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The Concluding Statement
Issued by the 19th Session of the Islamic Fiqh Council at the Muslim World League
Held under the auspices of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Aal-Saud
In the name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful.
All praise is due to Allah, who said, “And it is not (proper) for the believers to go out to fight all together. Of every troop of them, a party only should go forth, that they (who are left behind) may get instructions in the religion, and that they may warn their people when they return to them, so that they may beware (of evil).” And may peace and blessings be upon the Final Prophet Muhammad, the mercy to all the worlds, who said, “Whoever Allah desires good for, He will grant understanding of the religion.”
With the help and guidance of Allah, the Islamic Fiqh Council at the Muslim World League has completed its 19th session, which was held at the League’s headquarters in Makkah al-Mukarramah, under the auspices of the Servant of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, may Allah preserve him. The session was held during the period of 22-28 Shawwal, 1428 Hijri, corresponding to 3-8 November, 2007 C. E.
His Royal Highness, Khaled al-Faisal bin Abdulaziz, began the session’s activities by reading a statement by the Servant of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz. This statement contained a trenchant analysis of the state of the Ummah, as it faces a vicious attack on its religion, values, culture, and heritage. The King lauded the efforts of Muslim scholars in defending Islam, researching the issues which have newly appeared in Muslims’ lives, and in finding Islamic solutions thereto. The King also expressed his support for the League’s decision to hold a conference about fatawa (religious edicts), with a view to alleviating the damage that occurs when fatawa become out of control, or when some choose to speak about Allah without knowledge. The King expressed his approval of making the League an international meeting place for Muslim scholars and intellectuals, and the Kingdom’s support for this project, in keeping with the Kingdom’s history of supporting and cooperating with scholars.
The members of the Council commended the King’s speech, and made it one of the session’s official documents. The Council also called upon the League to follow up on the proposed fatwa conference, stressing that such a conference is necessary to deal with the damage and instability that is caused by deviants or those with ignoble motives who issue fatawa, and the unstudied or frivolous fatawa that are sometimes given on certain television channels or Web sites. These fatawa often contain falsehoods which are then ascribed to the religion. The Council also warned against what some people of dubious intentions have begun to do, namely, confusing religious opinion with everyday opinion, thereby causing misunderstanding of the religion, and opening a door for people to shirk religious obligations.
The Council’s members called upon the Ummah’s scholars to participate in this proposed conference and to cooperate with the League and its Fiqh Council in researching the problems and issues that have newly appeared in Muslim’s lives, and in advising the young generation to look to recognized fiqh councils or fatwa panels when they have questions or problems.
The Council’s members strongly emphasized the importance of dealing with fiqh issues collectively, via scholarly institutions, fiqh councils, and fatwa panels. This is because collective decisions on issues are taken after much more intensive and in-depth research, and contain a broader point of view. Collective decisions also help avoid conflict and dispute, thereby protecting the unity of the Ummah and limiting disagreement among its members, by returning to the Book of Allah, and the Sunnah of His Prophet (may peace and blessings be upon him).
The Council also discussed the hostile campaigns some cultural and media institutions are waging against Islam and its adherents, and the nefarious projects said organizations are organizing, which offer “alternatives” to Islam. Other hostile organizations have organized special events and occasions which spread hate and nurture animosity towards Islam. Also, some politicians have made critical statements about Islam, and have called for a war upon Islamic culture.
The Council’s members all expressed their reprehension at these hostile campaigns directed at the message of Islam and the bearer of that message (may peace be upon him). The Council stressed that such campaigns do nothing but spread hatred between peoples, and harm healthy intercultural and interreligious relations built on cooperation and tolerance. This causes clashes and instability, preventing mankind from aspiring to security and world peace.
The Council’s members appealed to Muslim governments, organizations, and scholars to coordinate their efforts and cooperate to treat the causes and the effects of these negative campaigns. This should be through joint Islamic work and serious educational programs, far from any heated over-reactions. The Council lauded the League’s project, “In Defense of the Prophet of Mercy,” the goals it has achieved, and its level-headed response to these negative campaigns. This project has done a good job in refuting many falsehoods about the Prophet (may peace and blessings be upon him) and spreading a positive image of Islam amongst non-Muslims.
The council explained that dialog with non-Muslims, addressing them through a studied media effort, and doing a good job in explaining the beautiful aspects of Islam and its teachings of peace and tolerance are all beneficial ways to counter these anti-Islamic campaigns and to expose their falsehood and dangerous effects on relations between nations and on world peace.
The members also praised the Muslim World League’s efforts in holding meetings of earnest, fair dialog between cultural, religious, political, and academic leaders in a number of countries. The members called upon the League to continue holding these meetings and conferences, stressing that dialog is an important opportunity to spread the correct image of Islam and refute common misunderstandings and falsehoods spread about it.
The members of the Council expressed their sorrow at the intensification of the conflict and disagreement in Pakistan, and beseeched the official and popular leaderships, along with all Islamic organizations in this Muslim land to look for the greater good for their country, and to cooperate with each other in unifying their nation.
The Council then touched on the situation in Palestine and the harsh ordeal its people are undergoing because of the economic embargo imposed on them by the Israeli authorities. The council beseeched all Muslim governments and humanitarian organizations to do all they can to end this unjust embargo. The Council also implored the people of Palestine, its leaders, and the heads of the various factions to end their disputes by engaging in honest dialog, and doing all they can to achieve national unity. The Council also touched on what is happening in other Muslim countries such as Iraq, Somalia, and Afghanistan, and stressed the importance of unifying the Islamic ranks and calling all Muslims, leaders and laymen, to return to the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Messenger, and to fear Allah in their every action.
Additionally, in view of the need of Muslim minorities in non-Muslims countries for special treatment and consideration, the Council called upon the Muslim World League to create a mechanism to help coordinate between different fiqh councils and panels of fatwa that concern themselves with the issues facing Muslim minorities. The Council encouraged cooperation in solving the problems these minorities face. The Council furthermore appealed to the Muslim World League to expedite the proposed conference about Muslim minorities. The Council also praised the League’s efforts in serving Muslim minorities, taking care of them, and striving to solve their problems. The Council called upon the League to create a special council dedicated to researching and solving the problems faced by such minorities.
After the members finished discussing the subjects included in the session’s program, they issued resolutions on the issues presented to them, which were the following:
In concluding the session, the Councils’ members requested that the Muslim World League relay their thanks and appreciation to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, and to his crown prince, Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz for all of the support provided by them and by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to scholars and fiqh councils, and for their efforts in serving and defending Islam, and concerning themselves with the affairs of the Muslims. The Council also lauded the achievements of the Muslim World League and its Fiqh Council, expressing their desire that this cooperation between the League and the Fiqh Council continue, thereby achieving a benefit for Islam and Muslims.
The members also thanked His Excellence, Sheikh Abdulaziz bin Abdullah Aal al-Sheikh, and the secretariat general of the Muslim World League, Dr. Abdullah bin Abdulmuhsin al-Turki, and the secretariat of the Fiqh Council, Dr. Saleh bin Zabin al-Marzoogi al-Bugami.
And may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon His Prophet Muhammad, his family, and companions.
Issued at Makkah al-Mukarramah
Wednesday, 27/10/1428 Hijri
Corresponding to 7/11/2007 C.E.