Thousands attend the lecture of Dr Zakir Naik at the closing night of Dubai Ramadan Forum 2015

By Mohammed Hidayathullah

Dubai: The 14th Dubai Ramadan Forum, organized by the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) in Dubai under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, chairman of Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation, concluded on Sunday, July 6 at the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC).

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Thousands of Muslims and non-Muslims thronged the DWTC Sunday night in order to attend the final lecture of Dubai Ramadan Forum 2015 by renowned Indian Islamic scholar Dr Zakir Naik.

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Dr Naik shared insights from personal experience and cited quotes from the Holy Qur’an in answering the question during his talk on ‘What is the purpose of our lives?’ He said that the holy book has mentioned that Allah created men only to worship Him. Therefore, he said, the main purpose of human beings is to serve and worship Allah the Almighty. Men can do so by doing what pleases Allah, such as, to name a few: following the pillars of Islam, offering prayers, performing charitable acts, observing the traditional fast, performing Hajj, following the commandments of Allah, and abstaining from stealing, cheating, drinking alcohol and eating pork.

The medical doctor-turned-preacher then proceeded to focus on the reason why Allah is worthy of all the praises and worship, and used analogies and anecdotes in order to simplify his insights on the topic. The lecture was followed by a Q&A session where Dr Naik responded to questions from the audience. Encouraged by his firm and convincing replies to the queries posed, six non-Muslims from the audience – four women and two men – accepted Islam as their religion on the spot.

The lecture by Dr Naik was preceded by a closing ceremony to mark the conclusion of the 14th Dubai Ramadan Forum. During the ceremony, Hamad Mohammed bin Mejren, senior vice president, Dubai Events & Convention Bureau at the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing in Dubai and General Supervisor of the Dubai Ramadan Forum, along with Mohammed Al Hashimi, chairman of the Organizing Committee of the Forum, Yousef Mubarak, Deputy Chairman of the Organizing Committee, and Dr Naik presented awards to the Forum’s sponsors and participants as a token of appreciation for their support.

‘Preacher of the Nation’ competition winners announced:

Following the ceremony honoring the Forum’s sponsors, partners and participants, winners of the ‘Preacher of the Nation’ competition, which aims to support the development of emerging talents in the art of public speaking and poetry recitation, were announced. Ayyash Ahmed Ramadan, from India, won first place in the category ‘Best Performance of a Speech in English’, while Yahya Suhaib Faris won first place in the category ‘Best Recitation of a Poem in Arabic’. Anas Ameen Humaid was declared the first place winner in the category ‘Best Performance of a Speech in Arabic’. All the children participating in the competition finals were honored during the ceremony, with the winners presented with special awards.

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The Organizing Committee of the Forum also honored the parents of the three winners, presenting a free Umrah package to the parents of each child, in recognition of their efforts to facilitate the development of their children’s talents, and their keenness in fostering good manners in them and motivating them to participate in the competition and develop their abilities.

Badruddin Juma Abdul Rahman, chairman of the Jury for the competition, said: “The finalists and winners are selected through an objective criteria that takes into account aspects such as the participants’ memorizing skills, the impact of the speech and the depth of content, language performance, performance analog and effectiveness of communication and voice rhythm.”

Sheikh Ahmed Abul Saud, Imam and Preacher at the Department of Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities in Dubai, also spoke on the occasion.