The Commongrounds Convened an International Seminar "Islamic Peace Perspectives and Role of Madrassas" at Sheraton National Hotel, VA
“Islamic Peace Perspectives and Role of Madrassas”
Islam Religion of Peace, Madressas Play Pivotal Role in Reformation of Society: say Visiting Religious Scholars
WASHINGTON, February 21,2009: Visiting Pakistani Islamic religious scholars at a seminar on ‘Islamic Peace Perspectives and Role of Madrassas’, organized by ‘The COMMONGROUNDS,’ Saturday highlighted role of religious seminaries in providing education and promoting cause of character-building of children hailing from poor and middle class population of Pakistan. This interanational Seminar took place at Sheraton National Hotel, VA (Washington Metro Area)
The guest speakers were: Hafiz Abdul Wahab Ropari, Principal, Jamia Ahl-e-Hadith; and Allama Rai Zafar Ali, Principal, Jamia Baqir ul Uloom, both from
The speakers said, Islam was religion of peace and Madrassas have always played a pivotal role in respect of promoting true religious aspirations of peace and development. They stated that Islam opposed feelings of sectarianism, dissension, intolerance, militancy, arrogance and suicide attacks. They stated that, “In fact, such sort of baser and negative conduct was alien to the teachings of true Islam, which was universal in approach and conduct.”
The scholars impressed the vital need for continuous inter-religious dialogue, and were of the view that it was imperative for bringing the followers of divine religions so as to attain the common objective of global peace, harmony and well-being.
Shaikh Abdul Hameed Asghar of ‘Al-Qalam’ school said, his institution followed the curricula set by the U.S. government, while in addition, it imparted classes in Islamic teachings, based on Quran and jurisprudence, such as knowledge of ‘Hadis’, ‘Fiqah’, ‘Tafseer’ and ‘Hifz’ for character-building of the enrolled students. He viewed that religious teachings equipped the tender minds adherence to traits of dignified conduct.
Dilating on aspect of ‘difference of opinion,’ he quoted a saying by Holy Prophet of Islam (Peace Be Upon Him), in which He stated that difference of opinion was a blessing for the believers.
Allama Rai Zafar Ali said, his Madrassa imparted modern education along with religious curriculum. ‘Our objective is to make students useful citizens. God Almighty had undertaken to provide sustenance to human beings, hence, it was obligatory upon believers to concentrate more on task of acquisition of knowledge, which helps overcome clouds of darkness.
He regretted that news media is used to paint seminaries in a negative fashion, whenever there was socio-political unrest in
Rai Zafar said, the fact that students of 13,450 seminaries in
He said all the Madrassas were not bad or non-standard.
“Yester years, when the West required freedom fighters, they patronized seminaries. Hence conscious efforts were made to introduce, imbibe and inculcate Jihadi culture. Food for thought is as to why students educated from the same Madrassas are today not willing to follow the appeals of pursuing cause of peace and tranquility, while yesterday they were willing to accept task of becoming Jihadis? The matter is amply clear: one can find a lost article at the place it’s lost.”
He said majority of Madrassas in
Maulana Abdul Wahab Ropari said it was virtuous conduct to promote tolerance, respect and pursuit of excellence.
He said Madrassas were acting as largest non-governmental organization in a developing country like
Ahl e Hadees scholar said, Madarssas in
About suicide attacks, he said those indulging “in these nefarious acts” were not doing any religious service, since act of suicide was ‘haram’ (forbidden) in Islam. In this behalf, he referred to a ‘fatwa’ (religious edict) given by majority of Pakistani religious scholars, including hiself.
He said Islam was protagonist of truth which was bound to prevail. In his words, “once the common sight of social turmoil witnessed in many societies today was over, the truth in religion would prevail.”
The Maulana on his first visit to the
Founder and Director of ‘The COMMONGROUNDS,’ Dr. Zulfiqar A. Kazmi, in his welcoming remarks said there were over 13,000 Madrassas in
Besides, Madrassas were also present in other countries around the globe, and they were performing a valuable role in the spread of quality education.
He said it was high time for our men of letters to come forth and assail the misgivings and misperceptions prevalent in the minds of people in the West.
On the occasion, he introduced the guests from
He called upon the touring religious scholars to visit Churches and synagogues while in the
About selection of the topic for the seminar, he said it was imperative to assail reservations in the minds of the people of the West about religious seminaries in
A Symposium : Global Crises and Sufism
GLOBAL CRISES AND SUFISMBy Fida Shah,
The Commongrounds, a non-profit Inter-Faith Religious Organization, situated in
The symposium was held at the tastefully decorated banquet hall of the Chutney Restaurant – a famous Pakistani restaurant in
The keynote address was delivered by Hadhrat Allama Muhammad Maqsood Qadri, ‘Khateeb of Data Darbar Lahore,
Hadhrat Allama Maqsood Qdri was among a large number of Muslim Religious Scholars throughout the world at a conference in
At the conclusion, the invitees were glowing in the atmosphere of love and tranquility and hugging each other keeping their entire so-called differences aside and pledged to promote for reconciliation and betterment of humanity.
This beautiful gathering was then shifted to a reserved area of the Chutney Restaurant where a sumptuous buffet dinner awaited the guests; comprising of Rice Pilaf (Biryani), succulent grilled lamb, chicken, and beef kabobs, delicious curries and crisp Tandoori Nans (baked bread) followed by dessert and tea/coffee.
I earnestly hope that the Commongrounds would continue to provide a platform for meaningful dialogues between different faiths to augment reconciliation and promote peaceful coexistence around the world.
A Short Introduction of Sufism
Sufism is a form of Islamic mysticism that through devotion transcends a human being into the realism of absolute and is considered the right path to God Almighty by cleansing ones soul of all the worldly pollutants of hate, greed and unfairness that reside in the human subconscious. There are many stages of this devotion and quite a few transcend to the realism of absolute.
History is full of famous Sufis of different Orders throughout the world. ‘Maulana Rum’ – Rumi – is one of the most read about Sufis (Mystics) by the Western reader.
I quote below a passage from Rumi – Reference “Essential Sufism”, edited by James Fadiman & Robert Frager:
“Every form that you see has its original in the divine world. If the form passes away, it is of no consequence, because its origin was from eternity… The fountainhead is always bringing forth water. Since neither ceases, why should you complain? Keep regret out of your thought, and keep on drinking from the rivulet. Do not be afraid. The water is limitless…”
Another Sufi – Jami - says:
“When you see beauty and perfection in this world, it is nothing but a sign of Him. A beautiful creature is merely a single blossom from the vast
About the Author: The Author is an experienced travel writer having lived in various parts of the world; interacting with people of different beliefs, cultures and ethnic background.
A Message from THE COMMONGROUNDS