Dubai International Peace Convention to end today

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Dubai International Peace Convention to end today

More than 10,000 people turned up on the first day of the Dubai International Peace Convention that was held at the Dubai World Trade Centre on Thursday.


Muaz Shabandri

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Published: Sat 19 Apr 2014, 11:41 PM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 5:47 AM

The three-day event brought together top Islamic scholars from across the world, including the likes of Dr Zakir Naik, Dr Shaikh Yusuf Estes, Mufti Ismail Menk and Noman Ali Khan among others.

Unlike any other conference that targets a particular segment – this convention invites people from all walks of life and from different beliefs.

Speaking at the opening session, Dr Zakir Naik, chairman of Islamic Research Foundation, said the event would be attended by more than 50,000 people and would be watched on television by over a million viewers.

The opening session was attended by Shaikh Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum alongside officials of the General Authority of Islamic Affairs and Endowments (Awqaf).

Shaikh Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dr Hamad Al Shaibani, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Award for World Peace, Yusuf Estes, Dr Zakir Naik with other officials during the opening session of the Dubai International Peace Convention at the Dubai World Trade Centre on Thursday. — KT photo by Juidin Bernarrd

Mufti Ismail Menk opened the talk sessions with a heart-warming lecture on Islam being a religion of peace. “It is extremely important to educate oneself. In Islam we are taught to educate ourselves. Allah sent the Holy Quran and He sent you words of His own for you to look into,” Mufti Ismail said.

On the topic of peace, the scholar highlighted, “Peace brings about positivity, calmness, focus, contentment and goodness in our character. Positive people are the ones at peace.”

At the end of the 45-minute talk, one of the several non-Muslim attendees at the event approached the scholar and raised a few questions before embracing Islam as his new religion in front of the crowd.

“Our faith in Allah empowers each and every one of us to make a difference in the world and promote peace,”said Mishary bin Rashid Alafasy, famous qari, known for his beautiful recitation of the Holy Quran. Openness and dialogue are crucial to promoting the real values of Islam. It is essential to think and work in the spirit of Islam and its teachings. Surrendering to God’s will does not mean being lazy and dependent. Instead, our faith in God should empower each and every one of us to make a difference in the world and promote peace, he said.

Dr Shaikh Yusuf Estes, an American Muslim preacher and former Muslim Chaplain for the United States Bureau of Prisons, led the second session on day-one of the peace convention. In his presentation titled ‘Call for all the Prophets’, Estes shared stories of the Prophets drawing upon his television series Qisas Al Anbiyah (Stories of the Prophets) that addresses Muslim English-speaking children. Shaikh Estes stressed on the importance of distinguishing between happiness and peace, as the material world holds lots of temptations, which seem to human being as a source of happiness.

He said: “Soon we discover that by achieving more we want more and our journey towards happiness is never fulfilled. The real source of happiness is inner peace, which comes from wanting what we get and not from getting what we want.”

Speaking of Islam, Estes said: “It is the religion of tolerance and obedience; it is the religion of sincerity. No one can force any one to be sincere as no one can force any one to be a real Muslim, sincerity and Islam both emanate from the heart.”

Highlights of Day 2

The second day of the convention on Friday opened with an engaging session on the ‘Wonders of Surah Kahf’ that was delivered by Abdul Bary Yahya, an instructor with Seattle-based Al Maghrib Institute. He is also the Imam (spiritual leader and advisor) of Masjid Jaamiul Muslimeen in Seattle, WA, US.

Abdul Bary Yahya pointed out that Surah Kahf highlights the wonder of Allah in restoring life through narrating the story of young monotheistic men who were persecuted for their beliefs. He said: “Upon the guidance of their Lord, they fled the city together, and took refuge in a cave where they fell asleep. God put them to sleep for hundreds of years. And He created this miracle in order to protect the young believers. When they woke up from their slumber, they found themselves in a society that had converted to believing in the same God as they did.”

According to the convention’s organising committee, more than 27,000 people had pre-registered online to take part in the three day event which ends today.

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