Towards a World of Peace and Brotherhood
His Eminence’s speech at the inauguration ceremony of
The World Peace Meeting of Religious Leaders
17 November 1991
In the name of God,
the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
May God’s peace and blessings be upon Prophet Muhammad and all prophets and messengers, their families, companions and true followers until the Day of Judgment.
Brother General Umar Ahmad Al-Bashir, President of the Republic of Sudan, brothers and sisters, I thank all those who have worked hard to prepare for this meeting, and our honourable audience from the five continents.
We all seek a world in which the spirit of peace and love prevails, but we will not attain it unless we achieve real peace between human beings and their Lord and work on His teachings, which guarantee humanity happiness, brotherhood, love and harmony. Even when jihad was legislated in Islam, its objective was to achieve peace and remove oppression, injustice and dominance of tyrannical powers over weak nations.
The desired peace will not be achieved as long as human beings are captives to their desires and selfishness, turning their backs on the commandments of heaven, not caring about the hungry and sick, not spreading knowledge and justice and not treating people with mercy, fraternity and love.
Bringing about peace is a great responsibility that should be undertaken by sincere and wise scholars, leaders, professors and media people. There is no benefit in abdicating our responsibility and transferring it to others. We are all responsible and will be questioned.
We have to know that peace is not the only aim of heavenly religions; rather, it is to spread mercy to all humanity. Almighty God clarifies the mission of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) in His Book when He says:
“And We have not sent you except as a mercy to all the creation.” T.Q., 21:107.
Prophet Muhammad says in his traditions, ‘All creatures are God’s dependants, and the most beloved to Him are the ones most beneficial to His dependants.’ Musnad Al-Bazzar.
So the clergy have to be solely devoted to God and committed to His attributes by truly having love and peace. They should not seek to sow seeds of discord and enmity, exploit people’s ignorance and goodness, and compel them to abandon their faith by tricks and temptations, making them enemies to their homeland and society.
In Islam, human rights are completely guaranteed and especially the freedom of belief. Almighty God says in the Holy Qur’an:
“Let there be no compulsion in religion.” T.Q., 2:256.
The clergy’s motto should always be, ‘My Lord! You are my goal, and pleasing You is my aim.’
In addition, men of industry and wealth should not work to increase their properties at the expense of the weak and poor, making them sink into debt. As long as exploitation continues, greed is in control, the hungry and deprived are not being cared for and injustice persists, peace will never be made.
Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) focuses on such social issues when he says, ‘Anyone who sleeps with a full stomach, knowing that his neighbour is hungry, has not truly believed in me.’ Musnad Al-Bazzar.
Leaders and politicians should not oppress people; rather they should treat them with mercy, benevolence and love and offer them a decent and honourable life.
Caliph Umar, the second successor of the Prophet Muhammad, said, ‘How could you enslave people when their mothers gave birth to them as free!’ Kanzul Ummal
Through our experience in this life, we have seen that when two groups of people are good, people will be good, and when they are corrupt, people will be corrupt: they are the scholars and the rulers.
The people of the media should be the real guardians of peace and love by standing up for truth with no bias or prejudice, thus following the traditions of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) when he said, ‘None of you is a true believer unless he wishes for his brother what he wishes for himself.’ Sahih Al-Bukhari.
‘A Muslim is the one whose tongue and hand people are safe from (he does not harm them by tongue or hand).’ Musnad Ahmad.
‘You will not be a true believer unless your neighbour is safe from your evil.’ Sahih Al-Bukhari.
It is also reported that he said, ‘Wisdom is the goal of the believer. Wherever he finds it, he, more than others, has to take it and follow it.’ Sunan Al-Tirmithi.
May God’s peace, mercy and blessings be upon all of you.
(T.Q. = Translation of the meanings of the Holy Qur’an)
(pbuh = May Allah's peace and blessings be upon him, and may Allah exalt his mention and raise his position more and more)