On 17th November 2015 at the Mehfil-e-Abbas, Birmingham ‘Praying for Peace’ an evening that brought together speakers and people from all walks of life, cultures and faiths to share a powerful message of peace, hope and change and to pray as a multi-faith community for all those suffering following the crisis in Paris, Beirut, Zabul and Baghdad and for humanity at large.
Beginning with the recitation of the Quran with translation, and messages of peace and solidarity shared by the President of KSIMC Birmingham Naushad Merali and community leader Mohammed Afzal. The message was one of reflection upon the people of all the countries where the lives of loved ones had been lost and the notion that as a majority in humanity we have peace built within ourselves, yet for evil to prevail it takes only the silence of those peace loving people. This concept set the tone for the remainder of the evening as each speaker was impacted by the others powerful message of a call to action. The recurring message that ‘prayer is important, but there is a great responsibility for action’.
Sister Ruth Jacobs of the Jewish community stated she heard one of the ‘strongest message for an urge to help’ tonight listening to Shaykh Arif Abdulhussain of the Al-Mahdi Institute share at the event. Some of the points made in Shaykh Arif’s message of peace included the idea that we are one in humanity, and at the core of our being we are created in the image of God. The loss of a human life is the loss of a life of all of us, as there is the ‘light of truth and the light of God in each of us’. He calls for unity in a greater interfaith community. For each faith community to look beyond bias that is a product of the human mind and embrace each other in a true standing of humanity. To stand together and condemn violence no matter where it stems from and what label it carries, and to see that any life lost is an opportunity lost for them to display their Godliness within.
Faith Leader Amrik Singh of the Sikh community concurred this message in sharing no matter our faith or background ‘we are not human without crying for our brothers and sisters around the world’ and realising that it is not a faith problem but a society problem. In solidarity with the messages Christine Boyer of the Bahá’í faith held to high regard the importance of harmony and stated the wellbeing of mankind rests on unity. She gave a short narration to depict a time of peace ‘when every child of God realises they are the leaves of one tree, the flowers of one garden, the drops in one ocean and the sons and daughters of one Father’
Those attending were invited to share and pray to close the event and many shared enlightening thoughts and prayed as one community for the atrocities around the world
A full list of speakers can be found below;
Naushad Merali – President of KSIMC Birmingham
Mohammed Afzal – KSIMC Community leader and Councillor
Shaykh Arif Abdulhussain – Director of the Al-Mahdi Institute
Acharya Umesh Yadev – Hindu faith leader
Ruth Jacobs – Representative of the Jewish faith community
Christine Boyer – Bahá’í faith leader
Deacon Jessica Foster – Christian faith leader
Amrik Singh – Sikh faith leader
To view the full video of the event please click here
To view more images from the event please click here