For over 20 years now, the Eid Open House has been conveying and promoting the message of peace and co-existence. People from different walks of life and faith attended the open house organized by the Ahmed Al Fateh Islamic Centre which will conclude today.
Albilad sits down with Dr Najmah Muhammed from the Ahmed Al Fateh Islamic Centre who shed more light on Islam and how the Eid Open House could benefit the community.
“These open houses are to open up the minds of the people. There are lots of misunderstanding about Islam and Muslims all around the world. Everything that the media presents about us is unfortunately negative but when you interact with visitors daily, they leave with a completely changed opinion” said Dr Najmah.
She added, “When a few so-called Muslims do something wrong, it is not fair to apply that to the entire majority of Muslims. If you look at the world population, we are almost one-fourth of the population covering over25%. If we don’t open up the doors for non-Muslims then people of other faiths will carry on their misconceptions”.
“Bahrain being a multi-cultural society, it was very important for us to remove these barriers and prejudice mindset so that we can live peacefully and happily. We need to give people a firsthand experience of co-existence. This is basically to convey the peaceful message of Islam to people of different faiths” she said.
She further stressed that the mosque gets annual visitors of over 50,000 people. The Eid Open House has been getting tremendous responses from the community. When this event was launched in 1999, the open house saw merely 48 people, which over the years increased from 98 to 1,000.
‘Education is very important to Islam. You are not supposed to claim to be a believer without having that proper understanding. Every human being has the natural disposition of questioning and it is the God-has given right to ask questions and your right to receive answers. Scholars who have highly studied the religion are respected and are there to explain to us the message of Allah. They are here to guide the people on the right path”
Training tour guides
“Altogether we have over 300 students who have been trained. They have to go through theory and practical exams because when you go outside you are the one who is representing Islam. And if you do something wrong then it might be your personal thing but people seeing you might look at it in a negative light contributing it to Islam” said Dr Najmah.
“So you cannot separate the religious aspects from social aspects. Islam is a complete system of life. It teaches you what to do, what to eat, how to dress, how to interact with people, even hygiene. God knows about us more than we know about ourselves because he created us. So he has put up a system that we can follow which would be good for us” she added.