About usTHE MORE TIME PASSES, I BELIEVE THE UNIFICATION OF THE RIGHT OWNERS TO BE MORE OBLIGATORY AND URGENT.
Right Owners International Association (ROIA) is an Islamic grassroots charity organisation whose objective is to empower Muslims through education, identity building and committed service to the community. ROIA is an independent, non-profit charity entity founded in 2004 by a group of international Muslim activists and thinkers who are active in propagating pure Islam in different countries, attracting Muslim investors and benefactors in order to provide the required services and facilities for immigrants and converts people in different parts of their lives all around the world.
The ROIA outlook is guided by the principles taught by the Holy Prophet (saw) and his AhlulBayt (as); and believes in the importance of:
- Islamic Community – Ummah
- Islamic Leadership – Wilayah
- Islamic lifestyle – Takleef Shari’
- Islamic Proclaiming – Dawah
ROIA believes that for salvation to be attained, aspirations must centre on the preparation for the promised saviour, Imam Al-Mahdi (atf). Inspired by the Islamic teachings, our activities focus on grassroot empowerment. This approach has enabled ROIA to build strong, healthy and durable relationships with diverse communities.
The primary objectives of ROIA are as stated below:
- To observe Islam with regards to thought and practice.
- To improve the education of the public about Islam and its related subjects.
- To promote religious harmony by creating opportunities of dialogue with other faiths and denominations.
- To develop the skills, capacity and identity of members of the Muslim community.
- To help young people become responsible individuals and members who contribute positively to society.
- To promote human rights through advocacy and campaigning.
- To relieve poverty and advance humanitarian projects.
THE ROIA COMMITMENT
We at ROIA are committed in our efforts to spread peace, tolerance and co-existence; and to promote social harmony as contained in our rich and abundant Islamic heritage. ROIA believes that the continual pursuit of its objectives will create a better world for Muslims and non-Muslims alike.
Islam: ROIA believes Islam is a source of enlightenment that provides the most perfect solutions to the challenges confronting humanity. It is our belief that the school of the AhlulBayt (as) represents the true and most pristine form of Islam. In light of this worldview, we uphold that a bright future has been promised for humanity, which will be realised by the promised saviour Imam Al-Mahdi (aj).
Empowerment: ROIA strives to empower the Shia community and wider Ummah at large. In this respect, ROIA disseminates a universal outlook with regards to Islamic thought and practise. We firmly believe that a comprehensive understanding of Islam is the foundation of a strong and self-aware community. At ROIA, we thus focus on empowerment through education and critical self-awareness.
The Ummah: The Qur’anic declaration “Surely this Ummah of yours is a single Ummah, and I am your Lord, therefore serve Me” (21:92) informs the Mission’s outlook towards the Ummah. ROIA views itself as an inseparable part of the collective Islamic Society, and seeks to strengthen these ties of unity and brotherhood. The Mission thus focuses on raising awareness on the situational context of the Ummah, its challenges and aspirations.
Dialogue: Healthy coexistence with different ideologies and faith groups has deep roots in the Islamic tradition. Inspired by this proud heritage, the ROIA continually seeks to create opportunities for dialogue and respectful discourse. ROIA’s orientation fits within the overall objective of fostering a positive and healthy Islamic presence in the different arenas.
Responsibility: During the period of the occultation, one of the most prominent themes is that of shouldering responsibility. In this context, ROIA is strongly influenced by this central sense of responsibility, and believes that we shall stand accountable for how we regard the legacy of the Holy Prophet (saw) and his AhlulBayt (as). In preparing for the return of the Mahdi (aj), ROIA places emphasis on constructive action guided by sincerity, integrity and the Divine values.
The path of the AhlulBayt (as) places emphasis on the need to spread the teachings of Islam.
The Holy Prophet (saw) and his AhlulBayt (as) are the perfect exemplars of the Islamic message. Their teachings and mannerisms are integral to understanding the pristine Islamic faith. In accordance with this ideology, and in light of the prevalent currents affecting Islam at a global level, ROIA deems it imperative to enhance available knowledge on Islam within and outside of our communities.
At ROIA, we strongly believe that the dissemination of a proper understanding of Islam is of crucial importance and since its inception ROIA has utilised a wide array of mediums in Islamic propagation. In addition to educational events, ROIA has embarked on the publication and distribution of Islamic literature.
