Wednesday 22 August 2012
JEDDAH: A number of prominent religious scholars from the eastern city of Qatif have opposed all forms of violence targeting public properties and institutions.
They also reiterated their rejection of creating division in society on the basis of madhab (religious schools of thought).
In a joint statement, seven leading scholars including Sheikh Abdullah Al-Khonaizi and Sheikh Hassan Al-Safar, backed Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah’s call to end division of society on sectarian basis.
The scholars including Sheikh Ali Nasser Al-Salman, Sheikh Abdul Kareem Al-Jubail, Sheikh Ali Al-Mohsen, Sheikh Yousuf Al-Mahdi and Sheikh Jaafar Al-Rebh, supported the king’s proposal to establish a center for dialogue between different religious sects.
“We support the king’s call that rejects madhabi, sectarian and ideological divisions that weaken the society’s unity,” the statement said, adding that the king’s vision would open new horizons of national dialogue among the various groups of society, bringing fruitful results.
The scholars emphasized the importance of dialogue in strengthening the civil society. “Every citizen in the country should be respected and his/her honor should be preserved and their rights should be safeguarded,” the scholars said.
The scholars urged the youth and all other citizens in the country to stand firmly against all forms of violence in order to preserve the security of the Kingdom and its people. “We also denounce all acts of aggression targeting public properties and institutions,” the Qatif scholars said, adding that such acts of violence are prohibited in Islam.
“We have good example in Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and his Caliphs who presented us the road map for coexistence and respecting other human beings.”
Imam Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) had said: “There are two types of people; they are either your brothers in religion or your counterparts in mankind,” the statement said.
Attacking a person living peacefully among Muslims is a big crime, the scholars said. “So, how can we attack persons who follow our religion and who are our brothers in religion and citizens of our country. We should respect the sacredness of blood, security and stability of citizens,” they said.
Peace is the objective of a faith-based society and its activities, the statement said. “Islamic teachings instruct us to follow peaceful means while dealing with people inside and outside the Ummah,” it added.
“We should reject any act of violence that would lead to blood letting and transgression on honors and public and private properties. We condemn all acts of violence targeting innocent people by any party or individual. We also denounce attacks on public properties or official agencies. We consider any activity of that sort as a violation of Shariah.”
The scholars quoted the Prophet as saying that: “A Muslim will be in vastness of his religion as long as he does not spill blood that has been made sacred by his God.”
The scholars called upon men and women in the country to be cautious while spreading news. “One should not spread rumors and baseless news that would create chaos and confusion in the country. How can a religious community accept news spread by unknown persons who try to fish in troubled waters and try to undermine the country’s unity and stability,” they asked.
The scholars underscored the Kingdom’s security and stability. “We have been living in a country with multiple groups and sects for hundreds of years and we enjoy its security and stability whose pillars have been reinforced by the Kingdom’s leaders.”
“We’ll not accept any negotiation on preserving this history that have been carried on by our forefathers. Our choice is to respect this national fabric, without violating the country’s fundamental principles.”
NOTE BY THE EDITOR: These are Shiah scholars of Saudi Arabia.