DUBAI- Unconditional faith in the Almighty Allah underlined the key messages and inspirational Islamic insights brought to light during the 12 multi-lingual lectures held as part of the 13th edition of the Ramadan Forum. The popular forum concluded on July 14th, with the final English lecture on the topic, ‘Chemistry of Happiness’, presented by Sheikh Omar Abdul Kafi. The last day of the forum also saw Ibrahim Fahim Shabandri – a bright 8-year old Indian national – emerge as the first prize winner of the prestigious ‘Preacher of the Nation’ competition.
Sheikh Omar Abdul Kafi opened his lecture asking the audience a thought-provoking question: ‘What is happiness?’ The question will generate a variety of answers, depending on who it is directed at, he said. “A patient will answer it by defining happiness as a moment of healing; the debtor will describe it as the moment when he is free from all the debts; and so on. There are many different perceptions of happiness. However, the greatness of our religion is that it encourages people to practice the ancient adage, ‘Prevention is better than cure.’ Happiness, as Islam teaches us, is temporary. When the problem you are facing is over, there will be new problems to worry about. Happiness is not an external state but an approach that originates from the heart,” he explained.
“The foremost element to consider before looking into the chemistry of happiness is to reconcile with the universe. First of all, followers should be certain that everything in this world is driven by the will of the Almighty God. If you can honor that faith no matter what, you will not have to be afraid of anyone or anything else. When your heart can find a connection with the supreme power, you will be in the right position to discover the chemistry of eternal happiness,” he added further.
“True happiness is when a believer knows that in times of troubles, all he/she needs to do is to turn to the Almighty with a prayer. The law of happiness proposes that people focus on achieving the possible rather than spending their energy and resources in concentrating on what they consider impossible,” he concluded.
Held as part of the forum, the two Ramadan tents including the one in Muhaisnah 2 and the newly set-up second Ramadan tent in Hor Al Anz 2 area will continue to host group Iftar gatherings, in addition to daily quizzes and multi-lingual lectures until the end of Ramadan. Together the two tents will cater to up to 120,000 construction workers this Holy Month.
‘Preacher of the Nation’ Competition Winners
Winners of the ‘Preacher of the Nation’ competition were announced at Dubai World Trade Centre during the final day of the forum.
Ibrahim Fahim Shabandri, an 8-year old Indian national from Dubai won the first prize; the 11-year old Al Miqdam Abdul Aziz emerged as the 1st Runner-Up and Omar Mohammad Shawqi, a 10-year old participant won the 2nd Runner-Up title.
The jury overseeing the evaluation of contestants included Sheikh Omar Saad, Senior Preacher at the Department of Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities and the supervisor of the jury committee; Sheikh Ahmed Abu Saud, Imam at the Department of Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities; Mr. Bader Jumaa, a Professor of Arabic language at Omar Bin Al Khattab Model School and Mr. Lewis Bullock, an official from Dubai Culture.
In the initial phase of the competition, the committee selected 12 students in the run up to the finals in the areas of religious sermon and classical poetry recitation.
The jury awarded certificates of appreciation to all the participating children including: Fahad Sami Fahad Ali, Ahmed Yousef Bastaki, Yassin Kahlan, Khaled Sadek Rais, Abdul Aziz Khalid Khawaja, Mohammed Ahmed Habib Kassem, Mohammed Yasin Nadeem and Ibhenash Abdul Rashid.
Sponsors of the 13th edition of the Ramadan Forum
Mr. Issam Kazim, Chief Executive Officer, Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing, Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing; Mr. Mohammed Al Hashemi, Head of the organizing committee and Hamad Al Mutaiwee, Vice Chairman of the organizing committee honored all the sponsors of the 13th edition of the Ramadan Forum.
Mr. Issam Kazim, Chief Executive Officer of the Dubai Tourism and Commerce Marketing of the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing in Dubai, said: “The Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) in Dubai has always been keen on furthering the development of this event year after year. The event highlights the importance of bringing people together in righteousness and piety while ensuring an ideal Ramadan atmosphere for all the participants.”
H.E. Majid Abdul Rahman Al Bastaki, Executive Director, Al Maktab for Culture & Media, said: “We believe that participation in such forums is an important step forward in enhancing our knowledge of the religion. Involvement in the forum could also be considered as a humanitarian duty that should be encouraged by every organization whether governmental or private. Events such as the Ramadan Forum help us strengthen both our spiritual and humanitarian sides during the holy month. We invite global organizations to participate in this event to drive it to newer heights, with an overarching goal of expanding the reach of the forum.”
The 13th annual Ramadan Forum was organized by the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) and was 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 offered an enhanced and bigger agenda of activities and events this year, including educational programs, training workshops and more.