As part of its Tabligh activities, ROIA organises awareness campaigns with the aim of making Islamic teachings accessible to the wider public. Notably, the success of the Ashura Awareness campaign stands out as a prime example of ROIA’s activities in this front. Also, With the rise of alternative media, ROIA continues to explore new mediums for Islamic propagation and in this regard, in 2009, ROIA set-up a technical multimedia team to develop and enhance Islamic multimedia.
Below are some highlights of ROIA’s initiatives in the arena of Tabligh:
- Events: Since its inception, ROIA has organised an array of events that cover the annual calendar. These events are in different formats, from conferences and seminars, to traditional Majalis and courses. They are geared towards raising the overall educational levels, creating a sense of community and fostering opportunities for networking.
- Distribution of Free Islamic Literature: In the summer of 2007, ROIA launched a book campaign in which a free book with free delivery would be sent for any household requesting such across the world. Launched on the ROIA website, we managed to reach hundreds of homes through this initiative. To date, ROIA has given out more than 10,000 books free of charge. We have also delivered Islamic material books upon request to an array of countries including the United States, Canada, Australia, Germany, Sweden, Malaysia, the Philippines, Ghana, Nigeria and the Ivory Coast.
- Islamic Multimedia: The Mission has a rich and growing archive of exclusive multimedia footage. Collected over the years, this audio-visual content is made available to a worldwide audience through our website. The need for high quality educational content in the English language has been further emphasised by the launch of several television stations and different partnerships have been brokered to provide material to this medium also.
- Ashura Awareness Campaign: ROIA founded the Ashura Awareness campaign in 2005 to promote the message and teachings of Imam Hussain (as). The campaign has grown significantly from its humble beginnings into an indispensable part of the propagation efforts of Muslim students at university. Each year, ROIA publishes thousands of leaflets and provides Islamic material for distribution to students at universities across the world. Since launching the campaign, ROIA has distributed more than 100,000 leaflets and hundreds of books free of charge.
- ROIA Store – Online Islamic Shopping: ROIA hosted an online Islamic store on its website where visitors could purchase books, multimedia CDs and DVDs as well as Islamic merchandise. We are pleased to note that since its launch in 2008, we processed more than 1000 orders to a global audience. This project is currently not operational for logistical reasons.
One of the prominent indicators of the wellbeing of a society is the condition of its younger generations. Below, we briefly highlight ROIA’s efforts in promoting the active participation of our younger members in the long-term goals of our community.
The glorious history of Islam is filled with mention of contributions from youths who made innumerable sacrifices and patiently persevered in order to hoist high the banner of Islam. The personality of Imam Ali (as) stands as a supreme example of unswerving commitment and service to Islam from early age. In line with the teachings of the AhlulBayt (as), ROIA strongly believes that the proper nurturing of youth in the community is essential to the success of the Ummah. Within the social context of the West characterised by blind materialism and spiritual turbulence, the top-most priority is to establish a strong Islamic foundation for the younger generations. It is only through having a proper worldview that youths can positively participate in society by directing their energies towards righteous causes. ROIA therefore believes that active participation from young members of the community is vital to our success. Since its establishment, ROIA has assisted and taken lead of initiatives that seek to educate and empower youths. Through a sustained emphasis on providing educational courses, as well as by focusing on subjects of importance to the welfare of our youths such as marriage and higher education, ROIA seeks to positively influence and nurture our younger generations.
As part of this outlook, ROIA formed a dedicated Student Affairs Board in 2005 to cater for youths in university. This body was instrumental in spearheading projects such as the Ashura Awareness Campaign. Today, Muslim students at university have built upon these original ideas of networking and coordination to organise their efforts. ROIA continues to closely follow the development of Shia students at university, and maintains healthy exchanges of communication and resources.
Below are some of ROIA’s initiatives in youth development:
- Student Services: ROIA seeks to do its utmost to cater for the needs of students, particularly during their university phase. To develop the capacity of our youths, the Mission facilitates initiatives that promote education, religious awareness and identity building. Prominent amongst these, ROIA provides speakers, Islamic resources and general support for student environments.
- Mentoring Young People: By fostering strong relationships with our youths and providing informal platforms for discussion and exchange of thoughts and ideas, ROIA seeks to introduce them to the wealth of Islamic teachings taught to us by the AhlulBayt [as]. Through such initiatives, we also hope to develop a healthy environment for greater coordination and cohesion.
- Recreational Activities: In addition to educational events, ROIA feels it is important for the community to provide avenues for our youths to partake in recreational activities in Islamic environments. To this effect, ROIA has organised sports and cultural activities for young brothers and sisters. However, energy and resources still need to be focused in this area to improve the overall welfare of our community.
