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Abdullah bin Zayed opens "Promoting Peace in Muslim Societies" Forum

posted on 10/03/2014: 2104 views



H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Foreign Minister, highlighted that the tolerant Islamic Sharia'a was sent from Allah with noble intentions and values - the most important of which is the promotion of peace and the preservation of human lives, to avoid bloodshed and to spread peace.

In his keynote address while opening of "Promoting Peace in Muslim Societies" Forum at the St. Regis Abu Dhabi on Saadiyat Island, Sheikh Abdullah said that one of the main causes of sectarian wars and disputes that tear our nations apart is the absence of a rational voice, and the collapse of the principle of respect for differences, on which humanity is built. Also, the pseudo-learned men who take leadership and prominent positions, issuing Fatwa and occupying high positions in different media organisations, manage to misinform some of those who follow them and do not know better.

Sheikh Abdullah added that in order for nations to get back on the right path, the real learned religious men, who are aware of the necessities, changes and requirements of the present age in which we live, these men should be at the forefront. A learned man who lives separately from the reality of his nation, unaware of the needs of the nation and ignorant of the changes in civilisation and culture that require re-examination of many issues of Sharia to be rational, balanced, and unable to respond to the needs of human beings, cannot have a positive effect on his nation.

During the opening of the forum, which is held under the patronage of Sheikh Abdullah with the participation of more than 250 of the world's leading Islamic scholars and academics, he added, "You scholarly men, you hold the responsibility of enlightenment, because our Islam, since its inception and until the end of mankind, with the grace of Allah, will remain a religion that calls on human kind to think deeply, to co-exist. Therefore, we highly appreciate your historic role in extinguishing the fires of sedition and bringing different points of view together, to enlighten minds and encourage hearts to believe in the principles of peace." The two-day forum discusses humanitarian issues caused by intellectual and sectarianism conflicts in the Muslim communities because of each party bullying by the person it appointed and housed regardless of the interests of the nation, which leads a number of Muslim scholars to claim the necessity of holding a meeting on a unified position to address the unprecedented unrest and violence in the Islamic world, which did not exclude any type of weapons and led to the abuse of the image of Islam in the eyes of the world.

Sheikh Abdullah's Keynote address at the opening of the Forum reads as follows: "In the Name of Allah, the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful, all praise and thanks be to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds, May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon the Prophet Mohammed, his family, his companions and all followers.

Your Highnesses, Your Excellencies, Religious Scholars, The tolerant Islamic Sharia'a was sent from Allah with noble intentions and values - the most important of which is the promotion of peace and the preservation of human lives; to avoid bloodshed and to spread peace.

Our religion has come to unify mankind, to spread love and the spirit of fraternity among people, regardless of their different religions and doctrines.

Islam therefore has come to unify us - So why do some people who are Muslims use it to divide us? I ask this question, with great sadness and bitterness, of our Muslim brothers who are fighting in different parts of the world, with each one claiming to have right on his side. The key figures are fighting for political gains and material profits, while the young are being tempted to fight crushing wars on their behalf, being told that they will go to Heaven. Is Heaven now for people who kill their brothers - without any right - and in the name of God? Our Prophet has said, "Cursing a Muslim is immoral, and fighting him is blasphemous".

When we look closely at the Prophet's lifetime and meditate on his characteristics, we find a huge distance between his and his immediate successors' behaviour and that of many of those who claim to be following his path today. The Prophet Mohammed, Peace Be Upon Him, who was supported by God's inspiration, refused to have the mountains surrounding Makkah collapse on the people who hurt him and accused him of lying.

How would these people who use religion for their personal purposes act if they were given the same option to bring mountains down on those who disagree with them? Would they hesitate? One of the main causes of sectarian wars and disputes that tear our nations apart is the absence of a rational voice, and the collapse of the principle of respect for differences, on which humanity is built. Also, the pseudo-learned men who take leadership and prominent positions, issuing Fatwa and occupying high positions in different media organisations, manage to misinform some of those who follow them and do not know better.

In order for nations to get back on the right path, the real learned religious men, who are aware of the necessities, changes and requirements of the present age in which we live, these men should be at the forefront; A learned man who lives separately from the reality of his nation, unaware of the needs of the nation and ignorant of the changes in civilisation and culture that require re-examination of many issues of Sharia to be rational, balanced, and unable to respond to the needs of human beings, cannot have a positive effect on his nation.

You scholarly men, you hold the responsibility of enlightenment, because our Islam, since its inception and until the end of mankind, with the grace of Allah, will remain a religion that calls on human kind to think deeply, to co-exist. Therefore, we highly appreciate your historic role in extinguishing the fires of sedition and bringing different points of view together, to enlighten minds and encourage hearts to believe in the principles of peace.

