The World Federation’s Fifth Executive Council meeting for the term 2014-17 was held in Mombasa, Kenya on 13 and 14 May 2016.

The meeting was well attended by Councillors, invitees and guests from around the world and began with the recitation of the Holy Quran by Shaykh Murtadha Alidina.

Theme of the Executive Council meeting

The theme of this Executive Council meeting was ‘a God-Conscious Community’ and there was significant focus on key strategic areas that impact our community. These included promoting matrimony within the community, a framework for working with external organisations, a discussion of social challenges within our community and the organisation’s strategic plan.

The meeting was extremely well-attended and it was the first time in the history of the organisation that there were delegates from all seven regions across the world, namely Africa, Australiasia, Europe, India, the Middle East, North America and Pakistan.

During their welcome speeches, the host Jamaat and Africa Federation welcomed all delegates to Mombasa and provided an overview of their recent activities. Alhamdullilah, this year we also saw a large number of attendees and observers from across the world including Dar-es-salaam, Congo and Malaysia. The president of Dar-es-Salaam Jamaat also attended as a Councillor on behalf of Africa Federation.

In The World Federation President’s address, Dr. Asgar Moledina thanked Mombasa Jamaat for their superb efforts in organising the meeting and welcomed regional federations from all parts of the world. He touched on many of the projects that he had worked on over recent months as well as the many places he had visited, including India, Montenegro and East Africa. In his address, he discussed how the community is evolving and moving forward.  He emphasised on the importance of impactful change and growth within our communities.

Strategic paper: Promoting matrimony within the community

With a greater strategic focus, the first paper focused on promoting matrimony within the community. This was presented by the Secretary General, Kumail Manji, in which he discussed the current challenges facing our community and possible strategies that may assist.

Kumail spoke on the need to strengthen the match making structures in place,explore global linkages, and how to encourage more activities targeted for the youth in our centres. Reference was also made to an earlier paper on ‘A guide for good practice of mixed gatherings’ which was prepared by Sayyed Muhammad Rizvi on behalf of The World Federation. This was clearly a topic of great interest and a number of discussions took place on this. The Council of European Jamaats also mentioned a recent session they held with community members focused on the area of marriage where 11 key action points were agreed. It is intended that this will be further discussed over the coming months and shared with regional federations and their respective Jamaats.

Update on Yemen Resettlement Programme

Shan-E-Abbas Hassam, World Federation Councillor, provided an overview on the work that has been done as part of the Yemen Resettlement Programme since the last Executive Council meeting.

A short video with an update for community members can be seen here on our Facebook page.

A number of awards were given to show appreciation to those individuals and institutions who were integral to the success of the project and who generously offered their assistance.

2016 Fatima (sa) Inspires Awards

As part of this year’s Fatima (sa) Inspires campaign, we received 30 nominations from individuals around the world. A panel of three people from different regions selected the five nominations that would receive this year’s Fatima (sa) Inspires awards. They were (in alphabetical order):

1.    Batul Gulani from Melbourne, Australia
2.    Darifa Muhammad from Birmingham, United Kingdom
3.    Saida Kassam from Kuala Lumpar, Malaysia
4.    Zeenat Ismail from Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania
5.    Zohra Rajpar from Karachi, Pakistan

These were presented to their regional federation during the meeting. More information on the five awards are available here.

Madrasah Centre of Excellence

After lunch, the meeting resumed with a presentation on the Madrasah Centre of Excellence (MCE) programme by the Vice President, Shabbar Dhalla. He discussed the fantastic progress that had been made to date including a large number of teachers having successfully taken part in the teaching skills training and the Neuropsychology of Learning sessions in many cities across the world.

Shabbar also updated the delegates on the progress of the MCE curriculum, "Tarbiyah", which is an integrated curriculum with teaching and learning resources. Sample curriculum books and children’s books were shared to givean overview of the work that had been completed to date.

Shabbar commented: “The MCE journey has reached a critical point and it is an exciting time for the team.  We are now in in-depth discussions with each region on the implementation stage.  The curriculum team is also actively working in preparing both teaching and learning materials and we hope that this will inshAllah be shared with the madrasah’s very soon."

