King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud of Saudi Arabia has charged muslims across the world to correct misconception about Islam through dialogue.
He made the plea on Thursday at the conference facilitated by the Muslim World League, MWL.
The occasion witnessed huge attendance of scholars, preachers and thinkers alike with the support of the Saudi king.
Issues on Muslim unity, tolerance, dawah methodology, labelling and misconceptions about Islam dominated the two-day international conference holding in Makkah, Saudi Arabia.
Represented by Governor of Makkah, Prince Khaled Al-Faisal, King Salman stressed the need for the scholars and preachers across the world to embrace dialogue in addressing issues of misconceptions about Islam.
The monarch advised “Muslims to set aside their petty differences and to work together to achieve a great and prosperous future, for Islam to fulfill its obligations to the world progress.”
Speaking in the same vein, the Saudi Arabia’s Grand Mufti, Sheikh Abdul Aziz Al-Asheikh, who is also the head of the MWL Supreme Council, said the teachings of Islam categorically rejected all forms of discrimination.
He, therefore, urged Muslims to forge unity among themselves and do away with rivalries, petty differences, divisions and factionalism.
The MWL Secretary-General, Sheikh Dr. Mohammed bin Abdulkarim Alissa, said the problems being witnessed in today’s world emanated from lack of open dialogue and petty rivalries between sects and denominations.
“We must boost the principle of returning to the unifying name, which Allah has called us with, and rise above being defined by sectarian and restrictive group labels, which can cause negative consequences and rip the Ummah’s unity apart.
“This unity, however, is possible through solidarity and joint action. Our points of difference can be viewed and addressed through a fraternal dialogue, avoiding the discourse of accusing one another with disbelieving and at the same time rejecting exclusion and sectarianism,” Alissa said.
In his paper, the Secretary-General, Organization of Islamic Conference, OIC, Dr. Yousef Al-Othaimeen, lauded Saudi Arabia’s successful experience against extremism, violence and terrorism, saying such steps had countered the negative trend labelled against the kingdom.
A renowned scholar from Chad, Dr. Mohamed Djidda, said the challenge of population explosion, lack of unity, poverty, political and ideological differences is having negative effects on Muslims urging Muslims to act decisively to correct the situation.
In his paper entitled: “Concept of Exclusion and Ostracism,” Dr. Sayed Mohammed Al-Tabtabai, a Professor of Islamic Jurisprudence at Kuwait University, called for the protection of Muslims from falling into the temptation of not helping the society when it was their responsibility to do so.
He also urged Muslims to abide solely by the provisions of the Qur’an and Sunnah, avoid the dangers of classifications and exclusions, as part of the measures to safe the Muslims from being classified as weak and distortion of the message of Islam.
“Exclusion and classification can lead to labelling some Muslims as extremist and disbelievers. Following the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad has always worked and would work if Muslims can adhere to the principle. Muslims must be united to check the activities of those striving to harm the Ummah. We must shun arrogance and classification of others wrongly,” he said.
Speaking on Takfir and Extremism, Dr. Ismail Osman Mohammed Almahi, the General President of Ansar al-Sunnah Al Muhammadiyah, Sudan, described extremism as un-Islamic which must be shun by all.
The Secretary General of Islamic Research Academy of Al-Azhar, Egypt, Dr. Mohyldin Ahmed Abdulmaged, who spoke on “Apathy and Historical Buildups” said that it should be known that `ijtihad’ striving had limitation and that the text of Sharia (Islamic laws), which is independent of place and time should be adhered to.
From Nigeria, Sheikh Abdullah Bala Lau, National Chairman, Jamatul Isalatul Bidi’ah Wa Iqamatul Sunnat, JIBWIS, said the issue of unity and brotherhood was an essential part of Islam as practised by Prophet Muhammad during his life time.
Ustaz Abubakr Sideeq of Comerels Travels and one of the sermon translators at the National Mosque in Abuja said it was nice that all perspectives to the theme of the conference was brought to bear, urging all delegates to go and adapt it to their respective challenges in their country.
The Research Officer of the MWL, Mohammad Akhlaqi, said the conference among others, aimed at promoting awareness about the importance of disseminating the values of scientific, ideological and social moderation and to show the factual truth of Islam.
Over 1,300 delegates from 140 countries, including Nigeria, attended the two-day conference with the theme, “Perils of Labelling and Exclusion” organised by the Muslim World League (MWL) with the support of King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud.