The event was the culmination of a couple of weeks of awareness raising throughout Sheffield, via direct contact with the community, interactive workshops with activists, leaflet distribution with key messages on what we can do, local radio discussions, socialmedia networking including emails, text messaging and street interactions in key areas. The campaign is ongoing with the community being asked to stand with their brothers and sisters in Syria and be actively involved by organizing activities like talks and stalls in the community, asking Imams to delivery khutbhas (Friday sermons) on the issue and to make special qunoot dua and inviting the people to join the real work for change in the Muslims world to establish the Islamic khilafah system free from capitalist and colonial interference.
The Emergency Seminar as part of the ongoing campaign was attended by a cross section of the community. Young and old, men and women from all backgrounds had come to discuss the significance of Bilad Ash-Sham. The event started with welcome from the Chair and recitation of the Quran by Shaykh Ahmad. A brief video of the reality in Syria and the response of the brave ummah was shown.
The main presentation was given by Mehboob Ali, who started by praising (Allah SWT) with salutations upon the Prophet (SAW) and the family and noble companions (RA). He discussed the situation in Syria and the stance of the brave people of Syria whose steadfastness and sacrifice for Islam reminded us of the era of the Sahaba (RA). With examples relayed from Dr Yusuf Abu Harith the delegates attending the seminar heard first-hand the brutal nature of the Syrian regime and the clear call of the people to reject all offers of help from colonialists and to have sole reliance on help from Allah (swt) just like the brave people in Syria.
The presentation highlighted the exalted status of Bilad Ash-Sham and its inhabitants given by Allah (swt) and the Messenger (saw) and the duty of Muslims to connect with her Ummah, offer her support and clearly call for the Khilafah state as the only solution. He asked for audience participation in the main session of the event, the panel discussion, and detailed question and answer session focusing on the solution and what we can do. This session raised many questions and comments from the floor especially focusing on our responsibility as part of the global ummah, the nature of leadership and system in Muslim countries, how the uprisings in the Middle East have exposed both the rulers and colonialists like the US, EU and their tools like the UN.
The panelists reminded people of the importance of the role of Muslim communities living in the west and their role in standing for Islam taking the example from the brave ummah in Syria.
The delegates were reminded that the situation in Syria and the Muslim world is the result of the absence of Islam in the way the rulers run our countries. What can we do to remove this dire situation from the Muslim countries: the answer is what did our Beloved Prophet (SAW) teach us to do in this situation. He (SAW) challenged what was wrong and false. And this is the sunnah way to bring real change to challenge the wrong ideas with correct ones. It is important to recognize that ideas alien to Islam are exported from the west – and we live here and thus we are the best people to challenge these ideas.
Allah (swt) says:
‘And let not their speech grieve you, for all Al-`Izzah belongs to Allah.’ (10:65).
The event was concluded and the audience was left with a clear direction that this was an issue for Muslims as we are one Ummah; a truly global issue where we as Muslims in the West have an important role in addressing the ideological nature of the attack on Islam in the West; a clear rejection of any western interference to hijack this revolution and how there is only one solution; the Khilafah State.
After Dua the discussions continued over refreshments with participants signing up for workshops and further activity.