JEDDAH - Islam discourages people staying in isolation. The religion encourages great openness among the peoples of the world and their religions and cultures, said Dr. Ahmed Abdul Rahman Al-Qadhi, member of the teaching staff in Al-Qassim University.
Dr. Al-Qadhi will present his paper titled “Dialogue in the Qur’an and Sunnah - the concept and goals,” at the interfaith dialogue.
Dr. Al-Qadhi stressed that there was room in our religion for the clerics to deliver a strong message to the world reiterating Prophet Muhammad’s (peace be upon him) call to worship Allah alone by observing monotheism (Tawheed). “It is He Who sent His Messenger (Muhammad, peace be upon him) with guidance and the religion of truth (Islam), to make it superior over all religions even though the Mushrikoon (polytheists, pagans, idolaters, disbelievers in the Oneness of Allah) hate (it).” (Verse 33 of Surah At-Taubah)
He said that there were several reasons for boosting the culture of dialogue in the light of guidance from the Qur’an and Sunnah. They include great openness among the peoples of the world and their religions and cultures; the large-scale campaign being waged against Islam and its preachers and institutions. Dr. Al-Qadhi said more often than not unqualified people take the lead in representing Islam in world forums. Due to their limited knowledge, they fail to convince others about the truth of their religion and its call for peace. Thus a truce message of Islam does not reach others, he said.
Dr. Bassam Ajak, Dean of the College of Islamic Call (Da’wa) in Damascus said the Qur’an and Sunnah are clear and frank on dialogue, for Islam is a religion that respects thinking. “It urges us to talk to others and respect them in order to consolidate the concept of peaceful coexistence among people,” he said.
Ajak added that in principle and based on the objectives, the reason for using the word dialogue (Al-Hiwaar) in the Holy Qur’an must be explained as well as the use of wrangling (Jidaal) and the difference between the two and why in our age we use the word dialogue with non-Muslims instead of the word “Jidaal” meaning wrangling, argumentation or debate. He pointed out that dialogue (Al-Hiwaar) in the Arabic language is derived from retrogression (Al-Rujoo’), revision (Al-Muraja’ah) and replying (Ar-Radd). According to the scholars and researchers, Al-Hiwaar means talk between two people or two parties on a specific topic, each with his own viewpoint. The objective is to reach the truth and throw light on it or reach as much overlapping of viewpoints as possible. In other words, it is striving to reach as much common ground as possible away from discord, fanaticism, rancor or extremism. Also, each party should have the readiness to accept the truth whatever it might be even if it has been revealed through the other party. He said the term dialogue was used here and not debate because it relies on strict scientific controls and rules of logic. He said this is more appropriate in expression and method. He stressed that the world today is in dire need for dialogue to overcome the obstacles that might lead to confrontation. – Okaz