First of all, I would like to thank the President of the Chechen Republic, His Excellency Mr. Ramzan Kadyrov, who through the organization of this meeting and warm welcome of the guests created proper conditions for an exchange of views between Muslim scholars on the issues that the Islamic world is facing.
Today I will speak on the main problems of the Islamic world, and ways and principles to resolve them”. My speech will consists of three parts.
The first part will focus on the main problems of the Islamic world and can be summarized in the following sub-clauses:
The influence of the American Zionism on centers of political and religious decision-making has reached such a degree that today we see how some Islamic leaders publicly call themselves allies of Zionists and Americans and proclaim themselves agents who will help implement their policies in the Islamic world, particularly in the Middle East.
The Holy Quran is warning Muslims of this danger:
“O you who have attained to faith! Do not take for your bosom-friends people who are not of your kind. They spare no effort to corrupt you; they would love to see you in distress. Vehement hatred has already come into the open from out of their mouths, but what their hearts conceal is yet worse.” (Surah 3:118)
The rift between Muslims is one of the main problems of the Islamic world today.
Unfortunately, the enemies of Islam are using their agents in the Islamic world and the ignorance, prejudice and selfishness of some people of the Islamic community who yielded to external political and religious narratives, to turn insignificant differences in interpretations and beliefs between various Madhhabs, many of which are essential and necessary for itjihad by various Madhabs and the Islamic clerics, into hostility, violence, takfirism, war and bloodshed between Muslims.
They brought all that to such a point that people who seek leadership in some of these movements reject any reasonable dialogue, any efforts to achieve peace and friendship and any steps towards a convergence of views. It is remarkable that some leaders of the Islamic world blame The World Forum for Proximity of Islamic Schools of Thought for promoting Shi’ism – and the only reason is that some of its members are followers of the Ahl al-Bayt school of thought (peace be upon him!).
Should the call for the Madhabs’ rapprochement be considered as promoting Shi’ism or a certain Madhab? The call for rapprochement is aimed to renew peaceful relations, friendship and brotherhood between Muslims, to unite our actions as God said: “The believers are but brothers, so reconcile between your brothers and fear Allah that you may receive mercy.” (Surat Al-Hujurat 49:10) and where he said: “Hold on firmly together to the rope of God, and be not divided among yourselves.” (Al Imran-103).
Today the main problem of the Islamic world is divergence from the prescriptions of the Holy Quran, from the teachings and traditions of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him and his descendants), from the commitment to uphold Muslim unity and protect their honor and their shrines and from the responsibility to work for the benefit of Muslims. Prophet said: “من اصبح و لم یهتم بأمور المسلمین فلیس بمسلم”.
Prescriptions are not followed and as a result we see an unprecedented oppression and tyranny against Muslims in various regions of the world.
The oppression and tyranny practiced today by the Zionists against our brothers in Palestine is a clear example of the oppression that is happening today against Muslims. Why do Muslims and many of the Islamic states fail to fulfill their duties to protect Palestine and help its resistance movement? Why are we witnessing today the worst Zionists’ encroachment on Palestine with the American support and do not see any response among Muslims to that?
The Zionists who encroached Palestine with the support of their allies led by America try to sweep the Palestinian issue under the carpet and transform the resistance against the Zionist invaders, who are the main enemies not only of Muslims and the Islamic world, but of all mankind, into a civil war between Muslims. We should use all efforts and possibilities to prevent the fight against common enemy from becoming a civil war between Muslims.
Despite all the problems that we are facing in the Islamic world, Islamic awakening is something that we have to protect from our enemies as it evolves and gets stronger. Unfortunately, the Zionists together with their American sponsors and Islamic allies try to turn this spiritual revival into takfirism and terror. They pursue two goals. One of them is to prevent the expansion of Islamic awakening. And the other one is to use the great power of Islamic awakening against Islam, particularly against the Islamic resistance movement in Palestine, Lebanon and Syria instead of directing it against oppression, tyranny, colonialism and the influence of America and Israel on the Islamic world. They want to mobilize young and enthusiastic Islamic forces against Muslims in such countries as Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, and Iraq instead of using them to stop Zionism and liberate Palestine.
Everything mentioned above is some of the main problems which the Islamic world is trying to overcome.
The second part will look at the hidden power and great possibilities of the Islamic world.
The Islamic world has a hidden power and great possibilities, which in case of cooperation between Muslims can turn the Islamic world into a dominant global power. These powers and possibilities can be summarized as followings:
In the political aspect:
56 Islamic states with a population of about 2 billion people are a great political power which can play a critical role in global policy in case these states and their people can unite and work together.
In the economic and strategic aspects:
Apart from the two-billion dollar market, the Islamic states account for 70% of global energy sources. They have the most sensitive regions of the world that is crossroads of North and South, East and West, the most significant transit links, strategic waterways and sensitive straits.
In addition, the Islamic world has friends all over the world and together we face common enemies and threats. Common political goals is a source excellent political and even economic opportunities for the Islamic world.
Today most of the countries in Asia, Africa, and Latin America, including such powerful states as Russia and China, view America and the Zionist regime as their common enemies. They perceive a danger posed by these two political forces and their allies as a serious global threat to peace and economy. Bottomline: America and the Zionist regime are common enemies for these countries and for the Islamic world.
A common enemy may become a fertile ground for political and economic cooperation between our countries. This opportunity should be used to increase a level of political and economic cooperation with this group of powerful states and nations in order to increase the political and economic clout of Islamic states and nations.
The third part is about common ways to resolve problems:
Taking into consideration the threats and problems mentioned in the first part and some of the main opportunities from the second part, here are ways to counter these threats using the opportunities:
It is necessary to nurture and raise awareness of Muslims about each other.
Improve knowledge in relation to a) ideas and opinions of each other; b) chances and opportunities available to the Islamic community; c) common needs and problems create the ground for rapprochement and interaction between Islamic states and people. Muslims believe that they should better understand that they benefit from this interaction, which makes them an Ummah, those people of whom Allah said: “You stand above all and will overcome them if ye are (indeed) believers.” (Al-Imran – 139) and “You are the best community ever brought forth for (the good of) humankind” (Al-Imran – 110).
Expand scientific and religious cooperation, in particular establish universities with various Islamic Madhabs. The foundation of the University of Islamic Madhhabs in Tehran by The World Forum for Proximity of Islamic Schools of Thought helped the followers of different Madhabs get to know each other better. We should also establish joint universities in the field of science and technology where outstanding professors and scholars of the Islamic world will work.
Expand economic cooperation, particularly in establishing a common Islamic market, as well as cooperation in a field of Islamic banking. In this regard, today’s conference and the conference in Tatarstan may become quite useful and effective.
Expand political cooperation between Islamic states, parties and groups. In this regard, the establishment of global and regional unions of Islamic states can bring its benefits.
Expand cooperation between Islamic states in technology and engineering.
Establish global and regional unions between Islamic states and between them and those states that support the Islamic resistance to strengthen this resistance.
Strengthen cooperation with the "Masai Hamide" Committee founded by The World Forum for Proximity of Islamic Schools of Thought and efforts aimed at rapprochement between rival groups in the Islamic world.
Strengthen social and cultural ties between Muslim nations and ethnic groups all over the world, strengthen ties between people of Islamic states with Muslim minorities in non-Islamic countries, political, economic and cultural support for these nations and use their abilities to strengthen the cultural and economic power of the Islamic world.
I hope this conference will become a real step towards better interaction and cooperation between Muslim states and people as well as states and people who are friendly to the Islamic community.