According to the Islamic perspective, a truly Godly society will always remain elusive without crucial participation of its women. The very faith of Islam is indebted to the contributions and sacrifices of lofty personalities like Lady Fatima (as) and Lady Zainab (as). The role of women is therefore an integral component of the Islamic vision for a better future.
In accordance with this ideology, ROIA regards the enhancement of our women’s role in the community as a central goal. At the Mission, we believe that our sisters often encounter far greater challenges compared to their male counterparts. Nevertheless, one of the major flaws has been the failure to cater for the overlooked needs of our women.
With this appreciation, ROIA formed a committee mandated with the development of women’s affairs in the context of the community. Since its formation, the sisters’ committee has worked an array of different projects. in 2010, the Hijab Exhibition constituted a truly unique and landmark event for sisters in the community. Entirely organised and managed by the sisters at ROIA, the event drew hundreds of women from far and wide to participate in the exhibition. In late 2009, the Sisters Committee organised a successful conference under the heading: “Women of the Ummah”. The event discussed some of the challenges faced by the women of our community, and emphasised the importance of the active participation of sisters in community affairs. Through a sustained emphasis on sisters’ events, the Mission seeks to enhance the participation of our women.
Below are some of ROIA’s efforts in promoting sisters’ initiatives:
- Sisters’ Events: The Sisters’ Committee is designated with the task of organising events exclusively for sisters. To date, the Mission has facilitated a number of events only for sisters ranging from discussion circles to a large-scale conference. By providing such platforms, ROIA seeks to confront the many challenges facing the women of our community.
- Networking and Interfacing: At ROIA, we believe the process of empowerment does not stop at organising community events. The Sister’s Committee is thus involved in coordinating and interfacing with other groups affairs across different communities. In this regard, the Mission seeks to provide parallel services to the wider community.
Web & Media Projects
As an important medium to further its objectives, the Mission has built a strong online presence. Due to the unprecedented influence of the internet on society and culture, there exists a profound need for generating suitable Islamic content.
In an era of technology, the web and media naturally play a growing role in influencing the thoughts and ideas of modern generations. Modern technologies offer rapidly evolving mediums through which messages can be delivered to large audiences efficiently. With this in mind, there is an urgent need to explore and utilise modern mediums in propagating the message of the AhlulBayt (as).
The Mission has focused on building a strong online presence through its official website, as well as developing new strategies for participation in the alternative media scene. In this regard, the Mission formed a technical multimedia team in 2009 charged with developing and enhancing Islamic multimedia content.
As part of its overall media strategy, ROIA also focuses on networking and interfacing resources for media productions. In line with its aims, the Mission assists production companies that are working on productions featuring Islamic content.
Below are some of ROIA’s efforts in the field of media:
- ROIA Website: Since its founding, ROIA has focused on its online presence through its website www.rightowners.org . Today, the Mission’s official website receives more than 100,000 visits every month from over 120 countries across the globe, making it one of the most important English Shia Islamic websites on the internet. By developing a sustained focus on modern methods, ROIA has built a truly global online presence attracting visitors from all corners of the globe. At the Mission, we hope to further enhance this presence with view to enable the integration and coordination of effort relating to the interests of the Shia worldwide community. The website is renowned for its multi-dimensional appeal with dedicated sections for Islamic articles, multimedia, news coverage, analysis and an interactive presence on social networking and sharing websites. As a powerful mouthpiece for the Mission, the strength and vitality of the website reflect the degree to which individuals at the grassroots level identify with the objectives of ROIA.
- Media Productions: In line with its overall media strategy, the Mission emphasises on the need to produce high-quality Islamic multimedia. It bears important mention that until very recently, the Shia community had minimal participation in media. Over the last year, the status quo has greatly improved owing to the emergence of a number of Islamic TV channels. This encouraging development has created an immediate need for high quality video material, relevant and suited for communities situated in the western hemisphere. The critical need for high-quality multimedia gave growth to a dedicated technical media team in the spring of 2009. At the Mission, we regard the media domain as crucially important bearing in mind the potential catchment that can benefit from the teachings of the AhlulBayt (as). Moreover, increased participation on the media scene demands greater maturity and responsibility in the manner in which we portray the teachings of Islam. In addition to producing exclusive material, the media team at the Mission also plays a supportive networking role. In this context, ROIA seeks to connect producers to suitable scholars from the Hawza for feature in media productions, as well as for purposes of research and exchange of ideas.