Leading Islamic Imams, Scholars and Aalimahs from around the world descended on Toronto, Canada over the Christmas weekend to attend the RIS2015 (Reviving the Islamic Spirit) Convention.
The theme of the 2015 event was“Alliance of Virtue,” which organisers said spoke to a need to “[form] cross cultural alliances in order to aid and facilitate social justice.”
The annual convention is regulalry attended by over 20,000 people which includes a wide cross section of soceity from young Muslims to families and the elderly. The 3 day event includes lectures from leading Islamic scholars, knowledge retreats, a grand bazaar and even a popular matrimonial service. The event caters for all audiences and appeals to Muslism and Non Muslims alike of all ages.
Some of the luminary speakers at this years event included Shaykh Hamza Yusuf, Ustadh Nouman Ali Khan, Imam Zaid Shakir, Imam Suhaib Webb, Imam Khalid Latif, Sister Linda Sarsour and Ustadha Yasmin Mogahed.
The keynote speeches focussed on the diversity within Islamic communities and the need to understand the modern world we live in. With the rising tide of Islamophobia, particularly in North America, the scholars in attendace emphasised the need to adhere to the principles of the Prophet Muhammad (saw) in times of hardship and to recognise and promote the goodness around us.
Shaykh Hamza Yusuf said in his speech,
When you are opressed, people attack and harm you. What is the response of our Prophet (saw)? Return a wrong with a right.
Imam Khalid Latif said in his excellent session,
You are what we need. You are the catalyst. You are the ingredient that will be the means of changing our community.
Ustadh Nouman Ali Khan commented on the need to change ourself before we attempt to change others when he said,
In unequivocal terms, until what is going on inside the home is set straight, you will not be able to set straight what is outside.