28 September, 2011

Hajj – a mean to strengthen Islamic solidarity

Published in Pakistan Observer (28 Sept. 2011)
Sana Jamal


Islamabad – Prominent Islamic scholars from around the world, on Tuesday, highlighted the real message of Hajj and advised the Muslim Ummah to close their ranks to establish a unified Islamic approach against serious challenges.

Speaking at the two-day international conference on “Hajj - Unity and Solidarity of Islamic Ummah”, organized by the Ministry of Religious Affairs of Islamic Republic of Pakistan and Cultural department of embassy the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Islamic scholars called for a united Muslim stand during Hajj. The conference was attended by a large number of Pakistani and Iranian scholars as well as intellectuals from countries including Afghanistan, India, China, Bangladesh and Tajikistan, are participating.

In the inaugural session, Mashallah Shakeri, Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Pakistan, remarked that “Hajj offers a massive opportunity to Muslims to strengthen brotherhood among Muslim Ummah and especially brotherly countries, Pakistan and Iran.” Quoting Allama Iqbal, the ambassador recalled “Makkah ne diya khaak e Geneva ko yeh paigham, Jamiat e Aqwam ya Jamiat e Adam?”

Shaukat Hayat Durrani, Secretary, Ministry of Religious Affairs (MoRA) said that “as many as 180,000 Pakistanis pilgrims would perform the Hajj this year.”Explaining the numerous benefits of Hajj, he urged the Muslims to “adopt the real teachings of Islam their lives to face various challenges of the modern world including terrorism and sectarian clashes.”

Hujjatul Islam Ali Qazi Asgar, Amirul Haj (head of the delegation of hajj in Iran), and representative of the Supreme Leader for Hajj, in his address reminded that Hajj is more than an obligation, “it provides a chance to learn about the history of Islam, to study the noble character and moral virtues of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) as well as the great companions of the Prophet in order to discover the true image of Islam.” He also advocated that “all Muslims of the world should unite on the occasion of Hajj to meet the challenges and face immediate threat, the way Western world has united for their own cause.”

Scholars who highlighted their point of views at the academic session included Dr. Baqiri Iraqi (Iran), Muhammad Ali Madi Nuf (Tajikistan), Mufti Muhammad Mukarram Ahmad (India). The Pakistani speakers including Haji Ehsan ul Haq (provincial minister Auqaf), Mufti Muneeb ur Rehman, Ragib Naeemi, Hanif Jalandhri, Maulana Abdul Malik, Dost Muhammad Khan, and Muhammad Ali Towhidi.

Mufti Muneeb ur Rehman said that “although Hajj is a mean to unite Muslims and discuss their problems but unfortunately most Muslims during Hajj remain isolated and hardly take interest in the challenges faced by Muslim Ummah.” He also referred to the last Sermon of The Holy Prophet which has offers solutions for global problems.

Mahboob ul jan, parliamentary secretary, MoRA said that “Islam as a way of life provides guidance in all spheres of a person's life.” He also added that Hajj provides a gigantic platform to Ummah to make known to the world its true character and nature.

Ragib Naeemi, a scholar said that “Hajj gives us a lesson of unity and togetherness and it is the occasion of hajj that provides a golden opportunity to the Muslims to discuss their issues and strengthen the unity of Muslims.”