Malaysiakini
LETTER

Take urgent action to prevent sectarian conflicts

SM Mohamed Idris

Published
Modified 28 Apr 2016, 7:38 am

The urging by Abdullah Din to the fatwa councils to issue edicts to forbid Muslims from marrying followers of the Shiite branch of Islam is ridiculous and contrary to the teachings of Islam [Malaysiakini, April 21, 2016 ].The consensus among the most learned and respected ulama is that Shiites are Muslims just like those who belong to Ahl As-Sunnah Wa’lJama’ah.

In July 2005, an international conference of 200 of the world’s leading Islamic scholars and leaders from 50 countries issued the following ruling:

Whosoever is an adherent to one of the four Sunni schools (Mathahib) of Islamic jurisprudence (Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi'I and Hanbali), the two Shi'i schools of Islamic jurisprudence {Ja'fariand Zaydi), the Ibadi school of Islamic jurisprudence and the Thahiri school of Islamic jurisprudence, is a Muslim. Declaring that person an apostate is impossible and impermissible.

The ruling is based on opinions s issued by 23 leading Islamic scholars and institutions including Shaykh Dr Yusuf Abdullah Al-Qaradawi of Qatar, Shaykh Al-Azhar the late Dr Muhammad Sayyid Tantawi, Grand Mufti of Syria the late Shaykh Ahmad Kuftaro, Mufti Muhammad Taqi Uthmani of Pakistan and the Islamic Figh Academy of Saudi Arabia.

The ruling has been published under the title the ‘Amman Message’ which has been endorsed by over 500 Islamic scholars and political leaders including our former prime minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Shahidan Kassim, Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin Abu Bakar and Distinguished Professor Dr Kamal Hasan.

The Islamic Foreign Ministers Conference, in 2007, adopted a resolution endorsing the Amman Message which was circulated in the United Nations as a UN document.

Those who are preaching hatred against the Shiites should heed the resolution’s warning that “seeds for divisiveness are being sown between the Muslims by the enemies of Islam and Muslims through diverse strategies policies and plans” and that “certain powers intended to exploit Sunni-Shiite and Arab-non-Arab divides to promote their policies and objectives in the Muslim world”.

The destruction of Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Libya, and the raging sectarian conflict there, bear testimony to the success of the strategies of the enemies of Islam and Muslims.

The state muftis and the government must take urgent action to prevent the instigation of sectarian conflicts by irresponsible groups and individuals. The government must implement the recommendation of the International Islamic Fiqh Academy that “the relevant authorities in Islamic countries take steps to prevent the printing, distribution, and circulation of publications that deepen division...”


SM MOHAMED IDRIS is chairperson of Citizens International, which is a global initiative from Penang, Malaysia. It seeks to analyse the causes of increased militarisation of the planet and to work towards an environment of peace and international security including the preservation of social justice, ecology and sustainable development.

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