Hon Philip Ruddock and AFIC President Dr Rateb Jneid
hosted Grand Iftar 2021 at Armani Restaurant Parramatta Sydney
(Coverage by; Syed Zafar Hussain, Editor-in-Chief Sada-e-Watan Sydney)
In a special Iftar in honour of the Most Eminent Imam Abdul Quddoos Al Azhari, the National Grand Mufti of Australia, Australian Dar Al-Iftaa, AFIC’s National Sharia Board (ANSB) under the auspices of the Australian Federation held the Iftar of the decade at the renowned Armani Restaurant in Parramatta Sydney on Friday, 7th May 2021.
AFIC’s special Iftar boasted Australia’s leading dignitaries including distinguished parliamentarians, senior academics in law, medicine and Islamic studies, media personalities, Islamic and Arabic bankers in addition to over 100 community leaders and Imams.
AFIC’s Chief Executive Officer Brother
Keysar Trad reminded the guests that AFIC is a 57 year institution that has
pioneered every almost branch of Islamic services in Australia, especially
schools, Halal services and the institution of the Office of Mufti of
Australia. Being the national parent organisation for Australian Muslims, AFIC
is and strives to continue to serve the community with all its energies and has
branched into more concerted efforts to promote the interests of humanity and
the environment in Australia and abroad: “Today, AFIC is involved in considered
submissions into the effect of the various laws and bills that we have in this
country and AFIC has made calls in support of our beleaguered brothers and
sisters in India, Kashmir, East Turkistan, Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan,
Myanmar, Syria and elsewhere. AFIC is a national body whose presence is felt on
the international stage.”
“AFIC thrives on your feedback, positive or negative, we seek to learn and serve.” Said Keysar Trad.
Delivering his keynote address after the opening recitation by Sh Khaled Taleb,
Grand Mufti Abdul Quddoos Al Azhari
the Most Eminent Imam Abdul Quddoos Al Azhari, National Grand Mufti of Australia whilst expressing pride in AFIC’s achievements, stressed that there was still much to do.
Dr Rateb Jneid
AFIC President Dr Rateb Jneid affirmed
the National Grand Mufti’s vision and mission and added in his short
“We compete for Australian society’s best interests, we compete to serve, because service gains the pleasure of the Almighty Lord Allah.
“Our prophet, peace and blessings upon him, told us that the best of people are those who are most helpful to others. At AFIC, we’ve held this motto from the first day and we continue to serve to the best of our ability.”
“Dr Jneid ended his speech with a blessing and with extending his gratitude to all those who helped organise the wonderful Iftar:
“May Allah bless you all, May Allah bless Australia, Ramadan Mubarak, Iftaran shahiyyan and Eid Mubarak.
“Finally, I would like to thank all those who helped organise the Iftar. Also thank the ladies and gentlemen who found time to attend this Iftar despite your busy schedule.”
Honourable Minister Dr Jeff Lee
In his speech to the guests, the Honourable Minister Dr Jeff Lee MP, representing the Premier of NSW the Hon Gladys Berejiklian affirmed his support for diversity and the needs of the diverse community.
Hon. Concetta Fierravanti-Wells
Representing the Federal Government, Senator the Honourable Concetta Fierravanti-Wells who came all the way from Canberra to support this event assured the guests that her government will always stand for and protect religious freedom.
Lord Mayor Bob Dwyer
Parramatta Lord Mayor Bob Dwyer expressed his gratitude for his wonderful constituency and its great contribution to the city of Parramatta, he thanked AFIC for organising such a grand event.
Hajj Abraham Zoabi
Veteran community broadcaster and Chair of the Council of Islamic Societies in NSW, Hajj Abraham Zoabi asserted his pledge of support for AFIC and the Most Eminent Sh Abdul Quddoos Al Azhari, the National Grand Mufti of Australia and added: “We see a great future for our community and Australian society under AFIC’s renewed vigour and new direction.”
Sh Riad El Rifai
Thanking the guests, Sh Riad El Rifai who came to Sydney from Adelaide for this event stressed to the youth that we must always work as Australians, knowing fully well that we constitute an indivisible part of Australian society.
Dr. Rateb Jneid
Speech by the President of AFIC Dr. Rateb Jneid
Assalamu Alaikom wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.
All thanks are due to Allah (SWT), the Lord of the worlds, and
peace and prayers are upon His messenger Muhammad (SAW).
I would like to start by acknowledging the traditional owners of the land upon which we are meeting tonight and pay my respects to their elders past and present.
* The Most Eminent Imam Abdul Quddoos Al Azhari, National Grand Mufti of
*Hon Philip Ruddock, President of NSW Division - Liberal Party and Mayor of Hornsby Council
* New South Wales Minister Hon. Dr Geoff Lee, MP Parramatta
* Senator Hon. Concetta Fierravanti (Fee-ran-va-ti)-Wells,
* Ambassador His Excellency Mr Abdulla ALSUBOUSI
* Senator Hon. Lee Rhiannon
* His Excellency Mr Ahmed FARAH.
*City of Parramatta Lord Mayor Bob Dwyer
And the founding Imams of AFIC’s National Sharia Board,
* Imam Riad El Rifai,
* Imam Kafrawi Hamzah and
* Imam Khaled Taleb and all the Imams and religious leaders who are with us tonight.
* professors, councillors, doctors, community leaders, the presidents and members of our member societies. Thank you all for coming to our Iftar dinner.
Tonight, AFIC and our National Sharia Board is proud to see such a wonderful gathering of good people from the many diverse backgrounds that make up Australian society.
As we enjoy this dinner, with our complete gratitude to Allah for bringing us together and giving us this beautiful opportunity, I feel honoured to be among such amazing friends and well-wishers.
For some, AFIC is a gentle and graceful 57-year-old benevolent lady who has been giving Australian society and especially the Muslim community for all these years.
AFIC has given the community 9 schools, subsidises the salaries of more than 10 Imams all around Australia and has contributed and continues to contribute to most mosques and Islamic Centres around Australia.
In recent months, AFIC created a National Sharia Board and an Australian Dar Al-Iftaa to serve your needs. We have also brought back the position of National Grand Mufti.
We compete for Australian society’s best interests, we compete to serve, because service gains the pleasure of the Almighty Lord Allah.
Our prophet, peace and blessings upon him, told us that the best of people are those who are most helpful to others. At AFIC, we’ve held this motto from the first day and we continue to serve to the best of our ability.
May Allah bless you all, May Allah bless Australia, Ramadan Mubarak, Iftaran shahiyyan and Eid Mubarak.
Finally, I would like to thank all those who helped organise the Iftar. Also thank the ladies and gentlemen who found time to attend this Iftar despite your busy schedule.
Please enjoy the rest of the night, Wassalamu Alaykum Warahmatullah
Grand Mufti Abdul Quddoos Al
Speech of The Most Eminent Imam Abdul Quddoos Al Azhari, National Grand Mufti of Australia
Eminent Imams, especially the members of AFIC’s National Sharia Board, distinguished, Senator, Lord Mayor, Councillors, Professors, Doctors, ladies and Gentlemen, respected brothers and sisters. It is an immense pleasure for me to welcome you to our Iftar event tonight and to share a meal with you as we break our daily fast. This is a blessed gathering on a blessed night in sha Allah ta’ala.
I look at you all tonight and feel very proud of the fruits of the efforts of the AFIC management and staff and the National Shariah Board that we have established. We still have a lot of work to do, I am confident in the abilities of the people who are working with us to achieve great things for Australian Muslims and non-Muslims alike.
Yes we are not the only shariah board, and that is fine. There
are two types of competition: competition to assert dominance, and competition
to serve and achieve greater outcomes.
You all know AFIC’s rich history in assisting every worthwhile project for the Muslim community, in helping mosques and Islamic centres and establishing schools all around Australia.
Some of you may also know that AFIC is the organisation that instituted the office of Mufti back in 1989 and kept this position alive as a position of service to the community all up to 2007 when AFIC decided that the community’s focus should be on other forms of service.
The Position of Mufti is not a ceremonial position, it is a position of responsibility and service. It is a position of responsibility to Allah ta’ala first and foremost and then to you, the people. It is a position of service for the benefit of humanity.
Allah, Ta’ala says : Ya Ayyuhannas, O People.
My job is to reach out to you the people and work with you as Allah has commanded me.
Allah Ta’ala says: Ya Ayyuhallazina Aamanu, O you who believer.
My job is to reach out to the believers also.
These two verses mean that everyone who wants to work in Da’wa must serve the people, Muslims and non-Muslims and must seek out the best interest of not only humanity, but also the environment and everything in it.
On this blessed occasion, I assure you my dear brothers and sisters that AFIC and the National Sharia Board will return every position within our responsibility to its glory and more, we will continue to lead in the service of humanity.
Please enjoy the rest of your evening,
وصلى الله على سيدنا محمد وآخر دعوانا أن الحمد لله رب العالمين
President of AFIC Dr. Rateb Jneid
New South Wales Minister Hon. Dr Geoff Lee, MP
Joseph Rizk OAM, Hon. Fierravanti, Hon. Philip Ruddock and Dr. Rateb Jneid
Senator Hon. Concetta Fierravanti and Hon. Philip Ruddock
Minister Hon. Dr Geoff Lee and Mayor Parramatta Bob Dwyer
Senator Hon. Lee Rhiannon and Zahid Jamil
Sheikh Khaled Taleb and Sheikh Riad El -Rifal
Mumtaz Mian and Dr. Ali Sarfraz
The Hon.Philip Ruddock and President of AFIC Dr. Rateb Jneid
Syed Zafar Hussain and the Hon. Philip Ruddock
Senator Hon. Concetta Fierravanti and Sayda Fareeha
National President of AFIC Dr. Rateb Jneid
Iftikhar Rana, Syed Zafar Hussain, President AFIC Dr. Rateb Jneid and Councillor Bill Tyrrell
Councillor Benjamin Barrak, President AFIC Dr. Rateb Jneid and other Guests
Iftikhar Rana, Minister Dr. Geoff Lee, CG Pakistan Muhammad Ashraf and Syed Zafar Hussain
President Pakistan Australia Business Council Iftikhar Rana, CG Pakistan Muhammad Ashraf and Syed Zafar Hussain
President PABC Iftikhar Rana, Minister Dr. Geoff Lee, CG Pakistan Muhammad Ashraf and Syed Zafar Hussain
Senator Hon. Concetta Fierravanti, the Hon. Philip Ruddock, President AFIC Dr. Rateb Jneid and Grand Mufti Abdul Quddoos Al Azhari
Hon. Dr Stepan Kerkyasharian AO with respected guests
Munir Mohammad, Senator Hon. Lee Rhiannon, CG Pakistan Muhammad Ashraf and Syed Zafar Hussain
New South Wales Minister Hon. Geoff Lee, MP Parramatta and respected Guests
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