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Speech of Prof. Dr. Abdullah Bou Khakkhal in Opening Session of 15th Makkah Conference

In The Name of Allah, The Most Beneficent, The Most Merciful

  "O my Lord! Expand me my breast; "Ease my task for me;And remove the impediment from my speech, so they may understand what I say.

 

          Esteemed audience, I greet you with the greeting of Islam. Peace and blessing of Allah be with you. Please allow me to speak on your behalf. I seek Allah’s support and success in this great conference; the 15th Makkah conference. The title of which is: “Islamic Culture between Originality and Modernism.”

          The venue is Makkah, the blessed city, during one of the most honored Islamic seasons, the Great Hajj that is. I will start by giving everybody his dues. Whoever doesn’t thank people, doesn't thank Allah.

          First, on your behalf, I would like to express our heartfelt thanks and appreciation to the Custodian of the two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah Bin Abdul-Aziz Al-Saud. We appreciate his patronage of this conference. We would like to thank His Excellency Abdullah Bin Abdelmohsin Al-Turki for his kind invitation. We are participating in this conference and to be part of the pilgrims of this year 1435H.

          A special greeting is addressed to each member of the Muslim World League. To each crew in his capacity, rank and name we express our thanks for the friendly reception and great hospitality they have accorded us. Our highest gratitude and warmest regards go to this good land. We thank the King, government, and people who astonish us with their honest and pleasant dealing whenever we come to these lands.

          Ladies and gentlemen,

          The topic of this year’s 15th conference was timely if not a bit late. This is due to the Great Sedition, which had been gripping the Arab world and still is in its grasp for more than 25 years. It has started with Algeria, the land of martyrs, in 1988. It’s continuing its march leaving a trail of destruction behind. It has sown deep pain and sorrow in the hearts of everyone. It has generated devastating destruction treacheries of the Arab and Muslim world. Weakness, humiliation and fragility have been its aftermath in the economic and social infrastructures. It has damaged the character of Islamic culture, customs and traditions, and peaceful coexistence with others.

          A person may wonder how this happens in the land of Islam. After all, this Faith has liberated people from worshiping men to the adulation of the Lord of men. This religion has united Arab and non-Arab tribes and made it into one single nation. It has saved it from tribal, sectarian, regional and social distinctions, and ills scattered here and there. These are in the form of sowing discord, division and differences, and conflicts and hatred. These ills have been spread among the same members of society. In whose name this is being done? All is done in the name of Islam!

          The Arab and Muslim world is going through difficult and terrible times. Its image to the world is dripping blood and tears; destruction and killing. The reputation of Islam and Muslim has been badly tarnished. Not only, human relations among members of one single society have been broken, but also among one single family ties have as well been ruptured. The brother has lost trust in his own brother. Everyone has become fearful of one another; fearing for his safety, wealth and honor.

          All of this has occurred and currently happening as a result of our lack of absorbing the right intellectual, religious and political patrimony. More than 14 centuries, Mohammad peace be upon him has anchored Islamic culture in Medina. It has been established also through the superior and humanitarian content of the Medina Gazette.

          Brothers and sisters,

         Crisis may generate determination; perhaps a situation thought of to be harmful turns out to be useful. Many countries have found the road to the culture of peaceful coexistence. They have achieved this after wars and devastation, division and social, economic and political acute crises.

          Then, they have found their way to progress and prosperity, solidarity, justice and freedom. These sublime principles have been the realization of   their sons who are saturated with humanitarian values and peaceful co-existence. However, and above all, they possess an unassailable confidence in themselves and their present and future.

          All of these elements and more are available in the Islamic culture:

  • The Islamic culture has been made of values of divine source. It has been derived from the Qur’an and Sunna. It has always been constant in terms of its values and characteristics. It has also been characterized by ethics, and has pervaded society with integrity and lofty manners.
  • Islamic culture shares a common denominator with Muslim societies even if colors, languages, customs, and traditions differ.
  • Furthermore, Islamic culture is a safety valve that safeguards the Umma’s identity, and its unity and cohesion.
  • Islamic culture’s values, characteristics and attributes have been firmly anchored. At the same time, however, it must be in tune evolution, and adapt with current developments and keep pace with new strides.
  • Among the characteristics of Islamic culture that is humanitarian, with a global dimension. It asks for cooperation and brotherhood and mutual respect.
  • Islamic culture has the tendency to coexist along other humanitarian cultures. It calls for dialogue, and seeks common grounds among peoples. It keeps in high esteem the culture of other societies. It also appreciates human creation which it considers general heritage of the world.
  • The sound Islamic culture is far away from calling people to extremism, hatred enmity and killing others. In contrary, it calls for tolerance, and the rejection of violence and extremism. Islam would achieve world peace and security. However, it must be well understood that today’s rampant extremism within Muslim communities has many causes. It stems out of ignorance; misinterpretation and mal application of the texts of revelation; amplification and exaggeration by various multimedia outlets. There are also covert and overt manipulations seeking to sow the seeds of sedition and weaken the nation from within.
  • Islamic culture can maintain the strength and cohesion of the Umma. Furthermore, it will armor it in the face of civilizational alienation and to address cultural invasion.

Mending fences between the Muslims require:

  • Drying the sources of intellectual, communal and sectarian extremism in the name of Islam. Such endeavor will meet with success if we implement the following steps:
  • We must reform the education and training system by impregnating it with the tolerant principles and values of Islam. Education and training are after all a service and an investment. It is the best venture a nation could undertake. It will place its resources, capabilities and creative human minds in all fields. And this will include scientific, literary knowledge, and theoretical and applied sciences.

It must be, however, well understood that time is the same with all peoples. Some countries will be on equal footing when it comes to physical, financial and human potential. The only difference lies in the fact that there are countries that exploit their time to a maximum level. Consequently, they benefit better from the possibilities available to them. Experience has shown that many will waste time effort and energy, knowingly or through sheer ignorance, in matters that will generate no benefit to them.

On the other hand, many folks have reached the pinnacle of progress and prosperity, and realized many victories. They taught their children the recipes of success. They have considered this action a sure bet and investment to reap resounding achievement later. In addition to this, they have instilled in them confidence in themselves, their culture and their nation.

  • We must motivate the role of religious and cultural institutions, media, literary and scientific clubs to disseminate the authentic Muslim culture.

We must streamline the Islamic religious discourse to real life.

  • Collective work to correct the image of Islam and Muslims to others, and vice-versa must be undertaken. This should be implemented within the framework of Shari' and contemporary human values.
  • We have to involve civil-society associations to inculcate contemporary Islamic and human values. Current social media networking must be put to the best use to introduce Islam and its principles, values ​​and civilization.
  • Ijtihad institutions and Fiqh councils must be mobilized to issue Fatwas, and to refute misguided and misleading Fatawa.

Finally, we ask Allah’s pardon, well-being and success for the good of this religion and this nation.

والسلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته

Prof. Dr. Abdullah Bou Khakkhal

Rector

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