Written by: Alia Raffia Ullah 2012-02-06 07:51:51
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The Islamic Cultural Centre and The London Central Mosque hosted an inspirational exhibition during the World Interfaith Harmony Week, which is taking place during the first week of February 2012 – Muhammad (peace be upon him) – A Mercy to Mankind is a brand new permanent exhibition held at the Islamic Cultural Centre and the London Central Mosque, open to the general public from the 4th February until the 8th February. This is a free event that aims to inspire the British Muslim community.
Exhibition Islam is an independent, non-profit making registered charity. Launched in the UK in 1993, the organization specializes in encouraging and developing a greater understanding of Islam in both the domestic and international arenas. Through the use of diverse educational resources that are delivered through specialist ‘museum style’ exhibitions, Exhibition Islam creates contemporary spaces that enable visitors to unearth the vibrancy and beauty of the Islamic faith. By implementing the latest exhibition resources and technological advances in methods of display, they take a unique and revolutionary approach to developing environments that are accessible to people regardless of cultural, political or economic background.
By the turn of the new millennium, the organization was fast emerging as the leading exhibition provider in the industry and over the last five years, has been at the forefront of raising global Islamic awareness and fostering a greater understanding and appreciation of Islam. Exhibition Islam has organized and hosted events at a variety of prominent locations in Britain including prisons, schools, museums, mosques, pedagogical institutions and shopping centers attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors over the past decade. The organization has since established its name as the leading Islamic exhibition provider in the West.
As well as devising specialist events and exhibitions, Exhibition Islam provides services to facilitate and assist other organizations. In the past, Exhibition Islam has provided support material for the openings of Edinburgh Mosque, London Muslim Centre and the Muslim Cultural Heritage Centre. Exhibition Islam has also presented exhibitions internationally; in June 2006, they co-hosted an Islamic event, the first of its kind ever to be hosted outside the Danish parliament in Copenhagen. Exhibition Islam also exhibited during the Asian Games 2006 in Doha, Qatar. In 2008 they launched their first exhibition in Norway, and went on to further present the acclaimed ‘Quran Exhibition’ in the United Arab Emirates.
Muhammad (peace be upon him) – A Mercy to Mankind
Over the last decade, Exhibition Islam has received frequent requests by the British Muslim community to install and create a permanent exhibition that is accessible to the public on a permanent ongoing basis. In 2008, delegates of a new organization named ‘The Global Commission for Introducing the Messenger’, under the umbrella of the Muslim World League visited Exhibition Islam at an exhibition that was hosted in West London, and entered into a dialogue of how they could work in partnership with Exhibition Islam to launch a permanent exhibition in central London. Due to both organizations having a long working relationship with The Islamic Cultural Centre and London Central Mosque, the venue was identified as the ideal setting to host such an exhibition. The site was also considered idyllic by both organizations as it provides both a good location as well as sufficient space for the purposes of this project.
Mr. Shahid Munir, Exhibition Islam Director has stated regarding this event “We hope to use this occasion to once again invite guests and members of the public to visit the “Muhammad (peace be upon him) – Mercy to Mankind? exhibition gallery. This exhibition gallery is fast becoming a prominent assembly point for members of different faiths to interact with the Islamic faith and explore more about its belief systems and history”
The exhibition is based on a museum format, structured along eight themed zones. These different sections are based on specific informative themes that both Muslims and non-Muslims can learn from. These displays are centered around the following; basic beliefs, the creation of the universe, previous prophets in Islam, the life and teachings of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), the Noble Qur’an, Islam and Science, Women in Islam and Islam and other faiths. Each zone includes diverse exhibition tools including bespoke graphic designs, display cabinets with ancient manuscripts, Islamic inventions, scientific tools and models.
This exceptional exhibition combines impressive educational displays, multimedia presentations, unique sculpted artifacts and interactive models developed specifically for the exhibition and an exquisite and historic collection of Qur’anic and other faith manuscripts and antiques. The exhibition experience is enhanced further through the installation of 8 plasma screens showing a range of thematic documentaries about relevant aspects of the Islamic Faith. Exhibition organizers have even arranged guided tours for groups including university, college and school students and delegations of all the major faith groups in Britain.
The Purposes of the Exhibition
The aims and objectives of the exhibition are to enlighten the British public about the Islamic faith, history and civilization. According to various polls, more than 60% of the British public obtain information about the Islam its heritage through the media, with less than 5% having any real interaction with Muslim organizations. The exhibition aims to provide a public platform where visitors can learn about Islam in a relaxed and friendly environment. This modern exhibition enhances the visitor experience to the London Central Mosque and epitomizes the welcoming nature of the Muslim faith providing a safe space that encourages discussion and dialogue between visitors from various religious and cultural backgrounds.
Speaking exclusively to “Islam Online”, Umar Ansari the Exhibition Project Manager said, “the ‘Muhammad – Mercy to Mankind’ permanent exhibition gallery is not only a true milestone for Exhibition Islam, but is also a great achievement for the entire Muslim community in Britain. This bespoke exhibition has raised standards in the presentation of the Islamic faith and has empowered the Muslim community to invite their friends, neighbors and colleagues to gain a true insight into the Muslim faith and practice. Above all, it has made information about the Islamic belief and history accessible to everyone.”
“Muhammad (peace be upon him) – A Mercy to Mankind” is a fantastic contribution and revolutionary exhibition that presents an insight into representations of Islam in the future. The exhibition proved well attended and is an opportunity for the family to spend time together gaining inspiration from the Islamic faith. Speaking to “Islam Online”, Sadiya Ahmed a visitor at the event said, “I feel so proud of the developments Muslims have made in Britain. This exhibition provides a sense of identity and is a great opportunity for my children to learn about their religion. I want to congratulate Exhibition Islam for this experience.”
Exhibition Islam is an exemplary organization in Britain, through their professional approach to campaigning for promoting tolerance and understanding of Islam they have managed not only to engage the British Muslim community but the wider population, offering hope for the flourishing prospect of representing Islam in the UK.