LONDON PRAYER TIME DAWN: 03:20 SUNRISE: 05:18 ZOHR:: 13:07 MAGHRIB: 21:10
The 31st Virtual summit of scholars, preachers and the congregational leaders in Islamic Centre of England
“The 31st summit of scholars, preachers and the congregational leaders” took place in the Islamic Centre of England in London with no more than twenty participants due to the current legal guidelines. Other participants took part via a video conference.
The purpose of this meeting was to discuss “Ways to convey the message of Imam Hussein (as) of Ashura Movement to non-Muslims”, speakers shared their experiences of conveying the message of the Ahlul Bayt in an inclusive manner in order to reach the non-Muslim population. They pointed out the importance of presenting the true message of Islam. They all expressed that this year Muharram will be an extraordinary one because of the pandemic that requires the outmost caution in order to prevent the spread of the virus. They concluded that most of the programmes and lectures will be done online, with very limited physical gatherings.
The first speaker Molana Shobbar Mahdi shared some of his reflections on the occasion of Ashura and stated that beauty is what attracts most people. He then concluded since the story of Imam Hussein is one of the most beautiful stories in Islam, its message will resonate with all.
Speakers mentioned the importance of storytelling and concluded that everyone will be captured by the story of Imam Hussein, simply because of its shared human value.
Short video lectures and poetry was also discussed as examples of effective methods of conveying the message of Imam Hussain (as).
The relevance of the message that will be presented to the audience was also discussed and emphasised.
The idea of beauty was repeated in many different ways and also next speaker HIWM Ayoub Rashid in his own words elaborated that Ashura is the best manifestation of Islam’s beauty. He added another interesting point is that the story of event of Karbala is beautiful from every aspect and angle.
HIWM Seyed Alireza Razavi the Head of the Majlis –e-Ulama-e- Shia Europe said that this Muharram will be an extremely different one due to the current pandemic and therefore Ulama have to be prepared for online lectures. He mentioned the importance of visionaries in this time and age and the importance of preaching monotheism. He also called on Ulama to benefit from more than thirty years of preaching and tabligh in this country. He believed that social and economical issues must be addressed, while the discussions must be very open. He also reminded that some of the preachers may need lessons of dealing with social media, public speaking and debate.
HIWM Shaikh Ali Alemi, head of Islamic Universal Association of London also talked about the importance of this summit and thanked the Islamic Centre for hosting it. He congratulated the auspicious events at the end of the month of Zi-Hajjah. He then recited several hadiths about the duty of Shia Muslims regarding the Ahlul Bauyt. In one hadith he reminded that the Shia will follow the Imams in their positions in the day of judgement and in another hadith he explained the benefits of attending the majalis of Imam Hussein. Reciting another hadith he explained the duty of Shia Muslims in non-Muslim countries about propagating the message of the Imams.
HIWM Seyed Murtaza Keshmiri, the representative of the Grand Ayatollah Sistani in the UK talked about the importance of Imam Hussein (a.s.) and marjaiyyah and also the importance of conveying the message of Imam Hussein to non-Muslims. He also stated that according to Ayatollah Sistani’s fatwa that decrees everyone has to be cautious in regards to the current pandemic, calling upon his followers and other Shia Muslims to minimise the risk of spreading the virus by utilising online platforms and refraining from large gatherings.
HIWM Seyed Hashem Moosavi, Director of the Islamic Centre of England, at the conclusion of this meeting said that Imam Hussein belongs to all of humanity and not just Muslims. He emphasised on the lessons that we need to take from Ashura as it will aid us to tackle the issues of the world currently. He said that resistance against tyranny is a universal message.
Through reciting a hadith he expressed that those who see the oppression and do not dispute it, either by action or by word, they would be placed in hell, next to the same ruler.
He talked about the importance of a role model and introduced that as human nature. He added that it is why societies and more importantly the young generation need national heroes and so on, to look upon them. Based on a famous hadith he described Imam Hussain as the beacon of guidance and the ark of salvation. He continued by talking about the responsibility of Ulama in directing people, Muslim and non-Muslim to that ark of salvation.
He explained that if the message is conveyed in a correct manner, people will follow. He also stressed on the crucial responsibility of the Ulama and preachers to convey the goodness of Imam Hussein’s message and reminded that if we see people not following the message, it is not because of the message, it’s because of our shortcoming in conveying the message.
The 31st summit of Ulama ended with lamentation by Sheikh Borhan.
The British Shia Scholars' Meeting is held every year at the Islamic Centre of England with the aim of aligning the Ashura propaganda and exchanging views on the situation and issues of the British Shias. Given the anti-Shia propaganda in the world and the enemies' attempts to divide, holding this summit is a very key step to maintaining the unity of Shia centres in the UK and to prevent any organized distortions.