[5-6 Dhu’l-Qa’da 1426 ah / 7-8 December 2005 ce]
HIS HASHEMITE MAJESTY KING ABDULLAH II
SPEECH AT THE OPENING SESSION OF THE ORGANIZATION OF THE ISLAMIC CONFERENCE EXTRAORDINARY SUMMIT IN MECCA
6 Dhu’l-Qa ‘dah 1426 ah / 8 December 2005 ce
IN THE NAME OF GOD, THE COMPASSIONATE, THE MERCIFUL
And praise be to allah, the Lord of all the worlds, And prayers and salutations on our master Muhammad, and the righteous and sincere members of his Household,
Your majesties, your excellencies, your highnesses, kings, presidents and emirs of Muslim states,
Peace be upon you, Allah’s mercy and His blessings,
The convening of this extraordinary summit, in Mecca, by a gracious invitation from the custodian of the two sacred mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, comes at a time when the Islamic Ummah (nation) is facing several challenges that cannot be confronted or overcome except through casting aside the differences within the Ummah, through enhancing cooperation and complementarity among them and through unifying their word, their ranks and their stances towards these different issues and challenges, with a unified vision and rules based on the essence of Islam?Islam that brings people together and does not divide them, and that calls for the unity of Muslims irrespective of differences in colour, gender or school of jurisprudence (mathab).
In spite of our conviction of the importance and vitality of the subjects and topics listed on the working agenda of this summit, and the draft of the ten-year programme for action for the Organization of the Islamic Conference, we still reaffirm anew, in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, that the subject that should have priority over all these subjects is the consensus among us as Muslims on who is a Muslim and on the conditions of ifta (issuing fatwas). The absence of consensus on these two issues has led to divisions and differences, accusations of labeling others as apostates (takfir) and internecine fighting. It is not plausible for us to talk about cooperation and complementarity among Muslims or about uniting our ranks and stances in facing the challenges of our age or our relations with other nations and peoples, before we agree among ourselves that an adherent to any school of jurisprudence is a Muslim, and on the conditions of issuing fatwas which regulate relations among us and unify our stances toward the issues and challenges of this age.
With Almighty Allah’s praise, and with the success that He granted us, we convened in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan the International Islamic Conference, in Amman from 4-6 July 2005, in which more than  scholars participated. The scholars hailed from different Muslim countries and were adherents to the eight Islamic schools of jurisprudence (mathahib). These scholars, in accordance with the fatwas issued unanimously by all the Muslim religious authorities, approved the following:
First, 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, it is not possible nor permissible to declare whosoever subscribes to the Ash’ari creed or whoever practices real Tasawwuf (Sufism) an apostate. Likewise, it is not possible nor permissible to declare whosoever subscribes to true Salafi thought an apostate.
Equally, it is not possible nor permissible to declare as apostates any group of Muslims who believes in God, Glorified and Exalted be He, and His Messenger (may peace and blessings be upon him) and the pillars of faith, and acknowledges the five pillars of Islam, and does not deny any necessarily self-evident tenet of religion.
Second, 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; 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); alms-giving (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 Judgement, 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 not as regards the principles and 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 good affair’.
Third, acknowledgement of the schools of Islamic jurisprudence (Maihahib) within Islam means adhering to a fundamental methodology in the issuance of fatwas: no one may issue a fatwa without the requisite personal qua-lifications which each school of Islamic jurisprudence determines [for its own adherents]. No one may issue a fatwa without adhering to the methodology of the schools of Islamic jurisprudence. No one may claim to do absolute Ijtihad and create a new school of Islamic jurisprudence or to 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.
We presented the recommendations of this conference to Mecca’s Forum of Muslim Scholars and Intellectuals, which was convened in Mecca by at the invitation of the custodian of the two sacred mosques. The participating scholars in the forum, especially the Committee for Islamic Thought, Culture and Education, adopted these recommendations, in order to facilitate their presentation to this summit.
On this basis, we reaffirm our stance that it is necessary to include the text of the above-mentioned recommendations and decisions of the International Islamic Conference, convened in Amman, in the final communique of this summit; and to designate these recommendations and decisions as a term of reference and a basis to settle differences among Muslims, and to close the door on some of those who issue legal rulings (fatwas) without having the right to do so, declaring some Muslims apostates and killing them in the name of Islam, when Islam disavows illegitimate practitioners who issue fatwas.
This is the essence of the Amman Message, which is in complete harmony with the Islamic Civilisation (Islam Hadari) project which was submitted in Malaysia.
Finally, I would like to extend deep gratitude and appreciation to the cus-todian of the two sacred mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, the brotherly Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Secretariat General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference for hosting this conference, and for the meticulous arrangements and preparations for this summit.
Peace, Allah’s mercy and His blessings be upon you.