KABEER YOUSUF –
For many non-Muslims from different countries who converged at the Oman Convention & Exhibition Centre (OCEC) on Friday, it felt like they were discovering a hidden treasure box split open to reveal the valuables inside it.
But instead of material things, what they discovered instead is knowledge — information they didn’t know before — discussed and revealed in details. The talk session was long but the information shared by the speakers fed and clarified issues that used to confuse many of the guests in attendance.
The discussion was followed by Iftar.
The event was Taaruf- 2, a social gathering session organised by the Ministry of Awqaf and Religious Affairs (MARA) under the auspices of His Highness Sayyid Dr Fahd bin Julanda al Said, Assistant Secretary-General for Development Innovation at the Research Council.
It was put together, inviting scores of people from different sectors of the society, in order to let them know the real meaning of the religion and for them to discover the very essence of the Islamic way of life.
Preacher Khaled Yassin from the United States, who served as the literal encyclopaedia for the non-Muslims succeeded in clearing the misconceptions and prejudices about Islam with his innate presentation skills and uncanny ability to connect with the audience.
He later led an open dialogue with the listeners which was equally beneficial for the attendees. There, he discussed the challenges that a man faces in the families as well as in the societies.
“Fasting”, Preacher Khalid said, “is more than just abstaining from food and water, and all other material pleasures. [It] bonds and unifies humanity with an intangible thread called feelings and Islam has advocated the followers to fast for just one month and to practise for the rest of the year.”
The Definition of Islam and Cultural Exchange Department at the Ministry of Awqaf seeks through this event and other events being held to fortify the healthy image of Islam and to repair the image lingering in the minds of non-Muslims about Islam across the globe.
As a result, many of the attendees were quite awe-inspired and amused after clarifying bundles of qualms that they were carrying after all this while.
“I’m quite inspired by the teachings of Islam which I was not aware of. I was rather misguided by some wrong press reports that misinterpreted the religion”, a western attendee said.
The session held under the auspices of the Department of Introduction to Islam and Cultural Exchange at the Ministry has by far proved to be a window to those who wanted to know more about Islam with all its true essence as a life guide to mankind.
“Ta’aruf sessions are part of the Ministry’s annual events held by the definition of Islam for cultural exchange under the auspices of the Office of His Excellency the Grand Mufti at the Ministry of Awqaf and Religious Affairs Department”, Juma bin Saleh bin Saeed al Dairi, Head of Islamic Information at the Ministry, said.
The event also held an exhibition with the participation of the Islamic Learning Center at the Grand Mosque and the delegation from the Sultan Qaboos University displaying the true message of Islam along with a women’s exhibition that shared the experience of wearing the veil
Supporting the noble cause of the ministry, Mwasalat, Oman’s national transport company provided two bus services for the participants to this event, one from Burj al Sahwah station and the second from Ruwi bus station. The buses are scheduled to leave at 4 pm and return at 10 pm.