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Issued by the 15TH MAKKAH CONFERENCE
ISLAMIC CULTURE: ORIGINALITY AND MODERNISM
Organized by THE Muslim World League In the period from 4-6/ 12/1435 H 28-30 / 09/2014 AD
In The Name of Allah, The Most Beneficent, The Most Merciful
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
الحمد لله، والصلاة والسلام على خاتم رسل الله؛ نبينا محمد، وعلى آله وأصحابه ومن والاه
With the support of Allah, the participants have concluded their fifteenth conference held in Makkah, and organized by the Muslim World League. The title has been «Islamic culture… Originality and Modernism» The gathering has been patronized by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud. It has been held during the period of 4-6 / 12 / 1435H, corresponding to 28-30 / 9/2014.
The conference has been inaugurated by His Royal Highness Prince Mish’al Bin Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud, Governor of Makkah Region. Who, has acted on behalf of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques. He welcomed the guests of the Rabita, and conveyed the King’s thanks to the Muslim World League. He has also thanked the Rabita’s Chairman of its Supreme council and its Secretary-General. He lauded their distinct contribution and efforts in educating the Umma on its duties toward its religion and its homelands and its issues. He praised their relentless endeavors to refute suspicions and falsehoods directed against Islam, its civilization, its symbols, and holy places. He also commended their resolve to face and fight terrorism and extremism.
The speech of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques has emphasized that meeting the requirements of our times do not contradict our adherence to the fundamentals of our culture. Our culture is the core of our religion, our Arabic language, and our Islamic values. We must take pride, cherish our heritage and take care of it. We must benefit from its flawless system to regulate the affairs of our lives.
His Eminence, Sheikh Abdul Aziz Bin Abdullah Al-Sheikh Grand Mufti of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and President of the Supreme Council of the Rabita has talked about the importance of anchoring culture. Culture must express the identity of our nation and stems from the origins of Islam. It must be compatible with our faith. He also praised the Rabita for its keenness on presenting useful topics that are of interest to Islamic affairs.
His Excellency the Secretary-General of the Muslim World League, Dr. Abdullah Bin Abdul Mushin Al-Turki has welcomed the participants in the conference. He emphasized that many Muslims have turn their backs to their religion, and some even misunderstand it. Hence, the enemies of Islam have used these elements to their advantage. He said that disorder and division suffered by the Arab and Muslim world today had been caused by the growth of three afflictions. These are wicked sectarianism, narrow-minded and discordant partisanship, and terrorism. On many occasions, the Custodian of the two Holy Mosques has highlighted the scholars and opinion leaders’ duties in confronting this scourge. He urged them to lay the foundation of a sound Islamic culture, and to address the extraneous culture of extremism.
His Excellency, Dr. Abdullah Bou Khalkhal, President of the Emir Abdulqader Islamic Science University in Algeria presented a speech on behalf of the participants. In it, he has indicated that the reality of the Muslim Ummah today is the result of the misinterpretation of its legacy upon which the authentic Islamic culture was founded. Our Prophet peace be upon him has laid down the rules thereof, and followed by the nation's righteous predecessors.
In the conference sessions, and the research discussed therein, the participants commended the speech of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud. They voted to make the King’s speech one of the basic documents of the Conference.
They commended the efforts of Saudi Arabia under its wise leadership in uniting the Muslims, ensuring their solidarity, and keeping them away from abhorrent sectarianism, and mitigating the crisis they are going through. They lauded the Kingdom’s efforts in the fight against terrorism and extremism. They called on all Islamic countries to follow its example in working for the interest of Islam: faith and the Shari’a and also in applying its provisions. They invite Muslims nations to open up to other nations and peoples. This must be done, however, in a way that is consistent with the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Messenger, peace be upon him.
