Home Indian Muslim Report: Peace Conference in Mumbai

Report: Peace Conference in Mumbai

By Abdul Hameed, TwoCircles.net,

Mumbai: Somaiya Ground has rarely witnessed gatherings of this proportion that comprises people from different sections of the society- Muslims and non-Muslims, males and females. The Peace Conference called by Dr. Zakir Naik is continuing to attract thousands of people to the ground spread over 30 acres beside the Eastern Express Highway in Sion (East), Mumbai.

There are more people attending the conference this year as compared to the last year when the conference was on similar topic but in English. Topic of the conference is ‘Islam: The Solution For the Humanity’ but all lectures are in Urdu this year. The number of attndees increases when a popular speaker is scheduled or during weekend.

Approximately 30,000 males and females attend the program on daily basis with about 40% being females. Though most of the attendees are youths, children and aged persons can also be found there having come for various reasons.

Some say the gathering of so many ulamas and practicing Muslims refreshes their Iman (faith) and creates in them a motive to propagate the teachings of Islam even the least that they know. They take an inspiration from the speakers preaching to the audience the information about different aspects of Islam.

Abdul Qayyum of Balrampur, U P was very happy when TwoCircles.net asked him about his opinion. He said, ‘when I came here I found a kind of peace that I am unable to express.’ ‘After listening to the speakers imparting knowledge to others I found myself inspired to do the work of Da’wah. Now I have intended to preach to others whatever I know about Islam,’ he adds.

Maulana Muhammad Raees from UP who had come in the conference for the first time said that hearing the sayings of Prophet (saws) and the verses of the Qur’an makes my Iman (faith) refreshed.

Many came here to know more about Islam. They are Muslims that want to learn more about Islam, ulamas in search for listening from those who are of higher caliber and non-Muslims trying to know the true teachings of Islam.

Maulana Abdul Awwal Bastawi, a teacher in Masjid Madrasa Rahmania, Govandi, Mumbai says, ‘when I attend such kind of conference it always creates in me an inspiration for self evaluation. Because there are many personalities more pious than me.’ ‘Such programs add to my knowledge as the speakers from various fields have more knowledge than me,’ he adds.

Maulana Muhammad Raees says, ‘the speeches are a valuable source of information about Islam for those who know nothing or have little knowledge about it whether they are from Muslims or non-Muslims trying to know about Islam.’

Males and females listening to the speakers have separate areas for sitting either in open air ground after Maghrib prayer till 10 pm or in the AC lecture hall.

The vast AC hall that is open from 10 am to 1 pm and 2:15 pm to 5:15 pm where in the speakers address in two sessions. With the capacity of 5,000 sitting chairs it has 60% chairs for males while 40% for females. The hall is almost full during speeches.

People who have interest in listening to the speeches are in the AC hall while some others have nice time in the Exhibition Hall. This hall is vast air conditioned hall wherein there are 200 panels and 50 models. They display the teachings of Islam, its history, Iman, pillars of Islam, prophets of Allah, the books of Allah, the works of Muslims in many fields such as calligraphy, architecture, science, medicine, astronomy, geology, geography, and other sciences, many sayings of the Prophet (saws), biographies of many Fuqaha and Muhaddiseen and the verses related to science are displayed with scientific realities. On each panel and model there is a volunteer detailing before the visitors about the contents of panels and models. He talks giving reference to the verses he recites and the hadees he reads.

Near to it are separate prayer halls for ladies and gents. These halls are not facilitated with AC. The water facility for making ablution and the temporary toilets are in good and clean conditions.

The temporary mosque for the males has the capacity that about 2,000 people can pray at a time. And usually prayer of Maghrib is offered three times daily.

Within the conference complex there are about 2,000 volunteers who devote their day and night for the conference. Therefore on every few steps one can easily find the volunteers for guiding the guests to their desired places. Ladies volunteers are 100 in number.

The conference with this splendid management is for presenting the real face of Islam as the solution for the humanity, before as many people as possible. It also aims at removing the misconception spread about the religion Islam.

Maulana Abdul Aleem Nadwi, working in the department of Qirat in IRF, when I asked him why IRF had called the conference, he counted many benefits of it. Among them is one that many people accept Islam after listening to the speeches. He also said that through this conference we are by the blessings of Allah able to present before the world the true face of Islam and tell them that Islam is the solution for whole humanity.

Peace Conference promo

Muhammad Maqsood of the media committee for the conference told that they started Peace TV channel through which they try to propagate the true message of Islam. He said that the conference is also a part of their Da’wah activities. Explaining about the need for the conference he added that for benefiting more and more people they intend to make a video of the whole program and then put it on their website. He also said that and they will let users download the video free from their website.

The most important characteristic of the conference is that about 23 representatives from all denominations of Islam were invited in it. But some of them for personal difficulties could not participate in the conference. Some of the people say that the conference is an example of the unity of the Muslim community.

The same opinion is expressed by Mamoon Rasheed Qasmi who says, ‘when I came here and found the speakers of different denominations, I hoped that the Muslim community can one day surely come on one platform to work for the betterment of the humanity.’