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Said Nursi symposium to tackle global challenges

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Solutions for contemporary Islamic global challenges are amongst a host of topics to be explored at a special symposium on the life of Bediuzamaan Said Nursi (ra) taking place in Cape Town this week. The Muslim Judicial Council (MJC) is hosting the event in partnership with the International Turkish organization Hayrat Foundation (est.1974). The theme of the Symposium is “Risale-i-Nur & The relevance of his teachings in the contemporary age.”

Members of the public can look forward to two programmes, the first on Thursday 25th February. This is a special programme aimed at youth and will take place after Maghrib at Masjid Khidma til Islam, Tarongo Rd, Rondebosch East.

On Saturday, 27 February 2016 a full day symposium is scheduled with an exciting line up of relevant topics. This takes place at Islamia Auditorium from 9am – 5pm and is also open to the public.

The MJC will also be a hosting an opening gala dinner on Friday night to launch the Bediuzzaman Said Nursi Symposium.

The symposium will aim to bring awareness of the life and contributions of Said Nursi and reflections on his book Risalat e Nur. Said Nursi is considered the foremost Islamic scholar in the last 100 years in Turkey and perhaps in the Islamic world.

Risale–i Nur Collection, a huge Quranic commentary of more than five thousand pages. A man of enormous influence in Middle Eastern politics and religion, he is credited with helping to inspire resurgence in the Islam faith through his writings and teachings.

In his rich, full life, Said Nursî witnessed and experienced much. As both an observer and participant during his eighty–four years, he lived through the decline of the Ottoman Empire, World War I and the emergence of the modern Turkish Republic.

An influential Islamic teacher and philosopher, he also endured religious oppression and suffered through prolonged periods of exile and imprisonment. He was resilient, however, and emerged as an important teacher and philosopher who inspired generations of students who embraced his writings. VOC

