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conference titled: Muslim Society..Established and Changing Values

In the Name of Allah the Most Gracious the Most Merciful

Thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessing be with the seal of the Prophets of Allah our Prophet Mohammad, upon his household and his companions and all supporters. With Allah’s help and support the Muslim world League organized its 13th Makkah conference titled: “Muslim Society..Established and Changing Values” on4-5/11/1433 H corresponding to 20-21/10/2012. The conference was under the patronage of the Custodian of the two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah Bin Abdul-Aziz, and was inaugurated by HRH Prince Khalid al-Faisal governor if Makkah region. In his inaugural speech on behalf of the Monarch, Prince Khalid welcomed the participants and lauded the MWL for its efforts in educating the Ummah about its duties towards its religion, established norms and sanctities.

He also invited it to prepare a practical program for the promotion of the culture of solidarity between Muslim peoples. He urged concentrated efforts to solve the conflicts witnessed by parts of the Muslim homeland. He mentioned the pain he felt about the tragic events in Syria, and the necessity of swift actions to stop the Syrian bloodshed.

His Eminence, the Grand Mufti and President of the Rabita’s Supreme Council, Sheikh Abdul-Aziz Bin Abdullah al-Sheikh commended the MWL for the timely selection of the conference’s theme. He highlighted the importance of the topic in these circumstances witnessed by some Muslim countries. He stated that these recent events need the scholars’ attention and their counsel under the guiding light of Allah’s Shari’a. These will provide the Ummah with success in this world and in the hereafter.

            In his speech, His Excellency, the Secretary-General of the Muslim World League Dr. Abdullah  Bin Abdelmohsin al-Turki said Muslim societies were opening up to other communities. This in itself is a cause for doubling the efforts to educate and enlighten the Ummah about its well-established values that are connected to its religious and civilizational identity.  The Ummah should be provided with Islamic standards to enable it to understand changes and deal with them according to proper Muslim vision that achieves the purpose of Shari’a.

            The participants discussed the conference’s topics and themes, and highlighted the following principles:

  1. Islam is Allah’s religion. He has made it complete and chosen it to be mankind’s faith.  In its system, God has ensured the happiness of this life and that of the hereafter. Muslims should adhere to Islamic Shari’a and never let go of it. The Prophet, peace be upon him said:”If you hold tight to what I have left with you, you will go astray: The book of Allah and my Sunnah (Alhaakim with good ascription)
  2. Islam is a universal religion that gives man his real worth. It connects him with his Lord; it protects him from the onslaught of materialism and endows him with virtue and lofty ideals in his behavior and dealing. Thus, making him a righteous and good member in his community.
  3. Divine revelation is the source of Islamic law. Some is invariable and never changes, even if it welcomes Ijtihaad for its understanding and application. Some has room for time and place changes. In the Shari’a we find resilience and broad scope that make it suitable for various societies and different epochs
  4. Constant norms in Shari’a are the set religious principles that are proven with conclusive evidence for their significance, agreed upon by all Muslims. No one should abandon or neglect them under the pretext of updating them and dealing with new trends. These laws include matters of belief, worship, ethics and general principles in transactions. These are strong foundations uniting Muslims giving them stability, steadfast stand and unity of application. “So hold fast to the Revelation sent down to you; verily you are on a Straight Way”. (Sura az-Zukhruf, verse 43).
  5. Changing norms in Shari’a are those in which different times, places, peoples and situations were taken into account. Thus, Allah has made it easy for people and granted them permission to choose what’s best for them. These include means and methods; branches and parts. It‘s therefore, obligatory on well versed scholars to edit them according to their knowledge of the texts of the two revelations. And also to consider provisions of Islam, its general principles and the complete rules of Shari’a.
  6. Collective fatwas are a safety valve against any abnormal and odd rulings. It’s an inevitable option in general matters that don’t allow for individual ruling. Hence it’s advisable that religious students and muftis should refer fatwas to the Fiqh councils.  
  7. The dual concept of the religious and the civil society is a strange phenomenon on Islamic culture. The Muslim society takes the principles, the rules and the values of the Shari’a as its authoritative religious reference. This is considered to be the identity of the Ummah and the source of its culture. This nation will never rise from its slip unless it abides by the true guidance of the magnanimous Islamic Shari’a. It’s after all who has perfected this religion and completed his favors with this faith.  Allah says the following in Sura al-Maida, verse 3: “This day have I perfected your religion for you, completed My favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion”.
  8. Islam doesn’t forbid benefitting from successful experiences of other nations, as long as this does not oppose its basic tenets and main branches. Civilization is a common human legacy. Needless to say that the wisdom is the ultimate goal of a Muslim, wherever he finds it, he must use it to his best advantage.

