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Ismaili Community Celebrates Milad-un-Nabi

June 2004
Ismaili Community Celebrates Milad-un-Nabi

Ismaili Community Celebrates Milad-un-Nabi

The Ismaili Muslim Community in Atlanta hosted its second Milad-un-Nabi Celebration on May 15 at the Global Learning & Conference Center at Technology Square. Attendees included representatives of many Muslim as well as other faith organizations, scholars of Islam and a cross-section of the professional and business community. The program began with a recitation from the Qu'ran and included presentations by the keynote speaker as well as the Ismaili choir who sung Naats (poems in praise of the Prophet (pbuh)).

While welcoming the guests, Dr. Ahmed stated, "The celebration of festivals is common to all communities of the world in order to maintain cherished traditions. It is traditions, such as celebrating the life of the Prophet (s.a.s.), that represent anchors for a dynamic world in which God and a continually changing environment are the only certainties." It is with that hope and premise that the Ismaili community continues to host such successful and enlightening programs.

The theme for the Milad celebration this year was, "The Pursuit of Knowledge and the

Role of the Intellect in Islam." Professor Syed Akbar Hyder, from the University of Texas at Austin was the keynote speaker. Professor Hyder graduated with a Ph.D. from Harvard University and his current research interests focus on Islam in South Asia, Urdu language and literature. Professor Hyder spoke about the relevance of learning in the Prophet's (pbuh) life and how we can learn from that example. Professor Hyder also provided examples of current media that emphasize this example such as Qawwalis sung by artists such as the Sabri brothers and the late Nusrat Fatehali Khan.

A highlight of the event was a photographic exhibit of the recent endeavors of the Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC) ? an organization within the Aga Khan Development Network. The AKTC has been actively involved with efforts to rediscover the past, respect Islamic cultural heritages and revive ancient artistry. The restoration of the Bagh-e-Babur and Humayun's tomb are examples of this and were presented in the photographic exhibit. Moreover the AKTC is developing a beautiful park in the middle of Cairo city that allows for social and economic enhancement as well as environmental improvement. The Cairo photographs were also presented and provided a perspective into the enlightened development occurring within the Muslim world.

The Milad celebration was indeed a successful example of interfaith dialogue and communication.

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