The 5th annual Twins of Faith Conference was held on Sunday 24 September at Rosehill Gardens, Western Sydney exploring the theme ‘Dunya’.

The meticulously well organised 12-hour long event which attracted hundreds of people from diverse background aimed to educate the community on how to strive in Dunya, our worldly life with excellence and maximise the benefits in this Dunya while simultaneously aiming for the highest levels of life in the hereafter.

Mr Ismail Davids with Sheikh Tawfique Chowdhury.

Mercy Mission, the organisers of the event have been running charity services and educational programs for almost 12 years in order to bring all people including supporters, sponsors and speakers to talk about a particular topics inspiring positive change.

Mr Tahir Usman, National Manager of Mercy Mission Australia articulated the aims of his organisation, “It’s about the simple basic stuff like remembering Allah every minute we can. Its talking to people here about Allah and the Prophet (s). It’s through conversations and dialogues that we can remind ourselves and others. The more we remind people, the more the angels and Allah’s creations will make dua for us. That’s exactly what we try to achieve at these events”

This year’s theme was inspired by one verse of Quran which was constantly referred to throughout the day: “But seek, through that which Allah has given you, the home of the Hereafter; and [yet], do not forget your share of the world. And do good as Allah has done good to you. And desire not corruption in the land. Indeed, Allah does not like corrupters.”

(Quran 28:7)

Audience at Dunya: The 5th Twins of Faith Conference in Sydney.

In an attempt to unpack this Quranic advice, the conference combined world’s local and international guest speakers on one platform alongside full day workshops, panel sessions, live entertainment, and family-friendly activities as well as displays by Muslim businesses.

The formal program started with a welcome by Mr Ahmed Bassel, MC,  with Quran recitation followed by an inspiring talk by  Sheikh Abdullah Hakeem, Al-Kauthar Institute instructor on “Iqra” (read)! as to why was it the first word that was revealed to the Prophet Mohammad (s) and not the word “Pray” or “fast”.  He tackled the importance of reading in reference to knowing Allah with all His majesty.

Spiritual, physical and mental relaxation at Dunya in Sydney. Photo by Yusra Hadi.

Sheikh Yahya Ibrahim, an Almaghrib instructor talked on connecting with the Quran, not mere recitation but connecting with the text with understanding and approaching the Words of Allah with sincerity avoiding misinterpretations and misconceptions so as to have a positive impact on our life. He said that the best way to know Allah is by His own Words, the Quran.

A spoken Word artist, Muslim Bilal, from UK, who revered to Islam at the age of 16, recited an inspiring nasheed in his typical unique rapping style.

Mr Tahir Usman with Mr Edris Khamissa at Dunya in Sydney. Photo by Yusra Hadi.

The entertaining International Educator, Mr Edris Khamissa in an interactive way drew the attention of the audience emphasising the power of words. He warned that words can harm you, hurt you and destroy you and therefore you must think before you speak.

“We have been given responsibility in using our speech and words wisely. Poor communication skills is a leading cause of familial and other relationship breakdowns. Good communication skills on the other hand results in stronger relationships,” he said.

Mr Khamissa emphasised the positive power of words and urged the spouses present in the audience to frankly express their feeling of love to each other and asked parents to hug their sons and daughters present.

Photo by Yusra Hadi.

During the mid-day break for Zuhr prayers and lunch, people visited the grand bazaar with stalls from local and international Muslim businesses and  halal food market as well as entertainment areas for the kids.

Some of the businesses included Crescent Wealth Institute, ICFAL, Human Appeal Australia, Alkauthur institute, Frame quality, National Zakat Foundation, EFSOL and many more.

During his ‘Emotional Capitalism workshop’, Mr Khamissa reinforced the importance of self-expression and how to effectively manage emotions with your relationships and within your workplace. Outspokenly, he invited all audience members to participate in a training exercise and repeat after him “If I do not change within the next 48 hours, then it’s unlikely I am going to change”.

Photo by Yusra Hadi.

Guest speaker Ustadhah Umm Jamal Ud-Din, a Shariah teacher shared her skills with the sisters over a seminar in relation to the difficulties of holding onto one’s religion in this Dunya. She reminded of the hadith “A time will come when holding onto your religion will be like holding onto a hot coal”.

During her workshop, Ustadhah Umm Jamal Ud-Din, in few simple steps demonstrated as to how any individual can remain resilient during those hardships and articulated the rewards of pursuing those actions.

Ms Ramia Sultan, lawyer and Islamic studies masters student also captured the attention of the sisters through her ‘legacy’ seminar on how to build a legacy as a vehicle in the hereafter while giving practical advice and tips to the attendees in order to pursue a legacy. Talks were also given by Ayesha Ardati, a community activist and Saadiqa Matthews, Quran Teacher.

Photo by Yusra Hadi.

For a Twins of Faith first, a live panel show was exhibited after Asr prayer with hostess’s Ramzy Alamudi with Mr Ibrahim Al-Shafiee and Sheikh Yahya Ibrahim  talking about finding Allah’s love while Sheikh Abdullah Hakeem, discussing successful families, and Muslim Belal, sharing his journey to Islam and his experience with the youth.

Wrapping the night up, the event concluded with a special panel on ‘Media, Seeds of Change’  with Sheikh Tawfique Chowdhury, Founder of Mercy Mission, Dr Zachariah Matthews, Founder of Deen Academy and Mr Ibrahim Al-Shafei, Community Activist as well as talks by Sheikh Wael Ibrahim, Master Life Coach from Hong Kong and Sheikh Wahaj Tarin, Dean of AIC.