The Muslim traders had played an instrumental role in spreading Islam in every nook and corner of the world immediately after the advent of Islam, renowned religious scholar Sahibzada Sultan Ahmed Ali said.

Delivering a lecture on religious importance of Muslim traders as compared to the followers of other religion, at Faisalabad Chamber of commerce and Industry, he praised the people of Faisalabad and Gujranwala over their inclination towards Islam. The Muslims have been divided into different sects that are tantamount to weaken its unified strength, he said. Explaining this division, he said that the elders of these sects never challenged the Taqwa (Piety) of each other. There difference was only on logic which is an offshoot and cannot affect 90% of commonalities. Hence these commonalities could provide a strong basis for unity and cohesion among Muslim Ummah, he said. He was critical of the relentless comments on TV channels by so-called religious clergy. He said that the electronic media was promoting synthetic and artificial lifestyle which is contradictory to the spirit of Islam.

He stressed a need for checking the onslaught otherwise it will replicate the same phenomenon in Pakistan as it has dissipated the religious spirit from the Christian youth of Europe.

Regarding blasphemy, he said that Muslim Institute Islamabad had initiated a 21-day online debate on the topic “Does freedom of expression give one right to insult”. All the participants of the debate were either non-Muslims or converted Muslims excluding Muslims by birth. He said that it was very encouraging that 81% of them opposed the right to insult in the garb of freedom of expression. He hoped that the debate will now publically discourage the elements publishing blasphemous caricatures etc.

Earlier, FCCI President Engineer Rizwan Ashraf welcomed Sahibzada Saultan Ahmed Ali and said that it was very encouraging that people of Faisalabad are more very religiously minded. The main reason for the positive trend is the dedicated efforts of the religious scholars who have devoted their lives for the preaching of Islam. He said that FCCI was regularly organising religious lectures during the holy month of Ramazan and due to the keen interest shown in these lectures by business community he wanted to increase the numbers of such lectures.

During question and answer session, Ch Nawaz, Ch Asghar and Rana Ikhlaq Ahmad raised questions while Senior Executive Member Haji Muhammad Shafi presented FCCI shield to Sahibzada Sultan Ahmad Ali.

Mr Sultan Ahmad Ali also presented a book comprising a comprehensive report on on-line debate on blasphemy to Engr Rizwan Ashraf. Inaam Afzal Khan, vice president of FCCI, thanked the guests for their active participation in the religious lecture. Later, Sultan Ahmed Ali prayed for the solidarity, integrity and prosperity of Pakistan. He also led Zohar Prayer in the FCCI mosque.