Recommendations:

The conference’s participants have reviewed its themes and topics and issued the following recommendations:

  1.  Cooperation between Muslims and others

The participants praised the peaceful and fruitful coexistence between Muslims and others in some Muslim societies and in some minorities’ communities and Muslim communities. They emphasized tolerance and cooperation. They called on people to refrain from racism, nationalism and to reject   preconceived ideas resulting from painful historical buildups. They emphasized the following:

  • The rights of non-Muslims in Muslim community are decreed by the Shari’a in matters of justice, fairness and Ihsaan for all. Islam has regulated their relationship with Muslim communities. “O ye who believe! stand out firmly for Allah, as witnesses to fair dealing, and let not the hatred of others to you make you swerve to wrong and depart from justice. Be just: that is next to piety: and fear Allah. For Allah is well-acquainted with all that ye do.(Sura al-Maida, v; 8).
  • They call on Islamic foundations to be inspired by the lessons of the past to erect a future that will secure the principles of dialogue and peaceful coexistence among different human components. They should invest in the success and experience of the past to formulate programs that would promote social peace and overcome obstacles in its way. They should address common challenges threatening man’s future, his existence and his values.
  • They realize that national dialogue undertakings coupled with the promotion of unity between all members of society constitute a connecting bridge to comprehensive unity of the Ummah based on the principles of Shari’a and the purpose of the message. It’s a shared obligation between scholars and rulers to prevent plots by devious individuals.
  1. Muslims and changing values
  2. The participants discussed inconsistent issues in some Muslim countries. They requested the Muslim World League to hold the second conference on “Islamic World... Problems and solutions.”  They emphasized that the treatment of the Ummah’s problems and its renewed crises won’t be effective without sincere cooperation between official and popular institutions and scholars and opinion leaders.  The Rabita was asked to form a Council of Elders to cooperate with Fiqh Councils, research centers, and competent organizations in the world and Islamic Bodies. The C.E must set clearer visions to deal with changes within the context of established values and purposes of Islam. In time of misfortunes Islamic law, known for its flexibility and its broad spectrum of accommodating peoples’ interests now and in the future, should be applied according to Sharia’s guidelines.
  3. The conference’s participants warned against westernization trends calling for the renunciation of Islamic civilization’s legacy in handling current events. The aim of these tendencies is to replace Islam’s principles, systems and legislations with imported norms and standards. The participants further highlighted that imported solutions lack a thorough knowledge of Islam and its system and specifically, its cherished position in the hearts of Muslims.
  4. They commend The Rabita’s efforts in implementing the initiative of the Custodian of the two Holy Mosques on civilizational interfaith dialogue. They called upon the MWL and concerned foundations to organize more conferences and symposia with followers of religions and cultures. These meetings should be within the standards, objectives and mechanisms of the Makkah international Islamic conference on dialogue held in 1429 H.

Thirdly: Muslim Ummah & Challenges

The Conference has reviewed the challenges that impede the advancement of the Muslim Ummah, applauded the resolutions of the Fourth Extraordinary Islamic Summit convened in last Ramadan in response to an invitation by Custodian of the Two Holy Massajids  and confirmed the following: 

