Analysis: Religious or Islamic diplomacy as an "old-new" form of diplomacy that ECOWAS could use

Aug 29, 2023, 12:25 PM | Article By: Ambassador Essa Bokarr Sy

Today we are going  to either remind or educate ourselves and every listener that diplomacy cannot be attributed to a given "hegemony" nor does it belong to linguistics rising from certain cultures whose traces have so far been entrenched in everything or anything related to diplomatic speeches, correspondence,  pacts and agreements. In fact is that not the reason why diplomacy and human rights cannot still be "digested" by those who are "columnised or categorised" as the virgin societies to be taught diplomacy from elsewhere? In all honesty wisdom and experience has established one fact. Which is, diplomacy cannot be a component or product of one culture or setting only to be exported to others via prejudice and subjective interpretations.  Facts without any iota of doubt have also  revealed that diplomacy is indeed entrenched    Islam itself and has always been. As a matter of fact, some scholars have come to terms with that very reality thus have choosen to remain attentive with sharpened listening skills in that regard. Religious Diplomacy or call it Islamic Diplomacy was here way before any of the universities serving as printing machines of degrees today came into existence. Had these diplomatic lessons in religion been reserved and applied in all honesty, we would have never crossed dark episodes like the crusade. Nor would there have been attacks and counter attacks caused by religious, cultural, social, political and or economic conflicts. As a matter of fact, the greater percentage of the world population are either Muslim or Christians then comes Judhaism, Hinduism and other forms of worship. Paradoxically though, these souls who are nourished and raised in what is supposed to derive its very meaning  from peace and submission to their creator(Islam) or others  who believe in different  theologies are the very  ones who always see themselves in arch rivalry. What does that mean? It means sincerity and honesty are expunged from the hearts and minds of many who claim to be representing the interest of the masses. Latter is obviously not where we should converge to find lasting solutions. Neither is dwelling in everlasting rivalry a better option! Truth hurts yet it cures! Sometimes these conflicts are either inter or intra which therefore means conflict resolutions  cannot be made or promulgated  in the sky. They must be made within our minds as it is where both peace and turmoil are brewed. Look here folks! We are the ones who have sidelined honesty in faith therefore remain intoxicated by selfishness in faith.

Why are we fighting each other yet meet in the same mosque, church, synagogue or temple only to listen to sermons on peace and tolerance?  Are we listening or pretending to be listening? Answer is yours.    

Various universities across the world do lecture a lot on conflict resolution, preventive diplomacy and the like. So do they equally produce graduates who come out in black gowns to celebrate their graduations with degrees on international relations and diplomacy isn't it?

What our society should be reminded of though,  is that human relations has never been perfect therefore realistically speaking any society that wants to avoid conflict has  to first understand the true meaning of human relations itself.

Human relations are complex and complicated because of interests, desires and hidden agendas. Where faith is expunged from what should be honesty within the fabric of that very society means man to man would remain more and more unjust. Why? Simply because faith is expected to remain a filter where desires do pollute thought. Faith within a given context is not always that of theology! It also encombers moral authority or discipline in all  its forms and shapes.

Having faith in something is the beginning of commitment from the invissible to the visible side of what should remain  human in us.

Agreements, pacts, treaties and resolutions on any given matter  do obviously  affect the lives of both believers and non believers or people who do not share the same religion. At this juncture we should revisit this.


Humanity before religion.

Humanity before culture.

Humanity before anything that creates hegemony within blinded desires.

We indeed have a concrete example to share with Muslims and non Muslims on what is the true meaning of Islamic cum religious diplomacy. It is a treaty that protected both believers and non believers therefore one of the most dependable and impartial treaties the world has ever heard of. Until this day it is applicable and can reduce tensions to their lowest level thus give chance to peace and understanding.

The Treaty of Hudaybiyyah in the 6th year of the Hijra, is a form of Religious Diplomacy by Prophet Muhammed SAW in Islam.

It was an event that took place during the lifetime of prophet Muhammad SAWS. It was a pivotal treaty between Muhammad SAWS, representing the state of Medina, and the tribe of the Quraysh in Mecca.

In this treaty, Muslims were  free and allowed to perform Umra from Medina to Mecca without any let or hindrance for a period of 10 years. Likewise nonbelievers of Quraysh could also easily engage in business activities like sales and traveling  through Medina to Egypt or Sham without any man made  obstacles or odds along the way.

This and other points were in the agreement in Hudaibiya.

How about we remain honest and truthful to ourselves to thus see essence in such treaties and teachings then combine it with what we have under our sleeves? Why not all parties revisit their subjective, selfish and prejudiced innerside then come out clean seeing only humanity and nothing else? Once we are ready to answer those questions with sincerity and honesty we will soon replace tensions with comprehension as it pleases Allah.