DUBAI-The 13th annual Ramadan Forum hosted an insightful lecture in English, presented by prominent Islamic speaker Wajdi Akkari, who enthralled the audience on Sunday evening with an elaborate depiction of the Islamic conception of eternal ‘Paradise’. He offered an incisive, thought-provoking analysis on the worthlessness of acts of worship that are devoid of a spiritual underpinning or lack a sufficient understanding of the purpose of worship.
A well-known speaker on Islamic subjects, Jeddah-based Akkari presented a talk on the topic, ‘The Permanent Abode’, at Zabeel Hall at the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC).
“We often get consumed in the act of worship, to the point where we forget the purpose of worship. An act of worship is essentially a spiritual journey towards ‘Jannah’; it must not be allowed to become a perfunctory or mechanical exercise devoid of meaning or purpose. For, every time you pray, every time you fast, every time you mention Allah – truthfully and from your heart – you are effectively taking a step towards eternal ‘Paradise’,” Akkari said during the course of his lecture.
He continued, “When was the last time you looked forward to seeing Allah on the Day of Judgment? Today most of us are preoccupied with worldly pursuits, and are constantly influenced by the glamor and the distractions around us. It is time we re-prioritized our life; we must reset our objectives and make this Ramadan the beginning of our journey towards Allah. Remember, those who fail to adhere to observe the obligatory duties of ‘Sunnah’, technically relinquish their right to enter ‘Paradise’.”
During his hour-long lecture, Akkari gave a fascinating account of ‘Jannah’ or ‘Paradise’ as represented in the Noble Qur’an, emphasizing how the eternal Home is a place devoid of hard feelings such as resentment or anger or envy, and where people who once enter will live forever and never perish.
“The vastness of ‘Jannah’ is such that to compare it with the world we now inhabit is like dipping your finger in the ocean. The water on your fingertip is the world we live in, while ‘Jannah’ is the limitless ocean that stretches out there,” Akkari said.
Before the lecture commenced, 9-year-old Omar Mohammed Shawki, an Egyptian national, gave a sermon in Arabic as part of the ‘Preacher of the Nation’ competition organized as part of the Ramadan Forum.
The evening also saw two ‘Ramadan Forum Umrah’ packages, two Samsung S5 smartphones and two iPad Air tablets being given away in a raffle draw. Participants can increase their chances of winning by registering on the forum website: www.almultaqa.ae, via the iOS and Android apps or at the venue itself.
The final lecture of this year’s Ramadan Forum will be hosted in Arabic tonight by Sheikh Omar Abdul Kafi on ‘Chemistry of Happiness.’
The 13th annual Ramadan Forum is organized by the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) and is being held under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation. The 12-day forum will run until July 14, 2014 at the Dubai World Trade Centre, offering an enhanced and bigger agenda of activities and events this year including educational programs, training workshops and more.