The Islamic Sciences & Research Academy (ISRA) organised its annual Risala Symposium titled “Reclaiming our Humanity” on Saturday 5 November 2016 at Bryan Brown Theatre, Bankstown.
The symposium event also included the award night for the competition on “‘Everyone’s Talking about Him’, highlighting various aspects of Prophet Mohammad’s (s) personality and teachings.
Two guest speakers, Dr Suleyman Sertkaya, lecturer at ISRA Melbourne and Hajjah Maha Abdo, CEO of the Muslim Women’s Association spoke on the topic “Mohammad, an advocate of Human Rights & Freedoms”.
The event, attended by more than 300 guests, with MC Muhammad Cengic started with the recitation of Quran by Suhail Noor.
The finalists in the competition in each category were called to the stage one group at a time and winners were announced together with the presentation of awards as well as a brief talk, presentation or video of the various entries from winners.
During his lecture, Dr Sertkaya stated that Prophet Mohammad (s) was a passionate advocate of human rights even before his prophethood and his words, life and teachings hold us to the highest standards in practicing human rights.
He pointed out that his establishment of the Constitution of Madinah and his Farewell Sermon embody the charter of human rights, many centuries prior to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Hajjah Maha Abdo highlighted the position of Prophet Mohammad (s) as “Mercy to Worlds” and his practice of kindness and compassion for humanity throughout his entire life.
She said that we can reclaim our humanity by studying the life of the Prophet and practicing his teachings in our contemporary world.
The monetary awards for letters to the Prophet in the primary school category were won by Zara Banoori (1st $250), Saliha Yildiz (2nd $250) and Yunus Jamil (3rd $100).
The awards for poetry about the Prophet in the primary school category were won by Amna Khan (1st $250), Omar Serhan (2nd $250) and Salem Ipek (3rd $100).
The awards for poetry about the Prophet in the high school category were won by Rawan Abdel-Salam (1st $400), Manal Khan (2nd $250) and Zehra Nezvat (3rd $150).
The awards for video regarding promotion of the Prophet’s teachings in the high school category were won by Samira Din & students (1st $800), Musfirah Khalil and Beyza Yaman (2nd $400) and Sohayb Badaui (3rd $200).
The awards for poetry about the Prophet in adult category were won by Kristi-Lee Constantine (1st), Semra Avciogullari (2nd) and Nadia Mahmutovic (3rd).
The awards for video regarding promotion of the Prophet’s teachings in the adult category were won by Fatima Dudu & Deepa Alam (1st), and Mayday Elkheir & friends (2nd).
The program concluded with presentation of gifts to speakers and vote of thanks by A/Prof Mehmet Ozalp and a dua by Dr Salih Yucel.