At a meeting with participants in the conference of the Royal Aal al-Bayt Institute for Islamic Thought
20 August 2013
(Translated from Arabic)
In the name of God, the Most Merciful, the Compassionate,
Blessings and peace be upon our Master Mohammad, the seal of prophets and messengers,
God’s peace and blessings be upon you,
It is a pleasure to welcome you in Jordan. I also thank the Royal Aal al-Bayt Institute for expanding the list of participants in its general conference, as a distinguished group of clerics from outside the Royal Academy has been invited to attend.
The challenges surrounding us are at the core of your conference: equal citizenship rights and justice are basic requirements when it comes to the sustainability of states and political systems.
With regards to democracy, Shura and the representation process, we have to think of democracy as a goal in itself, rather than mere figures and percentages the majority uses against the minority. Majoritarian rule is not the essence of democracy, because democracy is achieved when all share the feeling that they are truly represented. This is the essence of political consensus in Islam.
In addition, this conference coincides with our repeated calls to reject and end ethnic and intra-religious sectarian violence, which entails a recipe for the destruction of the Islamic World (Ummah). I warn again against the danger of manipulating religion for political purposes and sowing the seeds of hateful ethnic and intra-religious sectarian division.
You are the scholars of the Islamic World and it is your responsibility to confront the ethnic and sectarian strife (Fitna) in Syria, and prevent its spillover into the Arab and Muslim world. The bloodshed in Syria should be stopped and the unity of this country, and that of the rest of the Arab and Islamic nation should be preserved.
In fact, we hope that your deliberations during this conference would be built on the three main aspects of the Amman Message, which you all endorsed and contributed to achieving consensus over. The Amman Message defines the true Muslim, confronts apostatising others (Takfir) and determines who is qualified to issue religious edicts (Fatwas). The message has contributed to bringing closer the followers of the different schools of Islamic jurisprudence (Madaheb) and promoted respect among them.
Your role is crucial in ensuring continued commitment to the aspects of the Amman Message. I am keen to work with you to implement any initiative you suggest to serve our Islamic World, preserve its unity, discourage Muslims from apostatising each other, promote respect among the followers of the eight schools of Islamic jurisprudence, Sunni, Shiite - including Salafists, Sufis, Alawites and Ibadhists.
I call upon you to use this conference to come up with recommendations rejecting the rhetoric of ethnic violence and intra-religious sectarian division and to confront such false thought and advance our Arab and Islamic societies.
I wish you all success from God, who says: “The Believers are but a single Brotherhood: So make peace and reconciliation between your two (contending) brothers; and fear Allah, that ye may receive Mercy.”
God’s peace and blessings be upon you.