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LONDON: The second Sufi Festival of Islamic Arts and Mysticism will take place in Glasgow on July 23-24, following a hugely successful inaugural event in 2019.
The festival, which will be held in the prestigious Tramway Arts Hall and adjoining Hidden Gardens, will welcome high profile representatives from all major religious groups at a special reception. These will include the Archbishop of Glasgow William Nolan and the Chief Rabbi of Scotland Moshe Rubin, the Lord Provost of the City, elected members of local government and a senior representative of the Scottish Government, as well as leading international Islamic scholars , two of whom can trace their descent back to the Prophet Muhammad.
The Sufi Festival is dedicated to showcasing the art, culture and mysticism of Sufism and is a major event for the Muslim community in Scotland.
This year, its organizers announced a new charity partnership with UK-based Penny Appeal, which provides emergency aid in more than 52 countries and essential aid and welfare to people in the UK. . Other partners include Tramway Theatre/Glasgow Life, Artzi-i, which is the UK’s largest gallery of Islamic art, the Al-Waleed Center at the University of Edinburgh, Awaz FM and British Muslim TV.
The main program will be delivered on Sunday, while on Saturday there will be a new feature, the Sufi Conference, with lectures by two eminent scholars of Islamic religious sciences: Egyptian-British Sheikh Ahmed Saad Al-Azhari, Director of the Ihsan Institute , and Syrian-American author Sheikh Muhammad Al-Ninowy, director of the Madina Institute and professor of theology at the University of Atlanta, Georgia.
Funded by Creative Scotland, Arts and Business Scotland and the Glasgow Community Mental Health and Wellbeing Fund, the festival is a highlight of Scotland’s post-COVID cultural recovery.
Sufi Festivals (SCIO) is Scotland’s only organization dedicated to the Muslim arts, and the festival is by far the most important arts and cultural event on the calendar of the Muslim community in Scotland this summer.
Its organizers have strived to make this year’s event as inclusive as possible, creating an opportunity for interfaith exchange and celebration that will bring together all sections of society. In 2019, they achieved a 60:40 split between Muslims and non-Muslims and hope to repeat that this year.
Tariq Mahmood, SCIO Chairman and Lead Organiser, said: “The festival will showcase Sufism with celebrated Muslim artistic talent from across the UK and overseas, while delving even further into the philosophical and spiritual depths of the one of the oldest spiritual traditions in the world.
“This fabulous weekend for the whole family will be a crucial intervention in the cultural recovery of our city this summer, and once again an invaluable space to allow exchange and dialogue between people from all walks of life as we reconnect in our communities.”
Ridwana Wallace-Laher, senior director of growth at Penny Appeal, said the charity would raise funds to support the education of vulnerable children around the world.
“Education not only provides freedom, but fosters a society where communities come together and show compassion to one another,” she said. “That’s the ultimate goal, to build a civilization that has the means to support and uplift future generations.”
Former Tram artistic director Janie Hopkins said: “The Sufi festival clearly has the potential to become an important and essential part of Scotland’s cultural and festival offering, as well as having a social focus that brings communities together. and broaden the audience.