LONDON PRAYER TIME DAWN: 02:35 SUNRISE: 04:48 ZOHR:: 12:59 MAGHRIB: 21:24
The 30th Annual Assembly of Scholars and Congregation Imams of Islamic Centres in the UK via Online Webinar
The 30th annual assembly of scholars and congregation Imams of the Islamic centres in the UK was hosted online by the Islamic Centre of England in light of the extraordinary circumstances and social distancing measures upon the arrival of the holy month of Ramadan. The subject of the assembly was 'Examining the Possibility of Using Social Media in the Field of Propagation'. More than seventy prominent scholars from various Islamic centres all across the UK attended online and exchanged their views on propagation, research and also education using social media.
In light of the forced and unfortunate closure of all Islamic centres, Hujjatul-Islam-wal-muslimeen Seyed Hashem Moosavi, director of the Islamic Centre of England, considered these conditions to be an exceptional opportunity to start propagational activities on social media. He further mentioned that as it is not possible to hold classes in the Hawza-Ilmiyya of England or the Islamic College at present, they have tried to deliver all of the courses of the Hawza-Ilmiyya of England online since the beginning of the lockdown. Furthermore, he mentioned that the Islamic Centre of England is ready to support each of the educational and Islamic centres which require any kind of assistance in this field.
Hujjatul-Islam-wal-muslimeen Seyed Hashem Moosavi highlighted the importance of the presence of the youth in the mosques and Islamic centres, and requested that all of the scholars and leaders of Islamic centres and organisations to benefit from the abilities of the youth in the field of social media, as well as to pay special attention to them and their needs.
The director of the Islamic Centre of England expressed his appreciation and gratitude to all who participated to help in these sensitive times, especially the scholars and leaders of the Islamic centres and mosques as well as the youth. This came following the establishment of the committee to combat the coronavirus, which was established with the help of various centres and Islamic organisations.
Ayatollah Dr. Sayyid Fadhil Milani, one of the main panel speakers at the assembly, is the Imam at Imam Khoei RA centre and is accredited on behalf of Grand Ayatollah Sistani in the UK, stressed the importance of online educational courses and utilising social media as a tool for propagation. He also mentioned several methods that can be used for propagation. With regards to captivating the youth and engaging their minds with theological discussion, he suggested that the science of argument and debate be used in order to propagate effectively.
Another panel speaker at this gathering was Hujjatul-Islam wal-Muslimeen Sayyid Muhammad Musawi, president of the World Ahlul-Bayt (as) Islamic League and one of the prominent and active scholars in this field. He criticised the lack of a Shia presence on social media. He further mentioned that we must encourage the community and the Islamic centres to use these new facilities at our disposal, and that we must facilitate the translation of the teachings of the Ahlulbayt (as) into other languages.
The next speaker on the panel was Hujjatul-Islam-wal-Muslimeen Sayyid Ali Raza Rizvi, president of Majlis-e-Ulema Shia Europe, who gave an update on the activities of the committee to combat the coronavirus. After mentioning the problems caused by the lack of equipment, he said that most of the ghusl and burial services fell on the shoulders of Hujjat Mosque in Stanmore, Masjid-e-Ali in Luton and Idara-Jaffariyya in South London, and it is imperative that we take a moment to express our gratitude and appreciation to their workers and volunteers.
Dr Mortaza Rezaee, social media expert and head of the social media department at the Islamic Centre of England, was the keynote speaker of the online gathering. He stressed the importance of paying attention to online services, especially in the fields of education, research and propagation.
He explained the necessity of benefiting from this golden opportunity of propagation through putting forward to the assembly the statistics of social media usage in various sectors. In addition to offering his services in teaching people how to use social media, Dr. Rezaee mentioned that getting to know social media and using it is extremely easy and the most advanced and currently the easiest way to get in touch with social media is through smartphones.