a pioneer in campaigning for the right of Muslim women to participate in sport. This award recognises outstanding sporting achievement or the initiation of a sports project for the benefit of the Muslim community.

Asma Elbadawi receives her award from Mukhtar Manji, Director, Jasmin Ltd (Photo: Abdul Datoo/Muslim News)

WINNER: Asma Elbadawi is a basketball player and coach from Bradford, West Yorkshire, who successfully lobbied for the Basketball governing body the International Basketball Federation (Fiba) to allow Muslim players to compete in hijab. Asma, who was born in Sudan, began campaigning against Fiba’s ban on headgear using social media and the #FibaAllowHijab hashtag. Asma argued Fiba should follow football authority Fifa in removing restrictions on hijabs, turbans and other religious headwear as she claimed there was no correlation between the item of clothing and players’ safety. On May 4, 2017, the first-ever Midterm Congress — which brought together representatives from 139 national federations — unanimously ratified the Fiba Central Board’s decision for a new rule that would allow players to wear headgear. Not one to rest on her laurels, Asma is now advocating sport for young British Muslim girls. An accomplished spoken word poet, she also won BBC Radio 1Xtra’s ‘Words First’ 2015 Competition.


Ibn Battuta Award for Excellence in the Media
Ibn Battuta was the great traveller whose chronicles were driven by a mission to understand without fear or favour. This award remembers the great Moroccan voyageur’s desire to explain and is granted to those who report a fair and balanced appraisal of Muslims at home and abroad.

Collecting on behalf of British Muslim TV, Dr Bilal Hassam (L), Creative Director, British Muslim TV receives the award from Dr Tariq Abbasi KGCIOM MBE DL, Deputy Lieutenant, London Lieutenancy (Photo: Abdul Datoo/Muslim News)

WINNER: British Muslim TV was founded to provide a platform to understand and explore what it means to be confidently Muslim and comfortably British. Now in its fifth year of operation, 2018 has seen the channel grow exponentially. Last year saw its first feature film production, Finding Fatimah, open in over 45 cinemas across the UK. It has also served as a springboard for young people to gain vital media experience and a leg up into the industry. Many of its presenters and producers have gone on to launch careers across mainstream media outlets. The channel attracts a number of mainstream TV credits, including BBC and Channel 4, and over 50% of its staff are non-Muslim. In addition to multimedia content, British Muslim TV has a regular grassroots presence in communities by organising a number of events and partnering with dozens more throughout the year.


Malcolm X Young Person’s Award for Excellence
This award honours the indomitable spirit of the American Muslim activist who was driven by an uncompromising desire for freedom and justice. He was one of the most dynamic, passionate and exemplary individuals of modern times. This is granted to an individual, organisation or initiative run by young people (16-25 years), whose principal aim is to support and create opportunities for their peers.

Imran Sanaullah (L) receives his award from Zaheer Khan, Head of Community Fundraising, Human Appeal (Photo: Abdul Datoo/Muslim News)        

WINNER: Imran Sanaullah is an inspirational young Muslim leader who has spent over six years promoting and encouraging the positive engagement of underrepresented, deprived and minority communities into British democratic and civil society. With the Foreign Commonwealth Office, and under the direction of the then Permanent Secretary, Sir Simon Fraser CMG, Imran founded the Youth Inspiration Group in 2013. The group raised issues and presented policy ideas from young people across the country to ambassadors and high commissioners from across the world. Imran has helped to empower over 300 young people across the country. His impact has been international, as the work of the group has been replicated in Canada, New Zealand, Algeria and Croatia. He is currently the CEO of the Patchwork Foundation in London, which has engaged over 40,000 young people from deprived and underrepresented communities to engage in the democratic system.


Iman wa Amal Special Award
This special award is granted at the discretion of the judges. This category draws its inspiration from the Islamic imperative to seek positive and meaningful change.

Dr Musharraf Hussain OBE receives his award from Oruj Defoite, Chair, The Muslim News Awards for Excellence Independent Panel of Judges (Photo: Abdul Datoo/Muslim News) 

WINNER: Dr Musharraf Hussain OBE is the compiler of a new Qur’an translation called The Majestic Qur’an. It has been lauded as an excellent translation, revealing the clear message of the Holy Qur’an in plain English language and style. A special feature of this translation is that he has added section headings for the sake of clarity. These headings correspond to major themes and subject matter presented in the text. The headings of each section are not just attention-grabbing but reflect its contents, themes and specific topics that help the reader to understand the words of Allah. The Majestic Qur’an is a must read for those who want to understand the message and teachings of Islam.


The Editor’s Lifetime Achievement Award
This accolade recognises those who have made exceptional contributions to the life of Britain’s Muslim community. Unlike the other awards – judged by the independent panel of judges – this tribute is granted by the Editor of The Muslim News. The winners of this award personify the spirit of this entire initiative. They are unsung heroes who diligently and persistently striven to improve a lot of British Muslims.

Shafiqul Islam Chowdhury receives his award from Ahmed J Versi, Editor, The Muslim News (Photo: Abdul Datoo/Muslim News)

WINNER: Shafiqul Islam Chowdhury, born in Chittagong, Bangladesh, in 1940, has served a lifetime of community service. After working in the Civil Service for 21 years, he has actively taken on numerous local roles, including: The London Borough of Sutton, High View Primary School, and Hallington High School for Girls, Sutton Refugee Network, HM Prisons and countless faith forums, race relations committees and mosques. He founded Al-Muttaqiin Islamic community cohesion voluntary group in 1992. At HM Prisons, he oversaw 62 shahadas (conversion to Islam) and established Friday prayers and Eid prayers. He also introduced Eid festivities involving all Muslim inmates and prison staff – in which he paid for food and refreshments from his own pocket (for the first year). After this success, the Governor contributed regular funds to Eid and the practice was mirrored across neighbouring HM Prisons. Prison staff attest that the commemoration of Muslim festivities helped them build stronger relationships with Muslim inmates.



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Over 120 people attended a landmark conference on the media reporting of Islam and Muslims. It was held jointly by The Muslim News and Society of Editors in London on September 15.

The Muslim News Awards for Excellence 2015 was held on March in London to acknowledge British Muslim and non-Muslim contributions to the society.

The Muslim News Awards for Excellence 2015 was held on March in London to acknowledge British Muslim and non-Muslim contributions to the society.

The Muslim News Awards for Excellence event is to acknowledge British Muslim and non-Muslim contributions to society. Over 850 people from diverse background, Muslim and non-Muslim, attended the gala dinner.

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