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  1. Re: Said Nursi is considered the foremost Islamic scholar in the last 100 years in Turkey and perhaps in the Islamic world.
    Of Ḥaḍramī origin, Shaykh Muḥammad Sa’īd Bā Buṣayl al-Ash’arī (d. 1912) taught in Makkah and defended Ṣūfī practices through his writing.
    Maulānā Aḥmed Raza Khan Barelvī al-Ḥanafī al-Qādirī (1856-1921) was a scholar and reformer in British-owned India. His encyclopaedic writings defend Ṣūfism and traditional Islām.
    The literary output of Nana Asma’u dan Fodio, a female Islamic scholar and Qādirīyyah mystic from 19th century northern Nigeria reflects a long tradition of Ṣūfīc participation by women in the Central Sudanic region.
    Sayed Abū Bakr ibn ’Abd Al-Raḥmān ibn Shihāb al-Dīn al-’Alawī (d. 1923) wrote religious poetry.
    Work on the saints from Fez in north-eastern Morocco is the best known book by Sayed Muḥammad ibn Ja’far ibn Idrīs al-Kittānī (1858-1927).
    Shaykh ’Abd Al-Majīd al-Sharnūbī al-Azharī (d. 1929) wrote a commentary on the Dalā’il al-Khayrāt (the ‘Proofs of Good Deeds’).
    Writings by the Ṣūfī, Imām al-Qāḍī Yūsuf bin Ismā’īl bin Yūsuf al-Azharī al-Shāfi’ī al-Nabahānī (1849-1932), positively influenced the growth of taṣawwuf.
    Students from across the Muslim world took lessons from Shaykh ’Umar bin Abū Bakr Bā Junayd al-Shāfi’ī (d. 1935) in Makkah.
    A frequent visitor to the tombs of the saints in Lahore, the Indian-born philosopher and politician, Sir Muḥammad Iqbāl (1877-1938), explored Ṣūfī perceptions through his poetry and believed that Ṣūfism allows the searching soul a better view of life.
    Founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, Sheikh Ḥasan Aḥmad ’Abd Al-Raḥmān Muḥammad al-Bannā’ al-Shāfi’ī (1906-1949), was an Egyptian schoolteacher and religious leader. A Ṣūfī who attended weekly dhikr sessions, he admired the group structure approach of Islamic spirituality. The Muslim Brotherhood was a Pan-Islamic, religious, and social movement. Under the leadership of Sheikh Ḥasan al-Bannā’, it had, by the late 1930’s, more than 500,000 active members and as many sympathizers throughout the Arab world. Mobilization efforts by the Muslim Brotherhood helped make the Palestinian question a widespread Muslim concern. Sheikh Ḥasan al-Bannā’ wrote more than 2,000 articles and many books. He was assassinated by the Egyptian secret police.
    Shaykh Muḥammad ibn Aḥmad ibn al-Hāshimī ibn ’Abd Al-Raḥmān al-Tilimsānī (1881CE-1961CE) wrote on Ṣūfism and scholastic theology.
    Shaykh ’Abd Al-Ḥalīm Maḥmūd (1910-1978) was the Grand Imām of al-Azhar University, and lectured and wrote much on taṣawwuf.
    Maulānā Muḥammad Fazlur Raḥmān Anṣārī al-Qādirī (1914-1974) authored more than forty books in Urdu and English. In 1973, he wrote the voluminous ‘The Quranic Foundations and Structure of Muslim Society’.
    Maulānā Muḥammad Zakarīyyāh Kāndhlawī (1898-1982) became the most influential ideologue of the Tablīgh Jamā’ah through his writing. Descended from Sayyidinā Abū Bakr al-Ṣiddīq , he was an expert in Aḥādīth and belonged to the Chishtīyyah Taṣawwuf Silsilah. Maulānā Muḥammad Zakarīyyāh left British India in 1973 and settled in Madīnah, where he would live out final years. His last remains were interred in the Jannah al-Baqī’.
    Sheikh Muzaffer Ozak al-Jerrahi (1916-1985) was a leader of the Halveti-Jerrahi Order of dervishes in Istanbul. He wrote several books on Ṣūfism.
    Shaykh Ḥasanayn Muḥammad Makhlūf al-’Adawī al-Azharī (1890-1990) wrote profusely. A Ṣūfī, he had two stints as the Grand Mufti of Egypt.
    The Arabic book Miftāḥ al-Jannah by Ḥabīb Aḥmad Mash-hūr bin Ṭāhā bin ’Alī al-Ḥaddād (1907-1995) has been translated by Dr Moṣṭafā al-Badawī as ‘The Key to the Garden’. Ḥabīb Aḥmad Mash-hūr al-Ḥaddād died in Makkah and was buried in the Jannah al-Ma’lah.
    Once as a young man in a mosque in the Yemen during one of the last nights of the Holy Month of Ramaḍān, al-Ḥabīb Muḥammad ibn ’Abdillāh al-Haddār (1920-1997) saw a brilliant light. When he told his father of this, he said to him: “Perhaps it is Lailat Al-Qadr, so ask Allāh to make you one of the scholars that act according to their knowledge.” And so it would be. His efforts in the pursuit of learning were immense. He would study under Sayed ’Alawī ibn ’Abbās al-Ḥasanī al-Makkī al-Mālikī (d. 1971). His waking moments were filled with dhikrullāh. Ḥabīb Muḥammad ibn ’Abdillāh al-Haddār later penned a treatise on the quest for noble character and a work on performing the Ḥajj. His last remains lie interred in the Jannah al-Ma’lah in Makkah.
    A person of the way and the author of several books on Islām, the popular Sayed Muḥammad Mutawallī al-Sha’rāwī al-Azharī (1911-1998) saw taṣawwuf as the essence of religion.
    Sheikh Ḥasan Moḥamed al-Fātiḥ Qarībullāh (d. 2004) of Omdurman in the Sudan was a leader in the Sammānīyyah Ṣūfī Path who wrote and published more than a hundred books.
    Sayed Muḥammad ibn ’Alawī al-Mālikī al-Ḥasanī al-Makkī (d. 2004) was a leading figure in the ’Alawīyyun Ṭarīqah and a towering author of unstinting prolificacy.
    Shaykh Ḥasan Cissé al-Tijānī (1945-2008) of Senegal was a dedicated philanthropist who wrote five books on Islām.
    Shaykh Ḥāzim abū Ghazālah al-Ḥusaynī was born in Palestine on 3 March 1933. He is a Ṣūfī and has written more than 25 books in Arabic, some of which have been translated into English.
    Shaykh ’Abdallāh ibn Maḥfūdh ibn Bayyah (b. 1935) is from East Mauritania. Part of a number of scholarly councils, he is a professor of Islamic studies at the King ’Abdul ’Aziz University in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Shaykh ’Abdallāh promotes taṣawwuf through his writing. Anti-extremist, he places the causes of Islamic fanaticism squarely at the door of, firstly, Wahhabism, and lately, Salafism. Just as colonialism in South Africa had mutated into apartheid, so Wahhabism in most of the Persian Gulf petro-monarchies, had morphed into Salafism.
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    Sheikh Rashīd bin Ibrāhīm al-Muraykhī of Bahrain is criticised by inveterate Salafīyyah for celebrating Mīlād al-Nabī. He learned from the noted Ḥabīb ’Abd Al-Qādir bin Aḥmad bin ’Abd Al-Raḥmān al-Saqqāf (1912-2010) and writes on Islām. Bahrain converted to Islam in 628AD.
    Books by Shaykh ’Alī Jumu’ah (Gomaa) al-Azharī al-Shāfi’ī (b. 1952) deal mostly with Islamic legal theory. An Ash’arī and a Ṣūfī, he had Sayed Muḥammad ibn ’Alawī al-Mālikī al-Ḥasanī al-Makkī as one of his teachers. Shaykh ’Ali Jumu’ah served as the Grand Mufti of Egypt from 2003 to 2013.
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    Born on 27 May 1963 in Tarīm in the Ḥaḍramaut Valley of South Yemen, al-Ḥabīb ’Umar ibn Muḥammad ibn Sālim ibn Ḥafīdh al-Ḥusaynī is a shaykh in the ’Alawīyyun Ṣūfī code and writes on Islām. He took knowledge from the recognized al-Ḥabīb Muḥammad ibn ’Abdillāh al-Haddār.
    Born during 1966 in Aleppo, Syria, Sheikh Muḥammad bin Yaḥyā bin Muḥammad al-Ḥusaynī al-Ninowy lives with his family in Atlanta, Georgia in the United States. Several of his books have been translated into English. He is a Ṣūfī of the Shādhilīyyah Path.
    Ḥabīb ’Alī bin ’Abd Al-Raḥmān al-Ḥusaynī al-Jifrī is an Islamic scholar, a Ṣūfī and an author. He was born in 1971 and learned from the legendary Ḥabīb ’Abd Al-Qādir bin Aḥmad bin ’Abd Al-Raḥmān al-Saqqāf.
    The list goes on and on.

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