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Ideas on Proximity

Oct 26, 2009, 2:57 PM | Article By: Alh. Ousman M. Jah

(Friday, 23rd October 2009 Issue)
D. Point on proposed strategy

-           This plan has been presented in abstract and brief form and in it there is talk about the future. As a result, the entire explanations and grounds paved is condensed in Chapter One, that informs that a Special Committee has been assigned the task of taking care of the issue;

-           The sections, or chapters of the proposed strategy are logically sequenced, and for instance Chapter one is located to main concepts and specific definitions; Chapter Two focuses on the main pillars over which proximity can be structured; Chapter Three focuses on the prophecy of the Forum {World Forum for proximity among Islamic Schools of Though} and its perspectives; and in Chapter Four there is a discussion on the sphere for proximity movement; Chapter Five speaks about the ruling values and frame works for this process; Chapter Six includes of the official and Administrative objectives, the ten- years and long term plans aimed at achieving those objectives, annual and short term objectives, and how to mobilize the required material and human resources to materialize those objectives.

-           We believe the perspectives mentioned in Chapter three include the characteristics that were mentioned in the prelude.

-           This plan does not mention the required means for materializing the objectives mentioned in it, both because the matter is quite clear, and since it is briefly elaborated in the Letter of Association of the World forum for Proximity of the Islamic Schools of thought {WFPIST}. The issue remains open for the presentation of proposals on more such means, at the time when the plan would be put to public debate.

E. Strategy of World Forum for Proximity among Islamic Schools of Thought

In order to materialize its objectives and in a bid to meet its expectations, this Forum has prepared and devised its ?Comprehensive Strategy Plan?, which was presented to the Forum?s Tehran International Supreme Council, held on December 23-24,2002 {Tir 2-3, 1381; Shawwal 18-19, 1423}, Where it was ratified after discussions, debates, additions and deletions.


1. Prelude to Strategy

This chapter includes various issues, as follows:

-           Necessary definitions;

-           Brief histories of the formation of schools of thought;

-           Abstracts on reasons behind jurists, and others, differences of opinions;

-           Brief historic glance at religious leaders? encounters with one another;

-           Brief historic glance at roles played by ruling politicians and their individual interests in flickering the flames of disputes among Muslims, and turning them into devastating sectarian and religious clashes;

-           Role played by some rules and Alims in the promotion of Islamic proximity and unity;

-           Proximity at our era, and role played by Cairo based Daar ut-Taqrib Bayn al-Mazahib ul-islamiyya {House for proximity among Islamic Schools of Thought} in that respect;

-           How the World Forum for proximity among Islamic Schools of Thought {WFPIST} was established;

-           Strong and weak point in proximity movement, and WEPIST moves;

-           Proximity movement?s perspectives and expectations in the future {this chapter would be devised later on}


2. Proximity Strategy

Chapter One: Specialized Concepts

-           Proximity: In accordance with the viewpoints of the World Forum for proximity among Islamic Schools of Thought, proximity means,? Bringing closer the hearts and minds of the followers of Islamic Schools of Thought in order to let them get acquainted with one another sympathetically as brethren in faith, based on absolute and definite shared Islamic fundamentals.?

-           Islamic Unity: Islamic Unity is.? Cooperation among the followers of the Islamic schools of Thought based on fixed and absolute, shared fundaments of Islam; adopting the same stands in a bid to help achieve the exalted objectives of the Islamic Ummah; and adopting solid stands in confrontation with the enemies of the Islamic Ummah, while respecting commitments of each Muslims individual both at thoughts, and at deeds levels, in accordance with his own schools of thought.?

-           Islamic Schools of Thought: by the phrase ?Islamic Schools of Thought? we mean, ?Those famous Islamic schools that have devised and sold jurisprudence relying on the Glorious Qur?an and the Tradition of the holy Prophet {phub}.? The officially recognized Islamic schools of thought, from the viewpoint of the wor ld Forum for proximity among Islamic Schools of Thought including the Hanafi, the Shafe?ie, the Maleki, and the Hanbali Sunni schools, as well as the Ithna-Ashari, the Zeydi, and the Bahreh Shi?a schools, and the Abazi School. There are of course other schools, too that have either no followers today, or can be considered as branches of one of the above mentioned schools. In addition to those two groups there are the schools of thought based on personal viewpoints, {whose followers are} in practice not committed to rules of any certain school.

Chapter Two: Pillars of Proximity

Proximity movement among the Islamic Schools of Thought is based on major        fundamentals, whose major ones are as follows:

-           The Glorious Qur?an and the Noble Tradition of the Holy Prophet {phub}, which is the two main axes of the Islamic jurisprudence, are the two major commonalties among all Islamic Schools of thought. The authenticity of the other sources depends on their extent of being influenced and incited from these two sources.

-           Belief  in the following fundamentals and pillars of Islam are the major characteristics of a Muslim:

-           Belief in the unity of Almighty Allah {Monotheism};

-           Belief in the prophethood of the Holy Prophet Muhammad ibn-Abdullah {phub} as the last true prophet, and that his tradition is one of the two major sources of Islamic Jurisprudence.

-           Belief in the glorious Qur?an and in its concepts, as the most important source for Islamic rules and  Jurisprudence;

-           Belief in resurrection {and Hereafter};

-           Not denying the necessities of belief and confessing to the existence of the pillars of Islam, such as the daily prayers, the Islamic tax ?Zakat?, fasting, performing the major Hajj pilgrimage, Jihad, and ??.

-           Legitimacy of issuing jurisprudence verdicts, and freedom to have negotiations; by giving legitimacy to issuance of jurisprudence verdicts, Islam recognizes the emergence of differences of opinion within the framework of the main Islam sources. That is the reason why the Muslims should regard as natural the differences on opinion in jurisprudence verdicts, and respect the beliefs of one another.

-           Islamic Unity is among the characteristics attributed to the Ummah in the Glorious Qur?an, and one of the greatly significant fundamentals of Islam that has priority if it contradicts any other less important fundamental. 

-           Islamic Brotherhood Fundamental that is the main platform for interactions among Muslims.


To be Continued