The Council of Shia Muslim Scholars of North America holds a conference annually, that brings together scholars from across Canada and the United States.
The topic of the 17th Annual Conference, held this year in the Washington DC metropolitan area, was “Ingenuity, Cooperation, and Mediation.”
Clerics, preachers, and imams came together to discuss an “initiative to improve and advance personal, communal, and social interactions through proactive engagement and strategic intervention.”
With inspiration from the Quranic verse [4: 128] “… and conciliation is better …” the 17th Annual Conference of the Council of Shia Muslim Scholars of North America commenced in Hyatt Place Dulles, near Washington, D.C., under the heading “Ingenuity, Cooperation, and Mediation: An initiative to improve and advance personal, communal, and social interactions through proactive engagement and strategic intervention.” A group of distinguished scholars, preachers, and imams of different Islamic centers from across the United States and Canada gathered on June 25-26, 2018 to discuss the new structure of the Council and attend mediation workshops.
The focus of the mediation workshops was to proactively address the ongoing challenges and hazards affecting families, groups, and leaders of our communities which strike at our unity and accord. The objective of the workshop was to enable scholars to understand the standard problem-solving mediation model. The workshops, conducted by professional certified mediators, covered both the structure of the process and the key skills needed to practice it effectively. The Council would like to emphasize that in all disputes, whether of a personal, family or community nature, Muslims should seek amicable mediation and resolution in accordance with Islamic values and principles.
In addition, the attendees diligently reviewed, edited, and adopted the new structure of the Council based on the resolutions of the 15th and 16th conferences. The new structure, and its rules and regulations have been finalized and signed as “The Charter”. The new charter will strengthen and facilitate the Council’s ability to address the broader needs of the Shi’a Muslim community, and more effectively fulfill its role of actively engaging and leading various constituencies across North America. Following that, an invitation was extended to new members of the Consultative Body, committees and their members were assigned, and elections were held. The details of the committees formed will be placed on the website of the Council. From among the members of the Consultative Body of the Council, the general body elected Sayyid Muhammad Rizvi as its Secretary General and Sayyid Sulayman Ali Hassan Abidi as the Deputy Secretary General.
This year’s conference was honored with the presence of a guest speaker, his eminence Shaykh Youssuf Raghda al-Ameli, of the preaching committee of the Supreme Islamic Shia Council of Lebanon. During his speech, he shared some of his experiences and spoke on the topic of solving problems and finding solutions to conflicts and disputes among communities and scholars.
The honorable attendees concluded the conference by expressing their gratitude to the guest speaker and to I.M.A.M. and its staff for sponsoring, organizing and managing the conference, which it has done continually since 2004. Finally, they prayed to God Almighty to prolong the lives of our great maraji and hasten the reappearance of the Imam of our time, peace be upon him, to fill the world with justice and equity.
The Council enjoins its members and the Shi’a Muslim community to deepen their connection with the sources of our religious identity and guidance, namely the Qur’an and the Ahl al-Bayt, through our pious Jurists who have preserved their values across the centuries.