The Conference emphasized the following:
- That culture in its comprehensive sense encompasses beliefs, judgments, knowledge, ideals and traditions, skills and communal behavior. It’s a driving force for building civilization. It is also an instrument of creativity in areas of human activity. It is a tool for finding programs that seek to upgrade the conscience of man, and the refinement of his spirit. It is a honing stone that sharpens his talents, and employs his energies and aptitudes in building and renaissance. All this is done in pursuit of advancement, progress and development.
- Muslim culture is an extract of the fundamentals of Islam, namely the noble Qur'an and the pure Sunna. It has organized community affairs based on the happiness of Muslims in this world and the hereafter. Such system has satisfied the demands of the spirit and the needs within the body. Hence, a balance between the rights of the individual and the interests of society has been achieved.
- Islamic culture exerts a deep impact on the lives of Muslim peoples, and boosts their faith. It further consolidates their ethics and ideals. Guided by the teachings of our religion, it aims at achieving human dignity, tolerance and justice.
- Islamic culture is a divine source; it has been characterized by its humane approach, open mindedness, diligence and creativity. All these elements are in perfect harmony with Sharia’s principles and moral values of Islam’s civilization. They are the motto of the nation's identity and traits. It is an identity that has survived turbulent and changing conditions and different circumstances. Muslim culture is an internationally-oriented system that goes beyond the local and regional realms. It has integrated peoples that had embraced Islam. These have undergone a melting fusion process as a result of the true teachings of Islam. This mosaic has become a diversified, rational, and rich culture; able to communicate with various cultures. They have started extending bridges of coexistence and joint action towards the achievement of peace. Last but not least, they have harnessed the civilization’s modern achievements for the benefit of man.
- The weakness and apathy grappling Muslim nations at the moment do not reflect its historical civilization. Historically, this Umma has indeed succeeded in cultural achievements and establishing positive rapprochement with other civilizations. The benefits reaped from such a close encounter have been mutual, and have also enabled the Muslim Umma to take the leadership of the human civilization. This leadership has laid evolutionary plans to develop man’s life according to a comprehensive reform approach. Today, our nation is capable of taking advantage of the momentum of human knowledge and translates it into developmental reality, which will give rise to communities and Muslim countries within the rules of Islam.
- Diversity among human must be a stimulus to do good for mankind. This element must constitute a source of strength, integrity and enrichment to inhabit earth. Humanity will achieve a great deal of advancement if everyone is committed to the standards of fair competition; get rid of selfish tendencies and the claims of colonial and racial superiority. Allah says in Sura Al-Maida, verse 48 “If Allah had so willed, He would have made you a single people, but (His plan is) to test you in what He hath given you: so strive as in a race in all virtues. The goal of you all is to Allah; it is He that will show you the truth of the matters in which you dispute” - The relationship between Islamic and other cultures is based on understanding and cooperation in common human values. It seeks also to preserve the Muslim heritage and its specificities. Such step will ensure its continuity, and the preservation of Muslims' identity.
- Cultural dialogue is a human necessity. It’s a reliable means of communication among the world’s population. Through this tool, people must cooperate to protect the principles of rights and justice and to achieve establish a culture of tolerance and co-existence. Dialogue can and will address problems that give rise to conflicts and wars and social imbalance.
- Islam must be exonerated of playing any part in spreading the culture of violence and terrorism. These are due to ignorance and misconception.
-People must be warned of pedants who pretend to possess religious knowledge. These will ensnare Muslim children and lead them astray. Islamic culture has been characterized by moderation, and is far away from extremism and fanaticism. Au contraire, it seeks to establish positive relations of coexistence.
First: to promote Islamic culture in the lives of Muslims through the following:
• Raising the awareness of Muslims to apply Islam in their lives; the obedience of God, and be mindful of what pleases Him. Muslims must be warned about partial view of Islam. People tend to restrict it to some aspects of life. Its impact on promoting the spiritual and moral values should be emphasized, as well as the preservation of human respect and dignity. Allah says in Qur’an in Sura Al-Isra, verse 70 “And We have certainly honored the children of Adam and carried them on the land and sea and provided for them of the good things and preferred them over much of what We have created, with [definite] preference.”
