A two day conference was hosted by Mimbar Al Aqsa in Istanbul on the 18th & 19th March 2022. The conference attracted 348 participants representing forty eight countries. Mimbar Al Aqsa is a non -profit organization that operates under the auspices of the International Union of Islamic Scholars.

The name Mimbar Al Aqsa is derived from the Salah Al-Din Minbar (pulpit) which is of both a historical and contemporary significance constructed more than 800 years ago symbolising struggle, liberation, justice and hope. The original mimbar is considered to be one of the most beautiful pieces of art made of over 10,000 interlocking pieces of Cedar and other wood, ivory and mother of pearl affixed without a drop of glue or a single nail.

This was the third annual international conference for Ulama, Khutabaa and Duaat.

A summation of the discourses over the two days which were blanketed by snow included the following ten in my humble understanding:

- To affirm that the liberation of Al Ardul Muqaddasa remains the responsibility of the Muslim Ummah. It is not an Arab or Palestinian problem.

- To educate participants about the centrality and preeminent position of Al Ardul Muqaddasa in Islam.

- To deconstruct the religious and political myth peddled by the occupiers that they have entitlement and claim to the land and that they have a religious obligation to erect the ‘temple of Solomon’ within the precincts of the masjid al Mubarak

- To provide a platform and voice for the oppressed in Al Ardul Muqaddasa.

- To provide support to the Palestinians who have defended Masjidul Aqsa with their lives and property.

- To ensure that Ardul Muqaddasa remains ‘alive’ and part of all the manaabir of the Masajid of the world.

- To mobilise civil support and engender activism within Muslim communities around the world.

- To spread the message of hope and positivity that is emblematic and characteristic of the blessed precincts of Al Ardul Muqaddasa
To purge the narratives of Al Quds from incorrect terminology used even by Muslims.

- To elucidate how Al Ardul Muqaddasa has historically served as a barometer for world peace or turmoil

A very significant spinoff from the conference was our ability to network and interact with scholars from different parts of the globe and the opportunity to get a first- hand understanding and appreciation of their experiences, challenges and outlook regarding global developments especially in the Muslim world. It afforded us a unique opportunity to establish the international footprint of UUCSA. It is important for UUCSA to spearhead the ten action points in South Africa in accordance with its resource capacity.

The sessions were conducted in the Arabic language with a few in the Turkish language. Simultaneous translations were provided in English.

For United Ulama Council South Africa

22 March 2022