A Ramadan television programme featuring the renowned scholar, Al Habib Ali Al Jifri, will steer people away from radicalism by explaining the right way to achieve religious devotion.
The second season of Ayuhal Mureed, which means “Oh Seeker”, is produced by the UAE-based Tabah Foundation, and taks the form of majlis lessons attended by an audience of Islamic students and officials. The final episode was attended by the president of Chechnya, where the first season of the show was held.
On the programme, Mr Al Jifri discusses ways to overcome obstacles facing individuals in their journey to God, without falling into the extremism trap.
“The main message is the importance of purifying the self and the heart, and that religiousness is not limited to acts of worship but connected with the state of the heart that reflects on how one deals with people and their perspective of the world,” Mr Al Jifri said.
While the first season focused on educating viewers on purification, this Ramadan it will draw a “road map and the practical stages” one has to take to achieve that.
“We hope that it will draw a deeper understanding of religion, and etiquettes of dealing with Allah, and linking religiousness to manners and ethical behaviour,” Mr Al Jifri said.
“The concept behind the show is to treat wrong religious devotion with a dose of rightful devotion,” said the programme’s supervisor, Mohammed AlSaqaf.
The first season took place in Chechnya after a request by its government, in an attempt to clarify misconceptions among youth in the region.
“They are very concerned about correcting the image that has been attributed to them,” Mr AlSaqaf said. “Whenever someone mentions Chechnya, people subconsciously think of ISIL and terrorism.”
Chechnya, Mr Al Saqaf said, was witnessing a shift from phases of war and destruction.
“Scholars and the state have adopted educational religious speech, which is consistent with what was presented in the majlises.”
Adam Shakhidov, the religious adviser to the Chechnya president, said they were keen on hosting the show because Mr Al Jifri was highly influential among Muslims in the region because “we wanted to revive … the true image of Islam that we inherited from our scholars for the new generations”.
The programme will be broadcast daily during Ramadan on several channels including CBC, Palestine TV and Al Irth Al Nabawi.