We do not expect you to agree on everything, this is an unachievable goal, but what we call for is respect of mankind, and the right to differ, to acknowledge the principles of diversity that guarantee freedom and rights without any party impinging on them, without trying to enforce ones' views on other people, as Allah has guaranteed them the right to think and believe in what they want.

In this gracious gathering, which has enlightened our community and brought happiness to our hearts, we look forward with the hope that this will not be an ordinary meeting, a place to just make speeches and discuss things in a passing way, after which everyone leaves empty-handed. We hope, and I am fully confident, that you will come out with new initiatives that aim at reform of ourselves - bringing back the fighting factions to the path of true rightfulness. This responsibility is in your hands, as it is in the hands of the politicians.

I would like to assure you that we will not interfere in your work, but we will be enlightened by it. We put our hands in your hands, to work together to spread love and peace among human beings, using the good work that has been planted by the late Sheikh Zayed, may he rest in peace, a plant that bears fruit everywhere, all the time.

May Allah shower his blessings on this honourable meeting and put mercy in the hearts of people everywhere - to alleviate crises and catastrophes and bring forth goodness and blessings through you.

On his part, the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar mosque Sheikh Ahmed Al-Tayeb extended thanks, appreciation and gratitude to the UAE for its far-sighted vision pertaining to the repercussions of social peace and security issue and the world's need to revive justice peace concept, which has been missed for over half a century.

He wished President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan permanent health and preserves His Highness General Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Foreign Minister and their brothers.

Addressing the international event, Sheikh Al-Tayeb said " This is the right time for this forum, which gathers an outstanding elite of scientists, scholars and intellectuals to make a giant leap towards the concept of justice and peace, in addition to building international effective institutions to avoid wars.

On his part, the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar mosque Sheikh Ahmed Al-Tayeb extended thanks, appreciation and gratitude to the UAE for its far-sighted vision pertaining to the repercussions of social peace and security issue and the world's need to revive justice peace concept, which has been missed for over half a century.

He wished President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan permanent health and preserves His Highness General Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Foreign Minister and their brothers.

Addressing the international event, Sheikh Al-Tayeb said " This is the right time for this forum, which gathers an outstanding elite of scientists, scholars and intellectuals to make a giant leap towards the concept of justice and peace, in addition to building international effective institutions to avoid wars.

Sheikh Abdallah bin Bayyah, a notable scholar and Chairman of the Scientific Committee of the Forum, told the ground-breaking forum that Islamic religious authorities have a tremendous responsibility and should act as firefighters who try to douse the fire without asking who trigger it.

'We are not here for issuing judgments, rather we just want to say a simple word : a call for peace. We are not over sighting major issues in Palestine or elsewhere but we are seeking to promote peace in Muslim communities...... he who doesn't put his house in order can't achieve anything towards key questions peacefully or violently,' he said, adding that peace in this region will have far-reaching impact on the whole world.

'We want to raise one banner as the Holy Quran says :'O Believers, all of you, enter the peace'.

In his address , he tackled concepts of jihad, promotion of virtue and the prevention of vice, application of Sharia, loyalty, obedience, democracy, modernisation and misunderstanding of these concepts.

He noted that Islam and our heritage have many mechanisms to iron out differences and resolve conflicts.

The Islamic thinker called for promoting the culture of peace, collecting texts preaching peace, extracting and setting rules and aims of peace and integrating culture of peace into school curricula.

He also stressed the need for encouraging dialogues between young generations and scholars and called for establishing Peace rangers to deliver peace missions. He also proposed the creation of the council of wise men to spread peace in Muslim communities.

The Forum for Promoting Peace in Muslim Societies is bringing together the world's leading Islamic scholars and intellectuals in a united front to counter misguided extremist ideologies that are contrary to the doctrines and practices of Islam. The Forum aims to demonstrate, through sound, orthodox and authentic Islamic scholarship that extremist ideologies have aggravated sectarian strife and caused the escalation of terrorism and growing incitement to violence, which has polarised and destabilised the Muslim world and perverted the image of Islam.

The Forum is a first attempt on a global level to formulate a way forward for Muslim societies to live in stability, harmony and according to essential and universally accepted Islamic principles, without uncertainty and controversy. This initiative aims to create bridges of understanding between the Muslim community and the global community, through the presentation of clear, unambiguous Islamic doctrine and authoritative commentary that refutes the justification for extremist thought and action. – Emirates News Agency, WAM

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