Islamabad, OCT 21 /DNA/ – The way of life (Seerah) of the Holy Prophet ﷺ is as relevant to resolving the contemporary challenges of the Muslim world as it was over 1400 years ago.
This was stated by Federal Minister for Planning Development & Special Initiatives Ahsan Iqbal while addressing Seerat Conference: Contemporary Challenges and the Role of Seerat Chairs held at Higher Education Commission (HEC) here on Friday.
Executive Director HEC Dr. Shaista Sohail, Chairman Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) Dr. Qibla Ayaz, Director General Dawah Academy Dr. Muhammad Ilyas, and Associate Professor Dr. Ayesha Rafique graced the occasion with their presence. The conference was also attended by a large number of Vice Chancellors, faculty members, and students from the higher education institutions located in Islamabad/Rawalpindi.
In his remarks, Mr. Ahsan Iqbal shed light on the concept of establishing nine Seerat Chairs on themes, including interfaith and communal harmony, education and knowledge, social justice and welfare, human rights and social justice, leadership and governance, sustainable development, business commerce and property rights, global peace and gender studies, and rights of women. He underlined the important role of Seerat Chairs in finding solutions in the Seerah of Holy Prophet Muhammad ﷺ to the challenges facing the Islamic world. He said that remembrance of Holy Prophet ﷺ and his teachings is the best utilisation of time, adding that the Prophet ﷺ is a role model for the Muslims in all spheres of national and individual lives.
The Minister said that no development can ever be made without peace and peace is not possible without interfaith harmony. He said that the Holy Prophet ﷺ demonstrated the qualities of a great leadership, adding that the attractiveness of his message of social justice paved the way for a wide acceptance of Islam in the world. He emphasised the need for renaissance of the legacy of knowledge across the Muslim world, as education and knowledge are pivotal for real development and prosperity of the entire Ummah. He also highlighted the importance of good governance, protection of human rights, business, commerce and property rights, women rights, and sustainable development.
Mr. Ahsan Iqbal informed the audience that the Government is setting up Centre of Excellence in Gender Studies in Lahore to carry out research work. He expressed a strong hope that the Seerat Chairs will play a significant role in making the understanding of Seerah easier and will help find solutions to the challenges facing the Pakistani nation.
Chairman Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) Dr. Qibla Ayaz delivered a detailed address on the role of ulema and religious scholars in promoting religious harmony. He said the teachings of Holy Prophet ﷺ are the beacon of guidance to address religious and sectarian challenges. He hoped that the Seerat Chairs will fulfil the expectations associated with them in letter and spirit. He said that Islam discourages any discrimination based on religion and religious freedom is an Islamic value that needs to be protected.
Director General Dawa Academy Dr. Muhammad Ilyas said that the Holy Prophet ﷺ was sent a teacher and he demonstrated with his high moral ethics and character as to how his followers need to ensure peaceful coexistence. He also underlined the importance of tolerance, politeness, and courteousness in social dealings.
Dr. Ayesha Rafique dilated on the need for following the teachings of Prophet ﷺ in public dealings and interactions. She was of the view that the challenges facing the Islamic world have a history, as the followers of Islam has been facing hatred, stereotyping and Islamophobia since long. She emphasised that the Seerah of Hadhrat Muhammad ﷺ provides a complete solution to all such hardships and challenges.
In her welcome address earlier, Executive Director HEC Dr. Shaista Sohail said that the objective of the conference is to shed light on various aspects of the life of the Holy Prophet ﷺ and sort out solutions to the emerging issues. She also shared her viewpoint on the role of Seerat Chairs in promoting the true Prophetic teachings and action upon them. She cited the Charter of Medina as a basis of the future Islamic world. She said the Seerat Chairs need to focus on mandatory community service, utilising the potential of students for positive social change, empathising with needy brothers and sisters, improve the living condition of slums, and waste disposal etc. She stated that, “Every small effort counts.”