Srinagar: It is not every day that international scholars of Islam gather under the same roof to guide the faithful. That, however, is exactly what lovers of spirituality and faith have in store at the Quran Conference in New Delhi on Sunday.
The renowned U.S.-based scholar Aslam Abdullah, the Vice-Chancellor of Maulana Azad Urdu University Dr M Aslam Parvaiz, and the widely respected theologian S.M. Tariq Nadvi are among the host of luminaries participating in the meeting that comes at a time when religion has been turned into political capital.
These scholars endeavour to promote inter-faith harmony, arguing that is what Islam is all about.
“Islam stands for peace. If we cannot have peace between communities, we would be doing disservice to the message of the Quran,” said Aslam Parvaiz, who is likely to focus on the basics of religion in his talk. “It is important to go back to the scriptures at a time when people are going astray. I plan to talk of how the Quran was revealed, the message it contains,” said Aslam Parvaiz.
He added, “It is important to build bridges between communities. The Quran emphasises peace. It is a book for all, not just Muslims as is widely but erroneously believed.”
Aslam Abdullah will talk about how the human being is capable of rising to the highest of heights, yet equally capable of sinking to abysmal lows. He has plenty of talent. If man uses it in the right direction, he rises high. Otherwise, he has to use it for the destruction of mankind, thereby slipping to the lowest of lows.
One interesting addition at the latest edition of the Quran Conference is the participation of the upcoming scholar Zeeshan Sarah. The Hyderabad-based Sarah will elaborate on the rights of spouses in Islam, something that has hit the public eye following the debate on instant triple talaq. It will be her first talk in the capital. She replaces the renowned scholar Abdullah Tariq who has pointed out similarities between the Vedas and the Quran for the past three decades.
“We expect people from a cross-section of society. The idea is to tell people that they must not reduce religion to a set of rituals. It is important to read the original scriptures and understand them in the language in which they were revealed. If we do not do that, religion slips into the hands of politicians or ignorant so-called religious leaders. We must all introspect, understand and explore meaning ourselves. The Quran emphasises reason and exploration,” summed up Aslam Parvaiz.