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Over the last few years, Essex Jamaat has held an interfaith event every year. Since the appointment of Shaykh Abbas Ismail as their resident alim, the interfaith events and subject matter have gone up a level.
On Saturday 25 February 2017, Essex Jamaat once again opened its doors to guests from the local area. People attended from all faiths and none. The theme of the event was ‘Prophets and Messengers’.
After opening remarks from the MC, sister Ridhae Sheikh, and the Jamaat President, Al-Hajj Fayyaz bhai Haji, the scholars and representatives of each religion gave short speeches on the topic and then took questions from the attendees:
- Reverend Andy represented the Christian faith
- Imam Kashif represented the Sunni school of thought
- Mrs Goyal presented the Hindu faith’s view on the topic
- Shaykh Abbas Ismail spoke about the Shia Islamic view
In between the speeches a young member of Essex Jamaat – brother Rameez Naqvi – eloquently recited his original poetry, which was very much appreciated by all the attendees. Rameez made reference to a number of different scriptures in his poem.
This was all followed by a Q & A session to the panel of experts. The debate was lively, insightful, and very enlightening.
The session ended with an early dinner and networking between the attendees.
Shaykh Abbas Ismail commented: ‘Alhamdulillah, this has to go down as another successful event. It was a pleasure to be in the company of our local friends who honoured us with their participation. Inshallah we can do more such events which are so valuable in showing the true face of our religion as well as understanding the views and beliefs of others.’
Fayyaz bhai Haji said: ‘Alhamdulillah by the grace of Allah this year we had a great attendance and many new attendees who have never attended our interfaith functions before, including a local church and its congregation. The programme highlighted our faith and the faith of different religions and the feedback I personally got was very positive and encouraging. We are very grateful to our spiritual lead and resident alim, Shaykh Abbas Ismail, for his dedication on this aspect of the community and forging links with our neighbours and fellow citizens. I am personally grateful to the volunteers who make this kind of function possible, in particular Nadeem bhai Sheikh and our ladies coordinator Mrs Saima Ali. We pray to Allah that we can propagate our religion in the way our Ahlul Bayt have taught us, but above all practice our faith with pride.’
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Earlier this month, in collaboration with The World Federation of KSIMC and Florida International University, the first ever Khoja Studies conference was hosted in Paris. Its focus was to bring together transdisciplinary international research on the history of the Khoja peoples.
The Holy Prophet (saw) has said ‘Verily, Rajab is Allah’s month, Sha’aban my month and Ramadan the month of my Ummah’.