On the 18th October 2014, The Al-Mahdi Institute held a Conference involving scholars from Sunni and Shi’i schools of thought to discuss ‘The importance of love, unity and mutual understanding in Islam.’ The conference, hosted by Dr Mohammad Khalid, was attended by Scholars such as Mufti Mohammad Farooq Alavi, Maulana Mohammad Sajjad, Sheikh Abbas Mirza, Syed Mohammad Naqvi, Sheikh Arif Abdulhussain and many more who had gathered to discuss ways in which Sunni-Shia relations can be improved. With internal divisions and sectarian tensions increasing worldwide, it is becoming increasingly important to bring these communities together to listen, share and discuss the cause of such misconceptions and establish mutual understanding between different sects. These findings would then be disseminated to the masses via lectures in local mosques.
The conference started with the recitation of the holy Quran followed by a 15 minute talk by Mufti Mohammad Faruq Alavi, representing the Sunni community, who spoke about the importance of maintaining and strengthening the relations between the Sunni-Shi’i sects and the positive outcome of it on the Muslim Ummah worldwide. He also highlighted the importance of hosting such conferences regularly to help build relations between the communities and to address and resolve current sectarian tensions within grass-roots communities and worldwide.
Thereafter, AMI’s Sheikh Arif Abdulhussain, representing the Shia community, also delivered a 15 minute talk highlighting the commonalities between the two sects and how they can be promoted for the benefit of the communities. He also encouraged Intra-faith dialogue to deal with differences within the different sects, in order to maintain unity, love and peace.
Finally, there was also an opportunity for open-house discussion to encourage the scholars to disseminate their opinions and suggestions and to answer the questions holding these communities back from uniting.
To view more images from the event, please click here.