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Speech of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques To International Islamic Conference for Dialogue Convened in Makkah Al-Mukarramah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
26-28 /5/1429 (31 /5-2/6/2008)
I warmly welcome you all at this august meeting you are now holding at the vicinity of the Ancient House of Allah which is situated in the blessed Makkah Al-Mukarramah , which has been chosen by Allah to be the cradle of Revelation and the starting point from which the concluding Message radiated to all parts of the world. Since you are considered the illustrious scholars (Ulama) and preachers of this Ummah, your meeting today comes as a strongly reliable and confident resumption of the great march of Islam as it is narrated in the Hadith that (Ulama are the inheritors of Prophets)
Allah Almighty has entrusted us with a great rewarding responsibility towards Muslim brothers everywhere as we should readily and sincerely support them for the uphold of truth. Likewise, we are responsible towards other people who share Muslims in mankind as we have to be the Messengers for peace and carriers of benevolence torches.
We were indeed glad that the Muslim World League (the League) has timely called for the convention of this significant conference and has meticulously chosen dialogue as a theme for it. For, dialogue is the most important means Muslims employ in acquainting people with their religion and in presenting its principles and advantages to other nations to help them consider them. However, in presenting Islam we have to follow the methodology of our Prophet Muhammad ( BPUH), who carried out without hesitation constructive and convincing dialogue with polytheists and disbelievers in Makkah Al-Mukarramah as well as politely addressed carefully worded messages to the then Kings ruling the countries surrounding the Arab Peninsula and invited them to embrace Islam so as to enjoy peace . Furthermore, the Prophet( BPUH) submitted his Message to all other people belonging to various social status and pursued active dialogue with non-Muslims in Al-Madinah Al-Munawarah, at which he established an optimum model for coexistence among followers of the revealed Messages on the clear foundations of the historically renowned covenant of Madinah, which is considered a document adequately dealt with the desired peaceful coexistence among people, one of a few documents people rightly take pride in. For, this document focused mainly on achieving common interests and on cooperation for establishing justice and benevolence as well as upholding noble Islamic values.
We are in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia are not considered as devising an unacceptable action when we call people to dialogue. This is in fact the methodology of the Leader of this Ummah , Muhammad (BPUH), whom Allah commanded us to follow in compliance with the Qur'anic verse ( Ye have indeed in the Messenger of Allah an excellent exemplar ) as well as that of his the illustrious companions , who were indeed good and trustworthy predecessors.
The specialty of this conference lies in the fact that it is held at an honorable neighborhood of the Ancient House of Allah and that it is intended to draw the attention to the great responsibility laid on the shoulder of the Muslim Ummah towards mankind and which can reasonably be discharged via the expected tackling of the conference for various topics and exposition of comprehensive vision. This will no doubt qualify the conference to adopt a precise methodology for dialogue in which Muslim Ummah cooperates with other non-Muslim nations with a view to augmenting cooperation with them in common causes.
It is not unknown to you that Mankind is unfortunately overwhelmed by religious, political, social and human problems that affected its march, cooperation and security; and which consequently resulted in the magnification of extremism and terrorism.
One of the most significant reasons for such overwhelming is mankind's deliberate negligence of the guidance of its Creator, the act that makes it necessary for us to invite them to revert to Allah and inspire His guidance in the Books He revealed to His Messengers whom He concluded with Muhammad (BUPH)
In fact the world really needs to be enlightened on more than ever before on the principles of Islam in the fields of cooperation, coexistence, justice and security. Therefore, we invite the Muslim scholars and intellectuals to continue their active interaction, exchange of religious knowledge with the world's nations and people via dialogue " And made you into nations and tribes, that ye may know each other ( not that ye may despise "each other" )" ) . By means of dialogue and interaction, this Ummah can achieve many benefits, the topmost of which is to shed light on the credit attributed to the Islamic civilization, which mankind really needs today.
Additionally, dialogue is a wide window for elucidation of the attitude of Islam towards international causes. It is also an opportunity for refutation of baseless allegations leveled against Islam and correction of its distorted image. Likewise, dialogue can be used for formation of a public opinion , that can be exploited to support the Muslim Ummah , pay attention to its cause and help it achieve the just demands of all people.
Our call to dialogue aims at creating an international cooperation in the common human interests with the aim of achieving better interaction and coexistence among nations that achieve for this world security, peace , prosperity, and close before them the outlets of conflict. Thus, dialogue is seen as an appropriate outlet for the world from its current disturbing crises.
However, for those who want to exploit dialogue for bargaining us on our religion , we firmly and loudly say to them ," To you be your way, and to me mine " . We are more adhering than before to the Book of Allah and Sunnah of the Prophet, as this is indeed the unshaken position of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia since its inception.
Based upon this conspicuous Islamic conception of dialogue , I call the Muslim World League and other international Islamic organizations to coordinate in the field of dialogue with others and to carry out common actions for achieving the desired objectives and convening further meetings that we are glad the Muslim World League has succeeded in them.
At the national level dialogue is required for the discussion of internal issues with the spirit of nationalism and desire for real reformation. However, it is required at the level of Ummah with its many schools of thought and nations for fostering the universal unity intended to exploit common denominators. I would like to confirm that our experiment in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia - since the time of the Founder, late King Abdul Aziz, had firmly and strictly abided itself with the pioneering Shura methodology and fortunately achieved our solid national unity. More importantly, dialogue is required among Muslims and non-Muslims with the purpose of achieving for mankind justice, equality, and peace, which are considered highly significant matters, that had prominent and many incidences in our Islamic heritage and civilization.
Please allow me to present a proposal to this august Conference. In fact I request of you to ponder over the creation of a (Higher Islamic Commission for Dialogue) to lead the Islamic dialogue, direct its objectives, prepare its programs and follow-up their implementation in a manner that achieves unity of Muslims, solidifies their argument and contributes in the success of the Islamic objectives of dialogue. It is sincerely hoped that the Muslim World League will undertake this matter via making due and relevant coordination and follow-up with Islamic countries and organizations in this connection.
My recommendation to you and to the remaining Ulama and preachers of this Ummah is to unabated continue interaction with others and argue with them while you are guided by justly balanced attitude with which Allah described this Ummah " Thus have We made of you an Ummat justly balanced. That ye might be witnesses over nations" This is not possible for Muslims only if they are kind in their style in argument with others as Allah says " Invite (all) to the Way of thy Lord with wisdom and beautiful preaching"
My desire is that you will be able in your deliberation to specify the methodology, objectives and styles of dialogue and that your august conference will substantially contribute in serving Islam and Muslims and in disseminating the concept of coexistence and cooperation among people , so that it becomes known to all people know that Islam is the religion of mercy to mankind " We sent thee not, but as a Mercy for all creatures"
In conclusion , I am extremely glad to salute the Muslim World League applaud its great efforts in dialogue and in serving, defending, presenting and acquainting people with the religion of Islam. The League's efforts are commendable and its positive activity will continue.
Moreover, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will continue its support to every guided Islamic action and I emphasize that we will continue supporting the Muslim World League and assisting it to achieve its noble Islamic objectives
I supplicate Allah Almighty to grant all success to what pleases him; blessing and peace be on our Prophet , Muhammad.
Assalamu Alaikom Wa Rahmatullah Wa Barakatuho.