The inaugural Western Indian Ocean Studies workshop entitled 'Rahe Najat (The Path of Salvation): Religious and social dynamics amongst mercantile communities of the western Indian Ocean' was hosted by the department of religious studies from 12-13 November 2015 at the Florida International University in Miami.
Updated on 12 March 2018
Dear community members,
A’adhamallahuujurana wa ujurakum bi musaabina bil Husayn alayhis salaam,
I would like to begin by expressing my most sincere condolences to the Imam of our time (ajfs) and to the entire Shia community on the anniversary of the tragedy of Karbala. Every year, we come together, whether it's in our local centres, or ones further away, at Majaalis held by our friends, family or even at home, and we remember the hardships faced by Imam Hussain (as) and his family as they stood up for truth and justice. This reminds me of a Hadith by our Holy Prophet (swt) who said:
‘Surely, there exists in the hearts of the Mu’mineen, with respect to the martyrdom of Hussain (as), a heat that never subsides’
(Mustadrak al-Wasail vol.10 p.318).
During these days of Aza, we are encouraged to work towards self-reflection and growth. In order to aid this further, we have been sharing short videos each day, which includes a lesson or anecdote relating to the event of Karbala. The videos are shared on our Facebook and YouTube pages and via email, which you can sign up for here. We also send the videos out via WhatsApp, which is a new service we offer. To subscribe to this, simply send the word ‘Muharram’ to +447471162027 via WhatsApp. We hope you have benefitted from the series so far, which will run until Tuesday, inshAllah. In addition, we have also been sharing biographies about the companions of Imam Hussain (as), which can be found here. We would appreciate your feedback, both positive and constructive, as we work towards creating such reflective engagement projects for the community
During these sombre days, as we remember the persecution faced by the Ahlul Bayt (as), we can see that Shias, and Muslims in general, are still being persecuted in many parts of the world. A prime example is the plight of the Rohingya Muslims. The atrocities they are facing are impossible for me to comprehend and we are doing our best to help them in any way we can. Your donations to our emergency appeal have allowed us to distribute an incredible amount of aid, details of which we will share with you soon.
As with every Muharram, our relief efforts are primarily focused on the Ali Asghar Water Appeal. We are building a number of different wells and sanitation facilities for communities in need in Pakistan and Kenya. Alhamdullilah, the response to this appeal has been outstanding. You, our community members, have yet again been very generously donating to this most worthy cause. In fact, thanks to your generosity so far, we have managed to fund the building of 68 wells. I urge you all, on these nights when we remember the thirst of the children in Karbala and the thirst of our Imam Hussain (as), to continue donating towards this cause and help quench the thirst of as many families as possible.
I pray that during these days of mourning, we continue to self-reflect and take lessons from the tragedy that befell our Holy Imam and the Ahlul Bayt (as) and that we are able to keep their mission alive.
As always, I am keen to hear your thoughts and feedback on the work your organisation, The World Federation is doing. Please do not hesitate to get in touch with any feedback you have.
With Salaams and Duas,
Shabbar Dhalla, Vice President
December’s Khoja Studies conference certainly made clear that there is a rich history of Khoja heritage that often goes unnoticed.
Read our Secretary General’s full speech from the NASIMCO Conference in Ottawa in May 2018.