Hundreds of people from various Muslim communities living in Sydney, with origins from Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Iran, Lebanon, Turkey and many other Muslim and non-Muslim majority countries, visited the Bryan Brown Theatre, Sydney Australia on Friday 10th June 2022. The visit was meant to attend a prestigious Youth Conference with the theme of “Dealing with the challenges faced by Muslim youth living in Australia”.
The conference was organized by Minhaj-ul-Quran International Australia (NSW) with an objective to raise awareness and knowledge about how Islam provides guidelines for every aspect of our lives, especially for youth, in dealing with people of various cultural backgrounds and dealing with everyday social and contemporary challenges they face while living in Western cultures.
Various guest speakers were invited to the conference including Dr. Jan Ali (Senior Lecturer, Islam & Modernity, Western Sydney University), Ms. Ayesha Bux (Founder and Chair – SalamFest, Executive Board Member – The Jewish Christian Muslim Association, Honorary Consul for Pakistan, and Executive Committee Member – South Asian Communities Ministerial Advisory Council), and Ms. Mobinah Ahmad (Managing Editor of Australasian Muslim Times – AMUST and Executive Officer of the Australia Arab Chamber of Commerce & Industry NSW). The keynote speaker for the conference was Dr. Hussain Mohi-ud-Din Qadri (President of Minhaj-ul-Quran International, Deputy Chairman of the Board of Governors of Minhaj University Lahore, Senior Fellow at University of Melbourne Australia, an author of 30+ books and 50+ research articles and a reputable international speaker.
In December 2019, Dr Hussain was honored with Global Islamic Finance Award (GIFA Award 2019) in recognition of his meritorious research work in the field of Islamic economics and finance.)
The Youth Conference started with the recitation from the Holy Quran by Qari Shaykh Youssef and the English translation was presented by Mr. Mohammad Adnan from the renowned translation of the Holy Quran “Irfan-ul-Quran – The Glorious Quran” by Shaykh-ul-Islam Dr. Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri. Following the recitation, Sydney’s famous Naat reciter Mr. Fazl-ur-Rehman Qadri presented a beautiful bilingual Naat. This was followed by the Arabic Naat and Nasheeds by Sydney’s popular group “Ahbab Al Mustafa” lead by Qari Shaykh Youssef who presented a soulful performance with the Daff.
Senior vice-president of Minhaj Asia Pacific Council, Mr. Ruhel Dalvi was the host of the conference. President of Minhaj-ul-Quran International (NSW) Mr. Muhammad Wasiq welcomed the guests and presented a brief introduction of the services of Minhaj-ul-Quran International in Australia and all around the world.
The guest speaker Ayesha Bux gave a talk on the topic of “Social Life in Australia”. She is a Pakistani Australian Muslim who grew up here in Australia and shared her experience and challenges she faced while growing up here. She also shed some light on the approach that Muslim youth can take to deal with similar challenges.
Dr. Jan Ali gave a talked about the ideas around engaging with the opposite sex in university situations. This is a very important subject as a lot of today’s youth, especially ones living in Western societies, have challenges dealing with this situation. “Family is the most important place where the youth learn and get their first education about these matters.”, he emphasized. He said sometimes the families living in Western societies don’t have the knowledge about Islamic rulings or guidelines about gender matters or they don’t care. “And this is where the institutions and organizations like Minhaj-ul-Quran come into play who organize events like this conference to educate the families and youth about these matters.”, he said. He praised Minhaj-ul-Quran NSW team for taking the initiative of organizing this conference to help educate the youth and their families.
Then the keynote speaker Dr. Hussain Mohi-ud-Din Qadri gave a soulful and thought-provoking speech on the subject of the purpose of our lives, which the audience listened to with great involvement and appreciated the guidance provided through various valuable points to the young generation living in Australia. Dr. Qadri gave the example of a honeybee that even though it is a small creature, it still knows the purpose of its creation, which is taking the juice from various flowers and converting it into honey for the benefit of humanity. While we the human-beings do not realize our purpose until after 20-30 years, or sometimes even after that. That is because we spend our initial years of life sorting more of our worldly matters because of the environment and information around us as the young learners. He pointed out that sometimes we have to stop listening to the voices around us and start listening to the inner voice – the voice of our heart – to realize and understand the purpose and goal of our life.
Dr Hussain Mohi-ud-Din Qadri said as Muslim youth and youngsters, Islam is the ultimate guidance for us and that we can refer to Quran in which Allah mentions that we ask for goodness of both here is this world as well as the hereafter. The combination of both the things – the success of this world (the materialistic side) and the success of the next world (the spiritual side) – should be the ultimate goal of today's youngsters. Dr. Qadri advised the young audience to integrate the Western society keeping their own identity but not assimilate or amalgamate their identity. He also advised the youth to live with respect for other cultures in a multicultural society like Australia.
Dr Hussain told the audience that Minhaj-ul-Quran International and its founder Shaykhul Islam Dr. Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri are spreading the same message of peace, integration, and creating the true connection with our Lord since last 45 years. He said that anyone who believes in the true teachings and guidance of Islam is always welcome to join this organization. He concluded his speech by congratulating the management of Minhaj-ul-Quran International (NSW) for holding such a beautiful conference with the objective to guide our today’s youth and help them navigate the challenges they face in modern society.
After Dr. Hussain Mohi-ud-Din Qadri’s speech, the floor was opened for a questions & answers session where the audience was given the opportunity to ask any questions they had in their minds related to the modern society, economics, social challenges, and other relevant subjects covered.
At the end, Mr. Zaffar Khan (President Minhaj Asia Pacific Council) presented the vote of thanks to all the speakers and guests who attended the conference. The dinner was also served for all the conference participants. People also bought several books written by Shaykh-ul-Islam Dr. Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri and Dr. Hussain Mohi-ud-Din Qadri from the book stall arranged at the conference venue.
Reported by: Dr. Muhammad Asif Khawaja
(Secretary General, MQI-NSW, Sydney Australia)