November 17, New Delhi
Under the aegis of Minhaj-ul-Quran International India, Minhaj Interfaith & Welfare Foundation (MIWF) organised the auspicious Milad Conference on November 17, 2021, which was held at the reputed India Islamic Cultural Centre (IICC), New Delhi. It was aimed to introduce and reinvigorate the traditional and beautiful spiritual concept of “Milad”, which is deeply rooted in Indian Muslim ethos and well-seated in the customary practice in majority of states in India, as a remarkable occasion of celebrating interfaith harmony, calling for communal integration, by highlighting the beautiful persona of the Prophet (peace be upon him) as mercy for all mankind, and his message as the Oneness of humanity, universal peace, inclusiveness and pluralism.
All the distinguished speakers as mentioned below, dwelt on the great stature, spiritual excellence, special virtues and divine characteristics of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and touched upon the various aspects of his humanitarian life and prophetic work to instill inspiration for the different areas of humanitarian work in which they are actively involved in. They particularly highlighted the mercifulness of the holy Prophet (peace be upon him) and called for Interfaith Harmony through this Meelad Conference dedicated to peacebuilding and national integration. National anthem was also sung by all the speakers along with the audience.
The conference was attended by eminent guest speakers such as H.E Arif Mohammad Khan (Governor Kerala), Prof. Syed Aleem Ashraf Jaisi (HoD, Department of Arabic, MANU, Hyderabad), Mr. Sudheendra Kulkarni (former OSD to PMO), Father Victor Edwin, noted Christian scholar and interfaith activist, and more than 300 select educated people, especially professionals, intellectuals, scholars and writers as audience from different faith traditions, both men and women. The conference was moderated by Dr. Hafeezur Rahman, (Head of the Communication Department at Minhaj Minhaj Interfaith & Welfare Foundation) an articulate Sufi scholar and orator, who was among the convenors of the program along with Janab Rafeeq Ahmad Khan Saheb (Member of Central Executive Council, a Supreme Body for all Minhaj India Forums and President MIWF), Mr. Zubair Ahmad Ansari, along with the program coordinators including Syed Tauqeer Alam, CA Faisal Faridi, Mr. Arman Khan, etc.
The conference began with a beautiful recital of the Qur’anic verses of “Iqraa” (Read in the name of your Lord!) and their translation into Urdu by Maulana Qari Mukhtar Ashraf followed by a Na’at (Nasheed) in praise of the holy Prophet Muhmmad (peace be upon him) recited by Ms. Alveena Qureshi, a Delhi-based Na’at singer. An English speech was also delivered by the little daughter of Dr. Hafeezur Rahman, Hana Hafeez (1st class student of DPS Mathura Road).
H.E Arif Mohammad Khan (Governor Kerala), in his keynote address, stated that Prophet Muhmmad (pbuh) was not sent merely as Prophet of Islam, but rather as the Messenger for all humanity and Mercy for all Mankind (Rasool-e-Rahmat). He was himself the living example of a ‘walking Qur’an’, and his character was itself a ‘speaking Qur’an’, he said it quoting several hadith narrations.
Prof. Syed Aleem Ashraf Jaisi underlined the significance of Islamic traditions which give sanctity to India as the sacred land, making reference to the famous Prophetic tradition “Love for the land is half of the faith (imaan)”.
Mr. Sudheendra Kulkarni (former OSD to PMO) said that –
Among the many books of Dr. Tahir ul Qadri is the book ” Fatwa on Terrorism and Suicide Bombings”, in which he shows how terrorism, extremism and hatred in the name of Islam are against the core teachings of the Holy Quran.Jihad is very misunderstood term and one of its connotations is peaceful struggle against oppression which is the basis of Satyagraha movement started by Mahatma Gandhi.
He mentioned that some events that are happening in the country in past few years have been creating an atmosphere of alienation among minorities and the solution for this problem lies in promoting interfaith dialogues between Hindus and Muslims.
Other guests and speakers including Mr. Sirajuddin Quraishi, President of India Islamic Culture Centre lauded the efforts of the Minhaj Interfaith and Welfare Foundation India to organize the Meelad Conference and celebrate the birth of Prophet Muhammed (Peace Be Upon Him) as an anniversary to strengthen Interfaith Harmony in India, an initiative that has been conceived by the MIWF in India.
On this significant occasion, around 300 books portraying the different aspects and sketches of Holy Prophet PBUH were distributed to all participants and audience. In addition, 5 books each were presented to the dignitaries, as follows:
1. Fatwa on Terrorism (10)
2. Muhammed The Merciful (10)
3. Relations between Muslims and non Muslims (10)
4. Glorious Qur’an (10)
5. Real sketches of Prophet Muhammad (10)
All the above mentioned 5 books were presented to the guests and speakers. On this occasion, Minhaj Interfaith & Welfare Foundation was introduced for the first time to the Delhi-based scholars and intellectuals, peace actors, Civil Servants, officials and professionals, in an innovative manner. Seeking the blessings of the sacred occasion, the Meelad conference ended with the dua’a (prayer) for peace and prosperity in the country. The Milad conference was followed by dinner made for both vegetarians and nonvegetarians.