  • Consider the enhancement of the Islamic solidarity one of the priorities  of the steps that Muslims should take towards achieving their unity and restoring their old  glorious civilized status. It stressed that it is incumbent duty upon all Muslims to hold fast to the Holy Book of Allah and immaculate Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad ( Blessing and peace be upon him) .Allah says (  And hold fast, all of you together, to the rope of Allah" Qur'an", and be not divided among yourselves) Qur'an 3:103. Furthermore, the Conference called upon the Muslim World League to vigorously spread the culture of solidarity and unity among Muslim peoples via organizing series of conferences and symposiums that must be attended by a large group of Muslim scholars, intellectuals and opinion leaders.
  • Warn Muslims against the inclination of certain Muslim countries towards adopting the wave of obnoxious sectarianism which unfortunately serves as a destructive tool (herald-harbinger-precursor- portent-presage-prognostic-omen- augury) for the unity rank of Muslims  and leaves  opens the door wide open for the undesirable ambuscading individuals to intervene in the internal affairs of Muslims. Furthermore, the Conference condemned the practices of these countries that sharply contradict with the established principles of Islam and its straight way that invites Muslims to unite on the pillars and articles of faith of the religion. Allah says (And (He commands you, saying): This is My straight path, so follow it. Follow not other ways, lest ye be parted from His way. He ordained this hath for you that ye may ward off (evil). Qur'an 6:153.
  • The Conference appeals – in the name of Muslim scholars and opinion leaders- to Muslim countries and organizations that regretfully inflame the destructive sectarian feelings and dissention to cease such undesirable practices that weaken the unity thorn of Muslims, plant the seeds of dissention and malice among them as well as set the platform for a great sedition (FITNA) whose adversity will affect every single individual Muslim.
  • Denounce categorically the bloody massacres to which the Syrian people is ruthlessly exposed and hold the ruling regime in Syria fully responsible for this tragedy ad the Conference demanded it to comply with the consensus of the Muslim governments and peoples for the dire necessity   of stopping the bloodshed, destruction of cities and towns, killing of civilians and terrifying people. The Conference demanded the international community to assume its responsibility in putting an end for this tragedy , to take those responsible for its commitment to international courts , provide compensation to those afflicted and render relief aid to refugees inside Syria and neighboring countries.

 - Condemn frantic allegations leveled against Islam and its Holy Prophet and considered it a part of disgraceful call to the clash of civilization which expresses clear ignorance of the nature of Islam and its principles as well as illogical impact by the preconceived thoughts that are painted by the spirit of  historical animosity.  The Conference calls upon the Islamic legal and media institutions to the necessity of cooperating with the Muslim World League and its concerned organizations in defending the Holy Prophet and in refuting the allegation leveled against him and in introducing his character and religion.

-    Denounce terrorism and warn people against the currents of militancy and excessiveness; and call people to disseminate the culture of dialogue and moderation as well as follow-up of Holy Qur'an & Sunnah and their comprehension in the manner that was followed by the early followers of Islam and that allows no  room for neither negligence nor excessiveness.

Fourthly:  Renewal & Reformation

The Conference has reviewed the stimuli of change in certain countries and call upon intensifying the efforts for the application of the method of Islam in reformation and change; and demanded the governments of Muslim countries to enforce Sharia ( Islamic law) and believe in the role of faith in reforming and refining of both individual and society. It appealed to mass media to cooperate with Muslim scholars in the confrontation of the waves that doubt the ability of Islam to reform contemporary life and to underline that Islam, which is armed with due evidence and guidance of Allah, is capable of coping with the natural development and change of society.

Furthermore, the Conference called upon Islamic preachers and Dawah as well as Academic institutions to do the following:

  • Renew the Islamic discourse in a manner that suits the spirit of the age , take into account the humanitarian aspect of Islam, achieve its moderation concepts, avoid the evils of excessiveness, concentrate on the elucidation of the virtues of Islam, project its precedence to the call for the respect of human rights, achieve social justice and observe responsible freedom.
  • Observe the latest developments of the era, direct the Islamic discourse through abiding by moderation, objectivity and deepness, keeping away from the techniques of sheer emotionality, improvisation of matters, blind imitation as well as consider the Islamic jurisprudence (Fiqh) of priorities and gradual reforming and addressing in a manner that achieves the objectives of Shari’a for which Allah sent Messengers. Allah says,"  ," It is Allah who has sent down the Book " Qur'an" in truth, and balance (i.e. to act justly)  And what can make you know that perhaps the Hour " judgment day" is close at hand "  "Qur'an 42:17.
  • Project the characteristics of Shari’a, explain its addressing of the era's new developments via utilizing Allah's wisdom and mercy which He embodied in Sharia, as underlined by this verse" Should not He who has created know?" Qur'an 67:14, promote Muslims' awareness as to the necessity of applying Shari’a in every aspect of their lives as such application satisfies Allah and has substantial impact on helping them their old glorious civilization status.
  • Promote Dawah means, exploit modern technology and communication facilities, modern mass media in focusing on the realities of Islam, in developing comprehensive  plans, strategies and programs that are aimed at improving Dawah institutions in a manner that enables them to confront the challenges of this era and optimistically look up to the future.
  • Support Fiqh Councils (Islamic jurisprudence Councils) so as to enhance and promote group independent judgment, specify Islamic principles that are considered established, differentiate between them and those which are subject to change according to era, circumstances and occurrence situation, guide concerned institutions via encouraging them to hold fast to such established principles and attempt to reach a compromise as far as possible regarding the changing principles. However, it is essential to preserve unity among Muslims ranks and not to be indulged into sectarianism, division and conflict.

