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International-Islamic-Conference-for-Dialogue-149

By Dr. Muhammed Al-Sammak - Secretary General - Islamic Spiritual Summit

  Unity, diversity, ethnic and cultural diversity form the basis and principles of the substance of the Islamic creed. A Muslim cannot be a true believe without this unity of humankind. Allah, the Most Exalted says:{ O mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that ye may know each other (not that ye may despise each other).

Verily the most honoured of you in the sight of Allah is (he who is) the most righteous of you. And Allah has full Knowledge and is well acquainted (with all things).}. The Holy Qur'an 49/13

This is a Qur'anic appeal for people to know each other despite their differences, and to recognize this differences and its persistence on the basis of one harmonious structure of humankind, based on knowing and getting acquainted with those who differ. Allah, the Most Exalted says: {And among His Signs is the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the variations in your languages and your colours; verily in that are Signs for those who know.}The Holy Qur'an 30/22

Of course, this ethnic difference does not constitute a preferential or deprecation basis. It is but a difference within the framework of one human family that makes it imperative to respect the other the way he is and the way he was created by Allah.

 Moreover, the Holy Qur'an has laid emphasis on the rules of religious behaviour in Islam, as in the saying of the Most Exalted: {To thee We sent the Scripture in truth, confirming the Scripture that came before it, and guarding it in safety: so judge between them by what Allah hath revealed, and follow not their vain desires, diverging from the Truth that hath come to thee. To each among you have We prescribed a Law and an Open Way. 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 ye dispute;}. The Holy Qur'an 5/48

In compliance with the previously mentioned glorious verse, cultural, ethnic religious and doctrinal difference are here to stay until Dooms Day, when judgment will be exclusively Allah's. These differences cannot be dealt with by way of annulment or negligence, but rather, by getting acquainted, accepting and respecting the other as one of the perpetual cosmic norms.

Furthermore, to practice the rules of giving due value to divergence, one should not consider his position as sacred. Nobody has the right to neither  absolutely monopolize the truth nor accuse the other thought of being absolutely wrong. In fact, one of the most prominent characteristics of tolerance in Islam insists that a thinker or a 'Mujtahid' (one who forms independent judgment) cannot be blamed for his mistake. Instead, he is to be rewarded for his effort. In this regard, the famous Islamic scholar Al-Shafei says: "My opinion is the right opinion, which probably may wrong, and your opinion is a wrong opinion that may possibly be right".

Therefore, to believe that a certain group of people is entrusted with the religion, and anyone outside it is out of the pale of the religion. Such belief is substantially and basically at variance with the principle of 'Ijtihad', (Formation of independent judgment), which has clear academic foundations and methodological guidelines laid down by Islam.

Invitation to mutual acquaintance based on knowledge is one of Allah's most sublime invitation to humankind. It is the foundation of a human fraternity that concerns itself with differences. It respects difference and adopts it as the basis of cooperation, agreement and love.

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Abstracts of the

The International Islamic Conference for Dialogue

Researches

Organized by

The Muslim World League

in Mecca

Under the Patronage of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques

King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz Al-Saud

30 Jumada 1-2 Jumada 2, 1429 A.H.

June 4-6, 2008

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