Imam-e-Kaaba (Masjid Al-Haraam), Shaikh Abdur Rehman Al-Sudais, had a busy day in the provincial metropolis on Wednesday having interaction with religious scholars, students, attending functions and leading prayers at Jamia Ashrafia, Punjab University and Badshahi Mosque, which were attended by thousands of faithful from different parts of the country.
Imam of Kaaba started the day from Jamia Ashrafia where he led Fajr prayers and offered special prayer for Pakistan seeking Allah Almighty's blessings to save the country from miscreants. He said that on the occasion that united Muslim Ummah could thwart all conspiracies against Islam.
Jamia Ashrafia administration had made arrangements for around 10,000 people, but more than 100,000 people showed up, who thus stood outside the mosque to offer prayers led by Imam-e-Kaaba. The participants of MMA's road caravan also offered Fajr prayers at Jamia Ashrafia.
After Fajr prayers, the Imam-e-Kaaba held a breakfast meeting with Ulema at Jamia Ashrafia. Later, addressing a certificate distribution ceremony of Jamia Ashrafia at Aiwan-e-Iqbal, Imam-e-Kaaba said it was high time that Muslim Ummah should focus on the acquisition of knowledge, as it was a pre-requisite for the promotion of peace, love, tolerance and brotherhood. He said that Muslims should also learn knowledge of Quran and Sunnah to resolve their contemporary problems.
Dr Abdul Rehman Al-Sudais is a PhD scholar from Umul Quri University Makkah, and a member of Shariah committee constituted by the Mufti Azam. He has also a privilege to lead the prayers in Moharam-ul Haram mosque and Juma prayer addresses for the last 23 years.
He appreciated the role of Ulema for promoting teachings of Holy Quran and Holy Prophet (PBUH). He congratulated the students for getting Islamic education and appreciated the efforts of Jamia Ashrafia administration for promoting Islamic teachings in the society.
He said that real knowledge could promote morality and good deeds. He added that states could achieve progress and prosperity through acquisition of knowledge. He said Pak-Saudi relations were very cordial and deep-rooted.
Speaking on the occasion, Punjab Chief Minister Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi exhorted upon the students to acquire modern education to face the challenges confronted to the Muslim World. He was of the view that the youth must play their due role in improving the image of Muslim Ummah in the outer world.
He further said today in the West, Islam was being presented as violent religion and the Muslims as the terrorists and it was our religious obligation to present the real image of Islam in the world. He averred that Islamic World had leadership like Dr Abdul Rehman Al-Sudais, who by openly condemning the suicide attacks and terrorism, has provided real guidance to Muslim Ummah.
He said that Imam-e-Kaaba was among those few personalities, who were respected in the Islamic world irrespective of difference of sect and viewpoint. He said that visit of Imam-e-Kaaba was a blessing for us and Allah Almighty has blessed the Imam with the great softness of language.
Earlier, Imam of Kaaba awarded certificates and shields to the students and Ulema of Jamia Ashrafia. He also inaugurated the Jamia Ashrafia's website on Bokhari Sharif and Siha Sitah and a software on the Holy Quran and Hadith.
Deputy Administrator of Jamia Ashrafia Maulana Fazal Rahim in his welcome address highlighted the efforts being made by Jamia for promotion of Islamic education. Saudi Ambassador in Pakistan Ali Awadh Aseeri and a number of Ulema were also present on the occasion. Imam-e-Kaaba also visited Alamgir Farm House Raiwind Road during the day.
Talking to newsmen during the visit of Imam, Co-ordinator Punjab Government on Religious Affairs and Chairman Pakistan Ulema Council, Maulana Hafiz Muhammad Tahir Mahmood Ashrafi said the Imam had his own schedule of visiting Pakistan on the invitation of Jamia Ashrafia.
It is lamentable to involve such a respectable personality in politics, he added. Maulana Ashrafi said that the present government had made unprecedented efforts for maintaining sectarian, religious harmony and promotion of religious tolerance. He clarified that Imam-e-Kaaba had come to Pakistan to participate in celebrations of Jamia Ashrafia and the government had given the status of a state guest to Imam-e-Kaaba in view of sanctity of Kaabatullah.
Moreover, addressing a gathering at Punjab University organised by Islami Jamiat Talba and Jamaat-e-Islami, Imam-e-Kaaba said that today the Muslim Ummah was facing various challenges, which could be encountered only through unity.
'Awareness is a light and ignorance is a curse. People pass away but the educated people always live. It is only the order of Iqra, which prevents ignorance and darkness from the human beings', he said.
He stated that the Holy Qur'an is the awareness of belief and the Shariah. Imam-e-Kaaba said Saudi rulers and its people always attached great importance to Pakistan and pin high hopes that Pakistan would continue to play its due role in bringing harmony among all Muslim countries.
He said he was proud that all Pakistanis love Saudi Arabia and following the Islamic tenets in their practical lives. Jamaat-e-Islami had planned to arrange this gathering at Mansoora but after talks between administration and JI leaders, it was agreed to hold the function at Punjab University.
Later, Imam-e-Kaaba led Maghrib prayers at Badshahi Mosque which was attended by thousands of faithful from across the country. Among others, PML President Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, Chief Minister, Pervaiz Elahi, Federal Religious Minister, Ejaz ul Haq, Senator Mushahid Hussain, District Nazim Amer Mahmood and others.
The historical Badshahi Mosque was presenting true face of Muslim gathering as Qirat of Holy Quran was made. Special arrangements were made for the faithful. Traffic Police also adopted special traffic arrangements. Imam-e-Kaaba also addressed the gathering on the occasion.
Punjab Chief Minister, Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi, also hosted a dinner reception in honour Imam-e-Kaaba (Masjid Al-Haraam), Shaikh Abdur Rehman Al-Sudais, at Lahore Fort which was attended by Federal and provincial ministers and dignitaries. PML President Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain hosted a dinner in honour of Imam-e-Kaaba at his residence on Tuesday night.