Towards A God-Conscious Community: The Community That Gives Blood

Another of the papers presented was related to blood donation in the month of Muharram. It was discussed that there are many different campaigns encouraging people to donate blood in the name of Imam Hussain (as), but on a more local or regional level. It is clear that there is demand for regular blood donations all over the world, and it was agreed upon that our community members should be encouraged to become regular blood donors. As well as helping satisfy the need for donations, it’s a way of raising awareness about the Ahlul Bayt (as) and challenging some of the misconceptions people currently have of Muslims and Islam. A global campaign was proposed whereby people are encouraged to donate blood in the name of Imam Hussain (as), not just in the month of Muharram but throughout the year. 

The World Federation strategic plan

Next on the agenda was a brief overview on the organisation’s strategic planand a workshop for all attendees. Key questions focused on what the organisation should focus on over the next 10 years and its vision. Feedback from the session was extremely positive and the plan over the coming months will involve speaking to both community leaders and community members to get comments from a cross-section of the community.  It is intended that a proposal will then be shared at The World Federation conference in May 2017.

Brother Ali Shroff, World Federation Councillor and Secretary General of India Federation commented: “For me, the journey to The World Federation has been a learning and inspiring one. The Executive Council meeting was really special and the hospitality of Mombasa Jamaat was very warm. This Executive Council meeting saw lots of young faces coming forward with fresh ideas and certain sensitive issues which our required our certain and immediate attention being discussed. My salute to Vice President, Shabbar Dhalla for initiating the work on the organisation’s strategic plan and Anisa Kanji, Assistant Secretary General, for being the architect of such a visionary idea.”

                                                                                                                          Strategic paper: emerging social challenges facing our community

Later that afternoon, Ali Gokal presented on the emerging social challenges facing our community today. He focused on five key issues namely:

1) alcohol and substance abuse
2) the sexualisation of young people
3) bullying
4) mental health 
5) abuse


He discussed some of the research he had undertaken and the many individuals he had spoken to within our community who were coming across such issues and helping those involved.

It was clear from the discussions that this is part of a wider long-term plan and further work will be needed in this area. A few recommendations were, however, proposed and these will inshAllah be discussed further to agree clear actions.

Departmental reports

Shaykh Kumail presented on the recent activities of the Islamic Education department, including the Madinah and Bab courses, publications as well as projects that are currently in the pipeline, including ‘TED talks’ on various Islamic issues.

Anisa Kanji, Assistant Secretary General, and Shan-E-Abbas Hassam, World Federation Council and Head of International Relief and Development touched on recent activities within this department. This included a brief summary on recent projects, for example the Ali Asghar Water appeal as well as the launch of ‘WF Aid’.

Although still part of The World Federation, it is intended that WF Aid will separate the way in which the organisation markets and communities activities that fall under International Relief and Development. This will inshAllah clearer avenues of sharing information with the community and raising funds for specific appeals.

Period accounts

Reza Hooda, Hon Treasurer also presented the period accounts. Reza mentioned that due to the investment income now being generated through the Foundation Fund, he was considering proposing a potential 0% admin fee at the next conference.

This does, however, mean that further funds are required for the Foundation Fund to invest and generate the required income as all monies that have been collected to date have already been invested.  The work has already begun in respect of collecting further funds, Alhamdullilah.

Capital projects

Three capital projects were discussed during at the meeting. Both Essex Jamaat in the UK and Melboure Jamaat in Australia provided an update on their projects and requested financial support to bring their projects to completion.

A presentation on the Mehfil-e-Abbas project in Birmingham, UK was also discussed. It was mentioned that the Executive Council were awaiting the final paperwork submission required under the capital projects paper before the capital project could be sanctioned by the Executive Council. It was agreed that once the paperwork was ready, this could be done electronically rather than at the next Executive Council meeting.

Other agenda items

Throughout the course of the day, updates were also provided on the Media and External Relations team and best practice from Pakistan Federation. 

Discussions also took place on the process in place for the presidential elections next year and the venue and date of the next Executive Council meeting.

The meeting ended with a note of thanks by Anisa Kanji, the Assistant Secretary General, and the recitation of Dua Wahda.

Dr Asgar Moledina, the President of The World Federation, said: “Alhamdullilah, the two days were extremely productive and the feedback we have received has been very positive.  We would like to, once again, thank Mombasa Jamaat and Africa Federation for their kind hospitality and we pray for the continued success of the community in Mombasa and all around the world”