By Syed Akbar
Hyderabad, Oct 14: The historic Al-Azhar University in Cairo has deputed four of its senior Quranic scholars to India to spread the message of peace and tolerance this Ramazan among the local Muslim youth.
The scholars from Al-Azhar are presently in Hyderabad holding a series of meetings with Muslims, particularly the youth, and emphasising the need for peaceful co-existence with all religious communities. They have also been holding inter-faith dialogues with Hindu, Sikh and Christian religious leaders as part of their effort to promote peace and tolerance during this Islamic holy month.
The team has brought with it the message of Al-Azhar's Grand Sheikh, Said Muhammad Tantawi, who extols the spiritual eminence of Indians and the unique religious unity of India. The message is being read in all the programmes attended by the Egyptian team members. Al-Azhar is one of the oldest universities in the world. It is also one of the top centres of Islamic learning.
The Azhar delegation is led by Sheikh Muhammad El Regal Hegab, director-general of the Quran Recitation Department, Al-Azhar University. Other team members are Sheikh Shawki Hamed, Sheikh Hemida Selim Abdel Halim and Sheikh Muhammad El Mahdy Nagaty, all from the Ministry of Wakf, Government of Egypt.
"Islam is a religion of peace and tolerance. There is no compulsion in Islam. Terrorism and acts of violence have no place in our religion. We are here to remove the misconceptions in people about this great religion. We are also telling our youth to stay away from extremism and terrorist outfits. Ramazan is the month in which the Holy Quran was revealed. We want to promote peace through this Scripture," Sheikh El Regal Hegab said.
Moulana Peerzada Shabbir Naqshbandi, who has been co-ordinating the programme, said the Al-Azhar delegation had visited Sri Ramakrishna temple in Dehra Dun, a church in Muzaffarnagar and a Gurudwara in Delhi. "Muslims should expose terrorist outfits. They are bringing bad name to the religion and the community. The best way to promote peace is through the message of the Holy Quran," he said.
The delegation will visit various parts of Andhra Pradesh before leaving for Egypt later this month.
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