HOME :: Our Mission is to educate, entertain and invoke critical thinking in creating a cohesive environment to work, socialize and function effectively through the medium of Poetry. Our purpose is to establish a new stream of Pluralism poetry in Urdu and Hindi languages - indeed, it is the 2nd most spoken language in the world. Mike Ghouse, Foundation for Pluralism, Studies in Pluralistic societies

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

A Successful Interfaith Natia Mushaera By Shah A Siddiqui

By Shah A Siddiqui
It was very nice breezing evening  when World Muslim Congress  organized a very purposeful Interfaith Mushaera in Richardson Convention Center. From the perspective of the organizer, Mike Ghouse, who is a great leader of our community, declares this event a purposeful for three clear goals; (a) To share Prophet Muhammad’s (pbuh) teachings with fellow Americans; (b) Muslim and non-Muslims alike; (c) To focus on how Muslims can bring his teachings to benefit the society at large, and to bring Muslims of different denominations together in considering his message of peace.

Mike Ghouse is a thinker, speaker, writer on pluralism. Founder of World Muslim Congress and many other blogs. He is a valuable asset for all the communities living in Dallas whether Muslim, Hindu, Christian, Buddhist, Bahai, Ismaili, Bohra, Ahmadiya, Sikh, everyone is under his umbrella.

It was the first time in my life that I attended such an amazing  Intrafaith-Interfaith Naatia Mushaera comprising on the poets of the different faith / denomination who recited their poetry and praised our beloved prophet Muhammad(pbuh). There were two sessions of this program . The first segment was comprising on Naat  recitation by different Muslim communities  like Ahmadiya Muslim, Bohra Muslim, Shia Ismaili Muslim, Shia Muslim, Sunni Muslim and the followers of Waris Din Mohammad.

Moreover, a  very well know member of the Hindu community D.D. Maini, who is 86 also participated by reciting a beautiful poetry praising the value of prophet hood . His narration about the saint Hazrat Khawaja Nizamuddin Aulia and Hazrat Ameer Khusro was very touching and inspirational. Similarly, the chief guest of this event  O S Modgil who belongs to a Sikh religion has vast knowledge about Islam and Quran. He revealed in his closing speech that he read Quran 4 times in his life and still he wants to learn in details and also he desires to read in Arabic. I met him often in different events in town, but it was only revealed in this event that he has so much quality and knowledge about other religions.

The program started 40 minutes late, which was very surprising for me because Mike Ghouse is setting a trend in the desi community to start the program on time and finish on time.  Whenever I get a chance in any get together, I talk about punctuality of his events. I attended  his previous events and all were started on time and ended on time, except this program which ended on time but started  late. I am sure next program will be on time.

Shazia Khan a prominent RJ of Radio Fun Asia conducted the whole program as the Master of the Ceremony and she performed it really well. Her presentation and reciting Darood Shareef during the program was very heart warming. The first segment of the event was very significant because the Muslims from different denominations presented Naat  in honor of our Prophet (pbuh).

Every one presented marvelously, but especially sister Iman Rashida from Waris Din Mohammad Muslim community and Imran Boodhwani  & Khairunnisa Meghani from Shia Ismaili Muslim community’s performance were much acclaimed by the audience. At the end of the first segment a Pakistani Ghazal singer Suhail Najmi and his team presented a beautiful Naat for the audience. Dr. Bashir Ahmad, the Founder of Iqra in Dallas presented his short speech on the sufferings of the Muslim Ummah around the globe and emphasized  the audience to get unite to face the challenges and help the community as much as we can.

The second segment started with tense among the poets and organizer due to time constrained situation.This second session was set for the local poets to recite their Naat and there were 15 poets in the row. Some of them were irritated watching the tight timing control. One senior poet Masood Qazi, was stepping out after less than a couple of minutes  on the podium after delivering few words without his ‘Kalam’. Even though the best part is that everyone was getting  time to recite their Naat. Every poet and artist wants his detailed profile before coming to the stage and everyone loves it, but unfortunately it could not be materializing. I saw most of the time the host was full of tense after 11:30 pm that is half an hour before the end f the event. He had written a beautiful Naat for this event but due to shortage of time he sacrificed that time for others,which is an exemplary gesture for others.

The goal of this interfaith Mushaera, as mentioned by Mike Ghouse, was to bring closer to each other of different faith and denominations according to the teaching of our prophet Muhammad (pbuh). Our beloved prophet Muhammad (pbuh) is called as “Rahmat UL-Lil Alaamin” and he is not only for Muslims but he was a mercy for all mankind of the universe. Some fanatic religious Mullahs in Islam has made the existence of Rahmatul Lil-Alaamin a symbol and trademarked for their personal benefits and using the name of our prophet for their business. Even some group of Muslim does not allow non-Muslims to bring his name out of his tongue and if he does this then he got killed. Here I remember the Naat of very famous poet and laureate of India Kunwar Mohinder Singh Bedi Sehar:

                                               ISHQ  HO   JAYE  KISI  SE KOI   CHARA  TO     NAHI
                                              SIRF MUSLIM KA MUHAMMED PE IJARA TO NAHI

Our prophet never discriminated any man on the basis of race, creed and religion and he showered his mercy even if someone was disrespectful to him. A man was born very clean without any mark of religion, creed and cast by our creator ‘Allah’ it is we the man who made us Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Sikh, Jewish, Buddhist, Shia, Sunni and many more uncounted factions. This is my opinion and anyone can disagree.

Mike Ghouse has a vision, passion and ambition for all the communities regardless of their religious affiliation, he wants to promote love, brotherhood and want to eradicate the hatred among different denominations. A peaceful world with love among different sects, creed and religion would be an ideal for human being to live in and this is what Mike Ghouse is working hard for. His aim is that 10 to 15 years  from now at least our city if not the whole America should be ‘hate free’.

We should encourage any event organized by any one  for promoting love, brotherhood,harmony and ‘pluralism’among different communities. This is the beginning measure to make  a cohesive society and I am certain, one day our children will enjoy the society as Mike Ghouse is dreaming.

I would wish to thank the organizers of the event specially three main figures Mike Ghouse, Dr. Shamsa Qureshi  and Shazia Khan without their heavy work this program could not be a successful. Every one participated with a keen enthusiasm. A booklet which was compiled by Mike entitled “ Intrafaith & Interfaith Natia Mushaera” speaks itself the knowledge and hard work put in this booklet. It is worth to read.  The performance of two very famous ladies ‘Naat Khawan’ Amna Khatoon and Saba Jasim was mind blowing and at the end of Milad Saba Jasim’s duo was very heart touching.

The event hall was moderately decorated and the snacks were delicious. I saw a couple of guests they were busy eating ‘laddu’ like this evening is their last evening with food. We need to be more civilized and disciplined in the events and parties where foods being served.

World Muslim Congress  and their members deserve a big salute for a successful Natia Mushaera.
Note: This article by Shah Alam Siddiqui forms a part of the report at http://worldmuslimcongress.blogspot.com/2014/02/a-successful-intrafaith-interfaith.html 
Shah A Siddiqui " A Former diplomat and a media person since 1994.Started TV show for Thai Community and later owned his own private channels SANA TV and PakWatan TV in Chicago from 1994-2003 for the Indian and Pakistani communities. He contributed in various weekly Urdu newspapers being published in the United States. He was the Bureau Chief for different newspapers in Chicago and Dallas. Now he is Bureau Chief for Pakistan Abroad and Weekly Urdu Times. He is an acknowledged  freelance Columnist/Critique Writer. He is a poet and based in DFW area.


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