• The Muslim shall maintain his identity and must take pride of belonging to Islam. He must constantly connect it to the book of God Almighty and the Sunna of His Messenger; peace be upon him. A Muslim must be always made aware of what these sources mean in relation to moral values and civilization and the components thereof. He must work on strengthening his belief in his religion. He should also be able to take advantage of the gains of human civilization in achieving the goodness of its purposes.
• To educate youth about the correct Islamic culture as has been practiced by the Umma’s righteous predecessors. They should be immunized against extremist views and partisan and sectarian cultures. Our youth must be suspicious about any invitation that calls to extremism, terrorism and moral decay. Allah says in Sura Al-Baqara, verse 143: “And thus we have made you a just community that you will be witnesses over the people and the Messenger will be a witness over you.”
• The civilization of Islam and its scientific, educational, cultural facts must be introduced to others. Its positive impact on other civilizations is in need of recognition and elucidation. We must highlight the growing need of Islamic concepts and values in light of today’s materialistic life. Their impact in correcting belief and behavior that will liberate man from the yoke of idolatry, superstition and ignorance must be stated and clarified. Islam with its concepts and values can save these societies from intellectual bankruptcy, social disaster, and knowledge deficiency.
• We must shed light on Islam's position on current issues, sciences and the emerging development in various fields. Social and political way of life as well as contemporary economic systems should be arranged according to the Islamic perspective.
• Humanities and social sciences must be formulated in accordance with an Islamic and meticulous methodology. This discipline must undergo a purification process. It must be expunged of all residues clung to it from the extraneous cultures and materialistic trends incompatible with Islam. Universities’ research and studies on Islamic culture should be reviewed.
• An objective curriculum on the topic of Muslim culture must be prepared. It should be taught in universities and institutes throughout the Muslim world. The League of Islamic Universities should cooperate with the universities to print and translate it into modern languagescontribute in spreading a culture consistent with foundations that are compatible with Islam’s values.
• Religious education must be supported, and Muslim children must be granted scholarships. Muslims must open institutes and schools that would immunize them with true creed. Furthermore, it will improve good behavior and culture’s level, and promote a stronger affiliation among the sons of Muslims. Religious education will tackle the ravaging effects of foreign cultures, whose sole objectives are to influence Islamic identity and weaken Muslim sentiment.
• An encyclopedia must be published. This will deal with the Muslim culture, its components, objectives and challenges. The project will be jointly prepared by scholars, specialists, researchers and research centers.
• The media institutions throughout the Muslim world must be invited to support the Islamic, cultural and development projects. All energies must be mobilized to introduce and defend them, and individual and collective initiatives must be encouraged. Focused or purposeful Internet content must be increased and promoted. The aim of this effort will be the achievement of an Islamic renaissance in the fields of knowledge.
• Cultural institutions are required to monitor the cultural reality in the Muslim world. They must identify its problems, and develop plans capable of addressing the challenges. They must use new means and mechanisms. These must be based on Islamic culture’s foundations. They must improve Muslims' discourse to enable it to protect the Umma from the fallout of opening up to the world teeming with ideas and cultures.
• We call on Universities, scientific academies, educational institutions, and the media to develop a comprehensive cultural plan. The aim of which will be to unite the Muslim nation. This will further contribute in spreading Muslim culture and promote the correct concepts about Islam, its civilization, and awesome humanitarian impact.
• We invite the Muslim World League to organize conferences and scientific symposia. The Rabita must then work on defining the cultural and intellectual outlines of this project. Once in place, such scheme must be applied in Islamic countries. The MWL should create a Media Watch that will monitor the Muslim world’s cultural status. Periodic reports must then be submitted to Ministries of Information and Culture of the concerned countries. These reports on the cultural situation in Islamic countries must be based on objectivity, reliability, knowledge and professionalism.
