‘Identity’ and ‘Community’…We hear these words a great deal nowadays. What is my identity? Who am I? What do I believe? Which way of life should I follow? Where do I fit in? Where is my community?
As Imam Ali says:
“Look at the people of the Prophet’s family. Adhere to their direction. Follow their footsteps because they would never let you out of guidance and never throw you into destruction. If they sit down, you sit down, and if they rise up, you rise up. Do not go ahead of them, as you would thereby go astray and go not lag behind them as you would thereby be ruined.”
Extract from Nahjul Balaghah. Sermon 97
However the question then arises about how we form our identity in today’s modern world whilst remaining true to our beliefs and loyal to our leaders.
Furthermore, as we are preparing the ground for the rise of the Mahdi by serving him both before and after his rise, then what is our community supposed to be like, what is its purpose, how do we establish and maintain it both locally and globally?
Allah says in the Holy Qur’an:
“There has to be a nation among you summoning to the good, bidding what is right and forbidding what is wrong. It is they who are felicitous.”
The holy Quran 3:104
The proper formation and subsequent flourishing of our identity and of our community go hand in hand. Without individuals who have correct beliefs, ethics, aims and direction in life, we cannot form the best kind of communities which will benefit all their members. However we need well functioning communities to support their members, both spiritually and materially, in their journey through this life.
Moreover, if we are going to spread the message of Islam in a wise and attractive way, we need to be exemplars of true Muslims, demonstrating a real community preparing for the Mahdi in concrete ways so that people can witness and experience living examples in front of them. After all, actions speak louder than words.
As we read in the Holy Qur’an:
“Thus We have made you a middle nation that you may be witnesses to the people and that the Apostle may be a witness to you.”
The holy Quran 2:143
With these pressing issues in mind, we are organising a one day conference on Sunday 6th September 2015 under the title:
To start with, the event will seek to define and address firstly Muslim identity and secondly community spirit. Then we will unearth the challenges we face to both, and propose solutions to these challenges. Finally we will discuss the way forward and draw up action plans and projects as deemed necessary by the participants.
The aim of the conference is to initially serve as a platform for engaging and uniting knowledgeable, experienced and like-minded individuals in sharing their ideas and visions, bringing faith and knowledge together, which will then insha-Allah become a launching pad for concrete action plans and future projects to take off. These projects will insha-Allah drive forward the necessary change and growth in ourselves and in our community which need to be carried out for the sake of Allah to hasten the rise of the Mahdi.
The day will consist of keynote speeches and workshops. There will be time for networking and interested groups or organisations will have a chance to showcase their work.
Will you join us?
For more information please visit our Facebook event page: www.facebook.com/
RMA UK 2015 Conference Team