Beirut: Islam is a very open and moderate religion which recognizes the fact of ‘differences in opinion’ as a natural phenomenon and invites all faiths to debate and justify their points peacefully. Islam, in fact being the most moderate religion, not only calls for dialogue within Muslims’ sects but it also calls for dialogue among people of all faiths and especially among People of the Book (Muslims, Christians and Jews).
These views were shared by a well-known Shiite cleric, Sayyed Ali Fadlullah, while delivering the Friday Sermon at a local mosque, Imamain Al-Hassanain Mosque, in the holy month of Rabi-ul-Awwal.
He asserted that Islam is a very peaceful religion and it accepts that there can always be difference in opinions so it highly encourages dialogues to resolve the issues with people of all faiths.
He expressed concerns over the reality of the Muslim worldwide these days in which hostility and division prevail, without showing any mercy or tolerance. He felt grief on the fact that there is an evil desire to destroy the other by means of accusing him of disbelief or misguidance to say the least.
While highlighting the greatness of Imam As-Sadiq (A.S.), Fadlullah stated, “This is not what our religion calls for, since it is a religion of tolerance, mercy and unity among Muslims. The Quran considers dialogue as a duty aimed at reaching the truth and not scoring points. It is a means which does not make us doubt our ideas. Rather, there is a huge difference, as we are taught by Imam As-Sadiq, between engaging in a dialogue and forsaking one’s ideas and principles. The Imam used to engage in dialogue with all people, even with the atheists. His methodology was that of the Quran, as he adopted the calm and sober dialogue that is backed by proofs and sublime manners.”
“He did not have any taboos and he never aimed to score points. All he wanted was to attain the truth. Faced by the atheists who wanted to abolish religion and show that there is no god, his aim was to make them return to the straight path of Islam and truth, and he used to be calm, patient and extremely tolerant; thus, teaching us how to deal with the others, regardless of who he is or what he believes in,” he added.
He continued, “On the occasion of the birth anniversary of Imam As-Sadiq (A.S.), we have to apply the lessons he taught us in reality and live the atmosphere of dialogue without any fear, so that we could reunite our nation and establish its firm hold on the straight path of Allah.”
Fadlullah cut sorry figures on the overall situation of the Muslims all over the world in general and in some Arab countries including Syria in particular. He urged the Muslim factions to present the real image of Islam represented by consultation, sharing and openness on the other.
“There should be an open dialogue between the Syrian government and the opposition having in mind only the aim of protecting the country and preserving its leading role in the Arab world and the strong and essential base it ought to play in the course of confronting Israel,” Fadlullah concluded.