Second: Meet the challenges facing the Muslim Ummah:
• Empower cultural institutions to monitor media campaigns against Islam. We must know the motives and the people behind them then devise appropriate strategies to address them. Erroneous image of Islam and Muslims must be rectified. The world must be acquainted with this religion’s great principles set up to uphold the values of justice, peace, dignity of man, and the preservation of his rights. Muslims must provide a true picture of Islamic civilization and achievements in various fields. Cultural institutions must present a universally positive opinion about Islam and Muslims, and counter the phenomenon of Islamophobia that tarnishes Islam and Muslims.
• We must foresee the cultural future through analyzing the reality of Muslims in the fields of thoughts, behavior and civilization movement. Such step will lead to diagnosing illnesses and finding cures. We must pinpoint the flaws and correct them according to Islamic Shari’a. This course of action will make the Muslim nation strong, capable of facing the challenges, and influence current events.
• We should adopt a cultural discourse that stems from ideological religious and moral principles. This discourse must be characterized by flexibility and wisdom, and specifically geared to targeted audiences.
• Maximum cooperation and coordination between various parties involved with Islamic culture must be established if possible. We have to develop and disseminate such culture. We should encourage learned men to dedicate more time to study the core issues of the current epoch. From there, we must develop means and ways to take advantage of the best of what the globalization has to offer. However, we must ensure that Islamic culture will be the most prominent of its inputs.
• We must foster partnerships with institutions and information centers that are sympathetic to Islamic issues around the world. Muslims must also draw up a plan for joint cooperation to confront the authoritarian trends of globalization.
• Muslims must be warned of the media’s negative influence on the nation's youth. We must work to improve the media capabilities in form and in substance. Informed participation based on humanitarian and moral values must be the norm. First, this will make the media committed to the truth; working to achieve the interests of the Muslim Umma; teaching and educating it; and evaluating its civilizational performance. Then, it will promote spiritual, human and moral values. Finally, the media, through its multi outlets will be able to disseminate a culture of peace and coexistence.
• We must seek ways to achieve a comprehensive Islamic Renaissance. Such undertaking will happen only through escaping backwardness and weakness with a strong presence on the world stage. We should take care of education, and teaching. We have to increase production, and improve skill standards. We have to minimize ignorance and illiteracy levels. We must, however, connect Shari'a and other applied science, and fight even the notion of separating these two integrated components in the process of developing and rehabilitating the community.
• Muslims must be encouraged to make use of communication technologies of all kinds. We must harness and steer globalization in the dissemination of Muslim culture and its contribution to human civilization. We must take advantage of modern technologies to make the Islamic message in constant connection with other nations.
• Muslims should take care of family and society. They must keep dealing with electronic media in check. They must show benefits and harm thereof, and point out ways to take advantage of this technology. This awesome tool must be used to connect the family. It must be used to build normal social relationships. Intellectual or cultural invasion is hard-hitting nuisance. Therefore, we must immunize children from the ravages of excessiveness; protect them from moral decay, destructive doctrines and false perceptions.
Third: Islamic culture and other cultures:
• We must call on Muslim cultural institutions, universities and centers to highlight Islam’s approach in cooperating with nations and peoples. They must emphasize that the relationship between Muslims and others is built on peace and cooperation for the good of society. Islam is after all a message of mercy to all mankind. Allah says in verse 107 of Sura Al-Anbiya: “We sent thee not, but as a Mercy for all creatures.”
• Exchanging experience in areas of intellect, culture and knowledge based on humanitarian principles must be encouraged. One also must be aware of the lures of civilizational dominance.
• We have to work with other nations’ intellectuals who have been imbued with objectivity and impartiality. We should show them the real facts, and present them with that the false allegations against Islam are based on bigotry and racism. We should boost the use of information technology, multimedia and the Internet to highlight the message of Islam. It calls for positive coexistence and amicable neighborly relations between the peoples.
