Minister’s Message
11/02/2015
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Praise be to Allah the lord of the worlds, I shall pray and submit for the most honored prophet and messenger, our prophet Muhammad peace be upon him, his family, and his companions and followers. Since cooperation among the followers of different faiths is necessary to minimize religious extremism on one hand, and decreasing clash of civilizations on the other, the Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Endowments, Da‘wah and Guidance has decided to launch a specialized Islamic cultural program dedicated for those who are interested in religious studies, in order to enhance communication among civilizations, understanding each other, and to counter the deliberate distortion of Islam. The decision of launching this program is part of the wise policy maintained by the government of the custodian of the two holy mosques, King Abdullah Bin Abdul-Aziz Al-Saud – May�Allah protect him-, and his permanent concern to support all its governmental bodies including Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Endowments, Da‘wah and Guidance which its main concerns are calling for Islam (to worship Allah), sustaining mosques and endowments, and spreading the right knowledge about Islam. This program came to actualize the vision set by King Abdullah Bin Abdul-Aziz Al-Saud – May�Allah protect him-, in his plea for inter-religious dialogue to bring peace, and attain peaceful coexistence among people of the world, despite their different races and faiths, and his support for any initiative calling for acquaintance, exchanging knowledge, and clarifying real Islam for other religions followers. Islam called his followers to acquaintance, God 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)” Al-Hujurat (49:13). Peace is the fundamental principle for the relations of Islamic countries with other – unhostile- countries, God says: “But if the enemy incline towards peace, do thou (also) incline towards peace, and trust in Allah..” Al-Anfal (8: 61). Inter-religious dialogue has basic purposes, include clarifying real Islam, uncover the truth, and countering falsification by authenticated proofs, God says: “Who is better in speech than one who calls (men) to Allah, works righteousness, and says, I am of those who bow in Islam? Fussilat (41: 33). This is the right juristic base for dialogue, and the one who deviate from it has gone astray, this dialogue is about peaceful coexistence, living all together in peace to keep Man’s respect who has been honored by God, as he says: “We have honoured the sons of Adam; provided them with transport on land and sea; given them for sustenance things good and pure; and conferred on them special favours, above a great part of Our Creation.” Al-Israa (17: 70) This dialogue is also about bringing justice to the people, despite the different faiths and races they are, since all religions have agreed on spreading justice and rejecting injustice, Abu Dhar Al-Ghifa arrated that The Prophet (PBUH) has related from his Lord that He said: “O my slaves, I have forbidden oppression for Myself, and I have made oppression prohibited amongst you, so do not oppress one another.” (collected by Muslim). Without justice, societies are overwhelmed by corruption, and inter-religious dialogue is undoubtedly some kind of common confrontation against oppressors to stop their oppression and injustice, God says: “Let there arise out of you a band of people inviting to all that is good, enjoining what is right, and forbidding what is wrong: they are the ones to attain felicity.” Al-i-‘Imran (3: 104). Dialogue also indicates Islam’s tolerance, and in the same time it is a call for others to know the Religion of Truth, God says: “Say: O People of the Book! come to common terms as between us and you: that we worship none but Allah; that we associate no partners with Him; that we erect not, from among ourselves, Lords and patrons other than Allah. If then they turn back, say ye: Bear witness that we (at least) are Muslims (bowing to Allah’s Will). Al-i-‘Imran (3: 640). Of course the purpose is not forcing people to join Islam, as God says: “Let there be no compulsion in religion: Truth stands out clear from Error: whoever rejects Evil and believes in Allah hath grasped the most trustworthy hand-hold, that never breaks. And Allah heareth and knoweth all things.” Al-Baqarah (2: 256). That was the kind of dialogue King Abdullah Bin Abdul-Aziz Al-Saud – the custodian of the two holy mosques- has called for, in his message to the whole world, as he said: ““I come to you from the place dearest to the hearts of all Muslims, the land of the Two Holy Mosques, bearing with me a message from the Islamic world representing its scholars and thinkers who recently met in the confines of the House of God. This message declares that Islam is a religion of moderation and tolerance; a message that calls for constructive dialogue among followers of religions; a message that promises to open a new page for humanity in which – God willing – concord will replace conflict.” Finally, we ask Allah -Glory be to him- to make this program useful and fruitful, and to be one of the means to know real Islam, without extremism o egligence, as delivered by the most honored prophet Muhammad (PBUH) -who has been sent as a mercy to the whole world. We also hope this program will be a source of knowledge about the great Islamic civilization for those who seek it, and to clarify Muslims contributions in various fields of science and culture, and to indicate the favors Muslims added to the whole humanity irrespective of their race, color, or creed. In the end, I shall pray and submit for the prophet, peace be upon him, his family, and his companions. Sheikh Saleh Ibn Abdul-Aziz Ibn Muhammad Ibn IbrahimAl ALshaikh Minister of Islamic Affairs,Endowments,Da`wa and Guidance