‘Identity and Community’
We hear these words a great deal nowadays. What is my identity? Who am I? What do I believe? Which way of life should I follow? Where do I fit in? Where is my community?
As people striving to be true followers of the Ahlul Bayt (a) we have the best examples to follow and the best way of life to emulate.
As Imam Ali (a) says:
Look at the people of the Prophet’s family. Adhere to their direction. Follow their footsteps because they would never let you out of guidance and never throw you into destruction. If they sit down, you sit down, and if they rise up, you rise up. Do not go ahead of them, as you would thereby go astray and go not lag behind them as you would thereby be ruined.”
Extract from Nahjul Balaghah. Sermon 97.
However the question then arises about how we form our identity in today’s modern world whilst remaining true to our beliefs and loyal to our leaders.
Furthermore, as we are preparing the ground for the rise of Imam al Mahdi (atf) by serving him both before and after his rise, then what is our community supposed to be like, what is its purpose, how do we establish and maintain it both locally and globally?
As Allah (swt) says in the Holy Qur’an:
The proper formation and subsequent flourishing of our identity and of our community go hand in hand. Without individuals who have correct beliefs, ethics, aims and direction in life, we cannot form the best kind of communities which will benefit all their members. However we need well functioning communities to support their members, both spiritually and materially, in their journey through this life.
Moreover, if we are going to spread the message of the Ahlul Bayt (a) in a wise and attractive way, we need to be modelling the true identity of their followers as individuals and demonstrating a real community of the Mahdi (atf) in concrete ways so that people can witness and experience living examples in front of them. After all, actions speak louder than words.
As we read in the Holy Qur’an:
With these pressing issues in mind, we are organising a one day conference on the 6th September 2015 under the title of:
New Muslims and Born Muslims: A Question of Identity and Community Spirit.’
To start with, the event will seek to define and address firstly Muslim identity and secondly community spirit according to the school of the Ahlul Bayt (a). Then we will unearth the challenges we face to both and propose solutions to these challenges. Finally we will discuss the way forward and draw up action plans and projects as deemed necessary by the participants.
The aim of the conference is to initially serve as a platform for engaging and uniting knowledgeable, experienced and likeminded individuals in sharing their ideas and visions, bringing faith and knowledge together, which will then inshaAllah become a launching pad for concrete action plans and future projects to take off. These projects will inshaAllah drive forward the necessary change and growth in ourselves and in our community which need to be carried out for the sake of Allah swt to hasten the rise of Imam al Mahdi (a).
The weekend will consist of keynote speeches and extensive use of workshops. There will be time for networking and interested groups or organisations will have a chance to showcase their work.
Will you join us?
For more information and registration (pre-registration essential as no registration on the day) please visit our facebook event page:
RMA UK 2015 Conference Team