Sheikh Ahmad Kuftaro:
The Meeting for Peace
16-17 November 1991
Friendship Hall, Khartoum, Sudan.
Blessings and Peace be on our master Muhammad and on all prophets and messengers And all those who follow them to the end of time.
We are grateful to those who arranged this meeting, those who are running it and the noble audience who have come from Japan, Asia, Africa and other countries from all over the world.
All of us seek a world governed by the spirit of peace and love, but we will not realize this unless we establish true peace between man and his Lord. In addition, we must establish His laws on the earth, which guarantee people happiness, love and harmony. If fighting in the way of religion is allowed, it is to realize peace, eradicate injustice and oppression, and erase the despotic rule of the powerful over the weak.
So long as man is captive to his lusts and egotism, follows the way of oppression and tyranny, ignores the commands of heaven, neglects the hungry and sick, does not spread knowledge and justice, and does not deal with people with love and compassion, the long-sought for peace on this planet will never be accomplished. This is a great responsibility that falls on the shoulders of the wise, devoted men of religion, as well as those in government, scholars and university academicians. It will not avail us, however, if we throw the responsibility on others and forget the particular importance of our own role, because we are all shepherds and responsible for our sheep. We know that the aim of religion is not only to create peace, but to spread mercy to all. Allah describes the mission of prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) in the Quran:
We have not sent you save as a mercy to all worlds. T.Q., Sura 21, The Prophets, verse 107.
In support of this, Prophet Muhammad says: All creatures are God's dependents, the most loved by God are those who are most helpful to them.
All clergymen have to develop a divine outlook and compassionate character, sowing the seeds of love and peace, and not those of separatism and hostility. It is not for us to take advantage of the ignorance of people, or their good-heartedness, by trying to persuade them to leave their own creeds. This is more likely to create enemies of them and damage the harmony of a country, society, or a family. In this, man's rights in Islam are acknowledged. The freedom of belief and religion is recognized and, as the Quran says:
Let there be no compulsion in religion (T.Q., Sura 2, The Cow, verse 256).
The clergymen's slogan should, therefore, always be: O my God you are my aim and satisfying you is my goal.
The men of industry, wealth and finance should not accumulate their fortunes at the expense of the weak, and thus drowning the needy with further debts. There will be no peace as long as exploitation exists and greed rules. There will be no peace as long as there is an oppressed and an oppressor. Prophet Muhammad would not recognize a man as a believer, if he were to fill his stomach and go to bed, forgetting his hungry neighbor.
The men of politics and government should not be despots to those they govern. They should treat them with tenderness, benevolence and love. They should make it possible for them to have a decent life, in compliance with the saying of Omar Ibn el-Khattab, the second successor to Muhammad: How could you enslave people whose mothers gave birth to them as free! Furthermore, Prophet Muhammad says: There are two types of men if found good then all those around them will be good, if, however, they are found to be corrupt all those around them will be corrupt; the clergymen and the rulers.
The media should be the true shepherds of peace and love. It is necessary that they side with truth and righteousness wherever found, without the stain of political prejudice, thus complying with Prophet Muhammad's tradition: None of you is a believer unless he desires for his fellowmen what he desires for himself.
Peace be upon you all.