One of the largest religious gatherings in the city – the three-day Sunni Ijtema- will begin at Azad Maidan on Friday evening.
The event will bring people from across the city and outside who come to listen to scholars and to take part in interactive discussions on religion in a contemporary world. This year’s meet will feature topics related to nation building, women’s education, career guidance, history of Islam, and keeping with times, a session on social and religious responsibilities in the time of Artificial Intelligence.
This will be the 31st year of the conference and around 300,000 people are expected to participate. The first day of the conference will be exclusively for women. This year, an important topic that will be discussed by scholars is women’s share in husband’s and father’s property, a subject that has been much in discussion as the country debates a Uniform Civil Code.
Mohammed Shahid of the Sunni Dawate Islami, which organises the annual event, said that it is established in the Quran that women have a proportionate right to their father’s and husband’s property. “But most people are not aware of this. A majority of Muslim women are housewives and are financially dependent on their husbands and fathers. Women are entitled to the mandate in the Quran which says that women should get a proportionate share in father’s property equal to a male child,” said Shahid. “Women are entitled to shares from both father and husband, a right that is not available to men. Unfortunately because of cultural norms, these rights have been side-lined.”
Like most years, the event will also feature Islamic scholars from abroad, including speakers from the World Islamic Mission, based in London. Apart from the discourses, there will be sessions where scholars will answer questions on religion and its application in everyday life. There will also be a meeting on career guidance and higher education. The daily programmes will end in a collective prayer for global peace.
The Sunni Dawate Islami was founded in 1991. The organisation said that its president Hazrat Allama Shakir Ali Noorie and chief mentor Hazrat Allama Qamruzzaman Khan Azmi have featured in the list of 500 most influential Muslims brought out by the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre in Amman, Jordan. Noorie and Khan are among the scholars who will speak at the conference.