ISRA Melbourne hosted the awards ceremony for ‘Everyone’s Talking about Him’ competition held in Melbourne for the second year On Saturday 19 November 2016.

The program was coupled with a symposium that focused on Prophet Muhammad’s (s) role in reclaiming our humanity.

The competition is an initiative aimed at remembering Prophet Muhammad’s (s) contributions to humanity and encouraging people of all ages to study his luminous life. It includes categories such as writing a letter, poem or preparing a video about Prophet Muhammad’s (s) life and teachings.

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ISRA organises the competition on an annual basis and there is an overwhelmingly enthusiastic participation from Muslim communities all over Australia. The Melbourne competition alone had over 800 submissions.

The program attended by more than 200 guests and hosted by Kauthar Abdulalim, commenced with Sheikh Abdurrahman Malas’s recitation from the holy Qur’an and continued with the distribution of a single red rose to all guests as some scholars claim that the red rose represents the noble Prophet.

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The program then continued with Dr Suleyman Sertkaya’s keynote speech ‘Reclaiming our humanity.’ who talked about Prophet’s contribution to human rights asserting that the Madinah Charter, the first written constitution in history, along with other social reforms introduced by Prophet Muhammad allowed humanity to establish the foundations of modern civilisation.

Dr Sertkaya also emphasised the historical evidence that the Prophet’s human rights reforms existed long before declaration of human rights in modern times.

Following the keynote speech, the distinguished judges for the competition, Sheikh Riad Galil, Sheikh Muhsin Canbolat, Dr Hakan Coruh and Mr Weaze Osman were introduced to the audience.

The winners in each category were announced one by one and invited to the stage to receive their awards and prizes.

Zarif Karim, winner of the high school poem category, pointed out that he travelled all the way from Shepparton with his family to receive his award. The family explained how much they enjoyed being at the event and stressed that they would happily drive down from the country town to participate at such ISRA events any time they were invited.

The awards ceremony continued with the announcement of the third, second and first place winners. The winners included Tarik Ayvaz, winner of the primary school poem category, Aliya Neama, winner of the primary school letter to Prophet Muhammad (s) category, Samira Abdi, winner of the high school video category, Hena Kalam, winner of adult category poem and Tahir Yildirim, winner of adult category, video about Prophet Muhammad’s (s) life.

It was an emotional evening where a number of people in the audience had tears running down from their cheeks as they listened to stories about Prophet Muhammad (s).

The program concluded with a vote of thanks delivered by the author (Omer A Ergi) who also presented a gift of appreciation to Sheikh Malas and Dr Sertkaya.