As part of the External Tableegh agenda in remote countries of the West, the department hosted a series of lectures during the month of Muharram 1441/2019 in Bosnia in order to generate interest and awareness in the lives of the 14 Masoomeens (as) and to eradicate doubts and discrepancies with regard to the Shia faith.
The videos were screened at the community centre in the city of Ljesevo. The 11 video series titled 'In Search of Orthodox Islam' by Shaykh Khalil Jaffer (recited in Brampton 1439/2017) was translated and subtitled to the Bosnian language for viewership purposes. The topics of these lectures were:
1. Defining Orthodox Islam- Does the majority prove orthodoxy?
2. Origin of the terms Shia and Sunni
3. A message to Sunni and Shia brothers and sisters- a new way of dialogue that is candid yet respectful
4. Love of Imam Ali (as)
5. Differences between the Ahlul Bayt (as) and the Sahaba
6. The orthodoxy of Islamic sects formed by socio-political and historical convenience
7. A brief history of Muslim intellectual thought
8. Predestination and Free Will
9. The climate in Madinah before and immediately after the Holy Prophet (saw) passed away
10. Ghadeer, the Prophet's (saw) illness, final will and burial- what really happened at Saqifa
11. The government of the First Caliph in light of Orthodox Islam's principles
12. The government of the Second Caliph
13. The relationship between Shariah vs State in the government of the First and Second Caliphs
14. The election of Uthman as the first Ummayad Caliph
15. The politics of election by consultation (shura)
16. The government of Imam Ali ibn Abi Talib (as)
17. Muslim governments and Islamic movements
18. Muslims enamoured by the West
Alhamdullilah, the programmes were well-received with an audience of 30-40 people each night. The videos were also sent to the town of Mostar which received an audience of 15-20 people. The youth was especially interested and considered this program as a short course on Shia Islam.
Some of the comments of the youth attending the lectures have been stated below:
"I do not remember the last time I watched a video that was an hour-long in one session, but this was very interesting "
The lectures also received attendance from visitors from the Sunni faith, who also commented that
"It is for the first time that I heard why Imam Ali (as), the key figure in all the Prophet's battles was absent from public life during the caliphate of the first 3 caliphs."
The videos were also uploaded on the centres YouTube channel and have so far generated about 170 views within 66 hours of viewing time and they also received a grateful comment from Macedonia for making the content available online. These video materials will also be used for social media campaigns to help widen its reach to a larger audience, InshaAllah.
Alhamdullilah, the programme was a success as it has inculcated a sense of curiosity to gain knowledge by the audience in Bosnia, and it has helped to dispel several misconceptions about the Shia faith while spreading the principles of Islam simultaneously.