The Muslim Convention 2019 was held at the Manchester Central Convention Complex on 16th November 2019, 18th Rabbi al Awwal 1441.

The programme commenced with a beautiful recitation of the holy Qur’an by Sayed Jalal Masoomi.

The first session took place in the venue’s auditorium. It consisted of an interactive talk show, hosted by Amir Taki, whereby he questioned a panel of speakers and scholars on some of the key impacts of modernity. The panel featured Sheikh Murtaza Alidina, Sheikh Mirza Abbas, Dr Sajjad Rizvi and Sr Ummulbaneen Merali, who come from various academic backgrounds. They shed light on issues like the rise of rationalism, atheism, individualism in the West and the ramifications of these modern approaches to life within today’s society.

This was followed by a short break during which guests had the chance to browse the market-place, which showcased the work of an array of businesses, organisations and initiatives from across the UK.

In the second session we heard four Ted Talk style speeches by Dr Abbas Naqvi, Sheikh Nuru Mohammed, Sayyid Shabeer Kirmani and Zakira Shyrose Dhalla. Each speaker brought to light a unique perspective, and explored a new approach that we as Muslims can take on in response to the modern challenges we encounter.

The morning sessions were wrapped up by 1.30pm, after which guests were escorted to the Exchange Hall for a grand lunch. This was a great opportunity for members of the Shia community from across the UK to network and connect with one another.

Lunch was followed by the final session of the Convention. This was where guests were given the opportunity to choose between a range of interactive workshops, and attend one which catered for their specific area of interest. From “Islam and the Arts” to the “Role of the Community and State”, the seminars covered a diversity of issues that fall within the broader topic of Islam and Modernity.

The convention also offered programmes for younger audiences which ran alongside the main sessions throughout the day. 11-16 year olds had a chance to take part in an apprentice-style workshop. There were also exciting and educational activities that catered for young children and even toddlers. This meant that the parents were able to comfortably participate in the main session, with the assurance that their young ones were also engaged and benefitting.

The whole day was wrapped up with festivities and celebrations in honour of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him and his holy household). We enjoyed four world renowned reciters, Ali Fadhil, Abu Thar al Halawaji, Ali Safdar, and Sayed Jalal Masoomi reciting in the languages of English, Arabic, Urdu and Farsi respectively. This experience was especially memorable as it really reflected the principle of unity and oneness amongst the Muslim community, regardless of culture, class, ethnicity or background, that was propagated by the Holy Prophet himself.