The Conference appeals to Fiqh Councils to elucidate the correct Islamic attitude on every newly emerging catastrophe that requires serious consideration and invite Muslim scholars Likewise, the elucidation of the Islamic attitude towards every newly emerging catastrophe needs to be properly investigated, weighed and evaluated by the trustworthy Islamic scholars of this Ummah particularly those who are well versed in the Holy Qur'an and Sunnah and who know are versed with the different approaches of consideration and extraction  as well as those who are properly enlightened as to the conditions of the era ,  to shoulder the responsibility of both issuing religious edicts (Fatwas) and guiding people to what satisfies their Lords in order to prevent those of whims from furthering their baseless views.

  • Fifthly:  Muslim Minorities

The Conference has tackled the conditions of Muslim minorities, confirmed  that it is essential to maintain continuous contact with such minorities, consider them a significant part of the Muslim Ummah as Muslims are in fact a single body despite the fact that they are separated by different distances and located at various countries. Allah says, " The believers are nothing but brothers" Qur'an 49 :10 .The Conference denounced the religious suppression and massacres to which Muslims in Myanmar are exposed, called upon the Government of the Union of Socialist Republic of Myanmar to recognize the rights of Rohingya Muslims  and secure for them due citizenship rights in equal footing with other citizens.

The Conference appeals to Muslims of Muslim Minorities Communities to do the following:

  • Hold fast to their religious specialties, take due pride in their Islamic affiliation, enhance their activities in a manner that preserves their identity, safeguard them against being assimilated by majority non-Muslim communities. Furthermore, the Conference called upon all governments to consider the specialties of Muslim minorities and recognize their religion, promulgate laws that preserve for such minorities their rights on the bases of citizenship and social justice; and not incline to adopt the culture of civilization dominance that encroach on the rights of others and harm their cultural identity.
  • Employ their academic, social, political and economic capabilities in serving the causes of the Muslim Ummah, promote their respective communities and explore the common values that Islam calls people to cooperate on them with a view to promoting the values of mercy, justice and assistance. Allah says, "  Help you one another in righteousness and piety; but do not help one another in sin and transgression "Qur'an 5:2
  • Face with due wisdom the fierce onslaughts that discredit Islam, serve as acquaintance bridges and guiding vanguards, be aware of  the anticipated slips of haste reactions that are anticipated to impede their role in introducing and defending Islam as well as inculcate in the people's minds the negative view about Muslims.

The Conference emphasized the significant step adopted by the Muslim World League in establishing an International Islamic Organization for Muslim Minorities  in implementation of a recommendation that was issued by the Conference on (Reality and Future Look)  organized by the Muslim World League in 1431AH.This Organization aims at  patronizing the affairs of  Muslim minorities wherever they are , give due attention to the review of their problems and assist them to overcome the challenges they impede their civilization contribution in their respective communities.

The Conference appealed to Fiqh Councils to review minority Fiqh in the light of the situations currently lived by such minorities and focus on whatever consider their specialties  in the light of Shari’a.

The participants have expressed their profound appreciation to Custodian of the Two Holy Masjids King Abdullah Ibn Abdul Aziz AlSaud for his kind patronage of the Conference and for his continuous efforts in supporting the Muslim World League and its activities as well as to HRH Crown Prince Salman Ibn Abdul Aziz AlSaud.

They extended their thank also to HRH Prince Khalid AlFaisal AlSaud , Governor of Holy Makkah Region, for the facilities that he renders to the Muslim World League, its programs and affiliate organizations. Their thank also went to the Muslim World League, His Eminence Chairman of its Supreme Council and its Secretary General for the efforts they made in organizing this Conference.

Blessing and peace be upon  our Prophet, Muhammad, his kinsfolk and companions.

Issued in Holy Makkah on 05/12/1433AH (21/10/2012AD)     

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