This year, one million pilgrims are looking forward to the Day of Arafa, the day of the Great Hajj, in which millions of Muslims will be listening to the sermon on the Day of Arafa in their languages on television, and whereby His Excellency Sheikh Dr. Muhammad bin Abdul Karim Al-Issa, Secretary-General of the Muslim World League, will address for the first time at the stage of Arafat, the podium of the Messenger of Allah and the companions as well as those who followed them in goodness from the seniors and the leading scholars of the Ummah.
Al-Issa’s sermon at the Nimrah Mosque that will be heard by a million pilgrims, is to present his scientific and advocacy effort in this immortal sermon.
And for Al-Issa to be an ambassador for the discourse of moderation extending from the pure stage of Arafat in the west to East Asia and from there to all over the world.
Sheikh Al-Issa, coming from a strong academic background on the field of Shariah, and then strengthened by high positions he assumed in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, placed him as one of the shining figures of moderate Ulama and Fuqaha, not only at the level of Saudi Arabia and the Arab world, but of the world as a whole.
Sheikh Al-Issa gained, through his journeys as Minister of Justice and a member of the Council of Senior Ulama, which is considered the first fatwa reference in Saudi Arabia and many Muslims in the world, a lot of experiences besides his solid knowledge on Shariah that he received from the hands of senior Saudi Ulama, and made him combine the strength of knowledge and good skills of management, and qualified him to assume the position of Secretary-General of the Muslim World League.
Since Al-Issa gained this confidence in receiving this important and vital position, he took the League, which is based in Mecca Al-Mukarramah as its main headquarters, from its traditional framework of work to a broader and more welcoming horizon, and corrects many of the misconceptions that distorted the image of moderate Islam. Starting from its conferences in Umm Al-Qura to all parts of the world, east, west, north and south, he spreads the message of moderation and corrects a lot of misunderstandings that distorted the image of the Moderate Islam.
Sheikh Dr. Al-Issa, who, in addition to his duties as Secretary-General of the Muslim World League, also holds various positions, including the head of the Association of Muslim Ulama, and the President of the Association of Islamic Universities.
He also leads an Enlightening Project launched by the Kingdom for the world that aims to correct misunderstandings and present the true image of Islam that calls for coexistence, and put first dialogue as a means to perpetuate these understandings.
Dr. Muhammad Al-Issa emerged as an international official in charge of an international organization that handles issues of dialogue, coexistence and tolerance between religions, and between peoples and nationalities. The League and its affiliated organizations work on issues of dialogue, spreading moderation, humanitarian relief, and managing dialogue in global forums.
Sheikh Al-Issa, with his wisdom and foresight, realized the value of East Asia, the most important depth of the Islamic world, with its countries characterized by large populations and modern progress at all levels, and their peoples’ inclination towards moderate discourse and the exclusion of extremism and terrorism.
In fact, there have been several forums, conferences and symposia in this regard that had produced a positive and great impact, and perhaps the most important of them was the Forum: “Youth of Southeast Asia” that was called for by His Excellency Sheikh Dr. Muhammad Al-Issa, and then came out with important recommendations to enhance the role of youth in representing the tolerance of Islam and spreading Islam.
The role of the League was not limited to forums and dialogue conferences only, but extended to documenting Islamic history in the east of the yellow continent through the signing of the Muslim World League and the Biography of the Prophet Foundation in the Republic of Indonesia, an agreement to launch museums and exhibitions of the Prophet’s biography and Islamic civilization in the Indonesian capital, Jakarta, as the first station of these museums that the League will adopt worldwide.
Perhaps among the latest contributions of the Muslim World League under the leadership of the venerable scholar Al-Issa is the Forum of Ulama of Southeast Asian, which was hosted by the Kingdom of Malaysia under the patronage of His Excellency Mr. Dato’ Sri Ismail Sabri Bin Yaqoub, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Malaysia.
His Excellency Dr. Al-Issa’s speech came to confirm that this meeting is exceptional and extraordinary as it brought together Ulama, in countries that have importance and weight in the map of our Islamic world and the world at large, “which are the Southeast Asian countries.”
This important meeting was distinguished by the fact that it was in Malaysia, which, according to everyone’s testimony, is a model of harmony between all its religious and ethnic components.
This meeting will be a good opening for a permanent council whose Ulama meet from time to time under the global umbrella of the Islamic peoples, which is the Muslim World League, where its headquarters is in Mecca al-Mukarramah, under the patronage of the League.
One of the most important outcomes of this international conference was the approval of His Excellency the Prime Minister, Mr. Dato Seri Ismail Sabri bin Yaqoub, to establish this council in Kuala Lumpur, to sponsor it, and to open it for its first session next year.
The statement of the Kuala Lumpur Conference summarizes the policy of the League in the era of Al-Issa, which is based on the fact that human relations and human unity are based on innate human principles and love of security, peace, justice and equality.
And that all human beings must know that differences between them in terms of color, custom, belief, culture or religion are not a cause for differences and conflicts. Because we are all brothers in humanity and we like to play a role to maintain security and coexist peacefully in this world.
This is in fact a legitimate demand and one of the purposes of Sharia that must be supported and acted upon by all parts of the Islamic Ummah. The starting point of the discourse from Mecca to the Asian East was a sign of its value as an Islamic depth and a strategic starting point for a moderate discourse that fights fanaticism as well as extremism and establishes the values of coexistence, peace and love.
-Dr. Mohammed Gharawi
Saudi journalist based in Malaysia