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Final Statement issued by: The Fifth Conference of Iraq's ‘Ulama (Scholars)

Final Statement issued by: The Fifth Conference of Iraq's ‘Ulama (Scholars)

In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful

Praise be to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon the Master of Messengers Muhammad… and upon his Family, and all his Companions and those who followed him.

The Fifth Conference of Iraq's 'Ulama was convened in Amman, the capital of Jordan, in the period 16- 17 Rabi' I 1428H. / 4- 5 April, 2007 C.E, under the gracious auspices of His Majesty King Abdullah II Ibn al-Hussein, King of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, may Allah protect Him.

The Conference was attended by many prominent Iraqi `Ulama and intellectuals (from inside and outside Iraq).

They discussed the following:

  1. The papers presented to the Conference dealing with critical vital problems in the field of Shari`ah work.
  2. A set of urgent problems through which Iraq, in particular, is living.

The participants made the following recommendations:

  1. It is rather necessary to concentrate on the relation between the `Ulama and the public, with the public offering their support to the `Ulama to enable them to play their pioneering role among people.
  2. It is rather necessary that fatwas be issued by a group of those who have knowledge, awareness and piety, while implementing the principle of Shura (consultation) in the issuance of fatwas. Emotional and hasty fatwas should be avoided, and so are the immature fatwas issued by those without the requisite scholarly qualifications.
  3. Demanding the release of all those detained by the government and the occupying forces , as a sign of good intentions for reconciliation to build a new Iraq; the Conference also calls on the United Nations and the Arab States to interfere to achieve the release of the detainees .
  4. Renunciation of ethnic and sectarian disagreement, and the necessity for all parties to work on preserving Iraq's unity.
  5. The Conference condemns the inhumane practices, such as kidnapping, assassination, arrest, displacement and bombing; the Conference also condemns assault on prayer houses.
  6. The necessity for adopting all available ways and means - including legitimate resistance - to rid the country of those who occupy it , and for implementing a time- table for their withdrawal.
  7. The Conference demands the return of all mosques that were taken by force, and that measures be taken to open all the mosques that are inoperative.
The participants also decided :
  1. To form the Iraq 'Ulama Council to fill the gap in the field of Fiqh and Shari'ah work in Iraq.
  2. Affiliated with the Convention Council will be the (Iraqi Fiqh Academy) which will perform:
    1. Issuance of fatwas.
    2. Preparing Shari'ah studies.
    3. Coordination with similar Shari'ah institutions.
  3. The participants call for the convening of an expanded conference for all Iraqi Muslim `Ulama, from all Madhahib, to stop bloodshed, unify stances and activate the Makkah al-Mukarramah Document, in honour of the pledge taken by all Iraqi parties at Allah's Sacred House.
  4. Endorsing the "Three Points" of the Amman Message, as an agreed common factor and basis; the text of the "Three Points" being as follows:

(1) 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`fari and 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. Verily his (or her) blood, honour, and property are inviolable. Moreover, in accordance with the Shaykh Al-Azhar’s fatwa, it is neither possible nor permissible to declare whosoever subscribes to the Ash`ari creed or whoever practices real Tasawwuf (Sufism) an apostate. Likewise, it is neither possible nor permissible to declare whosoever subscribes to true Salafi thought an apostate.

Equally, it is neither possible nor permissible to declare as apostates any other group of Muslims who believes in God, Glorified and Exalted be He, and His Messenger (may peace and blessings be upon him), the pillars of faith (Iman), and the pillars of Islam, and does not deny any necessarily self-evident tenet of religion.

(2) There exists more in common between the various schools of Islamic jurisprudence than there is difference between them. The adherents to the eight schools of Islamic jurisprudence are in agreement as regards the basic principles of Islam. All believe in Allah (God), Glorified and Exalted be He, the One and the Unique; that the Noble Qur’an is the Revealed Word of God preserved and protected by God, Exalted be He, from any change or aberration; and that our master Muhammad, may blessings and peace be upon him, is a Prophet and Messenger unto all mankind. All are in agreement about the five pillars of Islam: the two testaments of faith (shahadatayn); the ritual prayer (salat); almsgiving (zakat); fasting the month of Ramadan (sawm), and the Hajj to the sacred house of God (in Mecca). All are also in agreement about the foundations of belief: belief in Allah (God), His angels, His scriptures, His messengers, and in the Day of Judgment, in Divine Providence in good and in evil. Disagreements between the ‘ulama (scholars) of the eight schools of Islamic jurisprudence are only with respect to the ancillary branches of religion (furu`) and some fundamentals (usul) [of the religion of Islam]. Disagreement with respect to the ancillary branches of religion (furu`) is a mercy. Long ago it was said that variance in opinion among the ‘ulama (scholars) “is a mercy”.

(3) Acknowledgement of the schools of Islamic jurisprudence (Mathahib) within Islam means adhering to a fundamental methodology in the issuance of fatwas: no one may issue a fatwa without the requisite qualifications of knowledge. No one may issue a fatwa without adhering to the methodology of the schools of Islamic jurisprudence. No one may claim to do unlimited Ijtihad and create a new opinion or issue unacceptable fatwas that take Muslims out of the principles and certainties of the Shari`ah and what has been established in respect of its schools of jurisprudence.

(The full text of the Amman Message can be viewed at the website: www.ammanmessage.com.)

Finally, the participants would like to express their gratitude to the King, Government and People of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan for the hospitality, compassion and sharing extended by them to the participants; such noble feelings are but a manifestation of the Jordanians firm belief.

May Allah guide us all to what is good, He is the One who is Able to realize that. Peace, Allah's mercy and His Blessings be upon you.

The Fifth Conference of Iraq's `Ulama
17 Rabi' I, 1428H / 5 April 2007 C.E.

 


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