Colombo, September 10 (NIA): The visiting spiritual head of the Bohra community, Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin, met Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe here on Thursday.
The President and the Prime Minister cordially invited Syedna to hold Ashara Mubaraka in Colombo again, assuring him the highest level of cooperation. The Syedna, in turn, urged the Bohras in Sri Lanka to follow Prophet Mohammad’s instruction to be loyal to their adopted country.
President Sirisena referred to the 30 year civil war in Sri Lanka, and said that though progress and economic development have taken place since it ended in 2009, a general tendency towards materialism, forgetting of the truly beautiful things in life, can also seen. Along with beautification of the country, he expressed his wish that the people would maintain the beauty of character.
Syedna deeply appreciated the President’s words and farsighted vision, and pointed out that these were the teachings of Prophet Mohammed. When the Prophet returned from a battle, he said that though it had been a tough battle, “we return from the ‘minor battle’ to the ‘major battle'”. When asked what he meant by ‘the major battle’, he replied, “the major battle is the war within us, with our souls; to make us better people.”
The Prime Minister, who met Syedna in parliament, lauded the Dawoodi Bohra community’s centuries’ long contribution to the development and progress of Sri Lanka and his personal fondness and respect for the community. He made specific mention of the fact that, despite the 30 year civil war, the late Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin had convened three gatherings of Ashara Mubaraka in Colombo and express a wish that Ashara Mubaraka would be held again here.
The Prime Minister profusely apologized for making Syedna travel to parliament to meet him instead of calling on the spiritual head at his place. The Minister of Tourism Development and Christian Affairs, John Amaratunga, also present at the meeting.
In the evening, Syedna presided over a community gathering at al-Masjid al-Husainy, Colombo. Following the maghrib and isha salaah he delivered a short sermon in which he expressed his gratitude to the President and the Prime Minister for their warm reception. Syedna reiterated that the Dawoodi Bohra community has always been highly regarded in Sri Lanka.
He recited the Quranic verse:
وَلِلَّهِ الْعِزَّةُ وَلِرَسُولِهِ وَلِلْمُؤْمِنِينَ.
And for Allah is respect, and for His Messenger and for those of faith.
He quoted the Prophet’s hadith; حب الوطن من الايمان, (love of one’s nation is intrinsic to faith) in the light of which he instructed his followers to always remain loyal to their country of abode, and always strive to be good citizens.
Syedna prayed for peace and prosperity in Sri Lanka.