The British Muslim Forum (BMF) is an independent, national representative umbrella body of Mosques, Muslim institutions and community organisations in the UK. The BMF seeks to promote coordination, engagement, consultation and cooperation regarding matters affecting British Muslims as well as the wider British society

The newly formed Scholars Advisory Board of the umbrella body ‘British Muslim Forum (BMF)’ met at the City Hasanat College in Birmingham on Saturday 27 February 2016. Over one hundred and fifty Imams, scholars and clerics from throughout the United Kingdom participated in this inaugural session of the Board for a day of seminars, discussion workshops and project outlines. The event highlighted the scholarly and clerical support for the national representative body ‘BMF’ as well as underlined that there is no place for extremism and Islamophobia in Great Britain. The development of a nationally accepted education curriculum for mosques and Islamic centres that promotes peace and harmony and counters extremism in all its forms as well as the creation of a united Moonsighting Committee to determine the occurrences of religious occasions were projects announced on the day.

The inaugural session of the Scholars Advisory Board was co-chaired by Pir Muhammad Alauddin Siddiqui (Noor TV, Birmingham) and Pir Muhammad Habib-ur-Rehman Mahboobi (Suffa-Tul-Islam, Bradford), and was hosted by Sahibzada Sayyid Lakht-e-Hasnain Shah (City Hasanat College, Birmingham).

Chairman of the British Muslim Forum, Muhammad Imdad Hussain Pirzada, announced the formation of a Moonsighting Committee comprising of learned scholars and experts in this area in order to determine and provide the British Muslim community with an agreed upon announcement as regards the commencement of the fasting month of Ramadan and the occurrences of Eid. All organisations and centres around the country will adhere to the announcement made by the BMF Moonsighting Committee. From amongst the Committee’s members, Maulana Rabbani Afghani (Birmingham) was appointed the lead spokesperson.

The event saw the scholars, clerics and British-born Imams compliment and support the steps being taken by the BMF in confronting extremism and terrorism. The BMF announced its project to develop a nationwide education curriculum for mosques and supplementary centres of learning that will nurture Muslim children towards becoming good practicing Muslims as well as positive and peace-loving British citizens. Furthermore, training sessions and refresher courses will be pursued for Imams and Sermon-Deliverers so that they can aptly address modern challenges, reduce anti-Muslim hatred and strengthen links between the Muslim community and other communities of the UK.

The day also comprised of various workshops in which the delegates participated to discuss and contribute on matters relating to countering extremism and Islamophobia, future Imams and British born scholars, role of mosques in pursuit of better community relations, etc. The workshops provided a unique opportunity for discussion bringing together scholars from the elder generation and the young British-born generation. Workshops were coordinated by Dr A H al-Azhari, Maulana M A Misbahi, Allama S Z Shah and Maulana M A Qadri.

With over one hundred and fifty delegates from around the country, the event saw representatives from numerous leading organisations and networks including Suffa-Tul-Islam UK Association, Noor TV, Anjuman Muhy-ul-Islam Siddiqia, Jamiat Tabligh-ul-Islam, Hazrat Sultan Bahu Trust, Takbeer TV, Jamia Masjid Ghamkol Sharif, World Islamic Mission, Jamat Ahl-e-Sunnat of Great Britain, Markazi Jamat Ahl-e-Sunnat, Confederation of Sunni Mosques Midlands, Muhaddith-e-Azam Mission, Jamia Faizan-e-Rasool, Faizan-e-Islam Trust, Suffah Foundation, Global Khatm-e-Nubuwwat Movement, Sunni Jamiat-e-Awam, British Muslim Scholars and Jamia Al-Karam, and many others.