Date of the Event: 19-01-2013

Awqaf honours outstanding preachers

Awqaf honoured a number of outstanding Khateebs (Friday sermon speakers) for their performance in 2012 from all over the UAE. They include live broadcast and improvising speakers, i.e., those who can deliver a sermon without reading from a paper or who can choose other topics than those assigned by Awqaf. They were honoured by HE Dr Hamdan Musallam al Mazrouei, Awqaf's chairman, in the presence of HE Dr Mohammed Matar al Kaabi, Awqaf's director general, Prof Dr Farouk Hamada, the religious advisor at the Court of the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, and Mr Mohammed Obeid al Mazrouei, the executive director for Islamic Affairs. Addressing the audience, Dr Hamdan al Mazrouei pointed to the thriving cultural environment in the UAE and the great emphasis on promoting the community culture especially through mosques and other educational and media institutions. Such an effort is receiving invaluable support from the UAE judicious leadership of HH Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the UAE President, may Allah protect him, His Deputy, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, Their Highness the Members of the Supreme Council, the Rulers of the Emirates, and HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces. He added that the wise leadership is keenly interested in Awqaf's mission as shown by the kind visit by HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid to its headquarters. His Highness's touring of Awqaf's various department and meeting scholars, preachers and members of staff, has given us further confidence and broadened our perspectives for the future to increase our achievements for the sake of our nation and religion, Dr Hamdan al Mazrouei said. He explained that honouring Khateebs today is first and foremost a fruit of their eagerness to please Allah and adhere to the path of the Prophet Muhammad pbuh, which eventually earns them people's satisfaction. As we honour the outstanding speakers amongst you today, we in fact, honour members of the public who have admired you, he said, adding that one cannot figure out how many people Allah the Almighty leads to guidance through you. Dr Hamdan al Mazrouei also spoke of the importance of the Emiratisation of the positions of Imam and speakers, noting that it is essential to prepare Emirati Khateebs because they can better understand the concerns and interests of citizens as well as respond to their religious issues. This is why elite Emirati speakers, including live broadcast Khateebs, were chosen to be honoured. Some of the measures taken by Awqaf in collaboration with various stakeholders are unifying the live broadcast of Friday sermon across the UAE and appointing Emirati speakers for this purpose. As part of its plan also, Awqaf has for years now proceeded with training Emiratis in Islamic studies and choosing many of them to be Khateebs, preachers and Muftis. To achieve this objective, the Mohammed University V-Agdal opened a branch in Abu Dhabi to prepare qualified nationals. Currently there are 80 students enrolled, 20 of them studying for their master degree, while four will soon undertake a doctoral programme. Moreover, Awqaf announced through media its need for Emiratis to work as Imams and Khateebs on lumpsum bonus basis, even if they are employed elsewhere. So far more than 100 nationals were employed and anybody who is desirous to take up one of these posts can apply. On this occasion, Awqaf would like to thank everyone, be an individual or an organisation, encouraging Emiratis to work for Awqaf. Dr Hamdan al Mazrouei concluded by explaining the status of those with authority amongst people in the Islamic law and the importance of praying for them given their status as custodians for the entire community. Some Khateebs spoke during the ceremony and extended their heartfelt thanks to the UAE wise leaders and Awqaf for placing trust in them to undertake this responsibility. Certificates of appreciation and gifts were handed out during the ceremony.

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