November 11, 2013
The Prince of Wales laid flowers on the tomb of one of India’s most revered Sufi saints today as its imam prayed for the health and happiness of Britain’s royal family. The visit to the shrine or ‘dargah’ of Haji Ali Shah Bukhari, one of Mumbai’s most celebrated landmarks, was to support the restoration of its 500 year old building and to promote dialogue between different faiths.
The shrine commemorates the devotion of Haji Ali, a wealthy merchant who migrated from Bukhara and died while making his Haj pilgrimage to Mecca.
The Prince entered the shrine to the sound of Sufi devotional music, celebrating the saint’s miracles, to pay his respects and inspect the extensive renovation works under way. ‘Haji Ali’ is a tiny mosque-like shrine with arches and minarets at the end of a promontory, surrounded by the sea.
The Telegraph: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/prince-charles/10440860/Prince-Charles-visits-shrine-to-Sufi-saint.html
With Prince Charles and Camilla in Qatar as part of their Middle East trip it has been reported that Prince Charles has been seeking private Arabic tuition and is hoping to reach a level where he can read the Qur’an in Arabic. The article continues by discussing the various events the Prince and Duchess of Cornwall had been attending in Qatar. With Prince Charles spending his time at scientific development initiatives and the Duchess attending to issues and events related to women’s issues such as women’s education and self-development projects.
The Prince and Duchess were in Saudi Arabia as part of their Middle East Tour. Camilla met 30 women recently made MP’s by King Abdullah, stating “they were ‘blazing such a trail’ for women’s rights”. With one reportedly responding “You coming here is an endorsement of what is happening”. The visit will also bring up Saudi Arabia’s human rights record which is seen as a priority for the royal visitors. The execution of seven prisoners convicted of armed robbery last week and their claims of torture, trials without representation the most recent to occur. Both will attend separate segregated banquets. “The Duchess attending a women-only banquet thrown in her honour by HRH Princess Hessa Bint Trad Al Shaalan, the King’s second – and favourite – wife of four, who acts as his official consort.” With Prince Charles attending a similar all male function thrown in his honour by the King of Saudi Arabia.
The Prince of Wales has praised the “energy, dynamism and selflessness” of British Muslims. He attended the 25th anniversary dinner of the charity Islamic Relief, in the Grosvenor House Hotel in central London, which he acknowledged helped to bring together people of different faiths.
The Prince said: “We hear rather too much misleading information about a small minority of your community and not nearly enough about the vastly more numerous acts of compassion and commitment which characterize the work of Islamic Relief and its supporters.”
Muslim delegates from across the world have been taking part in a two-week project designed to inspire future leaders. Eighty-six people have come together at the Mosaic International Summer School to take part in the project which has been supported by The Prince of Wales who spoke of his delight over the interest the school has created.
Sponsored by HSBC Bank Middle East Limited and developed in association with the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the summer school will take place in various locations around the UK. The delegates will spend the first week in Cambridge taking part in daily sessions covering discussion topics including leadership in life, international community building, cultures and community and a session on environmental sustainability.
In the second week, the delegates will be divided into four groups where they will visit the cities of Birmingham, Bristol, London and Manchester spending time at key cultural and community centres including the British Muslim Heritage Centre in Manchester and the London 2012 Olympic site.