#Article (Archive)

Ideas on Proximity

Oct 30, 2009, 12:11 PM | Article By: Alhaji Ousman M. Jah

Continued from Chapter Three:
Forum & its Objectives

Briefly speaking, the prophecy of the World Forum for Proximity is as follows:
Boosting mutual respect among Muslims; boosting brotherhood bonds among Muslims; and refraining from observing discrimination based on belonging to a school of thought, a race, or a nationality, in a bid to materialize the great objectives and ideals of the unified Islamic Ummah.

The World Forum for Proximity among Islamic Schools of Thought that has dozens of members among Alims from different countries around the globe is one of the major centers calling for 'Proximity' and 'unity' within the Islamic World, that has paved the path for constructive interactions among the followers of various Islamic schools of thought. In order to materialize those objectives, the Forum would pursue the following goals within the next ten years:

- Efforts aimed at bringing closer the living conditions of Islamic society today to those of the time of the holy Prophet {phub} as far as possible from the viewpoint of the religious brotherhood, and eliminating the atmosphere of sectarian and tribal enmities among followers of various schools;

- Promoting the practically existing solidarity among some Islamic schools to the  extent of encompassing the entire Islamic schools;

- Recognizing the existence of differences by entire Islamic society; and that such differences are due to systematic authentic jurisprudences;

- Taking models of the behavior of infallible Imams {phut} and religious leaders in their interactions with one another, in the behavior of the followers of Islamic schools of thought in dealing with one another today.

Chapter Four:
Spheres for Proximity

- The spheres for proximity among followers of various Islamic schools including the entire aspects of lives of those schools?followers, among which we can refer to the following prominent ones:

- Beliefs: The entire Islamic schools of thought have similar beliefs on fundamentals of Islam and the pillars of religion, and the existing differences are in practical laws of Islam and obligatory commandment {Foru,a ud-Deen} that cannot hurt the entirety of Islam, or disturb Islamic brotherhood.

- Islamic Jurisprudence & its Rules: In accordance with the viewpoint expressed by researcher jurist scholars from various Islamic schools of thought, jurisprudence chapters in different schools include lots of commonalties, and existence of differences of natural phenomenon, that has roots in different interpretations of jurists, and their related jurisprudence verdicts.

- Islamic Culture & Ethics: The Islamic schools have no differences of opinion with one another regarding ethical rules and the Islamic culture, either in personal, or in social aspects of life. The Benevolent Prophet {phub} is himself the best ethical model for the entire Islamic society.

- History: There is no doubt that the Muslims are unanimously agree on major eras of Islam's history, and secondary, or minor differences, too, can be tackled aimed peaceful negotiations, where consensus in many cases can be achieved. At any rate, we should not permit the differences in this field to impose their hazardous effects on current movement of the Islamic Ummah.

- Political Stand of the Islamic Ummah: The entire Islamic society has shared enemies, beyond doubt, and it is, therefore, most invulnerable castle. That is exactly the reason why the special characteristics and attributes of the Islamic Ummah make such a resistance a bare necessity, and no Islamic school of thought has anything against, or contradictory with this status. Therefore, it is quite appropriate for the Islamic leaders, Alims, and thinkers, to adopt a shared and solid policy against the enemies of Islam.

Chapter Five:
Fundamentals & Values  Keeping in mind the point reviewed thus far, the world Forum for Proximity among Islamic Schools of thought remains committed to observing the following fundamentals and values in pursuing its programs and its reformist policies:

- Necessity of full cooperation in cases on which the Muslims have full consensus.

- Necessity of adopting solid unified stands in confrontation with enemies if Islam.

- Necessity to refrain from labeling the Muslims as disbelievers, or of accusing them of initiating certain matters in religion. We Muslims are also obliged to recognize the legitimacy of issuing jurisprudence verdicts within the framework of the major Islamic sources and to yield to the aftermaths and necessities of such legitimacy, even if some verdicts thus issued would seem incorrect to us. It is appropriate therefore, to regard the differences as 'true-false' and not as 'belief-disbelief.' It is furthermore, not right to label a Muslim as a disbeliever merely due to his words, or his ideas that we believe would lead to denying the fundamentals of faith, because it is quite probable that he is not after drawing such conclusions from those deductions.

- Treating one another respectfully at times when difference of opinion emerge: Under such conditions that Islam invites the Muslims to observe lenience, and clemency in interactions with followers of the other religions and the disbelievers, inviting the Muslims not to insult the falsified beliefs and sanctities of them, it goes without saying that in the framework of the Muslims' relations with one another the rule of refraining from insulting the other side's disputed sanctities is further emphatically stressed.

- Freedom to choose one's school of thought: The rule of respecting people's freedom to choose their Islamic school of thought is in fact a personal liberty. The followers of different Islamic schools of thought naturally pursue the rules related to their own faiths, and it is not appropriate for foundations, or governments to impose any certain school of thought against the will of any individual. They should recognize the legitimacy of the entire Islamic schools of thought.

- Liberty to act based on personal beliefs: In regards with the matters related to personal affairs, the followers of Islamic schools of thought pursue the jurisprudences of their own schools, but regarding what is related to the public system  in an Islamic, or a non-Islamic country, the final index is the ratified laws of those legitimate and legal systems.

- The Benevolent Qur'an calls on the Muslims to observe the rules of holding peaceful negotiations in their encounters with the disbelievers, and with the people of the books, refraining from insulting threatening, intimidating, or creating hue cry, merely favoring realizing the Truth in the course of such dialogues:        

Therefore, give good tiding {O Muhammad!} to my bondmen. To those who hear advice, and follow the best thereof - {Glorious Qur'an; 39:17-18}

- Therefore, the Muslims are more emphatically obliged to solve their problems through holding peaceful dialogues, fully observing the related ethical rules.

- It is a necessity for the entire Islamic society to observe the practical aspects of proximity, and to apply related values in their personal lives, spending comprehensive efforts to live in accordance with the holy jurisprudence of Islam in all aspects of their lives.

Chapter Six: Official & Administrative Objectives

- Assisting the process of Islamic Culture's revival; expanding its dimensions through Islamic trainings; and defending the sanctity of the glorious Qur'an and the Prophetic Tradition.

- Making efforts aimed at strengthening and deepening the acquaintance among Islamic World Alims, thinkers and religious leaders in belief, jurisprudence, social, and political fields.

- Promoting the idea of proximity among Islamic World elites and thinkers and transferring that mentality to the public level of the Muslim masses, making them aware of the plots hatched by the enemies of Islam aimed a sowing the seeds of discord among them.

- Efforts aimed at strengthening and expanding the dimensions of issuing jurisprudence verdicts ad interpretations of Islamic sources within Islamic schools of thought.

- Efforts aimed at the establishment of a united Islamic front and harmonizing the forces within it to confront the media plots and cultural onslaught of the enemies of Islam, in accordance with absolute fundamentals of Islam. -Launching a campaign against negative attitudes and suspicions among followers of different Islamic schools. Guided by this strategy, and with the approval of the Supreme Council of the World Forum for Proximity among Islamic Schools of Thought {WFPIST}, a ten year program was devised that has been put into effect for two years now. Beyond doubt, any kind of revision or alteration in that strategic plan is in need of the approval of the Forum's General Assembly, and the effect of such revisions would be observed in the short and long term plans of the assembly.>>>The End