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International Conference on “Islamic Charity and Social Development in Pakistan” Inaugurates

Two Days International Conference on “Islamic Charity and Social Development in Pakistan” organized by the Department of Anthropology, Quaid-i-Azam University (QAU) was inaugurated here on Wednesday. The conference was an integral activity of project which is focused on ethnographic study of dynamics of charity in Pakistan supported by Higher Education Commission (HEC).

While addressing the inaugural session Dr. Javed Ashraf, Vice Chancellor, Quaid-i-Azam University lauded the organizers for the academic effort and scholarship in dealing with an important topic. He said that like many other social phenomenon, the relationship of Islamic charity with social development is also embroiled by several myths and hear-say which needs to be scientifically examined. He was of the view that other than financial support or spending charity encompasses various actions of good deeds including respecting all human being, their faith and equal treatment.

Dr. Muhammad Ali Khan Saif, Barrister-at-Law, Member Senate of Pakistan said that Charity and charitable deeds form the core of Islamic precepts. “Since, Islam emphasizes the importance and cardinal status of Zakat, Sadaqa and Khairat and provision of facilities for fulfillment of basic human needs of people, therefore, charity has always enjoyed a pivotal status in Islamic teachings” he added.

Dr. Waheed Chaudhry, Chairman Department of Anthropology and Principal Investigator of the Project said that the relationship between Islamic charity and social development needs to be thoroughly investigated so the potential of charity can be streamlined towards the welfare of a common man. He also thanked the participants for their determined support to make the conference a success. Earlier Prof. Dr. Hafeez-ur-Rehman, Co-Principal Investigator of the Project and Conference Coordinator briefed the audience regarding the project and objectives of the conference.

Prof. Dr. Anis Ahmad, Vice Chancellor, Riphah International University, in his keynote address said that “charity” in Islam is not a favor while it is ‘ibadah and an obligation. “Islamic state and society both have an obligation to relive difficulty and make life easy for people. State is obliged to establish system of Zakah, provide for education, health care, security, and religious freedom of its people on the other hand society has equal responsibility to uplift the standard of living of people” said Dr. Anis Ahmad.

Prof. Dr. Mian Ghulam Yasin Chairman Sociology and Dean Faculty of Social and Behavioral Sciences University of Sargodha, also addressed the inaugural session. A large number of researchers, academicians, policy makers, representatives of the Civil Society organizations, participated and contributed papers in the conference.