• We must facilitate access of the Holy Quran’s translations in different languages, to Muslims and non-Muslims alike. We must also be aware of its falsified and incorrect translations. We should encourage the translation of the cultural synopsis in books, the Internet and those presented on satellite channels in different languages.
We invite the Muslim World League to create the "Global Center of Islamic Culture." Its membership must include scholars, thinkers and intellectuals and media interested in Muslim cultural issues. These can be Muslims and non-Muslims. This center must devote time and effort to cultural studies. It must seek ways to develop, publish and translate them. These will serve as a framework or prototype for future global cultural dialogue.
Fourth: Islamic culture and Islamic comprehensive renaissance.
• The concepts of unity among Muslims must be fostered. This will happen through adherence to the all-encompassing fundamentals of Islam. We should cooperate to remove the causes of dissension and discord among Muslims. These, as we all know, have been fueled by seditious partisanship, sectarianism and nationalism. These vicious factors have weakened Islamic culture. They have diluted the concepts of unity for the purpose of serving factional objectives. Allah says in Sura Al-Imran, verse 103: “And hold fast, all together, by the rope which Allah (stretches out for you), and be not divided among yourselves; and remember with gratitude Allah's favor on you; for you were enemies and He joined your hearts in love, so that by His Grace, you became brethren; and you were on the brink of the pit of Fire, and He saved you from it. Thus does Allah make His Signs clear to you: That you may be guided.”
• Attention to propagate the Arabic language as a universal means of Islamic culture must be encouraged. We should establish institutes and universities to teach it, and to encourage the translation from and into Arabic. Serious work to make Arabic the primary language in the Islamic countries must be started. We must advocate the use of this language to teach theory and applied science. We should also encourage its use in computer programming and modern technology.
• Studying the reformist and innovative trends prevailing in the Islamic world must be promoted. We have to evaluate their methods and take advantage of the gains they have achieved. However, we must purge them of impurities, and to warn against their drawbacks and deviations.
• We must boost partnership between universities and Islamic educational institutions, and strengthen their ties. Centers of learning should promote cooperation in intellectual programs, sponsor competitions and award stimulating prizes for cultural production. However, such support must be extended to organizations working to disseminate the correct culture.
• We should encourage Muslim brains working abroad to contribute to the building of sustainable development in Islamic countries. This move will yield great rewards. We must appreciate their scientific capabilities and use them favorably by providing them a proper climate as an incentive to creativity.
• We must revive in the people’s minds, the landmarks of Muslim renaissance reached throughout history. Such reminder will serve as an inducement to hard productive work for the success of national development plans. We need to take advantage of this renaissance’s treasures to stimulate and prompt the rebirth of a modern civilization. This image will contribute to link the present generations to their former glorious Islamic heritage.
The participants expressed their thanks and appreciation to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud, and his Crown Prince HRH Prince Salman Bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud, and the Crown, Crown Prince His Royal Highness Prince Muqrin bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud. They lauded the efforts of Saudi Arabia for the support of Islamic culture and the promotion of its activities. They commended the services offered to the pilgrims and visitors. They appreciate the efforts in the expansion of the Two Holy Mosques and holy precincts. The participants also thanked them for the support they offer to the Muslim World League in achieving its objectives and the sponsoring of their programs.
They also extended their hanks to His Royal Highness Prince Mish’al Bin Abdullah bin Abdu-Aziz Al Saud, Governor of Makkah region for his interest in the Rabita and its guests.
They thanked His Eminence Sheikh Abdul-Aziz Bin Abdullah Al-Sheikh Grand Mufti of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Chairman of the Supreme Council of the Muslim World League for his keen attention to the Rabita’s affairs.
They appreciate the considerate efforts made by the Muslim World League under the leadership of its Secretary General, His Excellency Dr. Abdullah bin Abdul Mushin Al-Turki. They value care given to Islamic culture in serving its objectives. They call for further enrichment to this topic in conferences and scholarly seminars to come.
May Allah bestow His blessing upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family and companions.
Released in Makkah