News Differences ‘should not lead to division,’ Islamic scholars discuss unity at Makkah gathering

RIYADH: Islamic scholars highlighted the importance of unity among the faithful at a Ramadan gathering in the holy city of Makkah on Wednesday.

“Islamic Ummah (worldwide Muslim community) is fine,” said Mohammed bin Abdulkarim Al-Issa, secretary-general of the MWL and chairman of the Organization of Muslim Scholars, as he opened the conference titled “Global Conference for Building Bridges between Islamic Schools of Thought and Sects”.

“Its spiritual scholars serve as exemplary role models in adhering to the Sharia, instilling trust and confidence in the religious leaders of the Islamic Ummah,” Al-Issa said.

Scholars told the conference that difference in opinion does not equate to division within the community of believers.

“Differences among Muslims should not lead to division,” Ali bin Abdul Rahman Erbaş, president of religious affairs in Turkiye. “We unanimously denounce any Islamic group that seeks to marginalize others by declaring them unbelievers or misleading them.”

Al-Issa said the conference brings together a group of well-established scholars belonging to the various sects of the Islamic world.

Attendees included Sheikh Abdulaziz bin Abdullah Al-Sheikh, the grand mufti of Saudi Arabia; Hissein Brahim Taha, secretary-general of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation; Abdallah bin Abdel Mohsen At-Turki, member of the council of senior scholars of Saudi Arabia; Sheikh Dr. Abdul Rahman bin Abdulaziz Al-Sudais, head of the Two Holy Mosques presidency.

Also attending was Sheikh Shawki Ibrahim Allam, grand mufti of Egypt; Sheikh Ahmed Hassan Al-Taha, head of the Iraqi Fiqh Council; Ayatollah Sheikh Ahmed Mobaleghi, a member of the assembly of experts in the Iran.

Sheikh Abdullah bin Mahfudh bin Bayyah, chairman of the Emirates council for sharia fatwa, said: “The significance and value of unity, both for human societies at large and for Islamic societies in particular, is universally acknowledged by both the learned and the wise.”

“I pray to Allah to bless the efforts that strive to unify the Muslim Ummah in accordance with the principles of our noble religion. May this initiative mark the start of Muslims coming together and directing them towards prosperity and happiness, he added.

He said the foundation for unity within the Muslim community is the testament of monotheism, which service as a unifying principle to bring disparate factions together under the belief in one God, with Muhammad as His final messenger.

Bayyah said that diversity is an intrinsic aspect of human nature. “People have always differed in their perceptions, evaluations, and preferences. Consequently, their viewpoints, understandings, affiliations, and interests vary.”

“There are several key principles for bridging divides and fostering unity within the Ummah,” Bayyah said, “including the etiquette of disagreement, treating those who differ with respect, preventing means of discord, speaking gently, and showing compassion towards the community.”


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