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Ideas on Proximity Strategy

Sep 11, 2009, 8:33 AM | Article By: Alhaji Ousman M. Jah


This article is an analytic essay on the proposed strategy to be pursued by the world forum for the proximity among Islamic schools of thought (WFPIST). After defining and elaborating on some key concepts and terms often used in the field, the author focuses on the endeavors so far, for proximity among Islamic schools of thought. Among them, he refers to the first attempt made in the line, namely the establishment of Daar ut - taqrib (proximity house) in Cairo. After speaking in details about the efforts made by the founders of that movement, in accordance with the terms of a covenant signed by Mohammad-Mahdi Shamaseddin and the charity fund of grand Ayatollah khoyee, the author focuses on recent efforts made by OIC'S Islamic Countries educational, scientific & cultural organization (ISESCO), pursued by that organization as strategic objective. Then, relying on such a background, he outs forth the strategy pursued by the World forum for proximity among Islamic schools of thought (WFPIST), which has constantly been based on familiarizing the followers of various Islamic schools with the shared ideas and beliefs of one another, and promoting the feeling of brotherhood and sympathy among them. In doing so, the WFPIST considers the most important platform for proximity among the world Muslims to be the glorious Quran, the Holy traditional prophets Muhammad (PHUB), and the legitimacy of issuing verdicts in accordance with them by the jurists of various schools. Focusing on the fields in which proximity has promoted, he says they encompass the entire life affairs of the followers of various schools, including beliefs, jurisprudences and their chapters, Islamic ethics and history, and the political stands adopted by the Islamic Ummah. At the end he emphasizes the need to preserve the following values among world Muslims:

* Preserving the feeling of Cooperation, as a necessary;

* Adopting shared stands;

* Refraining from calling one another infidels

* Dealing with one another respectfully

* Respecting religious freedom in personal affairs

* Holding peaceful dialogues with the disbelievers and with the followers of the holly books


In this article we would offer explanations and expressions and concepts related with proximity strategy, elaborate on the philosophy behind proximity moves, and relying on the experience of the pioneers of this movements, we would try to devise a present day strategy for proximity among Islamic schools of though. In doing so we would also point out some helpful hints related to the proposed strategy.

A. Expressions and concepts

Official objectives: "official objectives" are those goals of topmost importance and outstanding mottoes that define the general, and yet abstract outline of activities of the organization.

Perspectives: a perspective is the outlook of an organization from the standpoint of a certain period of time (that is usually twenty years or even more). Such a perspective must have the following mentioned characteristics:

- It must present images as clearly as possible, of the official objectives of the organ, and be able to portray the future of that organization;

- It must make known the objectives of the organization, and even if necessary, to define their dimensions, or to compare those objectives with similar achieved goals, and provide for achieving them;

- It must be highly attractive, so that the concerned officials at the organization would feel mentally and emotionally attached to it, and believe that it is in their interest to help to achieve its stated objectives;

- It should be attainable;

- It should be capable of giving shape to the movement during the path of achieving the goals;

- It should be flexible enough to practical under any condition;

- It should be easy to elaborate, explain and memorize for all;

Such a perspective and future image should pursue the following objectives

- Transparency in stating the general approaches of the organization, that would lead to solving the disputes among the concern officials; able to pave the path for policy making; and capable of avoiding the occurrence of disputes in answering the ambiguities and emerging problems and questions at any time, particularly those about the result of the various phrases of the project. Such problems would check the competence of the entire process of a movement, in such ways as asking: are the phrases in the question congruous with the general scheme of the perspective, or not?

- It should be capable of creating real incentives for the concerned officials; competent for organizing their activities; and able for canalizing the movement within the general framework of the perspectives, on condition that the perspectives would be capable of generating enough incentives that there would be no need to inspect and control their efficiency.

- It should be capable of harmonizing the performance of the various parts of a system with one another, because having such perspective would divert the attention of the system managers from trivial, marginal and short term objectives to moves aimed at collective success, blocking the path for marginal activities, even if they would be in the line with collective interest of the organization.

The Author of this Important Article is the Secretary General of (The World Forum for Proximity among Islamic Schools of Thought) Ayatollah Mohammad-Ali Taskhiri. It is taken from Al - Taqrib Quarterly Journal on Islamic Unity& Proximity.

(To be continued)